21. Jun, 2016

The business of training… A mess!

Bill Shorten talks about education like it’s the be all and end all of our economy. Here are some simple facts… You can’t educate yourself out of debt…you can’t spend on services via education and finally not everyone needs or wants a tertiary education.

Let me first start by firstly educating you on the failures on Education… and both the LNP and ALP and state and federal level are complicit. One word (an acronym) TAFE. They have both stuffed the one institution that employment and learners have used for generations to learn and train for job advancement. TAFE had as its core a National accreditation training certification. Both the LNP and ALP have allowed TAFE to be used as a slush fund for the ‘dodgy brothers english schools’ who have drained it of $500M in funding, These dodgy institutions usually prey on overseas students or lower level student here seeking a course that will advance them to a higher certificate. At the least there needs to be a senate inquiry into what happened and how. Not only has our training sector suffered but our overseas training reputation has been delivered a serious blow.

TAFE requires an injection of $500M over 3 years to re-establish itself as a giver of sound courses in employment related courses. STEM can be delivered as it should via a model of need not as a model of tertiary entry. STEM is the acronym for Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics, regrettably it is a false premise that STEM can be delivered via university. Yes a university can provide Engineering, science and mathematics degrees. But it cannot provide acquired skill for manufacturing submarine hardened steel. This is the important part of this equation Universities provide macro educations not micro skills. It is micro skills that provide job advancement, power to business (which also sits in OJT) and initiate future innovation. This is also why manufacturing and the skills of older Australians is so important.

Business who are natural innovators have a sound history of using TAFE as the means of developing employee’s especially specialist trades who need STEM. This is where some of the best innovation has come from. Many of the skills for innovation are locked up in trade knowledge that lies with older Australians who have for generation delivered those skills via TAFE.

I personally have spoken with many hundreds of employees in banks, supermarkets and coffee shops especially women who were sold on the idea of getting a tertiary education as a means to that dream job. Without sound like I am making a statement of generality it appears that model was an abject failure and will be going forward. So why is it persisted with? What is the purpose of selling a dream that is really a nightmare? We appear to be wasting billions on degrees that are never used and throwing away hundreds of millions, when that funding should be going to one of our best resources, at the same time.

FYI TAFE supplies excellent training services in Hospitality, Manufacturing, Business and Education for business. TAFE also works with other reputable & excellent providers one of the oldest being Workright and another Intellitrain. I was involved with TAFE on its e board and assisted in delivering training models for the mortgage industry.

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