Community Colleges Australia (CCA) has recognised the shared values and important contributions that public technical and further education (TAFE) and community education providers undertake in promoting access and equity in Australian education and training.
CCA has adopted a policy on “TAFE and Community Education”, which details the importance of government funding and operation of vocational education and training (VET).
The CCA policy recognises that “TAFE is both the largest provider and an anchor institution for equitable VET, playing a particularly important role in training apprentices; skilling regional, rural and remote Australian communities; and meeting the needs of special groups such as Indigenous Australians.”
The policy notes that community education providers and TAFE have many characteristics in common, given that both operate on a “social benefit” model. Both sectors aim to increase educational participation, work to develop skills as well as to build social capital and resilience within their communities, and are not motivated by providing a financial return to private investors.
The policy also details many areas where community education providers and TAFE can cooperate.
CCA has commenced a series of meetings with TAFE Directors Australia, as well as state TAFE systems, to ensure that the opportunities for collaboration are thoroughly utilised.