CCA announces 2022 National ACE Summit

Community Colleges Australia (CCA) has announced a National ACE Summit, which will take place online on Tuesday 5 April 2022. The Summit will reinforce and explore the value and importance of Australian adult and community education (ACE) providers in delivering essential training and skills that support national educational, social, employment and economic development goals.

The Summit will enhance the capacity of the ACE sector to deliver real results to build the skills base of Australian communities, which has been battered by two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is again likely to devastate many training activities in the first months of 2022.

CCA’s 2022 Sydney Conference, originally planned for that day, has been postponed to 13-14 September due to considerations arising from the Omicron COVID-19 wave. The 2022 Summit follows on from CCA’s 2021 National ACE Summit, held in June 2021, attended by more than 170 people – the largest CCA event participation ever.

“The ACE sector has unrealised potential and capacity to contribute to ameliorating Australia’s skills shortfall, particularly in the aged, disability and child care sectors, as well as in foundation skills and supporting small businesses,” said CCA CEO, Dr Don Perlgut.

Confirmed keynote Summit speakers include Dr Cassandra Goldie, CEO of Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS); and Mary Faraone, World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) Board member, Chair of TAFE Directors Australia and CEO of Holmesglen Institute (VIC), who will speak on WFCP research into how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted training worldwide.

“The Summit will hear from New South Wales, Victorian and national skills political leaders who will outline their visions for the Australian ACE sector, given how valuable our sector is in bringing unemployed Australians into work. More than 12% of ACE students moved from unemployment to employment after training completion in 2020, more than any other training sector,” said Dr Perlgut.

The Summit will feature sessions on how state and national ACE strategies can address training challenges in a pandemic world; foundation skills – language, literacy, numeracy and digital skills; digital inclusion – closing the “digital divide” and reaching disadvantaged learners of all ages; and aged, disability and child care workforce training.

The Summit will also include HAVE YOUR SAY, a participatory video session in which educational experts and observers can record a video that describes an idea for how ACE can meet specific community needs: prizes will be awarded for “most creative” and “most stimulating” contributions.

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