CCA welcomes release of NSW Adult and Community Education Policy Statement

Community Colleges Australia (CCA) has welcomed the release of the NSW Government’s Adult and Community Education (ACE) Policy Statement. (Download a copy here.)

In his introduction to the Statement, NSW Skills and Tertiary Education Minister, Dr Geoff Lee said, “I am pleased to endorse this policy statement, which I trust will help focus attention on the importance of the ACE sector as a valued partner supporting vocational students in NSW on the pathway to life-long learning. The statement has been a collaborative effort and I would also like to acknowledge the input and feedback of Community Colleges Australia, ACE providers and the NSW Skills Board.”

“CCA is thrilled the NSW Government has issued this statement, which reinforces the important position that not-for-profit community education providers play in the skills, economic and community development of the state,” said Dr Don Perlgut, CEO of CCA.

CCA will celebrate the release of the Policy Statement at a virtual event with the Minister, NSW parliamentarians, CCA members and key stakeholders on 24 September. #NSWACE2020

Highlights of the NSW ACE Policy Statement

“ACE providers complement but provide different educational programs from schools, TAFE, universities and other community and for-profit training providers. Being learner centric with a solid foundation in local service delivery, the ACE sector is well placed to support these priorities and respond to both shorter-term disruptive and longer-term transformational needs which will impact communities across the state.

“The NSW Government supports the work of the ACE sector by subsidising the delivery of VET through the Smart and Skilled and NSW ACE Programs. Some non-accredited training is also subsidised under the NSW ACE Program to transition and support disadvantaged learners to gain skills sets and qualifications for work.”

NSW ACE provider “programs contribute to breaking the cycle of disadvantage through inclusive and affordable quality training and education, helping to develop adaptable and resilient learning communities, opportunities for life-long learning, building a skilled workforce that contributes to regional economic development.”

“The NSW ACE Program provides learning opportunities for disadvantaged people who have barriers to participate fully in mainstream vocational education and training which in turn limits their participation in the workforce.

“It assists contracted ACE providers to tailor training to meet workplace needs for individuals and business by providing English language, literacy, numeracy, digital literacy and broader foundational skills including transferable ‘soft skills’ which are often a precursor to VET qualifications.

“ACE providers are able to bridge program and service gaps with ‘wrap around’ services that improve client outcomes and/or experience, particularly for those needing additional support into, or reintegration back to, work or community life.

NCVER data demonstrates the greater extent to which community education providers in NSW, relative to other providers, deliver government-funded VET to a proportionally higher number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, learners over the age of 45, people with disabilities, regional and rural students and disadvantaged citizens.

“NSW ACE providers are a significant institutional resource operating to overcome disadvantage through education and training with their broad reach, flexible and agile service delivery model. They do so with a high degree of established credibility and trust. The NSW Government will continue to partner with the ACE sector to break the cycle of disadvantage, foster inclusive, productive, well-connected and sustainable communities and support and strengthen the priorities of a robust economy.”

(Image above from the Policy Statement.)

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