The Victorian Government today released the long-awaited Final Report of the Skills for Victoria’s Growing Economy Review, prepared by The Hon Jenny Macklin (pictured), entitled Future Skills for Victoria: Driving collaboration and innovation in post-secondary education and training, known as the “Macklin Review”.
The “Review’s cornerstone recommendation is for the Government to create a new independent body, FutureSkills Victoria, to act as a champion and steward of the skills system. The Government will continue to determine policy, regulation and funding. The recommendation to establish FutureSkills Victoria emerges from the Review’s deep consultation with skills providers, industry, unions and communities…. FutureSkills Victoria would be a new platform to drive system reform and promote a new way for all parts of the system to work together, building on the collaborative spirit forged through COVID-19,” the Review states (p. 9; see Figure 1 below).
VET reach in Victoria: “About one in three Victorian adults proudly cite a VET qualification as their highest level of learning. All Victorians benefit every day from a capable, committed VET sector. But in its current form, our VET system may struggle to meet the new demands it will face. Its competitive market model too often pits training providers against each other to deliver courses that generate short-term profit without the long-term benefit for learners or the economy. It also allocates too much risk to learners, who can pay widely different fees for courses that don’t always guarantee a good job today, or a ticket into the transformed labour market of tomorrow.” (p. 8)
An Annual Victorian Skills Plan “would above all seek to put learners first…. Thinking strategically about TAFE and ACFE provision can improve access for vulnerable Victorians.” (p. 73)
Community education providers feature in numerous recommendations, including:
1.3: Strengthen partnerships between TAFE and training, higher education and Adult, Community and Further Education Board (ACFE) providers to unblock the flow of students through the sectors and enable the post-secondary sector to respond with more agility to the economy’s needs by… working with the ACFE Board to formalise proposals for closer relationships between ACFE and TAFE.
2.2: Commission FutureSkills Victoria to publish, from 2022, an annual Victorian Skills Plan that sets out Victoria’s skills needs for the year ahead and beyond by: drawing on data, evidence and insights from the FutureSkills Insights platform, and from all providers in the VET, ACFE and higher education sectors.
2.3: Develop a user-friendly online platform within FutureSkills Insights to help current and prospective students choose courses and providers… and ACFE options as entry points into further learning.
4.2: Strengthen learning pathways between ACFE and the broader VET system, and VET and higher education.
6.5: Set clear expectations for providers that all VET and ACFE teachers will engage in regular professional development … explicit expectations in ACFE registration requirements that all teachers will be supported to engage in professional development; committing to fund the costs of regular teacher professional learning for all ACFE and Skills First providers in new funding models for quality VET and ACFE.
More than 300 stakeholders were consulted, including CCA, which met with Ms Macklin prior to the arrival of COVID-19 in early 2020.
The Victorian Government states that it “will draw on the Review in considering future reforms to the vocational education and training system,” and it appears likely that most if not all of the Review’s recommendations will be supported and implemented.
(Download a PDF copy of the Report here – 4.8mg)