Minister O’Connor emphasises strong support for foundation skills and community education at CCA Conference

Commonwealth Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor (pictured), has emphasised his Government’s increased support for foundation skills, and reinforced the value of CCA and Australian adult and community education (ACE). In a video message to the Community Colleges Australia (CCA) Conference on 14 September, the Minister said:

“We understand the importance of engaging vulnerable and disadvantaged learners – ensuring they have the right support in order to be provided a level playing field to learn and earn.”

“Providing stronger support for foundation skills and ensuring access for all Australians is a top priority for my Government. Foundation skills do what the name implies. They lay the foundation for people to fully participate in their community. Without solid foundations people’s lives can lack stability and security.

“We know for many people, it’s a lack of foundation skills – language, literacy, numeracy, digital literacy – that impairs their ability to succeed in study and participate in the labour market. There are many reasons why foundation skills are lacking and we therefore need to reinvigorate our efforts to support workers and vulnerable Australians to gain secure employment.”

Minister O’Connor also announced a comprehensive review of foundation skills programs through an advisory body he is establishing. “To allow time for this work to occur I have also extended the current Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program contracts by a year, to 30 June 2024,” the Minister added.

The Minister restated his strong support for Australia’s not-for-profit adult and community education (ACE) sector:

“Community Colleges Australia plays an important role in our training sector through the provision of formal and non-formal training programs in the community. As the national representative of not-for-profit adult and community education trainer providers, the value you provide for Australians wanting to build a better life for themselves and their families is vital.

“The theme of this year’s conference – Rebuilding Community – is a vision that resonates strongly with me and the Albanese Labor Government. Adult and community education is an important pillar of our education sector, taking its place alongside formal schooling, vocational education and university. Strengthening our not-for-profit community education sector will deliver a better future for Australians.”

(image below: Minister Brendan O’Connor speaks to CCA conference)

Comments are closed.