Dr Don Perlgut, CEO of Community Colleges Australia, has recently published an article entitled “Re-inserting ‘community’ into Australian Vocational Education and Training”, on Open Forum, and is now featured as their 'blog of the week'.
In this article, he discusses how vocational education and training (VET) has now entered the political debate in the upcoming July election. He argues that the most cost-effective VET policy initiative is to reinvigorate the community education providers and build on their capacity.
He discusses the VET FEE-HELP loan scandals, the collapse of private for-profit vocational education colleges and how VET has entered the political debate – given a high priority by Bill Shorten (Leader of the Opposition) in his recent “Budget Reply” speech, and the recently announced Commonwealth Discussion Paper on the re-design of VET FEE-HELP. He concludes by describing the vitality and importance of community education - particularly in regional and rural Australia. The article ends with a message to the politicians of all political persuasions: "reinvigorating the community education providers and building on their capacity can, and will, be one of the most cost-effective VET policy initiatives you can implement."