Work-based learning in community education providers

This research project focused on developing a better understanding of the extent to which community providers are delivering training, including foundation skills, through work-based learning arrangements, and the styles of work-based learning that have been successful in up-skilling workers.

The research questions were:

  • To what extent are community providers providing work placements?
  • To what extent are community providers delivering work-based learning?
  • To what extent are community providers offering foundation skills to business?
  • What styles of learning have been successful for up-skilling workers?

This project was funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training through its Strategic Partnerships Program. Click here to view a copy of CCA’s interim report for this project (December 2015). The project finished in June 2016; the final report will be available shortly and will be published on this website.  Please contact us if you have any questions about this project.


Youth engagement

Every CCA member engages in significant engagement with young people, providing a wide range of services, ranging from specialised job skills courses to independent, community-managed, not-for-profit high schools such as Alesco Senior College in Newcastle, run by WEA Hunter.  CCA is currently cataloguing the diversity of these unique community-based initiatives.

“The challenge of ensuring that all young people remain in education long enough to make a successful transition to work is not new. However, the transition from education to full-time work has become increasingly difficult for young people …. This is because the world of work has been changing. Jobs have been transforming in the emerging knowledge economy and now require higher levels of knowledge and skills to obtain.” (Source:  Kaye Bowman, Engaging Young People in Education and Training and How Young People Are Faring, Dusseldorp Skills Forum).



Student outcomes in community education

CCA has recently submitted a research proposal to the National Centre for Vocational Education and Research (NCVER) to examine in depth the student outcomes of the community education sector, going beyond the basic statistics.


Innovation and community education

"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." So says Alan Kay, American computer scientist and winner of the A.M. Turing Award. Last year CCA's national conference focused on the theme of innovation, under the title "Innovation: What's Next for Community Education?"


Community education in rural, regional and remote Australia

"A basic education is the key to success in Australia's economy for individuals and regions alike. Achieving more equitable education outcomes across regional Australia is our nation's greatest challenge in realising the potential of regional Australia." - Regional Australia Institute

Because a significant amount of community-based education takes place in rural, regional and remote Australia (more than 60% in New South Wales), community education providers have an important role to play outside of the capital cities. CCA is partnering with governments and peak regional and rural organisation to determine the most effective ways for community education to assist in Australia's regional economic development, and to achieve educational equity for all Australians.

Read our research report The Role of Community Education in Australian Regional and Rural Economic Development (published February 2017).


Community education for people with disabilities

With the roll-out of Australia's National Disability Insurance Scheme, community education providers have an important role to play in supporting people with disabilities.


Community education and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians

Community Colleges Australia acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional custodians of our land, Australia. CCA acknowledges that our Sydney office is located on the traditional lands of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

CCA is in the process of developing a strategy for how the not-for-profit Australian community education sector can work collaboratively with Indigenous organisations and communities to achieve a real improvement in Indigenous educational attainment and empowerment, on local, regional and national levels.  CCA notes the statement from Adult Learning Australia: “Adult education responses [to Indigenous adult education] too often focus on centrally developed and administered Vocational Education and Training curriculum for jobs that often don’t exist in those communities or ‘bridging programs’ to fill an arbitrary gap.”

Read CCA’s statement about Indigenous Australians and VET, in honour of NAIDOC Week, July 2017


Mental health and community education

Community education providers frequently play an important role in supporting the mental health outcomes of their communities, working with Primary Health Care networks and other local and regional organisations to run collaborative projects.  CCA has commenced working with a number of our providers, cataloguing best practice community education activities and models in mental health.