History

Community Colleges Australia (CCA) was launched in 2007 in Canberra and was established as the peak body for not-for-profit community-owned learning organisations across Australia. As long-established learning organisations located in metropolitan, regional and rural locations, community education providers are strategically placed to focus on individual learners and enhance student welfare. Community-based providers are committed to both employment outcomes as well as personal development of our learners.

While CCA as an industry association is a relatively new entity, our members have been providing flexible and dynamic learning opportunities to individuals, groups and businesses for a very long time – in some instances more than 100 years.

The community education sector delivers accredited vocational education and training (VET) to hundreds of thousands of people each  year, from pre-vocational through to Advanced Diploma courses across a diverse range of skill requirements and industry areas.

As well as delivering vocational education and training, CCA members also offer a range of learning opportunities, including non-accredited training, lifestyle and lifelong and cultural learning courses – education for which they are historically well-known. These educational activities help build self esteem, re-engage ‘missing’ learners and provide social networks for older or vulnerable people.

Community providers offer an understanding of the learning and training needs of individuals, community groups and businesses. CCA members recognise that the result of encouraging and increasing individuals’ training needs can be more vibrant and cohesive communities.

Australia’s not-for-profit education providers deliver practical and relevant education and training with supportive learning environments. Any financial surpluses from their not-for-profit activities are reinvested back into the communities that they serve. Our members are all 'for purpose' organisations that enhance employment prospects, leisure aspirations and social inclusion.

Australia’s Adult and Community Education Sector in Perspective

According to the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), at the end of 2016 there were 426 community education training providers in Australia. Of these community providers, 268 were Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and 158 were non-registered – all of this latter group located in Victoria.

Of the 4.2 million students enrolled in Australian vocational education and training (VET) in 2016, 378,900 (9% of the total) studied with a community provider.

In addition to community providers, Australian VET students enrolled in TAFE (739,800 students, representing 17.6% of the total); university providers (60,200 students, 1.4%); school providers (91,300 students, 2.2%); enterprise providers (85,000 students, 2%); and private for-profit providers (2,470,800 students, 58.7%); with 381,600 people (9.1%) attending more than one provider type.

In addition to the 426 adult and community education (ACE) formal training providers, there are at least 2000 other ACE providers in Australia, delivering personal interest learning and other courses (see Adult Learning Australia, Australia ACE Environmental Scan Research Project 2016).

Acknowledgement of Country
Community Colleges Australia acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional custodians of our land, Australia. CCA acknowledges that our 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.