Community Colleges NSW by qnl49935


									Community Colleges NSW
Response to the Issues Paper

April 2006

Review of the Skills Base in NSW and the Future
Challenges for Vocational Education and Training

This response to the Issues Paper seeks to comment on some of the aspects
contained in the paper. It is a response that gives views expressed and
discussed within Community Colleges NSW.

Community Colleges NSW
Telephone: 02 9642 5266
Fax:       02 9642 6156

Community Colleges NSW is the peak body for providers in the Adult and
Community Education sector in NSW. It is a not-for-profit incorporated

Community Colleges NSW supports the ideal that individuals who inform
themselves transform their lives and embraces the concept of lifelong learning.

There are currently 59 community colleges who bring adult education to their
communities across the state and who are members of Community Colleges

Each of these colleges is embedded in its community. The courses they offer
respond to their community’s educational needs. They may involve work related
training opportunities, or holistic learning to expand knowledge, skills, or social
networks. Community colleges also design courses according to prevalent social
trends. For example, a course may be put together to re-engage early school
leavers, or to re-connect senior citizens to an active lifestyle.

Learning is an inherent ability in human beings. We are all unique individuals,
and so our learning styles differ. Some students experience successful learning
for the first time at their local Community College. This may lead students to
continue on to other vocational training or higher education.

Community colleges offer an environment that supports informal, practical and
creative learning. Community colleges offer facilitated learning activities rather
than institutionalized instruction. They provide opportunities to learn in a non-
threatening and accessible environment. Community colleges provide learning
pathways that are available to almost every group in the community.

Delivery capacity - Clusters
The community colleges across NSW operate in 8 regional clusters:

•   Greater South West Cluster
•   Inner West Cluster
•   Metropolitan Sydney Cluster
•   Mid-North Coast Cluster
•   Northern Inland Cluster
•   Northern Rivers Cluster
•   South East Cluster
•   Watagan Cluster

The colleges in each cluster are as follows:

•   Greater South West Cluster
    Condobolin Community College                Griffith Adult Learning Association
    Corryong Community Education Centre Inc     Robinson Education Centre (Broken Hill)

•   Inner West Cluster
    Continuing Education Centre (Albury)        South East Community College (Nowra)
    Central West Community College (Bathurst)   Western College ( Dubbo)
    Riverina Community College (Wagga)

•   Metropolitan Sydney Cluster
    Bankstown Community College                 Nepean Community College
    Deaf Education Network                      North West Community College
    Eastern Suburbs Community College           St George & Sutherland Community College
    Hawkesbury Community College                Sydney Community College
    Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Community College       The Parramatta College
    Macarthur Community College                 WEA Illawarra Community College
    Manly Warringah Community College           WEA Sydney
    Mosman Day and Evening Community College

•   Mid-North Coast Cluster
    Bellingen ACE Community College             Nambucca Valley Community College
    Camden Haven Community College              Port Macquarie Community College
    Coffs Coast Community College               Taree Community College
    Forster-Tuncurry Community College          Wauchope Community College
    Macleay Valley Community College

•   Northern Inland Cluster
    Barraba Community College                   Quirindi Community College
    Bingara Adult Learning Association          Tamworth Community College
    Gunnedah Adult & Community Education        Tenterfield Adult & Community Education
    Guyra Adult Learning Association            Walcha Adult & Community Education

•   Northern Rivers Cluster
    Alstonville Ballina Community College       Lower Clarence Adult & Community
                                                Education Centre
    Byron Region Community College              Murwillumbah Community College
    Grafton Community College                   North Coast ACE (Lismore)

•   South East Cluster
    Eurobodalla Adult Education Centre          Monaro Community College
    Far South Coast Community College           Southern Region Community         College
    Kiama Community College

•   Watagan Cluster
    Central Coast Community College             Tomaree Community College
    Hunter Community College                    Tuggerah Lakes Community College
    Singleton Community College                 WEA Hunter

The 59 Community Colleges in NSW collectively have more than a 1000
volunteer committee members and another 600 volunteers working in their local
colleges. The combined turnover of the sector is $64 million p.a. and the payroll
component within that figure is $33,000,000. Figures which include part time
staff and session tutors show a workforce that numbers in the thousands

      Table 1.
        Year      Total Enrolments          Total Student Contact Hours

        1996                   323,427                5,956,000

        1997                   341,473                6,250,100

        1998                   348,904                6,084,900

        1999                   374,943                6,412,200

        2000                   383,551                7,093,500

        2001                   415,262                7,229,000

        2002                   428,641                7,897,500

        2003                   397,126                6,738,900

        2004                   340,438                6,015,502

        2005                   321,503                7,815,000

                     2005 VET totals
                         220,023                       6,583,334
                      Accredited total              Accredited total
                         101,716                       4,193,558
                 (66,459 "01"coded funds)     (2,733,587 "01"coded funds)

In an Education budget which increased by over $403 million to $9,566,799,000
(2005/2006) the NSW state government decided to further reduce funding for
Community College programs.

In 2004 Community Colleges in NSW contributed 2.15% of the Vocational
Education and Training effort of NSW. The Federal Government funded NSW
$1,337,777,000 for Vocational Education Training. The community college
contribution in dollar terms was $28,762,206. But only $17,987,940 was
allocated to the Colleges. In other words, the State Government made a surplus
of $10,774,266. (Federal funds received – federal funds allocated – state grants

Table 2.

                                State Budget Analysis
2003 / 2004            2004 / 2005          2005 / 2006

$ 8,680,247,000        $ 9,163,542,000      $ 9,566,799,000           Department of Education
                                                                        and Training Budget

$ 1,387,357,000        $ 1,199,332,000      $ 1,242,716,000                TAFE Budget

15.98%                 13.08%               12.98%                         % TAFE / DET

$ 22,261,000           $ 18,436,000         $ 16,882,000                    ACE Budget
                                                                          (part of TAFE $)

1.60%                  1.537%               1.358%                         % ACE / TAFE

0.245%                 0.201%               0.176%                         % ACE / DET

Table 3.

                                State Grants allocated to ACE
                  2002-2003     2003-2004            2004-2005                2005-2006

 Funding          8,994,427     6,125,585       6,200,000 approx.              4,300,000

                                              4,790,810 + 1,900,000       (2.8 m 05-06 budget
                                                (training services)      figures + 1,500,000
                                                                         Minister agreed not to
                                                                            take from ACE as
                                                                             Budget stated).

 Salaries         No charge     No charge            No charge             06 part of budget

 Programs          335,994       352,741              283,000                   212,065

 DET               464,749       483,339              502,673                   393,077

     NSW State Government Policy
     The “Lifelong Learning for All” policy of the NSW Labor State Government
     outlines 7 principles:

1. Adults are capable of learning at all stages of life;

2. The individual learner is the centre of the educational process;

3. All adults, regardless of their backgrounds and circumstances, have the right to
   access a diversity of affordable, quality learning opportunities;

4. Lifelong learning is central to the health, vitality and economic wealth of the

5.    Liberal education encourages students to take a considered, critical and
     evaluative approach to learning and knowledge;

6. Lifelong learning is essential to the continuing development of informed citizens
   and the promotion of a democratic society;

7.    Adult and Community Education contributes to the development of a skilled,
     cultured and creative society.

     The New South Wales Government is committed to the provision of Adult and
     Community Education which is:

     Equitable for all adults regardless of background and circumstance

     Effective in providing quality learning outcomes

     Responsive to the learning needs of the community and industry.

     Efficient in expanding provision to meet the identified and emerging needs of
     local communities and individuals

     Complementary to the education provided by the school, TAFE and higher
     education sectors.

     And also outlines that Adult and Community Education contributes to society’s:
-    health and vitality
-    democratic processes
-    skills, culture and creativity
-    cultural diversity
-    economic productivity

1. In summary Community Colleges NSW asserts in relation to:

•   The probable future sources of supply of skilled labour for NSW
•   Community Colleges are well placed to engage with the retraining of older
    workers and migrants and has a demonstrated record in these areas.
•   The consequent demands for the further education and training system in
    NSW and the implications for TAFE in particular
•   Community Colleges are able to deliver effective, cost efficient VET training
    through a broad geographical base.
•   The economic and social implications of meeting this increased demand for
    further education and training in NSW
•   Community Colleges in NSW have the capacity to enroll up to 800,000
    participants per annum.
•   Changes that should be made to the State-regulated system to assist in
    meeting future demands….
•   TAFE should not be able to ‘self accredit’ courses.
•   The Government needs to make community facilities available for
    Community Colleges.
•   VETAB needs to review its processes and, whilst maintaining quality,
    introduce a less rigid accreditation process for scope of registration.

2. Community Colleges NSW asserts that broad based vocational education
training containing employment readiness and skills is preferable to training that
delivers specific skills that are not encompassed in a broad program. The increase
of employment by small business, in contrast to larger corporations in the past,
has changed the face of apprenticeships and technical training. Employers now
prefer employment readiness rather than a specific technical skill. They are
unwilling to employ workers that have to unlearn their institutional training in
preparation for training in the way the employer requires.

3. The comments throughout the issues paper in relation to under-employed or
the trend for older workers to be employed for less hours needs to be balanced
with the volunteer contribution that is made to the economy. In the case of
Community Colleges there are as many hours of unpaid work performed as there
are in paid employment. The total wages in Community Colleges across NSW in
2004/2005 was $33 million and it is our view that was matched by voluntary
contribution. It may well be that a broader definition of employment participation
is due.

4. In NSW the practical implication of a state government not prepared to
adequately fund policy decisions is reducing the availability and flexibility of

5. If future challenges are to be met then TAFE cannot continue to receive an
increasing amount of funding for doing, at best, only the same as it has in the
6. In reference to Para3.3.1
Self accreditation is a problem and should not be in the VET sector.

7. In reference to page37 - 4.1

Community Based RTO’s (read Community Colleges) can provide equitable and
effective training opportunities across NSW. Significant demographic change or
economic restructuring can be addressed by a sector (read Community Colleges)
that has low infrastructure costs, is flexible and connected to local communities
but at the same time delivers VET in a national framework and to a national

8. In reference to page 39 - 4.2
Community Colleges NSW is preparing to introduce the LifeWorks Program to

The LifeWorks program was developed in New Zealand to provide opportunities
to marginalized groups within local communities to pursue training and
education and to move on to employment. LifeWorks is a holistic, twelve-month,
life-development, distance education program, which is supported by over 120
resources and guided by a team of LifeWorks coaches. The role of the coaches is
to visit clients at home, and assist and guide them to completion and certification.

Community Colleges NSW has negotiated for the Australian rights to this
program, which will be offered nationally within the Australian Quality Training
Framework. This program has the potential to identify and benefit the many
untapped learners in our society, who otherwise would continue to struggle with
the issues that prevent them from fully engaging in educational and training
opportunities, gaining employment and contributing within their communities.

LifeWorks encompasses the wider issues of employment, education, health,
welfare, parenting, personal relationships and communication. LifeWorks also
provides stable employment opportunities for the ACE workforce which
continues to increase its skills base.

Who will benefit?
The following groups in Australian society will benefit from the Australian
adaptation of the LifeWorks program:
• the unemployed and under-employed
• mature workers
• sole parents
• single mothers
• youth
• Indigenous Australians
• clients from non-English speaking backgrounds
• people isolated - financially, socially or geographically

“The Tribunal invites views”
  1. In reference to Page 43 first paragraph - The answer is ACE.

  2. Is the VET system offering the right services?
     CCNSW contends that the ACE sector of VET delivery, with its
     flexibility, local delivery and learner focus, is meeting the needs of
     employers and workers.

  3. What sort of relationships between employers, training providers and
     funding bodies could assist the availability of trained staff into the future?
  • Do not assume that there has to be a 3 way relationship.
  • Employers in small business are comfortable sourcing delivery and
     advice from the ACE sector.
  • Some larger employers are “registered training organizations“ in their
     own right.

Queries, but not necessarily answers
  1. What is “blue collar” in present terminology?

  2. In reference to Table 3.9
     “Nearly 80% of VET students are enrolled at a TAFE. As a percentage of
     annual hours studied TAFE’s share of the market is nearly 90 per cent.”
     Are the figures distorting the facts? The ACE delivery in NSW (and in
     Victoria) is higher than in other states where ACE delivery is claimed to
     be carried out via TAFE. It may be a case of how the stats are presented
     rather than the delivery mode.
      Are the enrolments people who have started a course those expressing
     an intention?
      Are the Student Contact Hours nominal or actual delivery?

  3. In reference to Page 42-last paragraph:
     A query as to the conclusion drawn -”Therefore, these courses are less
     likely to enhance their employment participation”.

 LifeWorks Appendix

Characteristics of Non-Traditional Learners
More likely to be:
                      •    Older,
                      •    Retired,
                      •    Unemployed,
                      •    Disabled,
                      •    Male,
                      •    Living in deprived areas.

They are also likely to have:
                  • Low Levels of qualifications,
                  • Left school at an early age,
                  • Lower incomes,
                  • Not participated in learning for a long time.
Source RMIT Learning Networks/Community & Regional Partners 2005 and OECD Promoting Adult Learning Report 2005.

Success with Non-Traditional Learners
Most effective if learners are in a place where they feel comfortable and have support
they need around them (non-institutional). Community College cohort success includes:
    • Older isolated adults (particularly living in public housing),
    • Youth at Risk,
    • Young people who have left school not completing Year 10,
    • People with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds,
    • People with a disability,
    • Disadvantaged women,
    • Unemployed (long and short term),
    • Homeless,
    • People recovering from drug dependency.

Barriers to participation summary
Hillage and Aston (2001) split barriers to participation of non-traditional learners in 3
ATTITUDINAL: negative attitudes to learning, lack of confidence or motivation, costs
of learning (fees, transport, books, equipment, childcare), lack of appropriate education
or training opportunities.
MATERIAL:              financial constraints, time constraints, lack of information,
geographic isolation, lack of basic skills.
STRUCTURAL: no programs offered locally or access issues, fear of losing welfare
benefits in doing too much training.

      The Australian Objectives

OUTCOMES            Unemployed   Marginally   Singles   Families   Separated   Retirees
National delivery
Education Levels
Economic growth


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