Have you heard the federal governments announcements about the VET FEE Help Scheme and wonder what they might mean to you and to Vocational Education in general. Never fear our National Training Manager has written an article which goes through what we currently know and what effects it might have. You can read his article here.
For those of you who are regular readers of this blog, you will know that for the most part I have been a supporter of the Queensland Governments VET investment plan both under the previous and current governments. I also think it is necessary for me to indicate at this point that the organisation that I work for is a PQS under both VET investment and User Choice before I go any further however. So with the end of the 2015-16 financial year approaching, yes it is almost the end of February folks, this means that the current plan is set for review. I therefore thought that it might be a worthwhile time to have a look at the program and what possible changes might be useful and not useful in the next version of the plan.
My first thought is a simple one. The PQS system, where providers are required to meet and adhere to additional guidelines and regulations in order to be able to access funding under VET investment is a great one. Access to entitlement style funding, should have additional requirements attached to it, over and above simply being an ASQA registered provider.
My second thought is also a simple one. Please don’t break something that is working. I would appeal to the government not to follow the route of South Australia in thinking that portioning off a large amount of the available funding and earmarking it as TAFE only funding is a good idea. We need to support TAFE and we need to have a vibrant and effective public provider, but cordoning off large portions of a funding program and making it TAFE exclusive is not the way to go. Neither is I think putting in place quota systems, unless we are very very sure of the numbers of people we are going to need in particular areas over the coming years. The system that we currently have is not broken, it is working and with a few modifications could be even more effective. Throwing it out and trying to start over, or trying to massively overhaul the program is I think a recipe for disaster.
I guess what I am saying, is something that I have said before, I think Queensland has got there funding initiative pretty right, particularly if we look at the whole picture.
- Skilling Queenslanders for Work – While only just starting up will really help to assist that segment of learners that are extremely disadvantaged, through programs supported by community services organisations.
- User Choice – Apprenticeships and Traineeships are important, in fact vital to business and industry and need to be continued to be funded
- Certificate III Guarantee – This is a fantastic program which needs to be continued both for public and private providers, as with the SQFW program, this program really assists to get jobs and to change their circumstances. Prioritised funding for those courses where there is high need and good employment outcomes continues to be the way to go and currently for the most part I think the government has the mix right. The only tweak that could be made would be where a person has an extremely old qualification in a different field of education and wants to move into a new vocational area. Being able to support this move for people who are not currently employed would make the program stronger.
- Higher Skills – I am a fan of this program, the ability for people who are currently working and who only possess entry level qualifications to receive a subsidy to gain a higher level qualification or skill set is fantastic and has at least in our sector (community services) enabled significant numbers of people to improve their employment outcomes.
- Funding for TAFE – TAFE needs to be funded, even if that funding is simply support to maintain their infrastructure and resources. But keep it separate from the other funding and subsidy programs however, provide them with what they need to be strong and competitive, but also keep choice in the system. Choice is actually vital to producing a vibrant public system.
On a side note with regards to the Certificate III and Higher Skills programs, having a mandatory student contribution is vital, however I would caution against setting what that contribution should be.
Therefore please @ and the Queensland Department of Education, lets keep what we have and keep it working. Lets not go the way of some of the other states and throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Anyway that’s just my opinion.
Did you know that there are a range of community services qualifications that are subsidised by the Queensland Government both for people who are already working in the sector and for those who are looking for opportunities in the sector. Qualifications like the Diploma of Community Services work can cost $14,000 or more through VET-FEE Help at some providers and TAFEs, however eligible students may be able to access this course for less than $100 through Spectrum Training thanks to the Queensland Governments subsidies.
There is also an added bonus gained from studying with Spectrum. Spectrum Training is part of The Spectrum Organisation Association, a not for profit community services provider, specialising in Disability, Mental Health and a range of other community services programs. So when you study with Spectrum you will be studying with an organisation that is actually a service provider, who intimately understands the problems and issues of the sector and how to solve them and which has been operating in the sector for 25 years. You will learn in a truly inclusive environment, with all the support and flexibility you need to achieve your goals.
Don’t study with just another RTO or TAFE study. Study with Spectrum and get a Community Services Qualification that will put you on the right path from the start.
So enrol with us today and get started on a great career.
Queensland Labor goverment is reintroducing their successful Skilling Queenslanders for work program.
Skilling Queenslanders for Work provides training to people who are under-utilised or under-employed, as well as building the skills of young people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with disability, mature-aged job seekers and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Targeted programs focused on skills development will be delivered by community-based organisations. Local community ownership of projects is a cornerstone of the initiative’s past success and will help to ensure future projects meet local skills needs and deliver positive skills development and employment outcomes for participants.
The first round of funding for the program will open in May, so if you are a community based organisation or a not for profit and think that you have a project that might suit this program, come and talk to us today and we can help you to maximise your opportunities under the program.
Spectrum had a visitor this morning to our facilities at Lawton, the recently elected member for Pine Rivers Miss Nikki Boyd. It was wonderful to have Nikki come down to come and have a look around out little corner of the world and to see all of the wonderful services and opportunities that we have to offer, not just in terms of our training but also our disability and mental health support services and our gym.
Thanks again for coming down Nikki it was fantastic to meet you.
Managing a community sector organisation can be hard and requires a wide range of skills and knowledge. Spectrum now has a range of Diploma level and above programs to assist those people who are both currently community sector managers and those looking to move into management roles. These courses recognise the skills that you currently have and provide you with the knowledge you require to successfully manage these complex organisations. There is also a range of Government subsidies available for eligible participants. So if you want to get a qualification that recognises your skills and provides a solid base from which you can potentially grow your career contact us now.
Spectrum Training is proud to announce that it has just been approved to deliver a range of new accredited programs these include:
Diploma of Community Services (Mental health)
Diploma of Community Services work
Diploma of Counselling
Diploma of Disability
Certificate IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention
Certificate IV in Home and Community Care
Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work
Certificate III in Home and Community Care
Diploma of Community Services Coordination
Advanced Diploma of Community Sector Management
If you are interested in undertaking one of these course just contact us and one of our Learning Consultants will get back to you as soon as possible.
Do you know that doing a Diploma program on VET FEE-HELP could leave you with a debt of as much as
There may be better alternatives, which can provide you with real employment opportunities in one of Australia’s fastest growing sectors, Community Services.
The Queensland Government has subsidies available for a range of Certificate III, IV and higher programs.
Talk to us today to see whether you are eligible and start your journey towards a fulfilling career in the community sector.
If you are a business who needs you staff training the QLD Governments Industry Partnerships strategy funding is now open for applications.
The strategy supports eligible participants to access a subsidised training place under the Department of Education, Training and Employment’s (DETE) Certificate 3 Guarantee or Higher Level Skills program, or to address a priority skill need identified by industry and government.
Funding is available for support strategies that address areas of skills market failure and facilitate the completion of qualifications under these programs. Funded organisations will coordinate, manage and implement the project in partnership with an approved training provider, known as a pre-qualified supplier (PQS).
Spectrum Training is a PQS for a range of funded qualifications. We can also help you with your application for funding, so come and have a chat with us about how to get your staff the training that they need.