This month the Business Council of Australia launched a discussion paper which outlines a new tertiary model that would enable workers to more easily retrain and reskill over their lives. Future-Proof: Protecting Australians through Education and Skills proposes a tertiary system with five core components:
Putting the learner in charge by giving every Australian a capped Lifelong Skills Account that can be used to pay for courses at approved VET or HE provider over the person’s lifetime. The account would consist of a subsidy and an ICL, and replace all existing loans and subsidies.
Better market information so learners know what jobs are available, what they might earn, what courses are available, how much it will cost them, and their loan repayment schedule.
Maintaining the unique character of each sector – VET as an industry-led sector based around competency-based training and applied learning, and HE in providing advanced qualifications, learning for the sake of learning, academic inquiry, and world-class research.
A shared governance model clarifying the roles and responsibilities of each level of government and industry, and a new institution to manage LSAs and market information.
A culture of lifelong learning that encourages people to use qualifications to build a strong foundation, and then dip in and out of short, accredited modules to effectively create their own ‘credentials’ that allow them to upskill and retrain throughout their lives.
- Focus on the outcomes we want to achieve in schools, not just the quantum of funding.
- Acknowledge children display different types of intelligence that should be nurtured, not just academic intelligence.
- Adopt new teaching methods like inquiry-based learning, particularly in areas students find difficult such as maths.
- Empower and support teachers through better data and examining the ways that standard-based pay could encourage the best educators to stay in the classroom.
- A different approach to career counselling so students are guided to careers that suit them.