Page 3754 - Week 10 - Thursday, 14 September 2017

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

the importance of this vocational pathway for ACT students. We must continue to strengthen this pathway and support students with quality skills training.

It is important to acknowledge that the focus on dodgy VET providers, while no doubt an important compliance effort by the commonwealth to ensure that the quality of the VET sector is not undermined, has been a distraction for the development of VET policy generally in this country, but it is not an issue that has particularly affected the ACT, where we have a very strong VET sector, delivering real job outcomes for VET students.

Our Canberra Institute of Technology in particular is well known and respected as a quality institution. This is reflected in student outcomes and reflected by employers. There are many other respected registered training organisations in the ACT as well. These VET institutions will continue to gain importance with the rise of high skilled jobs in the economy. Data from the ABS labour force survey shows that employment is showing the greatest growth in occupations requiring a degree or a diploma level qualification.

As our economy changes rapidly, so too must our VET system be able to prepare students to contribute to the new economy, particularly the digital economy. The disciplines of science, technology, engineering and maths, including digital literacy skills, continue to increase in importance. The Committee for Economic Development of Australia, CEDA, suggests that adapting to the digital economy means focusing on a diverse and transferable set of skills and fostering creativity and social intelligence. The CSIRO also suggests that communication skills and the ability to interact and apply social skills in the future economy may be of even more importance than the core STEM and literacy skills. Preparing students for careers rather than focusing on a particular job may also assist during this evolution, as well as continuing to align VET training with the needs of employers.

While the digital economy is no doubt causing disruption and may result in future jobs becoming automated, among the 25 per cent of jobs with the lowest probability of being automated are the following prominent VET-related occupations: childcare workers; fitness instructors; occupational therapy technicians; fashion designers; training and development specialists; recreational workers; and social and community service managers. These are all sectors and industries which rely on the skills gained through the VET system, and these and other skills-based occupations are growing, so there continue to be significant opportunities for more students to pursue VET pathways that contribute to our present and future economies.

The Canberra Institute of Technology strategic compass 2020 has also considered the changing nature of the economy. As skill demand increases and workplaces change, the CIT is preparing for the future of learning by, among other things, ensuring that students have access to contemporary learning environments on all campuses; implementing new digital learning platforms and capabilities to keep our students connected; establishing centres of excellence in areas such as trades and renewable energy; increasing digital connectivity for students to seamlessly integrate learning from the workplace into the classroom and into everyday life; strengthening industry connections to ensure students have the best access to their future employers; and

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video