Government Funding, RTO’s and Organisational Learning

As some of you are aware I posted recently about how organisations fund their L&D;

from which I got a number of interesting responses.  One of the types of responses worried me however and points I think to what is a major issue within the training industry within Australia.

A number of responses revolved around using the traineeship and apprenticeship funding to basically fund organisational L&D, saying things like, ‘maximising these funding arrangements can offset the costs of training in other areas.’   Now while this is in essence not incorrect it seems to point to an attitude among a not insubstantial number of players in the L&D industry in Australia which is it seems to attempt to maximise the amount of government-funded training in order to create, and this is a term someone used in conversations recently, ‘a slush fund to provide other training.’  With attitudes like this is it any wonder the government has changed the way in which it deals with the trainee and apprenticeship funding.

Sure it is attractive for organisations when a RTO comes along and says we can do all of this training of your staff for you and it won’t cost you anything, in fact if we structure it right and you put enough people through than we can give you a discount and you will actually make money on the deal, but is it what the funding was designed for and is it actually going to train the staff with the skills they are going to know.  In a lot of cases it seems that the organisation would have got a far better result from choosing skills sets or non accredited training to put their staff through, rather than a qualification, simply because it was free or they would make some money out of it.

It has got to the point now that it a vendor/provider starts saying things like ‘well we specialise in finding ways to be able to fund the training at little or not cost to you,’ then I stop listening and it would take something substantial for me ever to consider them a vendor that I would deal with.  I am not interested in the funding, I am interested in the training.  I am interested in it being what we want both from an organisational and a staff point of view and provides us with the outcomes that we need.

We do ourselves a disservice as an industry when we focus on how, and how cheaply we can fund the training that we deliver to staff.  Lets stop talking about the funding and start talking about the training and the outcomes and what it is we actually need from a vocational training system in this country.

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One Response to Government Funding, RTO’s and Organisational Learning

  1. I totally agree, well said.

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