Stop doing Training for the sake of Training – and stop funding it as well
September 13, 2013 4 Comments
So as some of you are already aware I attended the first of the QLD Governments Industry Skills Forum today. Firstly I am going to say if you get the opportunity to attend one of these forums (and apparently there will be more to come) you should. If for no other reason than to ensure that you know what is going on.
The morning was hosted by Brett Schimming from Construction Skills Queensland, and I will come back to what Brett said a little later. Assistant Minister Saxon Rice spoke, outlining the government’s position on training and TAFE. The keywords were;
- Accessibility, and
with the main engagement piece being around the creation of the Ministerial Industry Commission, an independent body providing advice directly to the Minister for Education. Assistant Minister Rice and every one else who spoke, pointed out quite strongly that this would not be a representative commission. It would not be a table around which all of the industry groups and sectors and other interest groups sat. Its purpose would be rather to look the evidence are training and employment needs in the state and on the basis of the evidence it would advise the Minister, in particular on skills and workforce development priorities.
So where will that evidence come from the various sectors and industry and other stakeholder groups, through consultation and submission to the commission which will then utilise that and a range of other data to decide on priority occupations and other workforce development needs.
The biggest takeaway if you will from the morning came from Brett, when he said and I am paraphrasing here a little (sorry Brett feel free to correct me if I have got to badly wrong) ’the VET system is not the main game, it is not the center of the universe for business, it is the benefits derived from training not the training itself that is important, we need to stop doing training for the sake of doing training.’
This position seem strong through everyone’s talks and hits the nail on the head at least in my opinion.
There are too many RTO’s out there who continue to say that they cant stay in business because the government has changed the funding model.
It is not about you (or us as an RTO) it is about industries, the organisations, the business and the individuals, who derive value from the training. Training for the sake of training, (at least funded training in the VET sector where there are supposed to be employment outcomes) provides very little benefit to industry, organisations or the individuals who utilise it. Giving someone a Diploma of Management just because there is government funding available to do it (and trust me that is the pitch of almost every RTO that has cold called me in the last 2 years) is pointless unless there is going to be some benefit derived from that training and some tangible benefit, not one of these oh so common increased productivity calculations that are nothing by trumped-up nonsense. There must be strong, evidence based reasons for the funding of training, we should be able to show what the benefits to the business or individuals are in terms of employment or productivity or workforce participation, we should have strong and robust evaluative systems that allow us to actually show this value.
If training is not linked to an actual employment outcome and strongly linked (and let’s be serious is a personal training certification really an employment outcome when I can’t walk to the train station without tripping over people currently doing the qualification) then why should it be funded.