Wednesday, July 07, 2010

NCVER 2010 day one morning

At the annual NCVER 'no-frills' conference at Polytechnic West/ Central Insitute of Technology in Perth today & tomorrow. Perth weather has been nice & sunny with cold starts but pleasant afternoons. A great change from the rather gloomy weather we have been getting in Christchurch over the last two months.

Staying with my sister and being well looked after by my Mum & Dad. Took the train in this morning, clean, modern & not too crowded. Looking forward to several papers at this conference and to catching up with some of the researchers from Oz.

First up, A welcome from Mr. Wayne Collier, Polytechnic West and Reverend Seer with a welcome to the land, then the opening address by the Hon. Peter Collier, Minister of Energy; Training & workforce development who has contributed to bringing up the status of 'training' as no longer just a 'non-academic' option but as an important contribution towards building a skilled workforce. WA has just formed the Dept. of Training & Workforce Development (end of 2009) to provide structures for the long term development of work skills.

First keynote from inaugural CEO for the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in India, Dilip Chenoy. He spoke of the challenges through tapping into opportunities for collaboration & cooperation to skill 150 million people by 2022. He covered the skill challenge presented to developing countries, the Indian National skill development framework, the role of the NSDC and then the opportunities for collatboration & cooperation both nationally & internationally. An interesting presentation on a different perspective towards developing skills for large numbers of people in a developing country. Presented a concept on the 4 collar workforce, white, grey - knowledge workers, blue & rust - skilled workers in construction etc. Skills strategy needs to increase skill training /development eight fold from what is currently available. Currently, need to improve overall quality/outcomes, increase retention & ensure seamless integration between school & work - very similar challenges to developed countries. NSDC has a role to try to be a implementation partner to coordinate training from both the public & private sector towards meeting Indian skill development framework requirements. From TAFE point of view, expertise in'train the trainers' would be sought.

First paper of the concurrent sessions (5 in each stream) with Sandra Condon who manages 'disability services' at Polytechnic West on 'Breaking down the barriers for apprentices with learning disability (LD) '. She presented her research experience, the project & its 'after effects'. Her study investigated teaching & learning strategies that contribute to unit of competency completion rates for apprentices with a LD'. Review of literature revealed some correlation between students who left school early with low literacy / numeracy completion rates to completion rates of students diagnosed with LD - ie low completions. Therefore, important to identify students and also to provided relevant support to assist with completion of qualifications.

Then Sonia Davids from Dept. of Educationa and Training, Queensland. Leading change - vision to reality - a study of the PD strategy for the QLD VET sector.

Developed to assist with PD for VET to run 2007 to 2010 & this presentation on the review of this with proposals for improvement. Sonia provided a background on the QLD skills plan 2006 which led to the VET PD strategy and an overview of the strategy itself. Outcomes of the VET PD include the website, products/services, research,VET futures & VET PD pathways. Large numbers of VET teachers / trainers have engaged through this programme via access to the website, workshops, training opportunities etc. Good outcomes also include focussed PD plan for the sector, initiated & nurtured sector wide collaboration & involvement and provided key resources for RTOs to access & share. The 4 priorities will be interested to the NZ context.

Review undertaking using interviews, electronic survey & discussion forums/interviews with wide range of VET organisations. Results will be used to establish the VET PD strategy for 2011 to 2013. Review revealed the important categories within each of the 4 PD priorities so that the next strategy able to support the ongoing PD process.