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The Role of TAFE as an Equity Pathway to Social Inclusion, Employment, and to University : a submission from The Deakin University Social Work/Gordon TAFE Community Services Work, Geelong Based Project Team

posted on 2013-01-01, 00:00 authored by Norah HoskenNorah Hosken, Clare Land, Sophie GoldingaySophie Goldingay, P Barnes, K Murphy
Executive Summary

The Deakin University Social Work/Gordon TAFE Community Services Work Geelong Based Project Team (the Project Team) was assisted by Higher Education Partnership and Participation funding made available through Deakin University Participation and Partnerships Program (DUPPP) to carry out research and project work in 2012/13.

In the following submission to the House of Representatives Inquiry into the role of Technical and Further Education (TAFE) system and its operation, this Project Team seeks to establish a case for:

1. Funding to enable TAFE to continue as:

a) an equity pathway to social inclusion, employment, and to university, particularly in regional areas.
b) an integral complement to the University education sector to deliver on the ambitious objectives of the Federal Government’s widening participation agenda, as a mechanism to deliver the skills, knowledge and workforce needed now, and in the future, in the Australian economy.
2. Increased resources for separate and joint sector development
a) Publicly funded TAFEs need funding to be restored and increased to enable them to maintain the high quality education they provide and to maintain their successful work in supporting communities, regions and disadvantaged individuals to gain skills, training and employment.
b) Universities need increased funding to increase staffing levels and therefore free up teaching staff to spend the necessary time to develop relationships with and provide support to students. This is important for the achieving the goals of the widening participation agenda of increasing access without increasing attrition at the same time.
c) TAFEs and Universities need funding to do the work required to further develop and formalise diploma-degree pathways so that disadvantaged individuals can exit into employment at the diploma level or be supported in an efficient and seamless way to undertake further study.
3. Active use of localised and nuanced partnership approaches by education institutions. This includes:
• Cross teaching by TAFEs and Universities in courses that can be articulated, such as professional practice diplomas and degrees
• Programs negotiated and designed according to the needs of students in each location. TAFEs and Universities need resources in order to do this work
• Focus on regional centres where there is a particular opportunity for government to make an impact on TAFE pathways to employment and/or further education
• Workforce development in regional areas due to new industries is a particular area of need
4. Recognise and capitalise on the complementary and symbiotic nature of each sector’s skills, strengths and capacities.
The submission responds to the second, third and fifth points of the Terms of Reference of the Inquiry and is based on the research work carried out by the Project Team in 2012/13.

We provide evidence of Gordon TAFE in Geelong working as an equity mechanism in the particular case of the welfare/ community services diploma to social work degree pathway. The project team considers that there is a strong case for additional resourcing of TAFE to enable it to continue what it does well. TAFE is the key training and education sectorthe ‘education and social hub’that can successfully attract, retain, and graduate people who may not otherwise access education due to one or more combinations of:

1. having a low SES current or past background;
2. living in regional areas;
3. receiving interrupted primary and secondary education;
4. having disabilities;
5. being sole parents;
6. being from refugee backgrounds;
7. having English as an additional language/culture;
8. retrenchment from employment in dying industries;
9. short, medium and long



Deakin University

Place of publication

Geelong, Vic



Publication classification

A6 Research report/technical paper

Copyright notice

2013, Deakin University

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