TAFE SA and independent training providers will work together to create a higher quality and more efficient vocational education and training sector in South Australia, following a formal agreement.
TAFE SA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA – SA) that will ensure the organisations work together to foster areas of collaboration between providers.
The agreement will see the organisations working together through joint policy priorities, professional development initiatives, closer liaison regarding the scope of delivery offered by providers and access for independent providers to publicly owned resources.
The move could see independent training providers given more access to publicly owned resources and facilities, and vice versa, as well as better coordination between TAFE and other providers on course offerings available to South Australian students.
The announcement comes as key TAFE assets are transferred back from Renewal SA to TAFE SA, as announced in last month’s budget, providing the organisation with greater control over use of its facilities.
Education Minister John Gardner said the Government was focused on supporting TAFE to become more competitive as a training provider.
“The Marshall Liberal Government is committed to supporting the strategic direction for TAFE SA to become an effective, sustainable public provider offering choice and high-quality training,” said Minister Gardner.
“South Australian students and employers are the biggest winners from this announcement, which will see both organisations strive to better coordinate course offerings and ensure the needs of industry across the state are being met.
“This agreement is an important step that ensures government and industry are working together to deliver the workforce South Australia needs in the future.
“This is a really exciting initiative that will provide real benefits for all VET providers, but most importantly, it will provide better results for students and meet the needs of the South Australian economy.”
TAFE SA Chief Executive David Coltman said that a closer relationship between TAFE SA and independent providers would ensure that local education and training needs are being met.
“This formal agreement will ensure TAFE SA establishes and maintains a close working relationship with independent providers. This is critical to ensure that together we are meeting the state’s future skill requirements,” Mr Coltman said.
“Education providers in South Australia are now working together in new and different ways. TAFE SA will contribute by providing access to our campuses for other training providers and businesses, sharing professional development opportunities and making sure that the right training for future needs of industry is being provided.
“We will also build on our respective strengths. There is training that we do really well here at TAFE SA. There are also areas that independent providers do really well. We need to be more connected for students and industry. At our core, we are all focused on learner success.“
ITECA’s Chair, Mr Alexis Watt, also welcomed the new agreement.
“This MoU opens the doors to a wide range of collaborative partnerships for the benefit of students, employers and the wider community,” Mr Watt said.
“I look forward to collaborating with TAFE SA in providing quality training opportunities for all South Australians and in creating new pathways to exciting job opportunities.”
ITECA’s South Australian Executive Officer Dr Joy de Leo said the agreement will enable all education and training providers, both public and independent, to complement each other.
“This agreement will ensure there is maximum benefit from the expertise and resources available in the Vocational Education and Training sector,” Dr de Leo said.
“The implications of this agreement are that the state will obtain greater value from the increased use of taxpayer-funded facilities with benefits going ultimately to those in receipt of training.”