What’s changed? Keep a step ahead

What’s changed? The bigger picture

The skills for the future emphasis began in 2016 with the introduction of megatrends, the Infotronics Age, and predictions of what will be necessary to adapt, survive, and thrive. At the time it was difficult to project to the future and grasp if, and how these forecasts may influence the work we do and the the work experienced by VET graduates.

Reflect on the work you do. Look at the frequency and processes used to communicate with colleagues and learners in close proximity, in distant regions of the nation, or overseas. What has changed? What has changed with practices and the emphasis on underpinning foundation skills within the industry you represent. What do employers want graduates to be able to do?

The following resources convey snapshot messages of complex scenarios for stakeholders in the education sector, including adult and vocational education and training. The subtle difference is that now three years of change has occurred, messages affecting skills required by graduates and trainers have emerged, alongside what is needed to achieve these objectives.

As you view or read each vignette, we encourage you to:

  • dig deep into the resources and its messages.
  • identify the embedded messages related to foundation skills.

Then, initiate conversation and discussion with colleagues, or  your professional networks. Ask:

  1. What’s really important here and what does it suggest for professional practice?
  2. What aspect/s can  I impact, or activate change within
  3. What are the impacts for learners and graduates if these forecasts are ignored?

1 A new vision for education

The initial image is misleading – this is not about primary school children. This World Economic Forum video exposes the challenges and changes ahead. The content reveals an array of aspects that will influence current and future thinking of all stakeholders in education. From relevancy of the education experience, to enabling individuals to structure their own learning outcomes, and the demand for soft skills – the social emotional or character skills – it’s all there.

This raises many questions, each worthy of discussion – for our future (the trainer) and the future for our learners.

2 Meeting the challenge: VET training  – it’s right now

This DET video (on the My Skills site) starts with ‘ the world of work is changing faster than ever …’. Listen to the following cross-section of training and employer voices as they share expectations and predictions about the skills workers need and the imperative for training to keep pace with industry developments.

  • Sara Caplan, CEO, PwC Skills for Australia
  • Mick Anstey, General Manager of People, Health Safety and Environment, Roy Hill
  • Michelle Hoad, Managing Director, North Metropolitan TAFE
  • Lori Tyrrell, Head of People and Culture, Health Engine
  • David Fyfe, Executive Manager, Western Power

 3  A new vision for teachers (trainers) – OECD

The OECD has opened discussion about preparing teachers for the 21st century challenges.

A common lament is that the chance to focus on instruction, delivery and meeting the the trainers’ professional development needs or interests can be steamrolled by the focus on compliance.

The OECD post emphasises the need to address the needs of the trainer – to bridge the gap between what is intended and desired with what is currently supported and available.

“There is a growing recognition that in order for teaching and learning to be most effective, teachers need to have high levels of well-being, self-efficacy and confidence. How can governments, in partnership with teachers’ unions, create evidence-informed strategies on well-being, efficacy and effectiveness as part of their teacher policies?”

https://tinyurl.com/ybvovpmj accessed 19/4/18

Has your rto initiated a discussion with this focus in mind?

4 Skilling our future workforce

The NCVER VOCED Plus  titled Focus on Skilling our Future Workforce offers a comprehensive overview of the skill changes experienced and predicted in the 21st century employment landscape. If you’re interested in a snapshot of current international and local reports that drive the key messages about skills required now  – for now and the future – then read this.

Specific attention is paid to the skills that are needed, and the skills needed to prepare young people and existing workers.

“…the life cycle of skills is now shorter than ever and the scale of change is unprecedented.”

…”importance of entrepreneurial skills and aptitudes ‘…

soft skill intensive occupations will account for two thirds of all jobs by 2030

http://www.voced.edu.au/focus-skilling-our-future-workers July 2017, p1

Deloitte Soft Skills for Business success. Adapted from pps 2 &17

What are soft skills? Non-technical skills, transferable skills, enterprise skills

Competencies : How workers  approach complex issues Character qualities: How workers approach the changing environment
Critical thinking & problem solving Curiosity & initiative
Creativity Persistence/grit & adaptability
Communication & collaboration Leadership
Social & cultural awareness

Deloitte Soft Skills for Business success. p 4

Where and how do you build learners’ soft skills within training?

ASQA Briefings 2018

We thought it important to bring this to your attention. The 2017 ASQA briefings signalled the importance of paying attention to foundation skills – particularly in assessment.

What may be revealed in the 2018 ASQA trainer briefings about foundation skills . Don’t be the last to find out. Keep a step ahead. May is the month the ASQA Trainer briefings start.

Don’t overlook this opportunity to hear from the source about issues or outcomes that may result in a shift in emphasis, or change in approach.

Click here to access the ASQA registration page.









6 thoughts on “What’s changed? Keep a step ahead

  1. Spithill, James May 2, 2018 / 11:26 am

    Hi Ann and Chemene

    Many thanks for this very topical post.

    This article from the Fairfax press Good Weekend last Saturday really resonates with a lot of these issues.

    This is a generation that can expect to have 17 jobs, five careers and 15 homes over a lifetime. Born with little to no safety net and deprived of the old-fashioned upward ladder of adulthood, it’s little wonder that, according to Millennial Branding, a demographics research firm, 72 per cent of high school Gen Zers want to strike out on their own as entrepreneurs.

    all the best


    Liked by 1 person

    • llnandvetmeetingplace May 21, 2018 / 2:46 pm

      Hi Jim
      Thanks for the feedback. Apologies for the delayed response.

      Yes, agreed Gen Z are leading the way with striking out.

      While we grapple with ‘entrepreneurship’ and consider where we can embrace the skill within adult education and training – Gen Zs are out there doing it. The article you provided is very current – much appreciated

      Liked by 1 person

  2. multimodaled May 20, 2018 / 2:54 pm

    Hi Ann and Chemene (and any other reader),

    This is a fantastic post. I wish I’d seen it before the VALBEC conference last Friday.

    It’s interesting what Sara Caplan says about the attributes and skills that employers value in their workforce; i.e. ‘creativity, entrepreneurship, critical thinking, communication and digital skills’. She identifies these qualities as being linked to ‘flexibility’ and an employee’s ability to ‘morph and change as their job role changes’.

    I’m interesting in exploring the extent to which LLN teachers (and VET teachers) are able to utilize these skills in their workplaces, and whether they perceive these ‘soft skills’ as being relevant or valued in their job roles. I suspect that the current regime of assessment/compliance is diverting practitioners’ creative reserves, for instance, away from teaching to, instead, trying to solve compliance puzzles. Moreover, are practitioners encouraged to develop and share critical thinking approaches to their practice? Are they supported in using their digital skills when institutions have less than adequate ICT resources available for students (eg. in local community settings)? Is any time available for practitioners to develop or explore entrepreneurship?

    I would really love to hear your thoughts on this because I’m working on creating a survey to investigate practitioners’ perspectives about these questions. Your input would be invaluable.


    Liked by 1 person

    • llnandvetmeetingplace May 21, 2018 / 2:30 pm

      Hi Liz

      Pleased you found the post interesting. Like you – the different messages made me think about where the opportunities are to discuss the key messages further, and implement within practice.
      You have raised some topical questions -searching for the reasons that may assist practitioners to move forward is a useful way to start. I believe there’s always been a lag between current research and knowledge – and broad adaption by industry professionals. I feel than now, we are in an era where we may be made aware of identified, required workplace skills, but competing forces will auger against keeping up with demand. Why?
      VET training is about accredited courses – industry review cycles can’t keep up with industry skill development pace
      Course can be interpreted literally – with minimum requirement to expose learners to a broader range of skills and delivered learner to RTO (no requirement to connect/collaborate with others), or delivered by trainers who are unsure about interpreting and building soft skills within training/education
      Practitioners may remain informed by their own limited sphere of influence – current research findings may not be part of their professional practice or the RTO culture

      A strong community of practice with colleagues who have an interest and vision of what could be and how it could be trialled/achieved will help to provide the support and encouragement some practitioners may need

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Elizabeth Gunn May 28, 2018 / 8:50 am

    Hi Ann and Chemene,

    I like that:

    “A strong community of practice with colleagues who have an interest and vision of what could be and how it could be trialled/achieved will help to provide the support and encouragement some practitioners may need.”

    I feel that VALBEC, reinforced by the practitioner journal Fine Print, provides a multifaceted community of practice. The other points in this quote would probably need to be interrogated further within that framework. It would make a very interesting study; to compare the various ‘communities of practice’ models, and hear what practitioners think about their (the CoP’s) effectiveness as resources of support and encouragement.


    Liked by 1 person

    • llnandvetmeetingplace May 28, 2018 / 10:46 am

      It’s helpful to be surrounded by a strong professional network. On a day to day basis it can be very beneficial – though inaccessible to many.

      Yes, it would be an interesting study!

      Liked by 1 person

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