Adult community education will be strengthened with the release of the Brumby Labor Government’s $15.4 million A Stronger ACFE – Delivering Skills for Victoria policy launch.
Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney MP said strengthening Adult and Community Further Education (ACFE) would help all Victorians gain the skills they need not just to survive the economic downturn but to thrive and prosper.
“The Brumby Labor Government is taking action to support and upskill Victorians as well as protecting and securing jobs in the adult community education sector in the face of these tough economic times,” Ms Tierney said.
“Around 1.6 million Victorians of working age do not hold a post-school qualification, and through A Stronger ACFE – Delivering Skills for Victoria we are helping to unlock their potential.
“Victoria’s 350 Adult Community Education (ACE) providers are expert at training people who are culturally and linguistically diverse, recent migrants, older adults, people living in rural and regional areas, people who have previously found formal learning difficult, and other hard-to-reach learners.
“ACE providers have a strong presence in regional Victoria and are significant businesses in their own right employing more than 8600 people to deliver training to about 130,000 Victorians each year.
“A Stronger ACFE details the Victorian Government’s support for adult community education providers to give Victorians more choice when it comes to local learning and skills development.
The policy details across four key areas of action identified through consultation with providers, communities, industry and government, including:
• Maximising access to ACFE – for individuals to improve their employment opportunities, and for businesses to upskill their workforce;
• Promoting the sector to raise awareness of the benefit of an ACFE training course;
• Supporting sustainability by developing the sector, sharing resources and gaining efficiencies through bulk-purchasing and shared governance arrangements; and
• Strategic partnerships and alliance with industry, communities and government.
Ms Tierney said the policy would ensure Victoria continues to be at the forefront of innovation and industry.
“ACE providers are unrivalled when it comes to assisting hard-to-reach learners, so we have committed $8.4 million to help maximise access to ACE learning for these groups,” Ms Tierney said.
“Almost $6.5 million has been earmarked to support the business sustainability of ACE organisation so that they can continue to deliver programs to Victorian learners and Victorian businesses in a sustainable manner.
“The policy enables ACE providers to capitalise on the opportunities available in the new education and training environment, to continue to build on their strengths of meeting the skills needs of Victorians.
“As part of that reform, the ACFE Board will now partner with the Victorian Registration and Qualification Authority, industry, the community and government to deliver a highly skilled workforce for Victoria’s future.”
For more information on Adult Community and Further Education, please visit www.acfe.vic.gov.au