This is the third blog on Federal Government Funding Initiatives. See here for a list of other blogs in this series as they are published:
Any support for home educators in Australia is useful. Over a few posts Ed Consult will list a series of Federal Government policy changes that may be of use to home educators if we ask. It is also worth noting what is denied to the home educated student compared to their schooled peers.
Here are a few excerpts from the Australian Government Department for Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development for 2020.
Skills Package—delivering skills for today and tomorrow
“The Australian Government commissioned the Expert Review of Australia’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) System in late 2018, conducted by the former New Zealand Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, the Hon. Steven Joyce. In response to the review, the Australian Government is providing a comprehensive package of VET initiatives, totalling $525.3 million over five years from 2018-19.
The Skills Package—delivering skills for today and tomorrow seeks to reposition the sector to deliver the skills needed for Australia’s future prosperity and address issues faced by today’s workforce, including low literacy and numeracy, and a lack of digital skills, while tackling priority skills shortage areas. The Government’s response to the review includes a number of measures that will specifically benefit Australians in regional areas:
- $9.9 million over three years to establish a new Indigenous delivery pilot of a language, literacy, numeracy and digital (LLND) program to provide project based delivery of LLND skills to individuals in remote Indigenous communities in four pilot areas.
- The establishment of ten Training Hubs across Australia ($67.5 million over five years) to trial supporting school‑based vocational education in regions with high youth unemployment, with an aim of creating better linkages between schools and local industry, and other skills development measures.
- $8.2 million over three years to expand the Commonwealth Scholarships Program for Young Australians. This will provide up to 400 scholarships nationally that will support people to participate in vocational education and training with strong pathways to jobs in areas of skills needs.
- The Government’s Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow package includes a range of targeted initiatives that respond to immediate priorities and position the VET system for the future. These will benefit individuals and employers across Australia, including in regional areas. The initiatives include:
- $42.4 million over four years to establish a new National Careers Institute and appoint a National Careers Ambassador to raise the profile of the VET sector and provide better careers information for all working-age Australians to support and inform their study and career choices, including an information portal that centralises career and education pathways information.
- $52.5 million over four years to establish a new LLND program to upskill at-risk workers. This includes LLND training to support over 11,000 workers with low-level language, literacy, numeracy and digital skills.
- $200.2 million over four years from 2019-20 (and $147.5 million in 2023-24) to establish a new Additional Identified Skills Shortage Payment to boost existing incentives for areas of identified skills needs to support up to 80,000 new apprentices over five years, as well as simplifying and streamlining the Australian Apprenticeship Incentives Program.
- The establishment of a National Skills Commission ($48.3 million over four years) and national pilot of Skills Organisations ($41.7 million over four years). The Commission will form an integral part of systemic long-term reform to the sector. Two national Skills Organisations will be piloted in the areas of digital technologies and the human services workforce to trial new, industry-led methods of qualification development and assessment.
- $20.1 million over four years from 2019-20 to better identify emerging skills needs in the Australian economy through phase three of the Jobs and Education Data Infrastructure Project, along with simplifying students’ access to their education and training records by expanding the Unique Student Identifier to all higher education students and developing a centralised repository for students’ education and training records.
- $350,000 in 2019-20 to support the National Rugby League’s (NRL) VET Apprenticeship Awareness Program. The funding will help the NRL provide ongoing player and community education, including promoting their NRL VET ambassadors who share their success stories and help promote the value of Australian Apprenticeships and VET qualifications.
- The Government is also providing $34.2 million of additional funding in 2019-20 to the six signatory states and territories of the Skilling Australian Fund (SAF) National Partnership Agreement to support initiatives to boost apprenticeships and traineeships.”
Ignoring the self congratulatory language from the Federal Government, we should all be looking for opportunities for our home educated children.
National School Reform Agreement—Commonwealth contribution to national policy initiatives
The Australian Government will contribute to the costs of implementing national policy initiatives developed with the states and territories to support implementation of the National School Reform Agreement. The initiatives will focus on strategic reform in areas that will have the most impact on student achievement and school improvement, to support every child to realise their full learning potential. By signing up to the Agreement, governments commit to a sustained reform effort that will drive improved student outcomes and excellence in the classroom.
The National School Reform Agreement, developed through the Council of Australian Government’s Education Council, has been informed by recommendations of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools, led by Mr David Gonski AC and the Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education This measure builds on the 2017-18 measure: Quality Schools—true needs‑based funding for Australia’s schools.
It would be a step forward for home educators to be invited to the independent schools’ funding meetings.
Follow this blog to find out about other initiatives that are being rolled out by the Federal Government in 2020. Perhaps it is time to start asking for a piece of the pie?
Ed Consult. Supporting Home Educators Across Australia.