Forum showcases VET and strengthens pathways for students

The Assistant Minister for Vocation Education and Skills, Karen Andrews, launched the Inaugural VET in Schools Forum recently.

Over 170 delegates attended including principals, VET coordinators, teachers, students, work placement providers, training organisations, business and industry.

Minister Andrews said “This is a terrific initiative that will help ensure students are aware of the full range of options available to them when it comes to choosing a job and career.  We know that university is not for everyone and forums like this help raise the status of vocational education and training as a valued pathway for school students.”

With evidence of a major decline in the take-up of apprenticeships and high growth rates in the Health, Ageing, Disability and Construction sectors there is a strong focus on the need for VET and the wonderful pathways it offers our youth.

It is vital students and parents are aware of these pathways and that they receive good career advice.

One of the forum’s keynote speakers Brett Judd, CEO of WorldSkills Australia, spoke passionately about VET in Schools and the inspiring students his organisation works with.

WorldSkills Australia aims to encourage Australians to celebrate vocational education and training, to shift perceptions and create the understanding that to learn a skill, to choose a skill-based career, is one of the most important decisions a young person and their family will ever make.

WorldSkills Australia’s program of competitions, aligned to National Training Packages, works to ensure that today’s young people have the skills and abilities to compete within a rapidly changing global marketplace.

Brett Judd said “We have seen many young people transformed through the challenge of competition. Their dedication in undertaking months of intensive training to prepare for competitions, their satisfaction in achievement and the development of personal confidence has ensured that we continue to nurture young people to be the best they can be.

Dr David Williams, CEO of MWLP Linking Youth, spoke of the importance of connecting the classroom to the workplace and supplied participants with a model for industry engagement.

Janelle Henson, MWLP’s Business Development Manager, introduced the idea of an Industry Evidence App for teachers which was well received.  Many teachers and VET coordinators indicated that this would be an ideal tool to use as a training resource.

In closing Dr Frederick Osman, Vet Coordinator from Trinity Grammar and President of the Teachers’ Guild of NSW, spoke of forming VET Professional Clusters to foster continuing professional development, encourage and recognise excellence in best practice and to provide vital mentoring and networking opportunities.

Feedback from attendees on the day was very positive with an overwhelming desire for another VET in Schools Forum to be held in the future. One delegate commented “The sessions re-affirmed what we all already know and believe; that VET offers lifelong value.”

Minister Andrews added “I congratulate the organisers on today’s forum, which I hope will become a regular event on the school calendar and spread to other parts of the country.”

The VET in Schools Forum is a collaboration by The Teachers’ Guild of NSW, Australian College of Educators Hills Parramatta and MWLP Linking Youth.

Media relations contact:  Sue Scobie on 0438 046 293 or email sue.scobie@mwlp.com.au