Thursday 8 August 2019

On Wednesday 7 August 2019, Neighbourhood Houses Victoria CEO Nicole Battle presented at the Adult Community Education (ACE) Ministerial Summit.

The summit brought together government and policy makers, industry peaks and providers, to discuss the issues impacting adult community education in Victoria.

"Neighbourhood houses account for two-thirds of all Learn Local providers, so the advocacy we’ve been doing in this space is incredibly important to ensure their ongoing viability, as well as making it easier for more houses to provide this vital community service," Nicole said.

"Learn Locals are absolutely life-changing for our state’s most vulnerable learners, setting them on the path to further education and employment opportunities."

Neighbourhood Houses Victoria has put forward a series of recommendations, developed in partnership with ACEVic, Adult Learning Australia and Community Colleges Australia, informed by feedback received from providers over the last two months.

These recommendations are:

  • Develop a Ministerial Statement on ACE which provides recognition for the critical role ACE plays within the education system, for the purpose of policy decisions and sustainability for the ACE sector
  • Appoint independent regional coordinators to actively facilitate relationships and collaboration between pre-accredited providers, other VET providers and industry
  • Support learners with complex needs
  • Provide training and support for managers
  • Support rural and low volume providers
  • Improve learner transitions to Cert III training
  • Co design a transparent, responsive SCH allocation process with the Learn Local sector with consistent rules and clear objectives
  • Improve RTO audits

"On behalf of NHVic I would like to my extend heartfelt thanks to everyone who gave up their time to take part in the consultation process, either via working groups or by completing the online survey. I am pleased to report that we received complete responses from 143 providers, representing an impressive 79 percent return rate," said Nicole.

"Thanks also to all of the providers who welcomed me into their houses during my Community Education Roadshow. Once again, it was really fantastic to be able to talk directly to staff and students and to experience first-hand some of the issues that are impacting them on the ground.

"I am confident that together we have put forward a strong and articulate, sector-backed set of recommendations which must be considered seriously by the Department in all future decision-making regarding ACE."