Government to adopt all recommendations of Gonski-Shergold Review

Sharryn Brownlee

The Central Coast Council of P&C’s (CCCPC) has welcomed a major review of vocational education and training announced by the State Government in the wake of the Gonski-Shergold Review of the NSW VET sector.

The Government will adopt all five of the review’s recommendations.

The first change will be the introduction of Careers NSW, which will ensure every worker and student in NSW has access to careers advice regardless of their job, experience or education.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Adam Crouch, described the Australian first service as a big win for the Coast.

“Careers NSW is a wrap-around service that can provide careers advice and educational pathways to all students, graduates and jobseekers,” Crouch said.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Careers NSW will allow the workforce to change and evolve following the threats of the pandemic, leaving no one behind.

“It has never been more crucial for people across NSW to access quality advice to make informed decisions about their professional future,” she said.

“Careers NSW will allow people to be guided by the experiences of workers ingrained in the industries they are looking to enter.”

The Government will also target highly credentialed volunteers from major and emerging industries to lend their time and industry expertise to provide advice in areas including advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity and construction.

In addition to establishing Careers NSW, the Government will also establish a NSW Institute of Applied Technology (IAT), advocate for the establishment of VET student loans similar to (HECS) and consult with industry experts on VET course curriculums.

Professor Peter Shergold AC said the recommendations will also seek to enhance the status and improve the quality and accessibility of vocational education in high schools.

“Furthering the relevance and breadth of VET available in high schools is a significant step towards getting students interested in pursuing a vocational career,” Shergold said.

CCPC President, Sharryn Brownlee, said it was pleasing to see action finally being taken on the recommendations from the review.

“Further options were much needed for this generation of young people,” Brownlee said.

“Locations need to be easily accessible for regions with limited transportation, entry requirements need to be clearly explained and we must be assured that the final credentials will be valued to ensure greater job certainty for those undertaking these courses.

“More support for VET in high schools is greatly needed.

“Central Coast students have been disadvantaged by the lack of TAFE places locally for some time, so a new framework of delivery in a new structure may finally meet their needs.

“We are excited to see how it rolls out, who is at the helm and hopefully students’ needs being met.”

David Gonski AC said the recommendations were developed with a number of stakeholders.

“Consultation was undertaken with academics, industry associations, Government and non-government school sectors and training providers to provide a holistic review of the challenges the sector is facing,” Gonski said.

Terry Collins

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