2019 VET in Schools Forum building on success in its Third Year

The 2019 VET in Schools Forum is in its third year and each year is building on the successes of the previous years. The Forum opened with the Patrick O’Reilly, Principal from Southern Cross Catholic Vocational College providing the Acknowledgement to Country and a welcome to everyone was provided by Chris Jones, Centre Director, The Hills Regional Skills Centre.

The Hon. Dr Geoffrey Lee, Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education

The Keynote addresses were from The Hon. Dr Geoffrey Lee, Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education, Nicholas Wyman, CEO and Co-Founder Skilling Australia Foundation and Wendy Walker, Director, VET Stakeholder and Channel Management Team, National Careers Institute. All speakers had a key message of raising the status of VET, highlighting the importance of VET skills in the labour market and the role VET in Schools has in developing young people along this pathway.

There were over 220 guests from across all school sectors, including School Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), VET Trainers, Government Departments, VET & Career support organisations, Group Training Organisations, other RTOs, TAFE NSW and Industry from across the State.

Raising the status of VET in Schools as a valuable pathway for young people into sustainable work offering rewarding career pathways was an important message from the speakers at the Forum. The Forum was also to highlight the great work being done in the VET in Schools programs within each of the school sectors.

There were expert guest speakers that provided valuable information through the parallel workshops’ sections of the day. There were tours of the Southern Cross Catholic Vocational College (SCCVC) facility, current and previous students and VET Training Award winners speaking about their experiences and the School Based Apprenticeship and Traineeship (SBAT) Experience at the college was also explained.

The Association of Independent Schools (AIS) spoke of providing meaningful approaches to VET in the School setting and VET HSC Markers provided valuable information for VET Teachers in becoming a Marker and how to support their students with the exam process. External organisations supporting VET also spoke about their programs and knowledge including ClubEDU for Hospitality Students, Joe Newbery with Innovative VET Assessment ideas and Kathryn Taylor advising on how to assist students in their career transition journey.

MWLP, Work Placement provider, for schools and TAFEs across Inner South West and Macarthur regions presented two workshops outlining innovative ways to provide valuable industry experiences for students at school undertaking VET courses.

Russell Bailey, Regional President, Hills Parramatta Region, of Australian College of Educators said, “All workshops provided excellent opportunity for professional development, discussion and reflection for VET Teachers to take back to school.”

The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) provided a review of their NSW Curriculum Review Taskforce.

Andrea Frost, Director, NSW Curriculum Review Taskforce at NESA

MWLP’s CEO, Dr David M William AM, moderated a discussion with two Industry Representatives, Ben Collins from Sevaan Group and Matthew Lyons from the Bankstown Sports Club, both of whom support their industry and schools by taking Work Placement Students. They also engage with schools through activities organised by MWLP. Ben and Matthew spoke about why the take Work Placement students, the future of their industries, what sort of young person they are looking to employ and what their expectations are.

Feedback from the day was excellent. VET Teachers were pleased with the “great ideas that were presented”, “the professional development experiences” and “excellent opportunities to make several new and valuable contacts”.

The Forum is hosted by the Australian College of Educations (ACE Hills Parramatta), the Teachers’ Guild of NSW and MWLP Linking Youth.

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