Monday, 16 April 2007

Uni graduates turning to TAFE for job skills

Thanks to my upaid, research assistant, and friend, Ian Skinner, I have this great article to share with you.

Uni graduates turning to TAFE for job skills
Lisa Macnamara and David Uren - The Australian

February 15, 2007

UNIVERSITY graduates are increasingly being forced to enrol in TAFE courses to improve their job prospects, with students armed with arts and science degrees finding they do not have the skills to enter the workforce.

New data shows one in five students enrolled in some technical courses had completed university but required further study to obtain employment in their desired field.

As employers demanded higher skills from graduates, an OECD report released yesterday found Australia's schools spent too much time preparing students for university and gave inadequate attention to other training options.

The OECD says schools should do more to help students get into vocational education and training courses. "The high share of the low-skilled in unemployment and inactivity, especially early school-leavers, suggests that the upper-secondary education system's emphasis on preparation for university is too narrow," it says.

Martin Riordan, head of TAFE Directors Australia, told The Australian that the rise in university graduates taking up TAFE courses was driven by employers wanting more skills from workers.
"They've found it difficult on graduation or nearing graduation to secure satisfactory employment," he said. "They often finish university but go on to try to complement their university qualifications with a trade qualification. Industry in particular is driving it. (They are) wanting a much higher level of skills."

New federal Education Department figures also reveal growth in postgraduate education as students seek to upgrade their qualifications. Overall, last year witnessed a 2 per cent rise in new university enrolments, with 287,000 students starting courses before the end of March.

click the link to read the full story:,20867,21228752-601,00.html

It’s no accident that TAFE is leading the jobs training way. For the past fifteen years the planning and curriculum people have actually been sitting down with industry and commerce leaders and asking them what they need. TAFE listened and responded. It changed course content, improved teaching methods and it got rid of course padding. Thank God for that. They actually chucked out all that bloody stuff that did nothing to enhance training quality.

And now we can take pride in the fact that graduating TAFE students are properly prepared for the jobs they’re employed for. They can actually be productive workers when they first start their job.

Apart from the usual inductions, TAFE trained people start working on real tasks immediately. Employers don’t have to spend valuable hours retraining them, they can be assigned productive tasks from day one.

I just love wandering around the trade schools. It’s great to watch students building brick walls, house frames, fixing electrical equipment and motor vehicle components or building a boat.

TAFE teachers can take pride in the fact we do it well. The students we send out have great vocational skills.

HATS OFF to TAFE Teachers everywhere!!!!

When it comes to vocational training … we’re the best!!!

Ya gotta luv TAFE!!!

1 comment:

Robert Boers. said...

As an employer and an aware human being of at least the last 20years your research only confirms what has generally been known to most profitable and efficiently run business operations since Adam was a boy.
Programs such as the School Based Trainee System which incorporates year 11 and 12 schooling with on job skill based learning with individual Employers, offer a far more efficient way of preparing prospective employees for the realities of payed employment.
Unfortunately some large business entities still persist in believing that you need to be a University Graduate before you can form common sense Policy based on "coal face" experience.I am sure we have all experienced "top heavy" Corporate Management Policy (or interference)which tends to cause unlimited frustration to rank and file employees.
Just in case this starts to sound like a "them against us" scenario one needs to contemplate the idea that true education and learning stops when a person starts formal schooling. The linear approach to education constricts our inherent ability to truly learn and develop.
Therefore TAFE offers a more practical way to try and bridge the gap between intuitive understanding, mentoring,realising every persons inherent ability and the delusional way of "in the head education".
Having worked within the Retail Industry for the past 25 years I can categorically state that we are losing the simplicity of a basic function.Retailing is really a simple business that we as humans again have shown our amazing ability to introduce complexities,systems and procedures and an armourment of technological devices to simply serve the customer.Most of the University graduates in the Retail Industry are employed in the Policy and Procedures area isolated from any experiential knowledge or ability of how things really operate "in store".
There is a place for Universities, Tafe and any and all "educational" structures on this tiny dot in the known Universe called Earth. The mistake we all make however is believing that "progress" depends entirely on structured,regulated educational bodies delivering "what we need to know."