TDA Submission into regional, rural and remote education
TAFE institutes are important organisations that build skills and
knowledge for young people but in particular for disadvantaged and
disengaged youth in regional, rural and remote areas. This is achieved by
providing young people with the confidence to build their knowledge and skills
through a supportive and encouraging learning environment beyond
secondary school in order to increase their chances of obtaining meaningful
and rewarding work.
Regional TAFE Institutes seek to lift aspiration, remove barriers to education
and be instrumental in closing the gap on employment outcomes for
Indigenous Australians in regional Australia. Despite lower attainment and
lower socioeconomic status, students from regional Australia often succeed in
higher education at a rate similar to higher SES students.
In Australia’s regions industry diversity may be high, population densities are
low and geographical spread is wide. High quality, efficient training provision
in these regions requires close cooperation between TAFE, industry,
community agencies and services, other training providers, and with local
businesses. By necessity, regional TAFE Institutes maintain multiple small
campuses, support small student cohorts and travel to remote areas to
service local communities and businesses. While they are increasingly
delivering quality blended learning programs to reach their students, the ability
of students to undertake distance programs (ie low literacy or digital literacy,
lack of access to technology or internet service and low demand for training)
can mean financially unviable learning programs in thin training markets.