BY CLAIRE FIELD
Australia used to have much to offer ASEAN, now not so much
When we think about the Australian VET system and our relationship with countries in the ASEAN region – I’m guessing that most, if not all of us, think about what Australian training providers can offer, how we can help, what knowledge and skills we can pass on.
That’s a generous attitude and historically it made sense. Businesses in the ASEAN region wanted higher level, more advanced technical skills and many of ASEAN’s training providers could benefit from Australia’s expertise. This was not just because of our more developed economy but also because of key reforms like the Australian Qualifications Framework, and Training Packages, which collectively enable industry input into the design of training standards and provide for nationally portable qualifications.
The point is though that these reforms were introduced almost a quarter of a century ago and while we have subsequently been (endlessly) tinkering with them, our friends in the ASEAN region are moving and have moved ahead of us.
The Penang Skills Development Centre is just one example of an ASEAN TVET provider we can and should learn from. They are well ahead of most Australian RTOs (public and private) in the delivery of training for Industry 4.0.
I was honoured to visit the PSDC as part of this year’s ASEAN-Australia Education Dialogue. My observations on the Dialogue as well as the site visits to PSDC and one of the Malaysian polytechnics, Politeknik Tuanku Sultanah Bahiyah, are available here or you can listen to the podcast version here.
Claire Field advises on VET, international education and private higher education.