Micro-courses that teach specific skills people need for work are said to be the next big thing – that they aren’t it now might be because they are not micro-enough
John Stanwick and Gitta Siekmann have analysed use of training package skill-sets, for the estimable National Centre for Vocational Education Research. Skill-sets serve for “upskilling, compliance and licensing, meeting a defined industry need and as an entry pathway to further training.”
There were 20 packages with skill sets in 2008 and 1500 last year and enrolments increased from 58 000 to 96 000 last year.
But while there are a bunch of them not many are actually used – only 16 per cent had any enrolments for 2015-18. The big ones cover responsible service of alcohol and work zone traffic control.
Perhaps it is because skill-sets teach more than people need – there were 86 000 enrolments last year in a single subject on driving a forklift. Unless it is because skill-sets don’t cover what people want to learn, “many people are undertaking high-risk licensing subjects, (but) training package skill-sets are generally not being developed or used as a vehicle for these licences.” Stanwick and Siekmann conclude.