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Pathways to further education and employment

The Student Pathways website is now live. On the website, students can:

  • join the World of Work Challenge to explore different careers
  • connect with employers to find World of Work Challenge opportunities, work experience, and school-based apprenticeships and traineeships
  • build an online CV that can be shared with employers
  • explore career pathways in growing industries across SA.

The VET for school students policy (PDF 1.6MB), released in term 4, 2019, sets out the government’s strategic direction and plans for reforming how vocational education and training (VET) is delivered in schools. It aims to clearly articulate pathways to employment, embed career education in school and provide for quality VET, designed with industry, to better prepare students for the world of work.

The policy includes a number of reforms to support students to transition from secondary school to meaningful employment or further education.

We have co-designed the initiatives within the policy with industry to prepare students for the realities of the workplace and provide a pipeline of skilled workers for South Australian employers.

The case for change

In a rapidly changing world, transition from school to work has become more complex and challenging for young people.

  • Youth unemployment currently sits at 14.2% - around 30,500 young people. COVID-19 has impacted the number and types of jobs available and has created uncertainty for the future world of work.
  • Only 67% of students transition from school to employment or further education.
  • The South Australian Training and Skills Commission has identified that 84% of the 50 occupations projected to have the most jobs growth in the next 8 years do not require a bachelor's degree.
  • Young people tell us they have a better understanding of university pathways than VET pathways, apprenticeships and traineeships.
  • Employers and industry tell us that students need a range of employability skills and competencies in addition to technical knowledge, to better prepare them for the workplace.
  • The average transition time from education to full-time work is 4.7 years, compared to 1 year in 1986. Young people say this is due to not having enough work experience, lack of appropriate education, lack of career management skills and a lack of available jobs.

The VET for school students policy (PDF 1.6MB) aims to address these issues and give young people the best chance for a successful future.

Engaging with industry

The VET for school students policy brings industry and schools together to clearly articulate pathways through secondary school to employment, enhance career education and improve outcomes for students and employers. By linking with industry, students will be better prepared for the workforce with the skills and knowledge needed by South Australian employers.

Engaging with industry is critical to high quality career education. Schools are being supported to ensure students have multiple opportunities to learn from employers about work, employment and the skills that are valued in the workplace. This includes more opportunities for work experience and workplace visits, participating in industry challenges or competitions, attending career expos and events and undertaking work-related projects.

We have also worked with industry to map out pathways through secondary school to employment and support more students into school-based apprenticeships and traineeships.

Better career education

The policy and the career education strategy (PDF 1.15MB) aim to enhance career education in schools to help students to:

  • understand themselves and reflect on their ambitions, interests, strengths and abilities
  • build an understanding about career options, pathways, the labour market and employment in a wide range of industries and occupations
  • build connections between these concepts that allow them to plan and make decisions about their learning and work options.

To do this, we are supporting schools to deliver quality career education through:

  • supporting delivery of career education curriculum
  • enabling quality career counselling and planning and establishing a new Professional Career Service 
  • launching a career skills exploration game for year 7 and 8 students 
  • introducing a Career Action Plan for each student, starting in year 7 
  • introducing a new digital career diagnostic tool for all year 9 students 
  • bringing schools and industry together to provide more opportunities for students to get exposure to industry and workplaces through industry immersion activities
  • building on the Student Pathways website with new features and improved career and labour market information. 

Find out more about these initiatives in the Career Education Strategy (PDF 1.15MB).  

Schools have been provided with resources to support them to deliver effective career education and guidance for their students throughout secondary school.

Pathways to employment

We are taking the guess work out of career education and decision making by clearly articulating pathways to employment in key growth industries in South Australia. These pathways map out a student’s journey through secondary school to employment through career education, industry immersion, school-based apprenticeships and traineeships and formal qualifications.

The pathways have been designed in partnership with industry to identify qualifications appropriate for school students and that contain the skills, knowledge and experience valued by employers. They provide an industry-endorsed pathway to employment, better preparing young people for real-world jobs, and providing a pipeline of young skilled workers for South Australia’s growing industry sectors.

Depending on the needs of employers, the pathways include VET qualifications at Certificate II and III level that industry considers suitable for school students. They also include enterprise and employability skills training delivered through SACE, and any specific industry requirements linked to the pathway. Importantly, the pathways include compulsory SACE subjects and contextualised delivery of other school subjects so that students can complete both a VET qualification and their SACE concurrently.

Students will be supported to identify an appropriate pathway suited to their interests and strengths through quality career education.

The pathways are reviewed annually to ensure they remain relevant to students and industry and lead to meaningful employment. The pathways include:

Review of VET for school students courses

Vocational education and training in schools needs to be suitable for students and lead to meaningful employment.

The review for Flexible Industry Pathways, skills clusters and pre-vocational qualifications commencing in 2024 is open until 2 May 2022. To give us feedback email education.pathways@sa.gov.au.

Stackable VET

VET courses outside the Flexible Industry Pathway will be available to school students, known as Stackable VET. These aim to provide pre-vocational skills, work preparedness and the opportunity to try out different areas before committing to a qualification.

Transition programs for students with disability from school to work

We’re supporting students with disability to develop skills for pathways after school. This helps them transition from school to employment, further education or training.

Students will: 

  • connect with employers
  • gain work and industry experience 
  • have recognition of learning to complete the SACE
  • be supported to access School Leaver Employment Supports (SLES) 
  • transition to a pathway of employment, further education or training. 

Transition programs are delivered in north, south and central locations 1 day a week.  

These programs are for students in their last year of school who are: 

  • seeking employment, further education or training 
  • enrolled and going to school with at least 70% attendance 
  • receiving National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) support 
  • travelling independently or have the capacity to travel independently 
  • on track for SACE completion.

Schools will support eligible students to join these transition programs. Email education.transitionprograms@sa.gov.au for more information.  

Projects to further support students

The student pathways website offers tools to support students on their career pathway including:

  • the 100-hour World of Work (WOW) Challenge to encourage students to discover different careers by participating in self-led career exploration activities posted by employers and industry
  • an online portal to connect students with work experience, school-based apprenticeships and traineeships and WOW Challenge opportunities
  • a CV builder for students to record their world of work experiences, generating a CV that can be shared with employers.
  • functionality for students to explore pathways and career options in key growth industries.

In the coming months, an online community will also be available for students studying VET to share their experiences, build a sense of community and support each other in the achievement of their career goals.

Improving the quality of VET in schools

To ensure quality VET delivery for school students, we are establishing a list of registered training organisations (RTOs) approved to deliver VET courses within a FIP, Stackable VET or contract of training for school students.

The department is working closely with RTOs to support them to provide quality training delivery to school students. This work will help schools to make informed decisions about training delivery partners that suit their students and local industry and community need.

Webinars for RTOs

Ensuring that high quality, industry linked VET is delivered to students is a key focus of the policy and we are committed to supporting schools and RTOs to deliver on these reforms.

These webinars have been filmed to assist RTOs to understand the policy and their role in delivering training to school students.


Video transcript

Clare Feszczak: [00:00:00] Welcome everyone to today's webinar. This is the first in a series of webinars to RTOs  (registered training organisation) , and I'm really pleased to be here today with Chris Zielinski from Department for Innovation and Skills  (DIS) . This is a joint initiative with Department for Innovation and Skills, both government departments working together on the VET for School Students Policy.

This is a question and answer session. So you can submit questions on the right hand panel on your screen, and we will try and get to as many questions as possible through the webinar.

I'd just like to start by acknowledging that we do meet today on the land of the Kaurna people, and that we respect their ongoing spiritual relationship with this country.

We are here to talk about the VET for School Students Policy. And I'm sure all of you have read this and you're all aware of the policy and the detail in the policy. The first thing that I would like to start by saying is that we are looking to implement the policy fully in 2022. So, that's a good way off.

But we recognise it's really important to engage everyone early, particularly RTOs. And the reason for engaging RTOs early is so that you have time to understand what we're trying to achieve, but also a lead time to get involved, and if necessary, put things on scope or change scope, or, involve ourselves in, activities as we progress the implementation.

So today's the start of several webinars, but really with a view to engage RTOs as partners in implementation of this policy. So in terms of key initiatives, I think it's probably [an] opportunity to sort of talk to you about what the key aspects of the policy are and what the opportunities are. The main centrepiece in the policy is what we've called 'Flexible Industry Pathways'  (FIPs) .

And these are pathways in school for school students to start, in VET, to get a headstart into the pathway for employment post-school. So, a Flexible Industry Pathway could start in year 10, year 11 or in the year 12. The key aspect of the Flexible Industry Pathway is that they have been designed with industry and we've had feedback from Industry Skills Councils  (ISC) on what constitutes a pathway to an entry level job.

And the Flexible Industry Pathways are designed to, lead to a job outcome for a student in industry in South Australia. So, really important that we spend time with industry, designing these Flexible Industry Pathways in a way that the qualifications are right for  industry, but the qualifications are also right for students and the student cohort.

So the policy, the centrepiece, are those Flexible Industry Pathways. And today we've had feedback from the Industry Skills Councils and we have 24 Flexible Industry Pathways with around, you know, this is still under the development, but around 160 qualification options for students.

Flexible Industry Pathway starts with something called VETRO, which is VET Readiness Orientation. And the VETRO is designed to identify that the student is ready for the pathway and fully understanding the pathway and what the commitment is, with a view to completing the pathway and transitioning into employment at the end. So VETRO is a new key aspect of the policy.

But some of you would be familiar with Upfront Assessment of Need  (UAN) . And I might just throw it to Chris here just to explain Upfront Assessment of Need and VETRO, the similarities.

Chris Zielinski: [00:04:31] Sure. So, thanks Clare. From an RTO perspective, those who currently are contracted with DIS, the VETRO is very much, the UAN or the Upfront Assessment of Need, which is the process that, contracted RTOs go through with students to, assess their numeracy and literacy levels and also other support mechanisms that they need to be most successful in their qualification. So, there are similarities there, there are, there's top and tailed around the VETRO, which is working closely with the schools.

But for those, for RTOs, the VETRO is very similar to the UAN process that currently is available to support students.

Clare Feszczak: [00:05:10] Yeah. Thanks. So, Flexible Industry Pathways, excuse me, will be, qualifications in those will be, likely to be funded. And the funding will, arrangements that are in place around TGSS (Training Guarantee for SACE students) will be superseded by funding arrangements within the Flexible Industry Pathways.

That is detail, everyone's interested in the funding, of course, and that's detail that's still being worked through. So we don't have all the answers in the funding at this point in time. But just to say that, excuse me, Training Guarantee for SACE Students, TGSS will be phased out and something will replace it for 2022.

Chris Zielinski: [00:05:55] Yeah, that's correct. So just following on from that, Clare, so those RTOs that are familiar with the subsidised training list would have, received notification that TGSS was rolled over for this financial year. So that's the intent, to keep a level of continuity while we do the work in the background, around the effects with industry pathways, the courses that will be funded through that, and also the guidelines we will seek to engage with RTOs early next calendar year to get feedback and ensure that everyone understands the funding guidelines.

Clare Feszczak: [00:06:29] Thank you. That was really helpful for me while I was just having a coughing fit there. Thanks, Chris. So yeah, Flexible Industry Pathways, key part to the policy, but in addition to Flexible Industry Pathways, we will have what we're calling VET Short Courses for School Students.

And the VET Short Courses could be skills, clusters, skillsets, those shorter, bite-size, VET offerings that set students up for part-time employment or readiness for work. Ideal for students that haven't yet made a decision about the pathway and the industry that they want to work in.

So they're a perfect taster, could be accredited, but an opportunity as part of the secondary education to do some VET and to try out different areas of VET. So from an RTO perspective, the qualifications in the Flexible Industry Pathways are one opportunity. The second opportunity are those short courses, skills, clusters, skillsets, a combination of units of competency designed for school students.

There's other aspects in the policy, which, in terms of career education and informing students about pathways and their choice and what pathways lead to. So there's a whole range of other initiatives that we want to put in place in schools, but certainly in terms of RTOs and the opportunities for RTOs, the Flexible Industry Pathways and the VET short courses are the two key opportunities.

One of the key elements of the policy in terms of what we're trying to achieve is quality. And when we talk about quality, we're talking about quality in the context of school students, delivery to school students within a school environment, often within a school environment. So having a partnership with RTOs that understand the student cohorts, that understand how schools operate, is really important to us.

And in order to achieve that level of quality and that confidence in RTOs delivering to school students, what we're proposing to do is to have a list of preferred RTOs. Preferred RTOs would be those that we think are well placed to deliver to school students and to uphold that level of quality for that particular cohort.

So, to become a preferred RTO, what we don't want to do is to create more hoops to jump through, more bureaucracy, but we are considering an approach, which basically, an RTO could be, a RTO that has a funding agreement with DIS or an RTO that has a current membership with a recognised peak body, or a school-based RTO, a Department for Education school-based RTO. So what we're proposing at this point in time is that a preferred RTO meets one, at least one of those things, maybe meets all of them, but at least one of those things. And if an RTO meets one of those requirements, then they have the opportunity to enter into a head agreement with the Department for Education.

And the head agreement with the Department for Education basically allows the RTO to promote the offerings to government schools on a website that all schools can access and all schools can refer to. So, a head agreement with Department for Education is a way of being able to promote to schools, engage with schools, to, you know, kind of get the tick, the endorsement from the Department as a preferred RTO. The requirements that we are looking for from an RTO through that head agreement, is that the RTO shares with us, first of all, what they're prepared to deliver, and secondly, where they're proposing to deliver, and thirdly, the price range of delivery, and mode of delivery.

So that information is shared with us. And that's the sort of information that's promoted on the website for schools, so schools can make some informed choices around RTOs and what meets their students' requirements. We also, through that head agreement are encouraging RTOs and will require RTOs to participate in professional learning.

So, professional learning in terms of understanding the student cohort within a school type of environment. So we really want providers to, as I said earlier, partner with us in a way that we get the best quality for school students, the best delivery of VET that we possibly can.

So that's the proposed arrangements for our RTOs. And, this is, as I said, started off by saying, this is the first step in that process of engagement. So, we will, we acknowledge that we don't have all the detail at this point in time, but we really want to start the journey, talk to RTOs at the next webinar about the detail within the Flexible Industry Pathways and the other options, and then start to talk about what a head agreement might look like and what that might mean in terms of commitments on both sides. 2022 is the year of full implementation, but we've started the process already in terms of Flexible Industry Pathways for school students. And last week, actually the week before, was our first Flexible Industry Pathway commencement.

And that was with the, ASC Shipbuilding. You may have seen on social media in the last few days,  we've had 18 students from various schools, not just government schools, but catholic and independent schools engage in a Flexible Industry Pathway with an apprenticeship outcome at ASC Shipbuilding.

And this is the first Flexible Industry Pathway. So whilst we're not we're not fully implementing the policy until 2022, we are actually starting with these opportunities now. And we are looking for what we've called early adopters. Early adopters are pilots, they're RTO trials, the pilots, they're opportunities to engage with the policy, try things out and refine and learn from them prior to full implementation in 2022.

So with that in mind, We're very keen to spend the next six months engaging with RTOs and communicating with you, developing that relationship, and also developing those opportunities.

So, anything that you wanted to add, Chris? That's kind of a quick, cook's tour of the policy. Accepting that there's a lot of details still missing, and we're happy to take any questions. We've got some questions that have already come in. But that's kind of the overview, they're the headline items, certainly for RTOs, but is there anything else you wanted to add?

Chris Zielinski: [00:14:49] So I think the, not really, I think the key things are really around, the introduction of FIPs, the funded courses, the guidelines that will be associated with the funding of those courses, the VETRO bits which we've talked about. And, I guess there's the provider development piece as well, which Clare touched on.

I think there's two aspects to that. One is from an RTO perspective, but also an interaction with the school. And then probably the key things, that I reckon there are opportunities for RTOs as we implement the policy.

Clare Feszczak: [00:15:17] Okay. So I think what we might do now, Chris, is jump to some questions. Yeah. Yeah.  So, we had a few submitted prior to the webinar.

There was a couple of questions that related to TGSS to VETRO. You may well have covered those already, but anywhere we haven't got detail,  we'll take them, we will follow up either a later session or as a follow up from this webinar. So, the first question that we had submitted beforehand: "Can a year 10 student enrol in a course, if they pay fee for service?"

So I think this question goes to funding and funding guidelines haven't been fully finalised yet. So funding guidelines will be finalised at the end of this calendar year. And this question then will be, we can answer that question at that time. In terms of year 10 students, there are opportunities for year 10 students to start Flexible Industry Pathways or engaging short courses for a VET.

But I think funding, we just have to park for now. So next question. So, "What implementation or support processes are being offered to RTOs to ensure they can meet the requirements of the policy?" So, this is the start of that: these webinars. There'll be some, hopefully we'll get some face to face sessions sometime soon.

But the first step is to communicate and to start to share the detail and the information in regard to the policy. And then the second part to this is those pilots, early adopters. So looking at how RTOs might participate in some pilot opportunities, is part of the support and part of the, getting ready.

Next question. The next question is: "Will schools receive support around viable class sizes, especially in the regions?" And again, I think this is probably a funding question and there will be support, to government schools in terms of thin markets and viable VET class sizes. So, that will be part of the funding approach.

Again, funding details yet to be finalised. We have consulted with our government schools and we know that funding, as you would expect, is a key aspect of this implementation. But, end of calendar year for that. Next question: " Will schools receive funding in semester two 2022 for VETRO activity and trade tasters?"

Well, VETRO activity, I might throw to you for, Chris. Because we have got some pilots running trade tasters. It's business as usual for trade tasters in government schools. So there's no additional funding in regard to tasters this for this year. Again, funding guidelines later this year.

So, that may provide some more details, but the funding guidelines will come into place for 2022. So just the VETRO.

Chris Zielinski: [00:19:01] Just on the VETRO front then. So, current DIS providers who, support the UAN, the activity around the UAN, receive payment from DIS to support that process.

So that's sort of the backing once implementation occurs. In terms of just developing up the VETRO process, so we're currently expanding the trials to better understand how it will work for school enrolled students. So, those that have been delivering with DIS for a while will know that the UAN process doesn't currently apply to school enrolled students.

We have been doing some trials over the last sort of six to 12 months and expanding that to other schools, and also RTOs, just to develop up our learnings and help us to implement, there is the funding associated with that, particularly for those that are currently trialling it. But once we go into implementation, we'll be part of, I guess the broader funding guidelines, which Clare's indicated will be developed later in the year.

But, based on current settings, the UAN gets supported once the activity is done. VETRO, sorry.

Clare Feszczak: [00:20:02] VETRO. And next question. This is another one for you, Chris. There's a theme here in terms of funding coming through. "Will TGSS funding keeps certificate two fee free in 2021?"

Chris Zielinski: [00:20:20] So, so TGSS has rolled over for the financial year, which is 2020 to 2021. So at present, those funding arrangements are in place that cert twos are fee free.

But as Clare mentioned, when the funding guidelines are developed around, I guess those courses associated with FIPs, we'll need to work through what the best approach is, knowing that, for most other courses, across the sort of government's investment in VET, there is a co-contribution.

So just working through, I guess, the guidelines and what's most appropriate, in the VET fiscal space.

Clare Feszczak: [00:20:57] Okay. Next question: "Who will be the key contacts to implement the policy in schools and when can we start?" Well, we're the key contacts, I think, can we say that? And the policy starts full implementation 2022, but early adopters, pilots, yeah, come and talk to us.

Next question: "Who decides on skills clusters, will they be region specific, and are they supportive by ISCs?" So we've done some preliminary work on skills clusters and at this point in time, we're looking at what makes sense for school students. So, in terms of what's doable, but also in terms of training packages, options, volume of hours, and suitability for pathways, and all of those things are being taken into consideration.

And, also the industry requirements have been taken into consideration. So, any skills clusters that are developed, we would expect them to be supported by Industry Skills Councils. And the question about region specific , there's no reason why we couldn't have skills clusters that are region specific.

If that's indeed what the industry determined is appropriate and providing the skills cluster is appropriate for school students. And of course, there's an RTO that will deliver in that region.

Next question.

Chris Zielinski: [00:22:50] I think we've covered that one.

Clare Feszczak: [00:22:52] So, we have a question about VETRO and funding and I think we've probably dealt with that one already. Yeah.

Another question about VETRO and funding. So this one is slightly different. So this question is: "VETRO may identify additional training and wrap around support required, who will provide these actions and how will they be funded?"  So, Chris, that's another one for this, the funding theme is throughout, isn't it?

Chris Zielinski: [00:23:28] Alright, so I can start on this one. So I guess there's roles and responsibilities here around the actions that are taken once VETRO has been undertaken with the school and all students and that's still being worked through. And it's a piece that's part of the trials we're also working through, in terms of there's funding to support.

So from an RTO and a DIS perspective, we would support that activity either through the foundation skills or skills that can be access to provide the training needed for, to support the students, or the support services, as well as broader wrap around services for those students.

I think the interaction back with the schools is still being worked through as part of the VETRO trial.

Clare Feszczak: [00:24:12] Okay, next question: "Can a VET course, a short course be used in year 10 with a student progressing to full qual under a Flexible Industry Pathway in year 11 and 12."  The short answer is yes, that is possible.

Next question: "Is there anything we need to do at this stage as an RTO, to apply to become a preferred provider?" I think the thing right now is to get to know the detail and then to work out where, as an RTO, you, you fit within the policy. So as I said earlier, we've got 24, at this point in time, we have 24 Flexible Industry Pathways.

They're in all the typical areas, automotive, horticulture, building, construction, hairdressing . And then we have potentially a few new, innovative areas. But the next session we do when we do talk about the detail in the Flexible Industry Pathways, I think that will help RTOs to see where they fit and to start to prepare, to become a preferred RTO or preferred provider.

At this point in time, it's really about, stay engaged, stay informed. We will provide as much information as we can when we can.

Next question. So, "Can RTOs from other states that deliver VET in schools be part of this initiative?" So at this point in time, the proposal for the preferred RTOs, is there's three criteria that we talked about earlier. So in theory, an RTO from another state could deliver VET in schools as part of the initiative.

Next question: "If we want to talk to a school to discuss a pilot, do we talk directly to the school or to the department?" I think it's a combination, so I think it's, certainly, if there's a relationship with the school, it's worth a conversation with the school. But I think the, we need the three parties involved.

So we need the department, the school, and the RTO together to work up the pilot. So, certainly conversations with schools or conversations with the department. But all parties need to be involved in, so do the industry, to be fair. We need an industry involved in the development of the pilot, too.

Chris, "Will TGSS be funded for the full calendar year next year?"

Chris Zielinski: [00:27:09] So, with full implementation, for 2022 of the policy, then there will have to be a transition period. So I dare say without working through that, it would have to cover the full calendar year, otherwise there will be students that would be in limbo.

So at this point in time, it's for the financial year, but there'll have to be a transition period through to the implementation in 2022.

Clare Feszczak: [00:27:35] Thanks. So, next question: "Can we advertise now as per normal for 2021 intake?" Yes, absolutely.

"Will the upfront assessment of need be assessed through schools or RTOs?"

Chris Zielinski: [00:27:54] So VETRO, there are a couple of aspects to that which are being worked through now with the schooling sector. The, UAN component is, the expectation is with RTOs. But there are, as I indicated before, some top and tailing around the VETRO process that will be worked through with the schooling sector.

Clare Feszczak: [00:28:15] Another question about funding: "Does the RTO get paid from DIS or schools?" Well, it goes back to the point we made earlier about funding guidelines haven't been finalised, there's the potential could be both. It really depends on how the funding guidelines land in that regard. Yeah.

Chris Zielinski: [00:28:37] Yeah.

Clare Feszczak: [00:28:44] The next question is around, another one around VETRO. So, "Will the VETRO be required for the short courses or just full qualifications?" So VETRO, so the way we've described VETRO is that VETRO is the gateway to a Flexible Industry Pathway. So VETRO is the gateway to full qualifications, not to short courses.

Next question: "What is the timeframe around the establishment of the preferred RTO list, and roughly when will RTOs be contacted and asked to provide information to apply?" So we will have our third webinar this year and in months, couple of months, I expect, where we will be able to provide that information.

So, we're planning on getting all the information out to you this year, this calendar year.

"Can you please reiterate the three criteria for being eligible to become a preferred RTO?" Yes, I can. So at this point in time, we are proposing that to become a preferred RTO, the RTO must have either: a head agreement with Department for Innovation and Skills, so, a funding agreement with DIS, or, oh, it could be AND/OR, the RTO is a member of a peak body that attest to quality. So peak body, being ITECA  (Independent Tertiary Education South Australia) for example. So there's a support in terms of, and a confirmation in terms of a level of quality through that membership. And then the third criteria is that it's a school based RTO, Department for Education, school based RTO.

So one of those three, yeah, is the requirement.

So, next question. "Will there be a move towards implementing universal standard auspice contracts for third party arrangements between schools and preferred RTOs, as is currently the case in other states?" So through this, through the implementation of the policy, we are proposing standard contracts.

So standard contract templates for use between schools and RTOs. And I think that's what this question is asking. So, yes is the answer.

And the next question: "How will the VETRO and the new terminology and policy be promoted to school students?" That's a great question. So, alongside all of the activities that we are doing, we're actually looking at, well we're working with a company called Sideways Theory, and they are working on a promotional campaign, information, marketing information, promotional information, a website, all aimed at school students, and parents, and the community more broadly.

So, there will be a campaign. There'll be a whole suite of collateral. There'll be a lot of promotional literature and information aimed at school students, families, and the broader community as we roll out in 2022.

Next question, another good question: "Where can I access the definitive list of qualifications for the FIPs?" So, Flexible Industry Pathways. So we don't have the list yet. The Flexible Industry Pathways are still under development. But the next webinar, we will have some more detail and we will be able to provide more information in terms of qualifications at that webinar.

Next question: so, "Will you look at additional LLN, literacy language numeracy training done at schools, prior to doing VET courses?" So I think this question goes towards the VETRO. And because the VETRO, as you heard from Chris, is still being worked through. I'm not sure that we can answer that question at this point in time, but that's certainly one to take on notice for future.

"Do you have contact details?" And yes, we will send out contact details. I think everyone received an invitation to the webinar. You can respond to that invitation and we will get back to you with specific details, so absolutely.

Okay. So the next question: "Has there been a discussion with ASQA  (Australian Skills Quality Authority)  regarding the implications of auspice agreements with schools?" So yes, there have been, there has been a discussion with ASQA  regarding auspice third party agreements with schools, and we've had a conversation with ASQA  about the policy more broadly.

ASQA have indicated that they have no issue with third party agreements with schools, as a principle. Where the concern that ASQA has is where the RTO is not visible in the school or to the school students. So where there's a third party arrangement and the delivery is being done in a school by a teacher, but the students are totally unaware that they're actually engaged and enrolled in an RTO who are, and the school's auspice in the arrangement for the RTO. So that's where ASQA have indicated they have their concern. It's not, they are not concerned with third party agreements per se. It's really around that relationship between the RTO, and the school, and the student, and we need to make sure that that's a robust arrangement in the future.

And I think we've just come to the end of the questions. So, thank you to everyone out there for participating and hopefully that has been helpful. As I started off by saying that this is the start of an engagement with RTOs, and we really want to get to a point where we have some strong partnerships and we build [a] number of preferred RTOs who can provide quality VET to school students in the future.

So, thank you very much, thanks to Chris. A bit of a double act today, and I suspect that might be the same in the future. And, thank you

Chris Zielinski: [00:36:23] very much.



Video transcript

Gayle Newnham: [00:00:00] Welcome to today's webinar, my name is Gayle Newnham and I'm the Manager for the VET Quality and Capability team from the Further Education and Pathways directorate for the Department for Education. I'm joined today by my colleagues, Amy, Felicity and John. So if I do a sideways glance, that probably means panic. They're supporting me behind the scenes.

This is the second in a series of information sessions for RTOs and today's sessions will cover Flexible Industry Pathways, which are referred to as FIPs, and Stackable VET. This session's delivered in six sections. And at the end of each section, there'll be a break when I'll respond to your questions that have been submitted. You can submit questions in the panel on the right-hand side of your screen, and there's some already coming, so thank you to those people.

I'm ready for the PowerPoint, Amy. Terrific.

So the workshop is on the Flexible Industries Pathways, and as part of the workshop, I'd like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet today and pay my respects to elders past and present, and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who are present today.

The objectives of today's workshop is to explain the Flexible Industry Pathways under the new policy, and to provide an overview of the guidelines and tools that will support the implementation; to explain what Stackable VET is; and to provide you with an opportunity to ask questions, and to workshop the issues.

So going right back to the start, or pre the policy implementation, there were a number of contributing factors to the consultation that we undertook, and they were the statistics around completion of veteran schools, completion of SACE. And particularly concerning was the transition from education to full-time work for young people.

So it's those sorts of concerns that prompted the consultation that we undertook in 2019.

The consultation was extensive and it was really great to be involved in. We did consultation workshops across the state. We consulted with key stakeholder groups, and we also had students involved in the consultation. And as a result, we were able to produce the VET for School Students Policy, which was released by the Minister in October of 2019.

The policy's built on international best practice. Success in world-class systems is measured by student outcomes and their post-school transitions, they are characteristics of a world-class VET for School Students that have common. Government ensures that the right policy settings are in place to make delivery easy and streamlined. There's a close correlation to the labour market needs, and industry are invested in the future workforce. VET is an integral part of the education system, where there's a clear distinction between vocation learning in VET, and the community understand the pathway options available and their value.

While these features may not be replicated in total, there are key aspects that we can learn from and have adopted in the South Australian VET for School Students Policy. One of the features of the policy is the repositioning of VET in secondary education. And the display that you can see is actually from the policy document.

If you haven't accessed the policy document, it's available on the Department for Education website. If you Google it, it's fairly straightforward to find. What this diagram shows is, how we've repositioned VET. So, key to the repositioning is what happens in years 7 to 9 and year 10, where as part of the policy, we will have a career education framework.

And the intent of that framework is to support young people to understand the world of work. And then be able to make informed choices at year 10 as to what their pathway might be. There are two pathway options. One would be to undertake VET under a Flexible Industry Pathway, or to be in the general education stream.

And you can see on the diagram, the intent of actually choosing VET is to exit into employment or into training for employment. So that's key to the policy change. You'll also note that to enter into VET, students will need to undertake the VET readiness orientation, or VETRO. Which is the launching pad for all Flexible Industry Pathways.

This is the opportunity for me to take some questions, but I see from John a nod that says there are none. So I will soldier on into looking at how the FIPs is positioned within the policy. New Flexible Industry Pathways for school students have been developed in conjunction with the VET sector and industry for school students in senior secondary school.

The Flexible Industry Pathways include VET qualifications, enterprise and employability skills training, and specific industry requirements lead to the pathway. They'll include SACE compulsory subjects and SACE subjects relevant to the industry sector to ensure that the student can complete VET qualifications and their secondary schooling.

When you look at the policy document, there are three pillars: clearly articulated pathways, enhanced career education, and improved student outcomes. And the FIPs are the clearly articulated pathways and that's their position in the policy. The purpose of the FIPs was to equip school students with skills to meet the workplace  requirements, that was really strong feedback through the consultation, that employers didn't always have faith in the VET for Schools student graduates. So we're looking to influence that.

We also want to illustrate the value of VET, and I guess that's key to everybody that's in the RTO world, making VET as significant as other options in secondary school.

We also, the FIPs articulate that school based pathway to skills careers. So the FIPs are a tool that can be used to help students and their influences to understand a VET pathway. We also wanted to, by implementing the FIPs, emphasise the high quality options that lead to employment outcomes.

And again, in the RTO space, we know what they are.

The FIPs address the current challenges in the system by supporting greater SACE completion, that's very much the focus of what we're working towards. They promote employment opportunities in high demand industries. So part of the construction of the FIPs has involved the Industry Skills Councils, and they're an influence on actually helping us to understand where the job outcomes are.

They align VET for School Students courses to industry needs. The FIPs enhance the quality of VET delivered to school students. They encourage post-school participation in education, training and employment. They address that statistic of the transition time from education to work, and they embed career education in the decision-making process of students, so it's a real end-to-end process.

The Flexible Industry Pathways are designed to provide an industry endorsed pathway, hence the involvement of the Industry Skills Council in employment growth occupations in South Australia. The Flexible Industry Pathways include one or more VET qualifications at a Certificate II to Certificate III level that industry consider suitable for school students.

So everybody that registered for the webinar were sent last night a list of the courses that are in the FIPs, that list is a draft, but it'll give you some sense of what's in the Flexible Industry Pathways. The Flexible Industry Pathways are suitable for school students with enterprise and employability skills training, and that's the SACE component and specific industry requirements linked to the pathway.

The next page shows you the list of FIPs that we have currently developed. So there's 25 currently developed with a couple still under development that include the cyber security FIP, the entrepreneurial FIP, and the First Nations language. Some of the ones under development will be for the use of our school-based RTOs only.

It's the opportunity again to put some questions forward, at this stage it looks like we haven't got any yet, so I will keep going.

So, what you're seeing on the slide now, the next one, if we go along, Amy, is the FIP, when you look at the document, that will be available on our intranet page. The front page is the story of the FIPs. So it's trying to set the scene very hard in a diagram to do all the things that people want to see.

So the first part sets the story. What's interesting on the first page is we're using the skills clusters from the Foundation for Young Australians. So we're using that to group our FIPs together and the Stackable VET which I will explain more about, as we go through the presentation. What you'll find in a FIP is the notes, which is the front page and a key.

And the key describes whose role or what element is in there by colour. You'll find what happens in year 7 to 9, which is the industry immersion component. And then you'll find the year 10, 11, and 12 options for VET and SACE. You'll find further education and higher education, so that's the intent to demonstrate the pathway component and also the occupations that come at each exit point.

So, and again, this is still the draft document just in the colour form, Amy, this is still the draft document, this shows you, what a FIP will have in it. And you can see that the year 7 to 10 components, the industry exposure with the intent of that part being to inform young people so that they can choose, make an informed choice.

One of the things that was important to mention from the early diagram is that because students go into VET, it's a flexible pathway, so they can move back. If they find that that option is not the one that best suits them, but they can also move into it at any point in that year, 10, 11, and 12.

This shows the SACE components, the contracted training options. And this version, which is the latest version also shows a cadetship option. And the cadetship is intended to be done only by application, but it's for industries where the industry doesn't want full qualifications, but the industry commitment needs to be to a work experience placement.

So three options: you've got your cadetship option, you've got your option for contracted training, and then you've got options for institutional based training funded by DIS. There's a couple of other samples here. These ones aren't the most current version, but just to show you, there's an ICT and there's also a Building and Construction FIP.

So the process for updating the FIP because they won't be static documents, particularly post-COVID, we know that the employment environment will change. So we've established the process for updating the FIPs. And also Stackable VET, the intention is for the FIPs and Stackable VET to be reviewed annually.

But initially we know that there are going to be other inputs from experts like our RTOs. So we'll allow the consideration for emerging industries in job roles, as well as the reconsideration of jobs that are in decline. So as we move into full implementation in 2022 reviews will commence in January of each year with a view for the revised list to be produced in May. All FIPs are subject to final endorsement by the Industry Skills Council, and the recommendation is made through the Industry Reference Group. The Department for Education will establish Industry Reference Groups that align to the Industry Skills Council and their role is to operationalise implementation of the FIPs. They will be the caretakers of them.

This is the opportunity for me to just look at, oh, questions! Terrific. So, there's a question that reads, 'How will schools, which do not have staff highly experienced in VET interpret the requirements of FIPs and Stackable VET?', which is a good question. This is a really significant change for our schools. And so we've got an extensive field team who respond and support schools through this change.

The change process well actually, has commenced in schools and it will involve the schools working through an assessment matrix of their knowledge and understanding of career education and VET through a matrix. And then the Further Education and Pathways Directorate will provide a number of supports, including a series of guidelines, as well as professional learning for school staff.

'Is there likely to be representation for sport in the FIPs?' At the moment, there isn't any sport in the FIPs, but there is sport in the Stackable VET. And for the RTO that submitted that question, I would suggest that in your documents, you check out the stackable VET. There is still a window to influence what goes into the Stackable VET.

And if there isn't enough representation of sport, that's a place where it can be included.

That takes me on to now talking about the guidelines for Flexible Industry Pathways. So the schools will have access to guidelines for Flexible Industry Pathways. We are redeveloping our website, so that we'll have a specific site for VET on the Department for Educations website, that's a process that hopefully will be completed by the end of 2020.

And on that space, there will be a page for our RTO partners, which will have information. The guidelines won't be on that page, but there will be a similar sort of model that is meant to talk to influences of VET pathways. These guidelines are intended to provide school staff with guidance and instructions on offering FIPs.

The reader will find information about how to customise a FIP. And that means how to pick a course, make sure it's the right course at the right AQF level. And those are sorts of things that RTOs influence. So our partnerships with RTOs will be incredibly important. There'll be a series of guidelines that schools will have access to prior to full implementation in 2022.

And they include VET best practice, best practice career education guidelines for apprenticeship and traineeship guidelines for the SACE flexibilities,and guidelines for VETRO.

The roles and responsibilities for schools will also be included in the guidelines. And I know that that's an important point for RTOs, is to actually be able to be assured that schools will have some professional learning around what their role is, in hosting VET at their schools or in any case, wherever there might be a third party arrangement to auspice VET.

There will be some Flexible Industry Pathways that have stipulated conditions. So where a VET course has over 600 nominal hours in duration, the Department for Education has determined for department schools, they will be delivered over two years. So there's a list there of the courses for those people that deliver them, probably familiar with the hours, anyway. That rule will apply to other courses where an elective choice means that they've exceeded 600 nominal hours.

The process of customising a FIP is not necessarily the same as we talk about in the VET sector when we talk about customising. The schools will support the students to customise their FIP, to meet the requirements of local employers, the students' interests and the availability of the training options. What schools will do is to examine the qualifications in the FIP, and determine what would result in student transitioning from school to the desired employment outcome. So the schools will need to start with what the employment outcomes are in the area that the students are interested in.

If a full qualification is the right starting point, then the student could be commenced there, but Stackable VET is a good option for starting VET, as some of us know, it's a significant transition for school students to move from school education to VET education.

The idea of studying a traineeship or apprenticeship option would be the one that we promote to young people, because it does provide the on-the-job training and a transition plan. If the FIP chosen is not an apprenticeship or traineeship pathway, then schools should also consider minimum work requirements, and the schools also need to determine the requirements to achieve SACE credits, which is where the SACE guidelines will come in to help the schools to actually construct or customise the FIP.

So the FIP process is illustrated in this diagram, the student identifies that they want to transition from school into employment. And the school commences planning to identify the FIP and the relevant qualification or qualifications the student would need to undertake. The school works with the industry and the student to customise their FIP. To commence in the FIP, the student needs to undertake VETRO, the VET Readiness Orientation. Then the RTO will enrol the student and work in a partnership with the school to monitor and support the student.

And it's time before we move to Stackable VET for questions, but there aren't any, and so we can go straight into the next part of the presentation. So Stackable VET's not new if you've been in the RTO sector for a long time, but it's a way that we're communicating to schools, this alternate option for VET

So the options in Stackable VET are Tasters, Pre-vocational Qualifications, and Skills Clusters. And again, if you registered for this webinar, you were sent the Stackable VET document in draft last night. If you didn't register, use the Education Pathways email address, and we can send it on to you after this presentation.

So just to describe a little more about what each of those things are. A taster may include  VET-accredited units to deliver training, but there's no formal assessment. The student would be issued with a statement of attendance. And if VET is used, it's units packaged as a Certificate I or II level with a maximum of 140 hours, nominal hours.

The Pre-vocational Qualification option is largely Certificate Ones, some Certificate Twos, as they apply to foundation skills. So in the Pre-vocational Qualifications, VET accredited units are used to deliver training; formal assessment does occur; a statement of attainment is issued on successful completion; and the units are packaged a Certificate I or a Certificate II level with a maximum of 370 nominal hours. The full list of courses that are available in under the Pre-vocational qualifications are in the handout.

The Skills Clusters are intended to expose the student to the VET environment and to industry sectors. So they could be something that's used in year 10 to introduce students to a particular qualification or study area that allows them to make that fully informed choice. They're provided to the Department for Education schools, and are developed in consultation with industry. So again, these are endorsed by the Industry Skills Council. The Skills Clusters may include units of competency from different training packages. They are VET-accredited units and formal assessment occurs. A statement of attainment is issued. These units can be packaged at Certificate I, II, or III, and they are a maximum of 140 nominal hours.

With the Stackable VET, these are the only things that government schools will be able to auspice, when full implementation occurs in 2022. So for the information of our guests listening, next year, 2021 is a business as usual year. And the reason for that is obviously the change is significant. It's important to actually go through a change management process and make sure that's fully embedded.

It's an opportunity now for any questions. How are we going, John? Oh, we've got some. 'How much time do we have to submit our proposals for Skills Clusters and other Stackable VET options?' That's a good question.

We'd like to implement an Early Adopters, which is a pilot project in 2021. So we'd like to see Stackable VET starting to be an option for schools in 2021, which means we need to get a number of frameworks in place in order to do that. So I'd like to think that by mid-September we have the Skills Clusters and other Stackable VET options better down, so that we can start to get those endorsed by our Industry Skills Council.

'Can a year 12 student start a FIP course with more than 600 nominal hours, meaning it is a two year program?'. So under our system, students can go on and do an extra year, and then get their SACE, so SACE can be given retrospectively. I'm not the SACE expert in our team, but they could be awarded their SACE post-year 12 is my understanding. But I think what I might do is just double check that and send that response to that back through to the people that are registered for the webinar.

'Can you please provide detail on the consultation process that has had occurred?' Yes, I can. So we worked with PWC in 2019 over a number of months, we ran a series of workshops in Mount Gambier, Whyalla, and in Adelaide, and those workshops went through the consultation paper. If you're looking for the consultation paper, it's also available on the Department for Education website. And what we did in those consultations was to examine the issues. So it was a very significant workshop bringing together all of the issues.

That was also then had input from a student survey done by year 13, and a career education environmental scan done by Seeker. So all of those things input into the total document that was the consultation paper.

The question reads, 'Does that mean that schools will no longer be able to auspice under a third party arrangement full qualifications at a Certificate II level for Department for Education schools?' The answer is yes, in 2022, they will not be able to auspice Certificate II qualifications.

And that's the end of the questions, which then takes us to almost the end of the presentation. One of the things that our team has been working on is the SACE flexibilities and we've been working closely with SACE. We've got a team that's developing content within SACE to support VET.

So part of our vision is that VET doesn't sit as a bolt-on to SACE and secondary education, but is an element of it. And so building these SACE units will allow schools to actually continue the education of students in the industry that they've chosen within SACE. We're pretty excited about this because it will help to build the quality of our VET delivery.

It will also provide practice opportunities for VET qualifications, and I know that that's a really significant input for RTOs, because it does help that practice to occur before assessment happens to ensure that students have indeed been able to grasp what you've been training them.

So that's the end of the presentation and it does provide an opportunity for any last questions, but it would seem I've exhausted you all. Ah, there's one more. 'How will Stackable VET affect future eligibility for funding for students?' It's a good question, and there wouldn't be a webinar without a question about funding. At this stage, funding's not something that I can give you a comprehensive answer on. So funding for VET qualifications sits with DIS, funding for Stackable VET sits with the Department for Education. And so in terms of actually affecting eligibility for DIS places, I don't foresee that that's an issue, but I'll certainly follow this one up when I meet with DIS,  just to check that we get the really comprehensive answer for you.

So that takes us to the end of our presentation. Wait, one more. 'How many Stackable VET options can a student do?' Remembering the VET policy, the intent of the VET policy is to give students the skills that they need to exit into employment, or further training for employment, so they could do a number of options as long as it was with that intent.

What we are trying to do within the policy is to move away from the type of rescue packages that we've seen made available through VET and into VET that's delivered for its purpose of getting people into work.

Any more questions? Sorry? We're good. So that takes us to the end of the presentation. At some point, we will be able to put this presentation up on our website for RTOs that want to show it again to their teams, but in the meantime you do have our contact details. One of the things that we're really keen to do  through our repositioning VET implementation of the VET for School Students Policy is to work with RTOs to realise new opportunities that might be created through parts of the policy, like the Stackable VET.

There will also be another webinar, which I hope will follow in the next eight weeks, which will be about how you become an RTO that delivers VET for School Students in government schools. So that's the webinar that will come up, as I said, I think it will be around eight weeks. And we will send invites out through the email list that we're currently working with. We'll also be starting soon with a RTO newsletter, just to let you know how the implementation of the policy's going, for those RTOs that are interested in being part of this movement to repositioning of VET in schools.

Thanks to everybody that's attended today. It's been really great to make contact with you even in this somewhat strange environment. And I look forward to working with you more through the implementation of the policy.



Video transcript

Gayle Newnham: [00:00:00] Welcome to the webinar on RTO arrangements for VET for School Students. Today's session is part of a series of webinars on the VET for School Students Policy. Thank you for joining on Remembrance Day, we will make every attempt to finish before 11.00 AM so that you can observe a minute's silence. My name's Gayle Newnham and I'm the Manager of the VET Quality and Capability team in the Further Education Pathways directorate of the Department for Education.

Joining me today is Michelle Potts, the Principal Strategy Officer from the Department for Innovation and Skills. Michelle and I worked closely on the VET for School Students policy implementation. So thanks for coming along Michelle.

Michelle Potts: [00:00:44] Thanks for having me

Gayle Newnham: [00:00:46] I've also got some members of my team here today, newly formed team. I've got with me, John Reis, the VET Quality and Compliance Officer. Thanks. John, he's done a lot of work getting today together. Behind the scenes, I've got Leanne DeYoung, who is our VET Partner Relations Officer, and also got Sophie from our admin team, who's putting together the prompts, so it's a really great team to work with.

Before we start, I'd like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet today and to pay my respects to their elders past and present and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are present today, and happy NAIDOC week.

So the objectives of today are, as I flip through my slides: to explain the new Head Agreement for RTOs and outline the procedures for becoming an approved provider with the Department for Education and provide an opportunity for the RTOs in the audience to ask questions. Questions can be submitted through the chat box in teams. And if your questions can't be answered throughout the duration of this session, we will collate them to be responded from Further Educations through our team.

The VET for Schools Policy was released by the Minister for Education in October of 2019 with full implementation due in 2022. The Government's response to the policy builds on existing good practice in South Australia and focuses on three key pillars of the policy: clearly articulated pathways, enhanced career education,  and improved student outcomes.

The RTO VET in School agreement is a strategy under the improved student outcomes pillar with aims to improve the quality of VET for School Students.

In 2020 we have been working on establishing the Flexible Industry Pathways and Stackable VET options, which are currently with the Industry Skills Council for endorsement. Our Director has also worked on the development of customised SACE options to support students undertaking VET pathways, and working also on the funding model for government schools.

The VET Quality and Capability team are working to develop partnerships arrangements with RTOs for the delivery of VET for School Students and the development of resources and support to schools to build their knowledge and capability in relation to VET. A series of initiatives are also being implemented to promote engagement, improved communication, and leveraged change processes within schools.

In 2021 it's business as usual, but you will start to observe some of the changes toward full implementation. There is the change of eligibility to DIS subsidised training places for VET for School Students, where all year 11 students will be able to access the subsidised training place.

Some RTOs will be participating in our early adopters project. The VETRO pilots are already underway and VETRO will be fully implemented in the second semester of 2021. And there will be, through these webinars, are focused on the development of stronger partnerships between RTOs and schools, with the introduction of new agreements, which form part of today's webinar.

From 2022 RTOs that wish to deliver VET to South Australian government school students, where deliveries outside of an apprenticeship or traineeship will be required to enter a Head Agreement with the Department for Education to enable them to become an approved provider. Once approved, schools and RTOs will enter a standard VET agreement with schools for the delivery of the training product of their choice.

Both arrangements are currently with the Crown Solicitor. This webinar focuses on the Head Agreement and the expression of interest process for becoming an approved provider. A second webinar. that will be most likely at this stage in early 2021 will explain the standard VET agreement between schools and RTOs.

The new VET agreements will provide opportunities for stronger partnerships between schools and RTOs to support the delivery of quality VET for School Students. The Head Agreement will establish a formal connection between RTOs and the Department for Education to enable gathering and monitoring and course-related information. At schools, the standard VET agreement will promote greater clarity about the distinct roles of RTOs and schools, and the responsibilities of each party in supporting students to successfully complete VET as part of their secondary studies. The new agreements will enable streamlined and consistent arrangements for the delivery of VET for School Students. The new arrangements are part of a series of initiatives aimed at supporting the implementation of the VET for schools policy.

They build capacity within schools and RTOs to respond to the challenges of delivering VET to school students, and they provide clarity for schools on the services offered by RTOs so that the schools can make informed decisions to address the needs of students. They also promote the consistency of contractual arrangements and clearly identify the roles and responsibilities of schools and RTOs, and safeguard the quality of VET for School Students.

The intention is to promote meaningful partnerships between schools, RTOs and the Department for Education in the provision of services, which support student outcomes and pathways. Under the new arrangements, government schools will be required to engage RTOs, which have been approved by the Department for Education.

The approval process consists of the RTOs signing the Head Agreement for delivery to school students. This applies to VET outside of an apprenticeship or traineeship. RTOs wishing to enter a Head Agreement with the Department for Education will be required to either hold a current agreement with the Department for Innovations and Skills, and/or hold a current membership with a recognised peak RTO body that requires demonstration of quality practices, or be registered as a Department for Education school-based RTO. Where an RTO meets these requirements, they can apply to become an approved provider to deliver VET across government schools. One of the benefits for approved provider RTOs is that they will be included in a central register available to all schools.

The register will include details about qualifications and courses being offered by RTOs and the school will be able to select the provider of their choice directly from that database. When a provider is chosen, the school will contact the RTO to initiate discussions for entering a standard VET agreement, which will outline the specific arrangements between the school and the RTO for delivery.

The qualifications, which form the Flexible Industry Pathways will be subsidised by DIS. The Department for Education will subsidise some of the qualifications, which are delivered only by the South Australian school based RTO. This subsidised training, released by DIS, will provide information on qualifications approved for delivery for school students.

This will be the point of reference for RTOs when applying to the Department for Education to become an approved VET for School Students provider. Stackable VET can be delivered as fee for service without being linked to subsidy incentives.

There's an opportunity now for us to type some questions. And I think there's a few coming up on the screen. I thought there was one there. Okay.

So the question is, and I think this is one for you, Michelle, "What will the arrangements be for students intending to follow the TGSS pathway in primary industry and animal care?"

Michelle Potts: [00:09:54] So, current TGSS arrangements remain unchanged for 2021. From 2022 the courses that are subsidised by DIS, as mentioned, will be listed on the STL. You know, in terms of those courses, they will be listed there. And our intention is to provide RTOs with information about those courses early February next year. Along with VET for School Students guidelines  as well. In terms of funding allocations, the subsidies  will remain as they are.

There's no intention to change that. And as RTOs know, we don't regulate the course fees. So, in entering an agreement with the Department for Education around how things might be delivered a little bit differently to how they are today, RTOs will need to take that into consideration when working out their course fees and what they tell the Department for Education that they're going to charge you in terms of course fees.

Gayle Newnham: [00:11:00] Thanks, Michelle. There's another question there, will schools have funding allocations to top up subsidies where units of competence subsidies are not sufficient to make the cost of delivery? So the Department for Education is currently working on our funding guidelines for VET, that's a revision of funding. And so at this stage we're not able to give a response to that, except to say that school governing councils do work out how prices are set and passed on to students. And that will remain the situation. I think that's all the questions that we've got at the moment, which means that I can hand over to John, who's going to talk you through the process of becoming an approved provider.

John Reis: [00:11:49] So, just to continue on that conversation, the application process to enter a Head Agreement will start when the Flexible Industry Pathways in Stackable VET are endorsed by Industry Skills Councils, so they're currently sitting with the Industry Skills Councils, and the RTOs will need to complete an application form and submit to education.Pathways@sa.gov.au, which is the email that we generally use for queries as well.

The form will be sent to all RTOs registered into this webinar, but RTOs who were not registered can request the form using that same email address. Applications will be open for RTOs interested in the delivery of Stackable VET in 2021, and for the delivery of qualifications and a Flexible Industry Pathway in 2022.

Applications for delivery of the FIPs will start in 2021 as well, before the start of course counselling at schools for delivery in 2022. So the application form will request that you also provide information on a range of aspects in relation to the course being offered, and that will include the regions where the course can be delivered, the delivery methods, and the number of hours allocated to each method, including any self-based learning, the price range for the cost of metropolitan and regional areas, and for delivery to small class. small class sizes.

It will also ask for the minimum and maximum number of students in a class and any partnerships the RTO may have for the delivery of the course. There will be also an opportunity [to] indicate if the schools will be able to deliver on that third party agreement, which applies for the delivery of Stackable VET only.

So that will give clarity on what's being offered and assist schools to make decisions about the cost most suitable for that student. So, in addition to the application form, the RTOs will need to attach the evidence that's been raised by Gayle earlier today, to enter Head Agreement with the Department. They will be required to demonstrate that given the nature of the student cohort, the delivery methods do not rely solely on self-paced learning.

The volume of learning for the course, including the contact hours and any structured self-based study are in line with the requirements of the training package, the standards for RTOs and the recommendations of the AQF. And that the RTO agrees to abide to the requirements of the Head Agreement and utilise the standard VET agreement much when engaging with schools.

The requirements within the Head Agreement include general responsibilities in relation to RTO, statutory compliance and alignment with the VET for School Students Policy. In addition, there are some specific requirements for RTOs, which will support the provision of quality VET for School Students. Some of these requirements will include delivering only training products approved under a Flexible Industry Pathway or Stackable VET.

Notifying the Department of any matters that may impact the delivery of the services being offered to school students. If the RTO is no longer able to provide those services for any reason. Taking part of the continuous improvement of VET delivery for school students as requested by the Department and participating in annual professional learning programs.

A copy of the Head Agreement will be made available to RTOs during the application process. So you have the chance to see before. So what will be the next steps in the process? When the Industry Skills Councils endorse the qualifications and courses under a Flexible Industry Pathway and  Stackable VET, we will be sending an email to the RTOs with a copy of the application form.

The form will be sent to the email used to register into this webinar. And again, the RTOs that did not register for the webinar, they may request it using the email address. RTOs would then be able to submit the application to become an approved provider with the list of courses they wish to offer and the details in relation to each course. Once the application process ends, we'll be contacting the approved RTOs to finalise arrangements for the Head Agreements.

There was a fair bit of information in there. We have a new opportunity to ask questions. So, we'll be just collecting if there is any questions in relation to what's been provided to you so far.

Gayle Newnham: [00:16:50] Okay. So thanks, John. The first question that's coming is 'we have heard that the majority of Certificate II programs will be stopped in favour of Certificate III programs in 2022. Is this the case?' The subsidised training as Michelle explained in the first round of questions doesn't change. So, what's there is a subsidised  training in Certificate II now will remain in place for 2022. I can tell you in a discussion yesterday in our directorate, lots of people were really excited about Certificate II as an entry point for school students.

So from an RTO perspective, I would imagine that's quite good news because Certificate II's already great for school students. The next question is 'can we get access to what the proposed Flexible Industry Pathways and Stackable VET are?' So for the person that asked that question, it would seem that perhaps they missed our second webinar, which was on Flexible Industry Pathways and Stackable VET.

So if they'd like to send an email to our education pathways email address, then we'll get in touch. We'll send you that web link so that you get the whole picture. And then we'll send you the draft, and as John mentioned, it is still very much a draft because we are working with the Industry Skills Council on the endorsement of both Flexible Industry Pathways and Stackable VET.

I'm just going to glance at Leanne to see if there's any more questions. So that is the end of the questions. If throughout the day or the week indeed, you have any more questions, please use the education pathways address to send them through to us and following the webinar, we will actually also have a communication that comes from Leanne that is about regular communication that'll come from our team.

I'm looking at the girls who are laughing, saying somebody was flicking through the cue cards. So we're at the end of our webinar. It's always nice to finish with a laugh and finish early enough to let you observe Remembrance Day. Thanks Michelle so much for coming over today. It's always great working with you.

Michelle Potts: [00:19:29] Thank you, Gayle.

Gayle Newnham: [00:19:30] Thanks, John, and the rest of my team for the hard work that they put into today.

And to all of the RTOs, we really look forward to working with you. And I know that Leanne is quite busy setting up appointments for people that actually want us to come out and talk to RTOs individually about what their business model might look like in response to this policy change. So please do get in touch with us, we look forward to meeting and chatting with you. Thank you.

Further tools to support RTOs will be made available as they are developed.

Further Education and Pathways

Phone: 8226 0284
Email: Education.Pathways [at] sa.gov.au