This is a rather unusual post for the AVETRA Educator Hub. It might better be referred to as an opinion piece. However, it seems to me – though I might be sitting in my cloud somewhere (no, not the iCloud) – that there is a significant interest in research into vocational education and research recently. It is interesting that such a lot of it is concerned almost solely with the economic impact of the sector on Australian society. But hey, who was it who said all publicity is good publicity? Perhaps not, though just at present I think much of it is more positive than negative.
Of greatest prominence I think is the research by Francesca Beddie and Linda Simon on the VET applied research: driving VET’s role in the innovation system. This commissioned research gives a clear mandate to the Australian and other governments to reconsider the almost absent consideration of VET to Australia’s place in the innovation system. Of lesser prominence, but certainly of interest to me and I would expect others also, is the Developing appropriate workforce skills for Australia’s emerging digital economy: working paper released by NCVER on 20 September 2017. This gives some very interesting insights into the emergence of digital skills in the group known as Foundation, or Core skills. There will be more of these to come as this issue is of significance to policy makers at present as seen by the various cross-sector projects being conducted by Skills Services Organisations in Australia.
Have you heard of the Analysis and Policy Observatory? Please excuse my ignorance as I suspect many of you have. I found a treasure trove of resources here. Obviously the extent of the open-source, freely available research provides an incredibly rich resource for any researcher. Other really interesting finds here were the short courses on offer to brush up our research skills. Do you fancy combining a summer holiday to our Long White Cloud neighbours during our climatically-changed Australian summer? There are some amazing opportunities here for a professional development break with a twist. Check them out here. Another amazing opportunity I discovered here, which I hope will be of interest to our Indigenous research fellows, is the 2018 ATSI Research Fellowship Scheme for an opportunity for a full scholarship at Swinburne. I did provide these details in the Opportunities page last week, but thought it was worth a mention again. Perhaps you know someone who needs to know about this opportunity? Please pass it on.
And of course, I can’t help but take this opportunity to give the AVETRA OctoberVET events throughout Australia a plug. Hope to see you at one of them.
I would be interested to know if my opinion that there is an increased interest in research into the VET sector is more perception than reality. What do you think? Please leave a comment below.