Draft training package alarms VET teachers

Joan Lemaire
Senior Vice President

The second draft of Service Skills Australia’s SIT Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Training Package has the capacity to dramatically reduce the ability of schools to deliver vocational education and training in these areas.

The draft document requires that assessors must have a minimum of three years industry experience and have a Certificate III or Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery.

The draft training package states feedback from industry groups overwhelmingly supported mandating at least three years recent industry experience. These groups claim that “assessors must have a working knowledge of industry in order to make the final decision as to the competency of a learner”.

This view fails to take account of the professional knowledge and skills of qualified teachers in teaching and assessing student competency and learning outcomes as part of delivering the training package and the particular courses.

School sector representatives from all schools systems across Australia have opposed mandating these requirements but industry representatives maintain that the “quality of outcomes from training” depends on these changes.

The validation of the training packages by stakeholders is aimed at ensuring that the content and structure meets industry needs. This means that the voices of industry groups will have considerable weight in the validation process. Service Skills Australia has indicated it will seek stakeholder support from the Industry Advisory Committee and state and territory authorities before submitting a case for endorsement in November.

Federation has discussed members’ concerns about the potential impact of the draft package with the Department as many teachers fear they may not be able to offer the courses next year. Secondary Education Director Sharon Ford has indicated that if the training package is accepted in its current form it will most likely impact on students who commence both Certificate II Hospitality and Certificate II Kitchen Operations in 2016 as well as students commencing in 2017.

Importantly, she has advised that “schools should continue to plan as they usually would for year 11 2016” and that the Department will provide further information when the final package is approved.

Federation will monitor the situation and will meet with the Department to discuss the impact of any changes to the training package on teachers and students in NSW schools. In addition, if the package is changed, Federation will meet with the Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) to discuss the impact on students, teachers and schools.