The Skills Australia Report 2010, Creating a Future Direction for Australian Vocational Education, states that the VET workforce is ageing with many practitioners needing to be replaced due to retirement or supplemented with additional staff due to scaling down to part-time work. This is especially evident with TAFE staff where 66.9 per cent of the workforce are aged 45 years or more in 2005. The report concluded that the future capacity of the sector would be compromised without sufficient qualified and experienced staff.
To contribute sustainable and meaningful change to teaching and learning in Australian schools that will prepare students for further education, training and to live and work in a digital world, the Australian Government has put in place the Digital Education Revolution (DER), including providing funding of more than $2.4 billion for the National Secondary Schools Computer Fund. The program is on track to deliver access to a computer to every Year 9-12 student by the end of 2011.
The Australian Government has also invested in ensuring that teachers and parents are well-equipped to make use of ICT to improve childrens’ learning outcomes, through initiatives such as Online Diagnostic Tools, the Online Curriculum Resources and Digital Architecture Initiative, and the Digital Strategy for Teachers and School Leaders.
The DER is providing students and educators with the tools and training needed to equip them for an NBN-empowered digital economy. Together with the roll out of the Australian curriculum, this will result in greater demand for, and use of, online educational resources for teaching and learning purposes. The sector is actively engaged in developing curriculum resources that take advantage of digital technology and that can be shared across traditional boundaries. The NBN will support access to these resources and, in addition, offers new opportunities to ensure that specialist resources and educational opportunities are enjoyed by all Australians, no matter where they live.