Learning Pathways for Economic Enterprise in Remote Aboriginal Communities: Are Certificate IIIs the ticket?

McRae-Williams, Eva and Guenther, John (2014) Learning Pathways for Economic Enterprise in Remote Aboriginal Communities: Are Certificate IIIs the ticket? In: 17th AVETRA International Conference: Informing changes in VET policy and practice: The central role of research, 22-23 April, Surfers Paradise QLD.

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For many of us, when conjuring up a picture of very remote Aboriginal Australia, our images are drawn from a common storehouse of disadvantage, where the consequences of low levels of education, and high rates of unemployment, shade the environment with unpleasant tones. From this position it is not difficult to see why ‘closing the gap’ in education and employment outcomes directs our future imagining for these people. If only we could get more people finishing school, achieving VET qualifications at certificate three or above then in the future more people would be able to get jobs, and their lives would reflect something better. But is this picture one that has been built up from the evidence or one that is more rooted in the ground of common and often unquestioned assumptions. Is holding a certificate the most valid or effective ticket needed for supporting people along their livelihood pathways?

As part of the Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation (NintiOne) ‘Pathways to Employment’ project, this paper will provide a brief snap shot of remote Australia using the 2011 Census Data. By reviewing current VET qualifications and industry profiles questions will be raised about the assumed positive link between formal qualification and employment outcomes. These assumptions will be further problematized through drawing on case study findings associated with a non-formal, non-accredited learning approach to microenterprise development being implemented by a small not-for-profit organisation, Enterprise Learning Projects. The paper will conclude by emphasising the need for the VET system to re-imagine its role in remote Aboriginal communities from the delivery of competencies to the facilitation of learning spaces that build identity and agency.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Field of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130108 Technical, Further and Workplace Education
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130301 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Research Collaboration Area: Education
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2015 22:56
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2018 03:35
URI: https://eprints.batchelor.edu.au/id/eprint/401

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