Learning Sector Updates (21/6/2016)

Learning & Local Business Requirements in the Southern Highlands

We have 50% more university graduates in our region than the NSW average – how can we make it easy and profitable for them to contribute their skills and experience? How do we best align our formal learning with the changing needs of our local businesses?

Ongoing learning is an important driver of prosperity for individuals and businesses:

  • “Each year of education or job training after high school, whenever it occurs in the course of a career, increases average incomes by 6 to 12 per cent.” Robert Reich’s book “I’ll be Short”
  • “Companies that introduced formal employee-training programmes experienced a 19 per cent rise in productivity compared with firms that did not train their workers.” Mike Moore – former NZ Prime Minister and Director General of the World Trade Organisation.

Learning is at the core of the Economic Development Framework for good reason. Without ongoing learning we do not adapt easily.

The key challenges for the Learning Sector are two-fold:

  • To meet individual’s learning needs.
  • Meet the learning / training / retraining needs of any / all Business Sectors.

Both challenges need to be met in a timely and relevant fashion.

Unfortunately this is likely to become much more difficult in the future.

According to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), “five million jobs face a high probability of being replaced in the next decade or two. Emerging technologies are threatening to reshape the economy in very different ways to those of the past”.

Five million jobs is about 40% of the current workforce, so keeping on doing what we have been doing in any sector of our economy is unlikely to meet with much success.

To cope with this impending scale of change the Economic Development Framework assumes the term “Learning” involves broader concepts than our present formal education.

Terms like “Learning Society” and “Lifelong Learning” are more appropriate. (Click here for more on Lifelong Learning)

One benefit of Lifelong Learning is that it sets the scene for learning-related innovation. It facilitates collaboration between traditional providers and typically leads to the subsequent sharing of resources. It allows for different new combinations of learning processes – for example formal Distance Learning combined with local one-on-one mentoring via community members.

Lifelong Learning also helps to shift the focus of learning to more easily shift from simply “learning content” to “learning how to learn” – a prerequisite for “Just In Time” learning. Just in Time learning means our community is better equipped to prosper from change, rather than becoming a victim of it.

Learning Sector Summary: Oct 2015

Learning Sector Summary: July 2015

Where we want to be by 2031

Learning Society

  • Review Council’s role in the promotion of learning across all demographics (2015 Operational Plan)
  • Promote the Southern Highlands as a “Smart Shire” by establishing a Community Learning Initiative (CLI) that delivers benefits to the broadest spectrum of community members and meets our diverse, lifelong, learning needs (2031-EconDev-5.1.1)
  • Encourage the networking of learning and teaching communities across the Highlands (2031-EconDev-5.1.2)
  • Expand further education and training institutes and opportunities available locally and leverage these to attract related public and private sector research bodies (2031-EconDev-5.1.3)
  • Turn ‘grey’ into ‘gold’ by attracting more retirees to the Shire and utilising their skills and experience to volunteer, work, run businesses, and pass on their wisdom to younger generations (2031-EconDev-5.5.6)
  • Encourage school leavers to remain in the Shire by developing effective ‘Transition to Work’ programs (2031-EconDev-5.5.7)
  • Identify and measure social trends and issues to enable formal and informal development of appropriate leadership, knowledge, skills and early responsiveness (2031-People-2.4.2)
  • Education, Employment and Investment – We deliver our own projects and work with partner agencies to promote education and strong regional economies. (RDA Table-SH)
  • Grant Support. We promote funding opportunities and support applicants. (RDA Table-SH)

Learning How to Be Sustainable

  • Wingecarribee communities live sustainably by choice (2031-Environ-4.2)
  • Engage and encourage community by developing programs to explore ways by which we may all live more sustainably (2031-Environ-4.2.3)
  • Educate the Community about how to live sustainably (2031-Environ-4.2.4)

State-Federal Initiatives

  • Regional Employer’s Roadshow. Our events deliver valuable information to employers. (RDA Table-SH)
  • Regional Skilled Migration. We certify Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Visa applications and sponsor State Sponsored Migration (489) Visa applicants. (RDA Table-SH)

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