Web version ACAL

December 2018

In this issue

1. From the Co-Presidents

2. VET Sector Review

3. Conversation starters

4. Conferences

5. Reading Writing Hotline

6. Australian Training Awards

1. From the Co-Presidents

Traditionally we think it's winding down time as we approach the holidays, but ACAL has been extremely busy with several issues that have taken us by surprise. Firstly the news that Australia is not participating in PIAAC (we weren't, then we were, and now we're not!) but as there has been no written confirmation we have been trying to get a response from the responsible department around how and why the decision was made. There's a lot of information available about PIAAC and many of the arguments are concisely summarised in this month's conversation starter, thanks to Pam Osmond (NSWALNC).

Our second priority is to provide feedback to the Foundation Skills Training Package review. It's available online on the PwC's Skills for Australia website and closes in the first week of January. We encourage you to jump on and have your say. We think it is particularly important to provide some input from the field around what you think educators working with this training package should hold in terms of qualifications.

The third thing, and another surprise, is the recently announced review of the VET Sector. ACAL will be submitting a response - The Review will accept submissions from interested parties, with a deadline of 25 January 2019. In a recent member email we invited you to contribute your ideas to our response. There's a lot of interest – within minutes of the email being sent we had received the first reply.

christmas bellsOur best wishes go to everyone at this time of year and we look forward to hearing from you again in the New Year.

Jo and Daniella

Australian involvement in PIAAC

The updates around PIAAC can be found here

Consider contacting your local MP

Here's draft that you can edit and send along to your local MP through facebook or via email if you wanted to get involved too.

The Foundation Skills Training Package Review

PWC Skills for Australia is accepting comments and suggestions for the review of the FSK training package until the 7th January 2019. Even if you do not use this training package, you may be able to provide valuable feedback on this training package. In addition to specific comments about the draft units of competency, this is an opportunity to provide some feedback on the trainer and assessor requirements for literacy and numeracy qualifications.

Conversation Starters

In this newsletter we are pleased to include a conversation starter by Pam Osmond. Pam is on the NSWALNC and a former member of the ACAL Committee. Her work here provides further information on the PIAAC and we hope you have an opportunity to explore and discuss this writing in your workplace. Many thanks to Pam for allowing us to share this.

2. VET Sector Review

The federal government has commissioned an independent review of the vocational education and training (VET) sector 'to ensure Australians have the right skills to succeed in a changing labour market, and businesses have access to the skills they need to grow the business.'

Item 6 in the terms of reference says ‘It may review whether additional support is needed for vulnerable cohorts, including those currently unemployed and at risk of unemployment, or those with low literacy and numeracy skills.’

The deadline for submissions is 25 January 2019.

ACAL will be preparing a submission

If you wish to contribute, send your information to info@acal.edu.au using the subject line 'VET Review comments'.

Our deadline is even tougher Dec 10, 2018 but you - as individuals or organisations - should definitely consider making your own submission when the submission process is announced (nowhere to send them yet!)

3. Conversation starters

Faces and fingers

PIAAC The International Adult Literacy survey – should Australia take part?

ACAL members across Australia have been considering the value of PIAAC, which is the topic in the conversation starter this month. Conversation starters are the views and perspectives of the author and the ACAL committee encourages you all to have a read and use this as both a means of professional development as well as an opportunity to start conversations. This month we thank Pam Osmond, from NSWALNC, for her summary of the debate around PIAAC. We hope it stimulates your thinking and provides an opening for discussions with others to explore the issues.

Have you read it? A review of documents relating to adult literacy and numeracy

This month Jo has reviewed two new papers:

In addition, there's a look back at 2013 and the introduction of the Foundation Skills Training Package.

We welcome suggestions for future reviews.

Previous conversation starters

4. Conferences

ACAL Conference 2019 – Save the Date

Conference Theme: Critical re-imagining: adult literacy and numeracy practices for sustainable development

Dates: Pre-conference Thursday 3rd October 2019; conference Friday 4th October to Saturday 5th October.

Australia is a signatory to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This Agenda has been developed as 'a plan for action for people, planet and prosperity'. It is a plan to end poverty and hunger, to protect our planet, to enable all human beings to enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives in peaceful, just and inclusive societies.

This conference invites participants to consider the role of adult literacy and numeracy education in promoting this agenda including the most directly pertinent goal to our field: Goal 4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Venue: Aerial Function Centre UTS Ultimo Sydney.

WAALC 2019 Conference

WAALC 2019 Conference

VALBEC 2019 Conference

VALBEC 2019 conference

5. Reading Writing Hotline

Take a look at the Reading Writing Hotline website were you will find a multitude of resources and current information about adult literacy.

6. Australian Training Awards

Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award 2018 Winner

Lidia Lipkiewicz, South Australia

Lidia Lipkiewicz

When Lidia was a TAFE lecturer in 1995, she was working with a group of disengaged youths from one of Australia's most disadvantaged areas. The students had low levels of literacy, low self-esteem, lacked confidence, and didn't want to be in the classroom.

Lidia found a way to get the students working by creating an action/competency/project based learning environment and has been hooked on this method ever since.

She is now teaching English to migrant job-seekers. With the new funding model, the push for employment outcomes and greater scrutiny on quality and reporting systems, with reduced resources, posed a challenge.  Lidia saw an opportunity, and with the backing of her managers, introduced a weekly, project-based program called 'Plan a Project'. The program helped students gain the English skills and confidence essential to the work place and develop employability skills. A large percentage of them got jobs.