ACFE division fact sheet

About the new dedicated Adult, Community and Further Education (ACFE) Division.

4 Nov 2021

Strong place-based adult education

The Victorian Government’s enhanced focus on adult education.

Recent changes to the sector

Victoria’s approach to skills and training is being revitalised.

As part of this reform, a dedicated Adult, Community and Further Education (ACFE) Division (the Division) has been created within the Department of Education and Training’s Higher Education and Skills (HES) group.

Providing adult education in local community settings that supports learners to achieve their learning goals is a critical piece of the higher education and training landscape. Changes to the skills system in Victoria strengthens the quality and delivery of pre-accredited training (also known as Learn Local courses) to make sure learners develop the core skills they need to engage in further study and work, and to pursue pathways to employment.

Technology continues to provide new opportunities for the sector to work together, such as improving the ability to share data and insights to inform decision making. The new Division will collaborate with the new Office of TAFE Coordination and Delivery (OTCD) and the Victorian Skills Authority (VSA), to match skills training to the community’s and industry’s increased needs.

Roles and responsibilities

The Division will continue to work with the ACFE Board to deliver the vision and expectations outlined in the Ministerial Statement on the Future of Adult Community Education in Victoria 2020-25. It leads a range of projects and initiatives that improve outcomes for adult learners across Victoria.

The Division, with oversight from the ACFE Board, manages the planning, procurement and monitoring of pre-accredited training delivered through the network of Learn Local providers. It works with these providers to support and enable responsible, innovative and collaborative solutions that address the place-based training needs of employers, the community and individuals.

In addition, with direction from the ACFE Board, the Division undertakes research and projects to improve training and employment pathways and opportunities for adult learners that need assistance to develop their educational capacity and core skills. The Division provides strategic advice to the Department to shape adult education policy and program development.

The ACFE Division has its own Executive Director, who works collaboratively to connect the Division with programs led by the HES group, the OTCD, VSA and other Departments across state and federal governments.

Collaboration across the VET sector

The Department is implementing additional changes to drive further innovation across the Victorian education and training sector.

The HES group remains the steward of the Victorian education and training system, including the ACFE Division, and is responsible for policy funding, market settings and system oversight and has greater capacity to establish strategic relationships with OTCD and VSA.

The VSA connects community, industry and training providers, creating an annual skills plan that responds to Victoria’s employment needs. The Division, ACFE Board, ACFE Regional Councils and Learn Local providers are among the industry insiders that contribute data and insights to develop the plan. Other stakeholders from across the training and skills landscape, employers and students will also contribute.

Supported by the skills plan and the stronger connections built by the VSA, Learn Local providers and registered training organisations will deliver training that gives students greater confidence of getting a job. Providers can develop more partnerships with employers, allowing more effective on-the-job training.

The OTCD has been established within the Department to enhance collaboration across the TAFE network and to promote the growth of partnerships between TAFEs and their respective Learn Local providers. Working together, the Division and the OTCD supports the transition of learners who face barriers to social and economic inclusion to build their educational capacity. These arrangements contribute to a joined-up education and training sector.

About the Learn Local sector

Adults who want to develop core skills for study, work or life can enrol in pre-accredited training (known as Learn Local courses) offered by providers throughout the year. These short courses range from literacy and numeracy to job-related and digital skills and are delivered by experienced trainers.

Learn Local providers work with TAFEs, businesses and communities to identify and respond to local training needs and opportunities.

There are over 240 contracted Learn Local providers across Victoria, currently offering a unique mix of quality core skills training. The Victorian Government, through the ACFE Board, registers and contracts these community-based organisations so people can study and work in their local area.

Learn Local providers also sometimes offer other services, not funded by the ACFE Board, but complement their delivery of Learn Local courses (such as accredited training) and can assist learners to engage and complete their training.

In 2019, nearly 30,000 Victorians undertook short courses delivered by Learn Local providers. Over 30 per cent of learners that enrol in Learn Local courses go on to accredited training at a TAFE or another training provider. Many learners who complete pre-accredited training to get a job successfully achieve that goal.

For more information about the ACFE Board and Learn Local sector, check out our page on the Victorian Government website or visit the Learn Local website.