VET training co-design leads to better outcomes for First Nations peoples

The Australian Centre for Career Education's innovative approach.

The Australian Centre for Career Education

For several years, the Australian Centre for Career Education (ACCE) had difficulty retaining First Nations learners, many of whom gave feedback that course delivery and content were barriers to engagement.

To address this problem, ACCE applied for a Regional and Specialist Training Fund (RSTF) grant in 2021 to pilot an innovative approach to vocational education and training (VET) training for the Graduate Certificate in Career Development Practice which used a First Nations knowledge system of delivery predicated on self-determination.

The training empowered the learners to become career practitioners so they could develop and deliver services to their communities.

The grant provided funding for continued customisation, consultancy and delivery for up to ten places for First Nations learners. The first group of learners completed their training in March 2023.

With the support and guidance of First Nations consultants, such as Aunty Carol Harrison, ACCE has facilitated program delivery by First Nations teachers to First Nations learners in the postgraduate program.

This unique model demonstrates how a culturally appropriate, co-designed approach to vocational learning can significantly improve learner outcomes. Although more can be done, it also reflects the value of programs like the RSTF in building career development capacity within First Nations communities.