The Community Education sector in Australia plays a significant role in educating Australian’s across a range of areas, including leisure courses, vocational education and training, schooling, and higher education. Each of these aspects of community education providers plays a role in engaging local communities with education, and in supporting individuals within those communities.
Although many people don’t think of community education providers and Australian Apprenticeships in the same sentence, over 2% of Australian Apprentices are doing their qualification at a community provider. Further, apprentices and trainees make up 7.5% of vocational education and training students in community providers.
… apprentices and trainees make up 7.5% of vocational education and training students in community providers.
As part of servicing their communities, community education providers often work with individuals who face some form of disadvantaged or life transition. Of the apprentices and trainees in community education providers:
- 14.3% have no schooling above year 9 level;
- 38.7% over the age of 25 years, including 7.3% over 50 years;
- 12.6% are Indigenous Australians.
Figure 1 looks at the qualifications that apprentices and trainees are doing at community providers compared with other vocational education and training providers. We see that fewer community education apprentices and trainees are doing certificate III qualifications, with higher percentages at certificate II, certificate IV and Diploma or higher levels. Of the apprentices and trainees in community providers, 5.9% are in technical and trades areas. This compares with 82.7% in TAFEs, and 37.2% in private RTOs.