Wendy Heatley calls for free education assessments and recognition of skills

Instead of putting more money into the Tasmanian Education Foundation to encourage higher education, the Government should provide free assessment services for employees to gain accredited qualifications, Wendy Heatley, Greens Candidate for Pembroke, said today. Ms Heatley, a former Fulbright Scholar in vocational education and training, said, “ Tasmania has the lowest rate of post-school qualifications in the country. However, many employees have gained skills through their work and personal endeavours yet have no recognition for that. As a manager, I have found if people can be assessed for their current competencies and gain a qualification, it can spur them on to become more productive employees and to take on further education.”

“For example, an employee whose skills are accredited at a Certificate III level may then decide to upgrade to a Diploma course. Some employees may even continue to university level once they have gained confidence through having a qualification. People who have acted in a management role may be more likely to gain a promotion when the position is advertised if they have a qualification.

“Having a workforce that is recognised for its skills will be an incentive for businesses to establish in Tasmania. Providing free assessment services for people currently employed in the workforce is a low cost way of increasing the education level in Tasmania and of identifying any skill gaps which can be filled by training programs” Ms Heatley said.

“Free assessment services could also be provided to people who had gained skills through voluntary work” said Ms Heatley. “For example, people who have experience caring for others may be able to gain a qualification which they could then use to help them gain part-time or full-time employment”.

Authorised by Karen Cassidy, 83 Harrington St., HOBART 7000.