Australia, Taiwan exchange ideas on vocational education

James Renwick,Special to The China Post

Two Australian academics arrived in Taiwan last week to share their knowledge of vocational and technical education. Hoping to rejuvenate Taiwan’s traditional industries and continue to upgrade the skills of the hi-tech workforce, vocational and technical education have become top priorities for the Ministry of Education (MOE). Rod Manns, of the Commonwealth Department of Education, Science and Training Australia and Prof. McMasters, head of creative media at the University of Melbourne who are both policy makers and trainers in Australia took part in a roundtable discussion sponsored by the MOE on June 10, aimed at sharing experience in education and understanding the differences of the Australian and Taiwan systems.

The traineeship system in Australia has been particularly successful and the MOE and Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) plan to employ a similar model in Taiwan to improve training for the workplace. Issues discussed during the conference included the successful integration of education and training systems in Australia and the implications of competency-based vocational education and training and international collaboration. CLA Chief Secretary He Tuan-fan attended the discussion as did many leading Taiwan academics. The discussion was chaired by Deputy minister of education Fan Sun-lu.

On June 11 McMasters and Manns took part in a symposium on education held at National Taiwan Normal University. Also during their visit they visited various education institutions outside of Taipei.