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Changes to operations at WA TAFE colleges from Monday 30 March 2020

Media Statement issued on Saturday, 28 March 2020:

  • TAFE colleges to develop a new delivery of training in response to COVID-19.
  • From Monday, March 30 until April 9, there will be a temporary pause in face-to-face delivery of most courses.
  • Lecturers and non-teaching staff will prepare to move to a new style of training in Term 2.
  • TAFE's role is critical in training people through the pandemic and to prepare for the recovery phase.

Western Australian TAFE colleges will develop a new delivery approach from Monday, March 30 to April 9, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

From Term 2, the blended style of delivery will include learning via online and interactive technologies, and face-to-face delivery where necessary and where adequate social distancing measures can be implemented. This style of delivery is the most appropriate for vocational education and training (VET).

Courses that have been delivered exclusively online will continue to do so. 

From Monday (March 30) until the end of term on April 9, there will be a temporary pause in the face-to-face delivery of most courses.

Face-to-face training in essential service courses such as enrolled nursing and aged care will continue. There will also be practical assessments for hospitality/cookery students and final stage apprentices who need to be assessed in a practical workshop. Arrangements for these courses will be modified to ensure safety. 

Colleges will stay open and essential student services including student resource areas will remain available with social distancing measures applying.

Students are being emailed and/or sent a text message informing them how they will be affected by the changes.

The new measures will allow lecturers and non-teaching staff to continue to prepare to move to the new style of training in Term 2 which starts on April 28, 2020.

The new approach will ensure safety for students and staff as well as providing skills that will be needed during the pandemic and in the critical recovery time afterwards.

TAFE colleges are also extending the use of online and interactive technologies to support study areas which have substantial practical components where appropriate. Metropolitan and regional TAFE colleges are collaborating to support online learning across the State.

The colleges will work with employers to ensure that there is continued training for apprentices. 

VET provides training to help students develop practical skills which meet industry standards. 

Comments attributed to Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery: 

"The new blended delivery model will be flexible, nimble and adaptable in training people for jobs that will be needed during the pandemic and for those jobs that will have a massive role in the recovery process. 

"The model will also provide safety and security for students and staff. 

"TAFE colleges are making every effort to support students and are working to ensure any changes to training delivery do not compromise the expected industry outcomes or the quality of training. 

"The McGowan Government is committed to rebuilding and reshaping Western Australia's economy, and vocational education and training will play a vital role in the creation of a diverse and skilled workforce."

Frequently asked questions


Is TAFE open?
TAFE colleges remain open. Essential services including student resource areas will be available for those that need access to PCs if they don't have access at home. Social distancing and increased cleaning of these areas is in place. Some high priority courses, such as training in essential services, will continue. Your lecturer will give you specific information about arrangements for your course. On-line courses will also continue. Other support services on campus will still be available.

When will I find out what is happening in relation to my course?
There are a number of ways you will find out.

Your college will email or send a text to you this weekend.

Your lecturers will give you further specific information about arrangements for your course.

If students attend class on Monday lecturers will advise them of the new arrangements.

Are online courses continuing?
Yes, if you are currently doing your course on-line, this will continue.

Will I be disadvantaged or be required to pay more?
Students will be assisted to complete their course without extra cost

How will I continue my practical training and job placements?
Options are being looked at such as rescheduling and restructuring courses, and simulated practical training where work placements are unavailable.

How can I access a PC to continue my training if I don't have one at home or I have internet access problems?
Student learning centres will still be open with suitable social distance arrangements. Additional cleaning is occurring in these spaces.

My school student is enrolled for some courses at TAFE, should they attend classes next week?
If you are choosing to have your child stay at home, arrangements will be in place to ensure catch up training is provided. If your child is attending school, the TAFE will work with the school to make suitable arrangements.

I'm an employer and unsure about my apprentice's training?
If training is scheduled during the pause period then you should contact your TAFE to discuss arrangements. In some cases scheduled training may continue.

Which courses will remain face-to-face?
All courses are expected to move in some way to a blended delivery which means that there will be a mix of online, interactive distant learning, and for some courses necessary face-to-face components. The best way to deliver the course will be assessed by lecturers in the period available up until the start of Term 2.

How are TAFEs preventing the spread of COVID19 in courses that continue face to face delivery?
Hygiene practices and social distancing is being practiced in accordance with the most current Health advice. Lecturers are advising students to practice social distancing measures, and are applying and monitoring social distancing during classes.

How will online learning work?
Your lecturer will advise you how your blended learning programme will be delivered.

What if students don't have access to internet or internet access is minimal?
For those students with digital access problems, there will be access to some digital facilities at campuses to continue learning.

Will any student who is unable to access an online delivery method be disadvantaged or penalised?
No student will be penalised and TAFEs will work with students to identify solutions for their specific circumstance.

Will a student who is unable to attend face-to-face delivery classes for COVID19 reasons be penalised?
No student will be penalised and TAFEs will work with students to identify solutions for their specific circumstance.

What support services exist for students?
While training delivery is paused, the colleges remain open should students have any queries about their future studies.

How are we supporting lecturers and staff to deliver online?
The pause in training delivery is to enable lecturers to reframe courses to maximise distant learning to reduce virus transmission risk. Where it is not already in place, a blended delivery of training via online and other interactive modes will be introduced. Face to face delivery will still continue where necessary where adequate social distancing measures can be implemented. TAFEs will work with students that have particular problems with new modes of delivery.

Cleaning arrangement for TAFE colleges?
TAFEs have increased cleaning across all campuses.

How are we assisting International Students?
International students will receive either a text or email to their student account this weekend about the pause in some TAFE activities.

They will also receive information from their lecturer on Monday about specific arrangements for their course. The colleges will be structuring learning to ensure any course catch-up occurs.

As always, TAFE International is available to provide personal assistance to students who are unsure about any issue. Assistance is available by phone on 9218 2100 and by email on admissions.tiwa@dtwd.wa.gov.au.

Students in financial difficulties or needing to return home should also make contact with TAFE International.

Why are TAFE libraries remaining open when the PM ordered all libraries to be shut?
TAFE libraries will only be accessible to TAFE students and staff. They remain open to ensure PCs continue to be available for students who don't have access to equipment or have poor connectivity. TAFEs have increased cleaning across all campuses and social distancing requirements are in place.

Will JSCs still be open?
Yes

What if my apprentice goes to TAFE and the course is paused – what support is there for me?
Employers will be contacted about arrangements for their employees and are welcome to approach their regular point of contact.

What about private RTO's – are they remaining open?
Students who are uncertain of training arrangements should contact their provider directly. RTO's will be assessing their own situation and making their own decisions/arrangements.

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