A new Report from Community Colleges Australia (CCA) highlights how NSW community education providers contribute to the state’s regional and rural economic development. It concludes that the not-for-profit community education sector constitutes a major economic development resource that has been under-utilised by state, Commonwealth and local governments.
Three changes needed says the research:
• reducing barriers to participation in government-funded economic development projects;
• including not-for-profit community education providers in multi-sector regional economic development planning activities; and
• increasing the capacity of community education providers themselves to participate in economic development through improved facilities and better access to training.
The work also reviews challenges facing the regional NSW economy and the delivery of regional and rural VET, analyses the scope of activities and economic impact of community providers, and includes recommendations that span NSW and Commonwealth regional development programs.
CCA has found innovative ways that community education providers can add to NSW regional economic development. These include training under-utilised older workers, collaborating with Aboriginal land councils, expanding business incubators, encouraging entrepreneurship and social enterprises and leveraging philanthropy.
The Report was produced with the assistance of the NSW Government through the NSW Department of Industry. CCA looks forward to working closely with the NSW and Commonwealth Governments to contribute our sector’s capabilities to expand the State’s economic opportunities.