World Congress 2018
The 2018 World Congress was held in Melbourne, Australia, and was wrapped up with a closing ceremony focused on students, a reminder to the 800 delegates in attendance, of the core of professional and technical education and training (PTET).
Over 250 delegates travelled from all corners of the globe to participate in the World Congress and pre-Congress activities: Young Leaders Camp, Leadership Institute, Site Visits, and Affinity Group workshops. The three-day World Congress was one of Australia’s largest gatherings of education and skills leaders, with almost 140 speakers and 44 concurrent sessions, under the theme of Preparing for the Skills Future, Now.
Before the Congress, World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics Chair and TAFE Directors Australia, CEO, Craig Robertson said, “Delegates can expect to hear some thought-provoking presentations about the threats to jobs, skills and training as we know them and how our education and training systems must be redesigned to prepare students for the jobs of the future.”
Speakers and presenters explored the changing nature of work with particular focus on the impact of advances in technologies and automation on PTET. The World Congress focussed on solutions to these challenges and provided an opportunity for international delegates to look at their own PTET systems from the outside and compare their readiness to that of other countries.
Leadership Institute participants heard from foremost labour and education experts from around the world and engaged in active group discussions about the implications of trends on the sector and the greatest challenges to PTET. Participants were engaged in setting the direction of the WFCP as it embarks on a new strategic plan.
Students from Australia, Chile, Brazil, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, China and Hong Kong took part in the four-day Young Leaders Camp, held at the Lilydale Campus of Box Hill Institute. In the WFCP’s first accredited youth camp, the young leaders considered the challenges to PTET sector and counselled leaders of PTET to #breakthebox in education.
Melbourne-area TAFEs opened their doors to delegates with tours of their campuses and facilities. Shorter site visits enabled Affinity Group workshop attendees to visit a campus before their workshop. Eight affinity group workshops were held across the city allowing participants to delve into the topics of the existing affinity groups and herald the launch of the Federation’s newest group: Global Skills and Mobility.
The World Congress also hosted the Federation’s third Awards of Excellence ceremony. At the Congress dinner, Awards were handed out at the “Oscars of the Professional and Technical and Training” world in seven categories with 22 recipients recognized. The night also launched the Federation’s second publication: The World’s Best Practice Guide in Professional and Technical Education and Training, featuring the 22 recipients of the 2018 awards.
Mr. Robertson wrapped up the Congress with his address at the Closing Ceremony bringing focus back to students, noting to delegates that, “The biggest change we, as educators, can bring to the world is to build a new sense of purpose in our students – one of hope of a bright future open to all, not just those lucky enough to have the skills of the moment. Our task ultimately, despite the advances in technology and the changes it will bring, is to unearth and refine the talents of our students.”
The 2018 World Congress was organized by TAFE Directors Australia with the support of Victorian TAFE Association and students and faculty of Melbourne’s TAFEs.