Australian vocational experts partner with India for leadership training

New Delhi, feb. 16 (ANI): A group of Indian community college leaders will today begin taking part in an intensive mentoring workshop with some of Australia’s best skills development experts.

The three-day mentoring workshop focuses on key aspects of leadership, including governance, engagement with industry and students, and qualifications frameworks. It will be conducted by specialists from Australia’s government-owned Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutes and their peak national body – TAFE Directors Australia.

Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner to India, Chris Elstoft, welcomed the initiative.

“Both the Australian and Indian Governments recognise the important role skills play in improving productivity, fostering economic growth and transforming society,” said Elstoft.

The workshop is the final part of a three-tier Vocational Education and Leadership Training (VELT) project, aimed at building the leadership and organisational capacity of India’s community colleges. The University Grants Commission (UGC) oversees the community colleges.

The Chairman of the University Grants Commission, Professor Ved Prakash, said that it is heartening to see Australia and India work together in the context of UGC’s broader activities.

“UGC and the Government of India have given a vocational orientation to Indian higher education. They have introduced programs leading to the award of Bachelor, Masters & PhD Degrees in different domains of vocations for gainful employment. In addition they have set up 223 Community Colleges, 182 Bachelor of Vocational programs and 64 Kaushal Kendras which are offering a variety of programs in as many as 76 trades,” he said.

In addition to this week’s mentoring workshop, the VELT project included a one-week tailored workshop in New Delhi in June 2014 for 35 community college leaders and a professional development placement of 10 community college leaders at Australian TAFE institutions in February 2015.

The VELT project has taken place under the Australia India Education Council, a bi-national body co-chaired by the Australian and Indian Education Ministers to drive the Australia-India education, training and research agenda. (ANI)

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