As we brace ourselves to enter a new decade I seem to be wondering, where did 2019 go?
This blog takes you through the highs and lows of the year and what’s to come in 2020 for the VET sector.
The latest figures released at the end of October tell us that 2018 saw the engagement of more than 4 million learners within the VET space with a total VET funding from the government of more than $6 billion. Digging deeper into historical data it’s clear that although the total number of VET students has been relatively stable at approximately 4 million over the last 3 years, it seems that program enrolments have taken a significant hit, coming down from 3,079,975 in 2015, to 2,622,520 in 2018, a reduction of nearly 15%, clearly a call for action for a broad range of stakeholders.
September saw the announcement of a change in leadership for ASQA - Mark Paterson, concluding his term as Chief Commissioner and CEO of ASQA after almost 3 years. Mark saw ASQA out of the “embattled VET FEE-HELP debacle”. Mark has also led ASQA through a period that has seen around 750 RTO’s be deregistered. ASQA are yet to announce a permanent replacement and for the interim have assigned the role to Ms Saxon Rice who has been the Deputy Chief Commissioner since April 2018.
In October The Australian Government announced significant reforms to the VET sector. The changes include a new VET Stakeholder Committee and plans to expand ASQA’s role to provide more of an educative approach to VET sector regulation. This has been bolstered by subsequent press release from Ms Saxon Rice, ASQA Acting Chief Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, clarifying her desire to, “ensure that we maintain a strong and productive relationship with the Australian VET sector. This relationship should be based on a foundation of communication, transparency and collaboration.” Ms Rice also acknowledged that the positive achievements of the sector have not always received the focus that they deserve, and noted that, “In the last financial year, the vast majority of providers have not presented any identified risks requiring regulatory scrutiny, or have been found to be compliant when audited”. Although still clearly defining that strong action is required against providers failing to meet their obligations, expressions to support quality providers and a desire to collaborate and work with providers to succeed I’m sure are welcomed changed to the regulatory approach. We wait in anticipation of positive changes that we see next year. Watch this space!
It seems youth are still struggling to bridge the gap between high school and life beyond. According to Youth Engagement body Year13, the 15-24 year olds of today see themselves in contrast to how they see older generations, as significantly more tech savvy, open minded, entrepreneurial, and motivated (source Year13/After the ATAR report).
The ever increasing development and adoption of technology we continue to observe, represents a huge shift in possibilities for the way we all work. As younger generations mature there lies an increasing opportunity to engage and connect with more generations through well designed experiences and interfaces. We continue to be excited about the opportunities that we face in this space, and what the Cloud Assess of tomorrow, next year and next decade will be.
As we mature as a company we continue to invest in bright new people to help us realise our aspirations and bring you closer to your business goals. This year saw us take on Steve Millard, an experienced Relationship Manager and someone who has experienced vocational education at all levels. It has been great to see Steve working hard to support customers and prospects on their journeys.
We have also have taken on Victor in our development team. Originally from Brazil, Victor has brought us a wealth of experience in a range of new technologies that will elevate our product and your experience to greater heights.
In our broader community we’ve been proud to be able to give support to the Australian Koala Foundation, with a donation contributing to the crucial koala manifesto that they are working on.
I was humbled by the amazing experience of riding my bike to raise money for cancer research. Although the ride was a long 1600km, it was an amazing experience through which I met loads of great people. The combined efforts of all 42 riders have raised more than $500,000 towards crucial cancer research. Our Marketing lead Helen also got stuck into the Mothers Day Classic and the Relay for Life this year, again raising crucial funds for cancer research. A great cause and great effort.
We were honoured to receive the Mayors Award for Innovation this year from the Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards. We will continue to innovate in the VET sector to provide our clients with the best in digital training and assessment.
Another feature rich year has passed by, and as we continue to deliver on new functionality. We’re energised by the great feedback we receive from our customers and users.
This year saw us deliver:
Cloud Assess ALTO - the updated interface
Logbooks - enabling more effective evidence gathering and reporting of workplace experience
Paths - enabling contextualisation of resources for the same unit of competency
3rd Party Users - allowing you to engage with your workplace or parental stakeholders
Reports - giving valuable insight to performance or opportunities, and a fantastic update to our online enrolment solution
Enrolment Engine - giving you the best price and most flexible solution in the industry.
Our commitment to ongoing product development has never been stronger, as a result we have brought more talent to the development team this year. The exciting roadmap we have to bring us through 2020 will, as always, be focused on standout and aligned features to support RTOs in their goals.
Our uptime for 2019 over a 24/7 was 99.9711%. This includes the out of hours maintenance that we perform. This equates to 152 minutes over the year.
As a company we have always been driven to provide the best we can, not just in terms of product, but also in terms of the service we support it with. Our aspirations to provide the best service mean we still lead the way in responsive and meaningful customer support. This year to date we have provided a median non-automated first response in just 37 seconds! That’s 11 seconds less than last year. We have also achieved a median time to close issues of 62 minutes. These statistics were achieved across more than 21,000 replies to questions or queries from our customers and users.
Providing this level of support is a significant investment in customer service that we see as crucial to the outcomes of our clients.
2020 Whats to come
2020 is a time for Clear Vision, which was the turn of phrase we used to bring you more value from your Training and Assessment Management System. Taking into consideration the insights of the industry and demographics, we have some cutting edge features on the road map for the early new year. Stay tuned for more information. In the meantime I’d like to personally thank all of our customers for your continued support and all the best for Christmas and the New Year.
Managing Director / Founder