TAFE training opens opportunities for teachers and students

COLLABORATION: TAFE regional general manager Kate Baxter and Xing Wan from the Shanghai Association for Community Health. Photo: SUPPLIED
COLLABORATION: TAFE regional general manager Kate Baxter and Xing Wan from the Shanghai Association for Community Health. Photo: SUPPLIED

CHANGING work habits in China have driven a need for aged care and childcare training out of Orange.

TAFE NSW regional general manager Kate Baxter recently returned from a 10-day visit to the country where she finalised a number of partnerships for TAFE teachers to train personnel in China and create exchange opportunities for students. 

She said it had been a four-year effort to open the market.

“There’s been a shift in how families care for their children and elderly people – there’s more two-income households so those traditional models aren’t available for people anymore,” she said. 

“We’re seeing a significant growth in childcare and care for older people as well.”

A memorandum of understanding signed with Guangdong Open Education Co will allow TAFE teachers to deliver aged care and early childhood masterclasses to Chinese teachers and the Central West will play host to teachers and students on study trips.

An agreement signed with Renji Hospital in Shanghai has paved the way for TAFE to provide nursing training from next week.

Meanwhile, Jiangsu Agricultural College will send 31 students to Orange and the region for a 10-week study tour focusing on English language and animal studies from July to September, and a group of teachers in August.

The agreements built on the 2016 partnership with the AXGZ International Vocational Education Institute, which will send staff to Orange for a study tour, and Caretek in Guangzhou where 20 Chinese teachers recently undertook an aged care and nursing masterclass delivered by TAFE teachers.

This year, 40 students will travel to China and 10 to India, focusing on nursing, early childhood education and management.

“It’s important for a couple of reasons – for our staff, it’s important for them to see education as a global market and to use their skills,” Ms Baxter said. 

“For young people in regional NSW, it’s a tremendous opportunity – the first place they land is Shanghai, which has 20 million people, and it opens their minds.”

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