TAFE teachers continue to work from home
As our school colleagues are preparing for a staged return to classroom teaching commencing next week, the Victorian Chief Health Officer’s advice for TAFEs – if you can work from home then you should work from home – remains unchanged. As DET has stated, this means the vast majority of TAFE programs will continue with online and remote learning in its current form, until further notice.
TAFEs can continue to offer face-to-face training where necessary. But, as the student cohort are adults, social distancing, strict cleaning and hygiene practices must be in place in line with health advice to ensure the safety of staff and students.
The Department of Education and Training (DET) has a dedicated email address, COVID19.firstname.lastname@example.org for staff and students who have questions or want more information about the provision of training as the situation regarding COVID-19 continues to evolve.
Working from home allowance for TAFE teachers
Yesterday, following weeks of negotiations with the AEU, DET confirmed that TAFE teachers will be given a working from home allowance similar to what has been provided in schools.
A one-off payment of $100 for home office expenses will be provided, as well as $20 per week for home office consumables and utilities. This $20 weekly payment will be paid on a pro-rata basis, based on the employee’s time fraction. The payment will be back dated to 9 April 2020 and will continue until DET advises the policy has been lifted.
VCE VET programs as schools return
TAFEs are awaiting further clarification regarding VCE VET delivery on TAFE campuses as the staggered return to school classrooms begins on 26 May.
The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) is encouraging schools and TAFEs where possible to support students to complete units contained within the VCE VET programs and to undertake tasks as close to normally as possible.
The VCAA has published information on all the examinable units of competency from each scored VCE VET program Units 3 and 4 sequence. The document provides specific advice on where it is possible to complete units of competency online or remotely and where this is not suitable.
Apprenticeship and Trainee program
The AEU has welcomed the 15 May Victorian government announcement on its new initiative to help apprentices and trainees retrenched as a result of the coronavirus crisis to complete their education and find work.
The program is designed to help affected apprentices and trainees be placed with an appropriate employer.
By helping them to complete their apprenticeships or traineeships, the program will ensure they are well placed to contribute to a skilled and productive workforce as Victoria moves forward to a period of recovery.
Apprentices and trainees who register will be supported by a project officer until they are placed with an employer.
Vice President, TAFE and Adult Provision