NSW Nationals Acting Leader and Member for Bathurst Paul Toole has revealed a new policy statement on the importance of Adult and Community Education (ACE) in regional NSW.

The new policy statement was developed following a review of the sector that included around 250 community providers across NSW

“Verto has been delivering training and education in our local community since 1983. They have been helping those who may face significant barriers onto pathways to get a job, advance their careers or to access other training,” Mr Toole said.

“This statement clarifies the ACE sector position in the education market, recognising the sector, complements educational programs in schools, TAFE, universities and other training providers.

“They also assist our most disadvantaged citizens to engage with training that will give them skills to participate in the workforce and they provide lifestyle and personal development courses to keep us active in mind and body.”

Mr Toole said that equipping our students for jobs of the future was a crucial element to the COVID-19 Recovery Plan.

The NSW Nationals in the state government currently fund 33 ACE providers through the NSW ACE Program to deliver foundation skills, part qualifications, non-accredited training and support services. They target disadvantaged students with barriers to accessing traditional vocational education and training and to gain skills sets and qualifications for work.

“The public benefit of education and training cannot be underestimated particularly at this time when the state is emerging from our COVID-19 lockdown. Many people have lost their job and are needing to develop new skills to re-enter the workforce,” Mr Toole said.

“We are relying on the training providers in NSW to provide the highest quality training to equip people for work and restart our economy. The ACE providers in NSW are in a position to do just that.”