With gender equality considered key to creating prosperous, socially-connected and healthy communities and preventing violence against women, Women’s Health Victoria (WHV) and a consortium of industry and training providers have come together to create the nation-leading training.
The consortium – which includes RMIT, Adult Community Education Victoria and Women with Disabilities Victoria is developing a suite of accredited units of competency in gender equity designed to embed gender equity knowledge and skills across a broad range of industries.
The units will be piloted at RMIT’s city campus, Coonara Community House in Melbourne’s outer east and Yarrawonga Neighbourhood House in north-east Victoria.
The training will involve a digitally enhanced learning model, which includes RMIT micro-credentials, and employees from Knox City Council will be among the pilot participants.
Deputy Vice Chancellor Education and Vice-President Professor Belinda Tynan said RMIT was a leader in educational innovation.
“We pride ourselves on both preparing students for the world of work and providing industry with a workforce that is ready to meet the needs of jobs of the future,” she said.
“By incorporating digitally-enhanced learning and micro-credentials, the project harnesses the current wave of new pedagogical design to ensure the project is at the forefront of industry innovation.”
Consortium members have a combined belief that embedding gender equity in vocational training across a wide range of industries is vital, from early childhood education, to disability services, sport and recreation, local government and business management.
With employers continuing to recognise the importance of gender equality – both for building a respectful and productive workplace culture and for ensuring their products and services meet the needs of their clients and customers, the units will be available both as part of pre-service training and as professional development for those already in the workforce.
Women’s Health Victoria CEO Rita Butera said the project provided a wonderful opportunity to work with the vocational education sector to scale up, expand and formalise WHV’s decades of experience as a state-wide leader in gender equity.
“I am excited that this project will ensure current and future workforces across a wide range of industries have the knowledge and skills to build respectful workplaces, and take a gender equitable approach to their work, wherever that work may be,” she said.
Working with WHV, the innovative project has been led within the University by the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, working with other business and academic areas.
The units and training resources will be informed by an applied research program to be delivered by the Monash University Faculty of Education, which will explore the role that values-based teaching and learning strategies can play in designing and delivering training to achieve social change.
The new training will also contribute to the implementation of the Victorian Government’s gender equality strategy, Safe and Strong, by building workforce capacity to implement a range of gender equity activities and strategies.
Story: Karen Phelan