This report is divided into nine sections plus five appendices:
The Introduction (Section 1) describes the project, how it fits into the NSW Government Regional Development Framework, and reviews the capabilities of regional and rural community education providers.
Section 2 discusses the current Australian regional economic development, and the importance of place-based approaches that align with community education provider strengths.
Section 3 details the geography and operations of regional and rural NSW Community Education Providers, their role in delivering government-funded VET and their economic contributions to the NSW regional and rural economy.
Section 4 describes the economic challenges facing regional and rural Australia, the performance of the regional economy, and educational access, including regional and rural VET delivery.
Section 5 analyses NSW Government policies and programs that impact community education providers and regional economic development.
Section 6 analyses Australian Government policies and programs, and includes a case study of how infrastructure funding in 2009/10 assisted community providers.
Section 7 details the economic development activities of community providers.
Section 8 analyses the barriers to regional economic development participation: government, trainers and assessors, and resources/infrastructure.
Section 9 looks at new opportunities for regional economic development, including engagement of older workers, working with Indigenous communities, business incubators, entrepreneurship and social enterprises, how philanthropic funding can assist economic development, and how the concepts can be extended to Western Sydney.
Appendix A details the people and organisations consulted for this report.
Appendix B describes the activities during the Mullumbimby Regional Economic Development Forum in October (see graphic below).
Appendix C shows the locations and postcodes where regional and rural NSW community education organisations operate (see map below).
Appendix D summarises student cohorts for government-Funded VET in NSW in 2016 by type of provider.
Appendix E details the economic development activities undertaken by NSW regional and rural community education providers.
The report expands on CCA’s February 2017 paper, The Role of Community Education in Australian Regional and Rural Economic Development.