The VET sector is intrinsically linked to jobs and to productivity. It supports Australian industry to be globally competitive. For that reason, industry leadership of the VET sector is important.
Under the current system, industry plays a key role in identifying the skills requirements of their sectors. They are involved in the development of units of competency and the packaging of these into qualifications, however that is where their structured involvement with training and assessment ends. Industry has limited influence over what, how and when training is delivered, and how it is funded. It is recognised that industry does have a more integral role in apprenticeships or traineeships, but this pathway now represents less than 10% of the VET sector.
A truly industry-led system would have industry involved at all stages of the system, not only the beginning.
Below is the image of the Skills Pipeline published in the Skills Organisations National co-design Discussion Paper – September 2019. It shows the stages under the current VET system to develop a competent workforce. Currently, industry is only involved, in a structured manner, in stages one and partially in stage two. I.e. industry is involved in the work to identify and forecast skills (stage 1) and in one of the three areas in stage two – ‘Skills Standards Development’. There are degrees of engagement with industry in the other stages, but these have not resulted in industry having significant influence over the delivery of training or how it is assessed. As a result, the VET sector has huge accessibility issues where some industries miss out on much needed training (more details on this under Thin Markets and RTO Delivery Challenges).
Our research so far has revealed a potential solution, where industry leadership can be channelled in the latter stages of the skills pipeline. Two key areas need to be addressed:
- The first is renaming ‘Training Packages’ to ‘Industry Work Skill Standards’. This clearly would demonstrate to industry that they have a direct connection to the VET sector. We know that industry are far more interested in commenting on skill standards than commenting on something that appears to be an RTO training product.
- The second is to ensure that industry have an active and recognised role in the VET sector, which would result in direct enterprise contributions towards training, mainly through supervised work practice.
Read more about this potential solution under A solution will require improved training products.
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VET Improvements Survey
Summary of findings available shortly
Skills Impact took some ideas for VET system improvement that our IRCs and stakeholders have shared with us and asked Griffith University to compile a short, anonymous survey to help test whether the issues are important enough to be on the table of VET policy makers.
Thank you to everybody that took part in this survey. Over 500 responses were received between April and August 2020.
Griffith University are analysing the data and will report on the findings once this analysis is complete.
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