Skills Impact’s Program to Support the VET Reform
Prime Minister Scott Morrison reminded Australia of his commitment to vocational education and training (VET) reform at the beginning of this year and more recently in May. A VET Reform Roadmap has been drafted and there has been several opportunities over the past year for Australians to provide feedback to the Government on VET Reform, including to its Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow package.
These initiatives recognise that we can all contribute to change and be part of a better solution for the VET sector.
Documented on this webpage is Skills Impact’s work, including through IRCs, to support and provide input into the governments’ VET Reform Roadmap. We encourage you to read through some of the issues and potential solutions highlighted here and we welcome any further input you have.
The information has been gathered through our extensive interaction with industry, training providers and other stakeholders in the VET system over the past five years. These stakeholders have shared with us lots of ideas for how VET can be improved. They have shared their concerns and challenges and talked about possible solutions to these. We are collecting this information and undertaking further research to provide input to the governments’ VET Reform Roadmap. Our research includes both qualitative and quantitative approaches, including literature reviews, interviews and discussions with industry and VET stakeholders, data analysis, and surveys.
So far, we have identified five key themes. To read more about each of these themes, please select from the sub-menu at the side of this webpage or click ‘read more’.
Industry only have a leadership role at the beginning of the skills pipeline, to describe their skills requirements. However, they have very little input over what, how and when training is delivered, and how it is funded. A truly industry-led system would have industry involved, in a structured way, at all stages of the system, not only the beginning.
Competency is a Journey
It is not a training destination and it is best achieved through a combination of workplace and institutionalised practice. Our research shows that many VET sector stakeholders prefer a staged approach to competency development.
Thin Markets and RTO Delivery Challenges
The training delivery market fails to operate in high cost and thin markets with serious consequence for a number of industries and occupations. Thin markets exist where there are low student numbers or learners are spread across large geographical areas, where there is access and safety issues, and/or the training is for highly technical skills, and/or a need to use expensive materials and machinery.
Contextualisation of Units
There are more than 18,000 units in the system, despite efforts to reduce them. This is because units are developed to reflect new ways of work, but older methods still exist. Units describing the same skills also exist, but with details specific to a particular industry. National contextualisation materials could help reduce the number of units in the system.
Skills Acquisition is a National Economic/Social Imperative
VET sector training represents less than 2% of hours worked across the economy each year. This is a lot, but clearly only a small contribution to the amount of learning that takes place while working. It is critical that Australia’s skills system recognises the quality and extent of learning taking place in the workforce, which is estimated to be between 2 and 10 times the volume of VET, and ways to capture data about it.
The issues explored in these themes relate to the three priority areas of the draft VET Reform Roadmap around Relevance. Quality. Accessibility. The aim of our work with stakeholders is to not only unpack the issues, but also define some possible solutions. Insights will be shared along the way, including with government to help inform the VET Reform Roadmap.
Contact us with any questions or to share your thoughts.
VET Improvements Survey
Over 500 responses so far
Skills Impact has taken 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.
Responses are still being collected. Everybody is invited to participate – whether you are an employer, a training provider, a trainer or assessor, a student or graduate, or any other user of the VET system.
Griffith University will analyse the data and report on the findings which will be made publicly available once analysis is complete. Other smaller surveys will be used later in the research to test findings.
Watch Michael Hartman and Niall Smith’s presentation at the July 2020 NCVER ‘No Frills’ Conference, where they discuss the industry leadership and journey to competency themes.
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