Advancing Australia’s VET Sector #6 2017

A major review of the legislative framework governing the regulation of Australia’s VET sector was recently announced, with Valerie Braithwaite, Professor at the Australian National University’s School of Regulation and Global Governance, appointed to lead the review of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 (NVETR Act). The independent review is aimed at supporting significant improvements to the quality and reputation of the VET sector.

“A review of the NVETR Act will determine if the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has appropriate legislative capacity to efficiently and effectively regulate the sector. The regulator must have powers to act swiftly to protect students, employers and the public against providers that don’t meet high quality standards,” said Karen Andrews, Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills.

Professor Braithwaite’s report will be submitted at the end of the year, with recommendations to amend the NVETR Act and its associated regulatory framework to be provided.

Our colleague Rod Camm from ACPET has been extremely eloquent on VET sector reform – the need to celebrate the success of those of us who have continued to contribute to the elevation of the quality of vocational education in Australia, and the need for all of us to be a part of the NVETR review and reform the sector is currently undergoing.

We would support Rod in his urgent request to everyone involved in the Australian VET sector to get in touch with your state or territory Executive Officers with your priorities and aspirations for this important current review of our sector.

Moreover, it’s time we all became more vocal with regards to the important role vocational education and training will play in skilling the workforce of the 21st century. In its recent report on the critical role of vocational education in Australia, Skilling Australia has noted:

“The current overemphasis on academic and university pathways means VET pathways are often not given due consideration by high-school leavers. As such, public awareness and recognition of the crucial role that VET can play and is playing—in training the Australian workforce with the skills required to grasp future industry opportunities— is poor.”

Supporting this view, LH Martin Institute also released a paper ‘Vocational education and the innovation agenda – why VET needs to be a bigger part of Australia’s transitioning economy”

We’ll leave you with that thought, and with some encouragement to have your say and let your voice be heard about where we’d like to see our industry heading in future. Onwards and upwards!

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Judith Bowler, Educational Strategist & Founder