The big news for this month is the release of the ‘Strengthening Skills: Expert Review of Australia’s Vocational Education and Training System’ report following the independent review of Australia’s VET sector by the Hon. Steven Joyce.
Commencing with the premise that “vocational education and training (VET) has been one of the “key pillars of Australia’s economic success story” the comprehensive review set out to conduct a health check of the sector to determine how ready we really are to step up to the challenge of training Australians in the rapidly evolving 21st century work landscape.
“…work-based learning models will be more important in the future as technology-driven changes to the ‘way we do things’ need to be quickly transmitted across industries and around workplaces. Our fast-moving world will need flexible and applied ways of learning, so people can lay strong foundations for their careers and then build further skills and knowledge in order to participate in new and changing industries.”
While noting some great steps forward in recent years, the review outlines a number of key concerns and recommendations for further future improvement. Anecdotal and empirical evidence suggests current VET systems, processes and funding models are too complex and unwieldy to be as adaptive and flexible as will be required and there remain concerns over provider quality issues.
The review suggests “a significant upgrade to the architecture of the VET sector” will be needed “so it can successfully deliver the skills needed for Australia’s future”.
A six-point plan has been provided to outline a roadmap for strengthening Australia’s vocational education and training sector. It will be interesting to see what recommendations the Australian Government implements in the near future.
CEDA has also recently released a research report ‘Sustainable Budgets: underwriting Australia’s social compact’ which details priorities to deliver ongoing Federal Budget surpluses and debt reduction, highlighting key areas where spending has been too low and new investments are needed identified as Newstart and Vocational Education. More details below in our Feature Report.
International students and education in Australia has also been under scrutiny again, with an inquiry recommending additional measures for regulating international education agents and a suggestion that there is an increasing public desire for capped international student places.
Plenty of food for thought this month and anticipating a robust atmosphere in the coming weeks too! Buckle up and hopefully this heralds the dynamic thrust into the future that the sector needs.