Advancing Australia’s VET Sector. Curated industry news #09 2018

An action-packed end to the year, with the announcement of Australia’s first review into the vocational education and training sector in 40 years. The Morrison government has announced it will launch “a 3-month review of the beleaguered vocational education sector after years of scandal and business complaints over the mismatch between job-seekers and employers”

Read the ‘Delivering Skilled Workers for a Stronger Economy’ media release from the Prime Minister’s Office here >>

While the opposition party has labelled the Government’s VET review deadline of 25 January 2019 and lack of consultation farcical, our industry body ACPET has welcomed the news as “a once in a generation change to provide students and business with the skills required for a changing labour market.”

ACPET’s new Chief Executive, Troy Williams has commented that the mission of ACPET is to take a leadership role in policy advocacy and “to support leaders in the sector who deliver quality and innovation.” He has also stated the results of the organisation’s previous commissioned research into the sector were clear: “independent providers offer quality outcomes and innovate to provide students and business with great options.”

In other VET sector news, help is at hand for vocational students caught up in the VET-FEE HELP fiasco of recent years, after draft laws passed the first hurdle of parliament to assist those “rorted into debts.”

We also join industry colleagues in thanking the team of the Mitchell Institute for their valuable research and input into the vocational education sector over the past five years, with news that the research project funded by Victoria University is to be overhauled and disbanded.

In her response to the news of the dissolvement of The Mitchell Institute as we know it, outgoing Director Megan O’Connoll took the opportunity to reflect on the considerable achievements of the institute and to set a guideline for further policy priorities for current and future governments:

“We need to continue our focus on equity across the education system. The educational opportunities that children can access varies tremendously depending on their parent’s capacity to pay, and this chasm commences in early childhood. We also need a focus on how to prepare young people for a changing future. We know all young people will need knowledge, skills and capabilities for success throughout life, yet we continue to measure success at Year 12 largely on knowledge reproduction.  We need to come to a consensus on what we want young people to know, do and be by the time they finish school, and change senior secondary education to achieve this.”

ASQA has recently released a series of reminders for RTO providers on the need to submit renewal applications at least 90 days prior to the end of their registration period and the requirement to submit Total VET Activity data for 2018 by January 2019. ASQA will also continue to target international education and the capability of trainers and assessors as part of its 2018-20 regulatory strategy.

We would like to thank our VET industry colleagues, clients and friends and wish you all the very best for the new year. The past 12 months have been interesting to say the least for our industry, with much of it feeling like taking a few steps forward to take a few steps back. However with 2019 on the horizon it is now looking promising for real change for the sector, and we’ll leave you on that positive note for the end of the year. We wish you all the best in the coming new year and a wonderful festive season with friends and family.