Nurturing the employment goals of students undertaking vocational education and training is currently at the forefront of industry thought-leaders, both here in Australia and globally. Our peak industry body, ACPET (Australian Council for Private Education and Training) has recently formed a partnership with Australia’s best online graduate employability training platform – Successful Graduate – aimed at helping vocational education and training students achieve employability while studying and on graduation.
In today’s competitive job market, it is being recognised that students require far more nurturing and support throughout their learning journey to achieve their career goals at the completion of study. Many are disheartened by the interview process, and question how they can improve their chances of success.
The Business Council of Australia published its ‘Future Proof: Protecting Australians through Education and Skills’ discussion paper last month, outlining a new tertiary model that would enable workers to more easily retrain and reskill throughout their lives. Vocational education and training clearly plays a vital role in that vision.
NCVER also recently released a report dedicated to understanding why students in Australia choose vocational education and training as a career pathway, and to gain insight into the aspirations of current school students. It is hoped the research will assist educators and schools on how to communicate the benefits of VET and to address current misunderstandings and gaps in knowledge. The research has revealed there is a clear misalignment between student educational and occupational aspirations, and pathways required to achieve VET-related careers.
In Europe, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP) has released the results of its first ever public opinion survey on vocational education and training. Stating that “opinions matter”, the report underlines that public opinion on the “image, quality, outcomes and effectiveness of VET provision may not only have a significant impact on an individual’s education choice but also on policy-making.” Vocational education and training is being seen as playing a vital strategic role in the economic recovery of Europe and in providing the EU with “a workforce ready for the challenges lying ahead”.
It is clear that many of us in the Australian VET sector are motivated to continue the positive progression of vocational education and training’s positioning as not only a viable career pathway, but as a desirable and results-driven alternative to starting out in or retraining for a career. Let’s continue to collaborate successfully and champion the industry as we move forwards.