Shared vision, equal pathways – Report of VET inquiry released

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education, and Training has today presented the report of its inquiry into the perceptions and status of vocational education and training (VET).

Committee Chair, Ms Lisa Chesters MP, said ‘high-quality VET is crucial to skilling Australians for an increasingly dynamic economy and labour market. Unfortunately, many people do not fully understand the VET sector or the careers to which it leads, and many still consider VET a less valuable or rewarding pathway compared to university’.

‘Governments at all levels must ensure access to reliable, accurate information on VET and actively promote the sector and the fantastic opportunities that it offers, Ms Chesters said.

‘However, information and marketing efforts will not on their own be sufficient to address negative perceptions of VET’, Ms Chesters said. ‘Tangible improvements to the sector must also be made to ensure the quality and relevance of training, and that the sector is subject to robust regulatory, governance, and funding arrangements.’

The Committee has made 34 recommendations designed to address poor perceptions of the sector and enhance the quality of and access to VET pathways. These include:

  • Significantly overhaul the functions of the National Careers Institute.
  • Developing a national careers education strategy for secondary schools.
  • Improving VET delivered to secondary school students via cooperative partnerships and increased school funding.
  • Rationalising the development and implementation of VET qualifications.
  • Addressing systemic barriers to women’s participation in VET, with a focus on eliminating gender-based violence and workplace discrimination and challenging gender stereotypes.
  • Enhancing apprenticeships, including by piloting a network of industry-led apprenticeship support providers, lifting pay and conditions, and exploring new apprenticeship pathways.
  • Creating a robust framework for developing, implementing, and funding micro-credentials.
  • Implementing measures to attract and retain a VET workforce with industry expertise and a greater range of pedagogical competencies.
  • Defining a clear roadmap to a genuinely integrated tertiary education system.

The Committee’s report was informed by other reform processes including the Employment White Paper, the National Skills Agreement, and the Australian Universities Accord. The Committee’s recommendations should be considered alongside the findings of these reports.

The report and further information about the inquiry is available on the inquiry website.

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