The operation of a contestable training market for the organisation and delivery of VET has been plagued by ongoing problems that show no sign of abating.

The benefits of competition that were promised with the influx of large numbers of private training providers have not materialised. The role and position of TAFE, the public provider of quality VET, has been needlessly and recklessly undermined.

In the end, it has been students and workers receiving poor quality training that does little or nothing to help them in the job market who have been penalised.

Governments cannot in all good conscience continue blindly down this path. This inquiry provides the committee with an opportunity for a fundamental rethink and overhaul of the market-driven approach to VET and to set out the beginnings of a new approach.

Among other things, this should include a 30% cap on the amount of funding that is contestable, and a commitment to at least maintaining TAFE funding in real terms.