Perception and Status of VET

Policies, Publications & Submissions - March 15, 2023

This inquiry is a timely one, not only because the new Government’s commitment to VET represents an opportunity to undo some of the damage done to the sector over the last decade, but because of the critical role that VET will have in preparing Australian workers for the jobs of the future. Despite this, the perception of VET has been steadily falling among the general public for at least a decade. As this submission will explore, this has been occurring for a range of reasons, including:

  • The systematic under-funding of VET compared to other education sectors.
  • The neglected state of TAFE in many areas.
  • The replacement of TAFE with for-profit RTOs as many people’s touchstone with the sector.
  • A broken quality assurance framework.
  • Poor student experience.
  • A lack of support for the dissemination of best practice.
  • A shortage of trainers and misbalance of TAFE training skills.
  • The treatment of VET in schools.

In our view the only method to effectively address this issue is to act immediately to rebuild TAFE – both physically and financially. Ensuring that TAFE can once again represent the VET sector to the general public as a centre of excellence and expertise should be a critical priority for government going forward.

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