Latest VET figures show significant decline

09 Aug 2018 |

The further decline in government-funded students studying Vocational Education and Training (VET) as illustrated by the latest figures from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) reinforce significant concerns about the neglect of VET by governments at all levels.

“How much longer do we have to witness the decline in VET before governments act?” Australian Chamber CEO, James Pearson, said today.

“In the first three months of this year, there were 608,000 government funded VET students, a fall of 4% compared to the same period last year, and 8% down from three years ago.

“Shifts over the last three years show the impact of inconsistent policy and funding approaches largely at state level.

“Numbers in NSW have held relatively steady, but in Victoria, the numbers have fallen from 211,000 students in Jan-Mar 2015 to only 164,000 students for the same period this year. The biggest relative fall was in South Australia where the number of government-funded students in 2018 was only half of what it was a year ago, although only one-third down from three years ago.  WA has also seen a one- third drop over the last three years.

“Particularly worrying is the overall drop of 33% in advanced diploma and 26% in VET diploma students from three years ago.

“These figures reinforce the strong view of business that our governments collectively have dropped the ball on VET investment,” Mr Pearson said.

“Although some states have performed better than others, the overall figures reflect a lost opportunity to develop the skills needed for our modern economy.

“Governments need to urgently implement the apprenticeship projects from the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) National Partnership Agreements. Not a single apprentice has been employed under the SAF since it’s announcement 15 months ago.

”We also need to collectively work on improving VET and agree on the long-term vision for VET as part of a holistic approach to post-secondary education.”

Duncan Bremner

Director - Public Affairs and Advocacy

P  |  0448 822 666

E  |  [email protected]

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