Getting real: young women and girls, working futures, VET and VET in schools

1 Apr 2005


“Getting Real? Young Women and Girls, Working Futures, VET and VET in Schools” is the report of research commissioned in 2004 by Security4Women (S4W), one of four National Women’s Secretariats funded through the Australian Government Office for Women (OFW).

In 2003, S4W surveyed over 3000 women around Australia, to ascertain a representative view of women’s priorities concerning their lifelong economic well-being, despite the many differences inherent in the category ‘women’. Women, irrespective of age, education backgrounds and socio-economic status, were remarkably consistent in their choices, identifying the following as five areas of highest priority: work arrangements to help balance family and other responsibilities; affordable education and training for all ages; equal representation in management and leadership; equality of male and female wages and salaries; and education about financial and economic issues (Doughney J. et al/S4W, 2004).

After consideration of existing and contemporary research activities in these five areas, and the inter-related nature of work-related or vocational education and training (VET) with the above identified issues, it was decided that in 2004/5 S4W would invest in research into affordable work-related education and training for women of all ages.

The aim of this research is to enable S4W to propose policy development based on the outcomes of this research to enhance greater economic equity for women and to define measures to advocate and lobby for policy and legislative amendments on behalf of the women’s sector. Women in Adult and Vocational Education Inc [WAVE] was commissioned to undertake research for S4W.

The interest in girls and young women in the Vocational Education and Training [VET] sector stems from a broader commitment to examine the position of women in Australia within Lifelong Learning, a global policy priority adopted and promoted by the OECD and European Union.

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