Australia needs people to have more skills and to use them productively in the workplace. We also need higher rates of workforce participation. To help achieve these goals we need to increase demand from employers to take on and use these skills. This comes hand in hand with improving the depth, range and responsiveness of services the VET system provides. However, the uptake of training will not happen unless students, employers and the community have confidence in the quality and appropriateness of VET services and providers.
We can be rightly proud of our Australian VET system and its achievements to date. However to move it up to the next level of performance and to meet new demands requires a shift of gear and a thoughtful, evidence-based approach of how to get there. An open, accountable and properly funded system that offers high levels of support to all students and trainees is an essential foundation for the future. This system has to be transparent in its outcomes— demonstrating to the public the high personal, social and economic value of a VET qualification.
This paper outlines a number of issues for discussion that can help set the direction Australian vocational education and training might take to achieve these objectives. Many of the issues will be familiar to those working in and with the sector. Skills Australia is keen to tap into this knowledge and experience to come up with workable solutions. We want to hear from people who use or have used the VET system—what are the directions the VET sector can take so it better meets your requirements?
Skills Australia welcomes your comments on this discussion paper and your ideas about your vision for the future of vocational education and training. You can either make a written submission to Skills Australia or you can participate in a regional consultation.