Extensive evidence demonstrates a trend of positive outcomes related to learning in the workplace. Despite this, no examination of the outcomes has been undertaken using the available Australian vocational education and training (VET) data.

This publication uses VET administrative data to examine trends in the delivery of workplace-based training, including where entire programs are delivered in this way. Additionally, data from the National Student Outcomes Survey are used to model the effect on employment and achievement outcomes of a student receiving workplace-based delivery. As previous work has extensively examined the role of workplace learning in apprenticeships and traineeships, this publication does not include these students.

Key messages:

  • Workplace-based delivery was used for about 4.1 million subjects (representing 17.2% of all subjects delivered outside an apprenticeship or traineeship) in 2019, either as the sole mode of delivery or in combination with other modes.
  • Around 800 000 students experienced workplace-based delivery as part of their VET journey in 2019, outside an apprenticeship or traineeship.
  • The most notable predictor of a student receiving workplace-based delivery when available factors were modelled was the field of education of their study.
  • The relationship between mode of delivery and factors such as the field of education studied complicates efforts to understand the effects of workplace-based delivery. As a likely consequence of this, the analysis of the impact of workplace-based delivery using administrative data did not identify a material impact on student outcomes.

A more conclusive understanding of the extent of the impact exerted by workplace-based delivery on student outcomes may only be possible through a randomised trial, whereby the only difference in the program is the presence of workplace-based delivery.

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