Australian VET policy and the role of business and industry

Business Australia

Vocational education needs to be closely linked to the requirements of business and industry both in terms of policy and educational practice. However, over the past fifteen years the wants of business have come to dominate VET policy to the exclusion of any other stakeholder interests. This has led to seriously inadequate policies in the VET area that are responsible for the current skills crisis. It is more than two years since two major reports concluded the VET policies in Australia are not working yet to date there has been little indication of substantial shifts in government thinking and policy to create a more effective VET system. This paper looks at the need to reposition other stakeholders in the policy equation and reduce the influence of business and industry to some degree to produce a VET system more closely aligned to the needs of Australian society. It is argued that focus upon quality rather than quantity needs to be a central consideration in any new policy realignment.

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