In May this year the Mitchell Institute released a report highlighting the need for steps to be implemented to improve confidence and quality within the Vocation, Education and Training (VET) sector in Australia.
The Participation in Tertiary Education in Australia report states that young Australians require access to tertiary education that is both high quality and affordable in order to prepare themselves for working life.
The report notes the importance of VET being a key consideration in public policy. It states that forecasts demonstrate that governments in Australia must be able to take a long-term view related to investing in tertiary education, including balancing private and public investment as a means of improving and sustaining participation.
The Mitchell Institute’s paper notes that unless enrolments onto VET programs increase significantly, by 2030 participation rates in tertiary education will fall as there will be more than half a million more 15 – 24 year olds in Australia than there is today.
As well as meeting the needs of young people to help them into future work, the Mitchell Institute recognises the challenge and importance of helping thousands of older people in Australia rely on tertiary educations as a way to refresh skills, learn new ones and embark on new careers and jobs.
The report goes on to state how the VET industry has, in recent years, undergone significant reputational damage. This damage has been pinned on being caused by the government’s neglect and requires, as My Sunshine Coast writes, a “new and sustainable funding model.”
The Labor Government has announced it will undertake an all-inclusive review of Australia’s VET sector to ensure it is “properly equipped to train young Australians and re-train adult workers for the jobs of the future.”
The Labor review is designed to ensure that adequate standards are adhered to with the VET industry, and the central role of the nation’s TAFE system is recognised.
Part of a Shorten Labor Government’s plan is to introduce a cap on loans of $8,000 a year within the VET FEE-HELP program. This cap is designed to prevent students from being burgeoned with debt, as well as preventing the huge waste of taxpayers’ money the VET FEE-HELP scheme has been criticised of in recent years.
Labor plans to restore integrity into the VET system by wiping out unscrupulous private VET providers, which, as My Sunshine Coast writes, “have been ripping off Australians for far too long.”