Study shows VET benefits women more than men

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New research has found that the value vocational, education and training (VET) provides to women has not been recognised to its fullest.

The study, published recently, was carried out by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research. It comprises of a 14-year research programme, which looked at the role gaining VET qualifications plays on both men and women’s employment prospects. The research also looked at the advantages gained by returned to training education to become qualified in a VET course.

According to the study’s authors, the benefits women acquired by becoming qualified in VET courses were higher than previous studies had shown. Chris Ryan, co-author of the research, said this was principally due to the fact that men enrolling on VET ventures were more likely to be involved in apprenticeship programmes, meaning they already have a job lined up when they embark on the VET programme. This contrasts to women, who were less likely to have a job in the pipeline when studying for a VET course and are likely to wait until becoming qualified before finding work.

The study also revealed that for both men and women, the benefits of embarking on a VET course and gaining a qualification exceed a much longer time-frame than the initial period after the course has finished.

“If you observe a benefits in the first year, you’re going to see that it’s still there after five,,” said Dr Ryan.

The research also found that individuals with a VET qualification had better prospects in the employment market than those without. Furthermore, obtaining a VET qualification mean students typically earn up to 25% more than those who drop out of school.

The benefits of gaining VET qualifications have long been documented. An earlier study, which examined the economic and social benefits of VET in 21 different European countries revealed multiple economic and social benefits associated with VET.

The main economic benefits highlighted in the report were higher participation in the labour market, lower unemployment rates, as well as increased opportunities to become promoted and advance the professional hierarchy.