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The newly released VET National Data Asset (VNDA) is a collaborative project between Jobs and Skills Australia, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).
This innovative new approach to data will assist Jobs and Skills Australia to provide advice on the adequacy of the Australian VET system, unlocking new insights and analysis possibilities.
VET student outcomes
An initial outcome of this new data asset is the development of the VET Student Outcomes - Top 100 Courses report which provides valuable insights into student outcomes across a range of measures.
In addition to being a useful policy tool, this informative data can help inform school leavers, students, teachers, parents, and those considering future VET study, about their potential outcomes and further demonstrate the opportunities that can be realised in pursuing VET pathways.
This report (and the broader VNDA) forms a consistent evidence base to measure VET sector outcomes, now and into the future. It draws from a detailed analysis of the employment, economic, social and further study outcomes for VET students’ who completed a qualification in the 2018-19 financial year.
Detailed analysis of the outcomes has been undertaken for females, First Nations students and students with disability providing useful insights for these important cohorts.
VET delivering economic and employment opportunities
These include an uplift in employment rates across all cohorts, with the national level increasing by 12.4 percentage points to 82.7%. For females, the data indicated a significant uplift of 15.2 percentage points to 82.3% employment rate after completion of their course.
The courses with the highest employment change rates include Certificate III in Individual Support, Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care and Certificate III in Education Support. Traditionally seen as female dominated fields, these figures highlight the opportunity that VET qualifications can provide to transition to meaningful employment for women.
This came alongside an uplift in the median employment income for all cohorts. At a national level, there was an uplift of $10.285, however the First Nations cohort observed the largest increase of $12,198 following completion of their course.
Median employment income for females and those with a disability also increased (by $9,971 and $7,845 respectively), demonstrating that a VET qualification can improve income opportunities for all those who gain their qualification.
Pathway to lifelong learning
We know that foundation skills courses are a key building block of skilling for the future. 61% of students undertaking foundation skills, like Certificate I and II in Spoken and Written English, progress to further VET study.
And they’re not alone, the report also highlighted that many students went on to continue their journey of lifelong learning, with 15.7% of VET graduates taking further VET education or training in 2018-19 and a further 6.7% enrolling in higher education study.
For those looking to re-skill mid-career, there’s also plenty of opportunities. Courses like Certificate IV in training and assessment and Certificate IV in Project Management Practice are helping people in their 30’s re-skill and broaden their future career opportunities.
Supporting a clean energy future
The Jobs and Skills Australia Clean Energy Generation Capacity Study released in October 2023, demonstrated that we have an urgent need to grow our clean energy workforce. Australia will likely need 32,000 more electricians in the next seven years and close to 2 million workers in building and engineering trades by 2050.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that the courses with the highest levels of employment after training, and changes to median income, are in the Engineering and Related Technologies fields. The income uplift for these courses can be as high as $48,369 for Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician and $38,969 for Certificate III in Engineering – Toolmaking Trade.
How is the data sourced and leveraged?
The VNDA is a secure, integrated data asset, that links – at an individual level – records from the Total VET Activity (TVA) data collected by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) and other government administrative data – including data from the Australian Tax Office, Department of Social Services and Department of Education - using Person Level Integrated Data Asset (PLIDA), within a secure ABS environment.
By leveraging data in this innovative way, the VNDA has very high coverage of the VET student population and provides detailed insights that other collection methods, such as surveys, are unable to.
The next analysis will comprise VET students who completed a qualification in the 2019-20 financial year, with an expanded scope (not restricted to top 100 courses).
JSA welcomes both feedback on this report and engagement to help shape the focus of future VNDA analysis.
You can provide feedback to VNDA@jobsandskills.gov.au.