New report demonstrates positive outcomes for VET students

This story was first published on Thursday 16 November 2023.

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Everyone has an interest in knowing how the vocational education and training (VET) system is contributing to the economic, employment and social outcomes in Australia.

For individuals, there’s a substantial commitment of time and resources when you take on study. Meanwhile, industries across the country are reliant on the VET system to provide a flow of qualified skilled workers, and Australian Governments contributed around $5.5 billion in 20221 supporting the delivery of the system.

The new report, titled "VET Student Outcomes 2018-19 – Top 100 Courses", released on 16 November 2023, tracks VET student outcomes for the top 100 courses (by completion). This innovative approach to uncovering this data is the result of a collaborative project between Jobs and Skills Australia, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

The key findings, full report and associated data set can be found here.

This new data set (known as the VET National Data Asset or VNDA) will assist Jobs and Skills Australia to provide advice on the adequacy of the Australian VET system, unlocking new insights and analysis possibilities.

Excitingly, VNDA will provide a consistent evidence base to measure 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.

Key findings

The report demonstrates that completing a VET course has the potential to change lives for the better; increasing employment opportunities, preparing students for the workforce of the future, and paving the way for ongoing learning.

Particularly, for those who have previously faced barriers to entering the workforce, such as women, First Nations People and those with a disability, this report shows that a VET qualification can make a significant difference to key measures such as employment, income, and future learning.

At the national level 82.7% of students were employed after VET training in the 2018-19 financial year. For the women included in the study, there was a significant change in employment rate of 15.2 percentage points, which was higher than the national average of 12.4 percentage points.

For many students the completion of a VET qualification has the transformative financial impact, with a median employee income uplift of more than $10,000 for graduates (with an even larger uplift for the First Nations cohort), representing a step towards financial security.

The future looks bright for those considering a career in the clean energy workforce, with several courses in this field reporting the highest levels of employment and increases to median income after training.

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.

More information

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1. According to the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).