The Vocational education and training in regional, rural and remote Australia report, released today by Jobs and Skills Australia, examines the availability and accessibility of vocational education and training (VET) for students outside of Australia’s capital cities. These initial findings will help inform future research and analysis in this area.
The report reveals that training is driven to a large extent by local industries with higher enrolments in agricultural and engineering-related training when compared with major cities. Training in essential services such as health and education had an equal weighting across major cities and regions.
VET students in regional and remote areas are more likely to undertake lower-level qualifications than those in major cities. In particular, students in remote areas a more likely to undertake qualifications at the Certificate II and below level (32% of enrolments compared to 24% for all Australia).
In comparison with major cities, a larger proportion of VET students in regional, rural and remote Australia are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students, and students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.
The report identifies several challenges related to regional and remote VET delivery including lower average enrolments in any given qualification, potentially large travel distances, fewer training providers in the market and, consequently, a larger reliance on a smaller number of registered training organisations (RTOs). These factors reinforce the need to support delivery in regional and remote areas through specific measures.