Following a referral from the Minister for Skills and Training, the Hon Brendan O’Connor MP, on 30 November 2022, the House Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training commenced an inquiry into the perceptions and status of vocational education and training (VET).
Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) made a written submission to the inquiry on 8 March and appeared before the House Standing Committee on 22 March 2023.
Jobs and Skills Australia’s submission finds that the VET sector plays a vital role in preparing Australians for their future careers. New Jobs and Skills Australia analysis paints a more nuanced picture of vocational training than many in the community perceive and shows that vocational training offers a diverse range of skills across many fields of study, from introductory level to advanced.
The submission references Jobs and Skills Australia’s February 2023 Labour Market Update, which found that just over 60% of total employment growth in the past 12 months was in occupations where VET qualifications were the primary pathway.
Another Jobs and Skills Australia report, Vocational education and training in regional, rural and remote Australia, found VET played an important role in Australia’s regions due to its relevance to local industries and its delivery of foundation skills.
While prestige continues to be attached to Higher Education, VET qualifications are associated with many occupations that are in shortage and have strong future job prospects.
Jobs and Skills Australia will continue to provide deeper analysis of the evidence to underpin Australia’s response to the current, emerging and future labour market and workforce skills and training needs with our partners. Jobs and Skills Australia will also seek to deepen the understanding of the links between VET and Higher Education and the connection between skills, training and occupations in shortage.
Having the right mix of skills offered across the VET and Higher Education system and attained as part of on-the-job training and lifelong learning is critical to the functioning of our economy and to an individual’s success in the labour market.
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March 31, 2023