Governments must commit to long-term national VET policies
As the VET sector awaits the appointment of the National Skills Commissioner and State and Territory officials debate the merits of the Joyce Review’s recommendations on VET reform, it is timely to consider the scale and nature of the previous reforms the sector has been through.
Thanks to the NCVER’s VET Knowledge Bank we now have data on 21 years of VET reforms.
What the data shows is that governments have made 465 different changes to the VET system in the last 21 years. That’s an average of one every two and a half weeks, every year for more than two decades.
VET Reform in Australia (1998 – 2018)
While government policy changes are no doubt driven by good intentions, the short-term thinking must stop.
Furthermore, if States and Territories will not agree to the proposals put forward by Steven Joyce in his very thoughtful review – they surely need to come up with their own comprehensive suite of national reforms and then work with the Commonwealth to implement them.
The Australian VET sector is beset by falling levels of government funding, falling enrolments, an ageing workforce and a growing threat from the non-accredited, ed-tech sector. We need a long-term, national reform agenda which all stakeholders commit to and which governments fund accordingly.