The Skills Senior Officials Group has released a consultation draft for a VET Reform Roadmap.

It “outlines the intended direction and major components of reform”, noting it’s a ‘working document’ and not yet agreed by governments.

The draft ‘Roadmap’

In 2019, COAG agreed a vision for VET which sees it enabling the sector to be “responsive, dynamic and trusted.” Three priority areas were identified by the Skills Council: relevance, quality and accessibility.

So, what is the road map to realise this vision? This is what the Senior Officials Group has come up with. You can see the synergies with Macklin’s issues paper too!

The Roadmap identifies a number of desired destinations, seven in fact, with a three-phase implementation approach proposed for each. Each destination also identifies an end state, that is: “What does success look like for learners, industry and the system?” Or more simply put: Are we there yet? and Where is there for us?

The destinations

Each of the destinations is summarised in a table and then described in greater detail. The descriptions outline what needs to be done and what will need to be different for learners, industry and the system. The seven destinations are as follows:

Destination 1 is to develop “trusted and relevant qualifications and credentials” and both speed up and streamline current training package arrangements and training products. Work will also begin to develop “a new, simpler and flexible model for national … qualifications based around occupational clusters and across the full range of the AQF framework.” Finally, there will be more work on micro credentials, and we will highlight that next issue.

Destination 2 involves moving to “high quality education, training, and assessment” and away from a compliance-based approach to quality towards a focus on excellence. Changes to ASQA’s governance, regulatory approaches and practice will be required, the paper suggests. In addition, a new system for assessment will be developed “to increase trust in VET qualifications that will “include exploring independent, validated, moderated and graded assessment models.” Finally, work will begin on a much-needed VET workforce quality strategy.

Destination 3 sees the development of apprenticeship and employment-based training that is attractive to employers and individuals to address declining numbers and completion rates and explore new options for employment-based training and government support.

Destination 4 requires that all learners access and thrive in training that is right for them. This means that they are well informed and able to make decisions about their study and career options throughout their lives and “are able to navigate the system easily.”

Destination 5 looks to get a stronger alignment and integration between VET and higher education. This means improving current pathways between higher education and VET. These can be complex and hard to navigate, and school leavers in particular are not well informed about options, particularly those in VET.

Destination 6 sees Government VET investment in VET that “supports economic and social priorities and complements the investment of industry and learners.” This destination aims to enhance public and private VET investment through better informed workforce planning and this will help students with career pathway decisions. Work will be informed by the Productivity Commission’s review of the National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development, which we highlighted in a recent VDC News.

Finally, Destination 7 looks at the sector’s “national architecture and governance”. The paper maintains that present governance arrangements in VET are complex and fragmented. New ones will aim to give the VET system greater “credibility, impact and stability.” The redesign will see a system that is simpler for stakeholders and “will deliver improved, coherent and responsive governance arrangements.” To help this, the Australian Government will establish the National Skills Commission (NSC) on 1 July 2020 “to undertake research and analysis on the cost of delivery of VET, pricing and skills demand forecasting.” A discussion paper last year looked at its design.

In the last issue, we highlighted education reforms proposed by Australia’s dual sector institutions. Have a look at that one too.