The Commonwealth Government has developed a series of discussion and issues papers, and surveys, aimed at advising the next stage of VET sector reform.

The focus is in three areas: strengthening the role of industry and employers, improving VET qualifications and raising the quality of training.

Where does this come from?

“The Commonwealth and all state and territory governments have signed the Heads of Agreement for Skills Reform which sets out national reforms for the VET sector.” You can check information out here and make your contribution via a series of surveys that can be accessed from the site. You can also register here to receive other information and updates.

The surveys

There are four surveys. The first, on the training experience,  “seeks information and views on both the positive and negative experiences you may have had with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) or with multiple RTOs.”

The second, on RTO standards, “seeks specific feedback on the individual clauses and schedules of the Standards for Registered Training Organisation (RTOs) 2015 (the Standards) and is targeted towards active users of the Standards, including  RTOs, trainers and assessors and VET experts.”

The third survey focuses on RTO quality, and seeks “feedback on what makes a quality RTO, including broad feedback around the Standards for RTOs” highlighted in the survey above.

The final one seeks advice to inform the development of a VET workforce quality strategy. In particular this survey looks at such issues as capability frameworks for VET’s teachers and trainers (of which there are already a number), professional standards, professional development, induction support, mentoring, learner cohorts and finally the Training and Education Training Package.

The surveys are open until 12 noon AEDT on Monday 22 February this year, so there is still plenty of time to respond.

The discussion and issues papers

There is one discussion paper focused on industry engagement and qualifications. It raises a number of questions, including (1) whether or not the role of industry needs to be strengthened or expanded across the VET system, (2) how effective the current industry engagement arrangements are in VET for meeting needs, (3) “What can be done to drive greater collaboration across industries to broaden career pathways for VET graduates and maximise the workforce available to employers” and (4) whether or not qualifications are “fit-for-purpose in meeting the needs of industry and learners now and into the future.”

An online submission form enables you to respond to the paper’s content. Submissions are open until 12pm AEDT on Monday 1 March 2021.

The first issues paper, entitled “RTO Quality: Strengthening RTO standards and fostering excellence” supports the second and third surveys highlighted above and is focused on quality standards and building RTO capacity and capability to better support RTO excellence. It raises a series of questions for survey respondents, including: what made for high- or poor-quality training, what limitations do RTOs trying to deliver high quality training face and finally “How effective are the Standards for RTOs 2015?”

The second, called Supporting the VET workforce Issues Paper focuses on the quality of the VET workforce and therefore aligns best with the fourth survey on VET workforce quality and the issues raised in that survey. Fortunately, there is a considerable literature about the VET workforce dating from the 1970s onward. It is also a topic of research and comment in recent years too, much of which we have highlighted in VDC News! Indeed, one of the recent papers published through VOCED and authored by Roger Harris provides an historical background on VET workforce issues. That paper can be accessed here.