Each year sees results of the student outcomes survey published by NCVER.

Last year also saw the publication of results from the employer use and views survey which happens every two years. What do they tell us about how both groups see VET training?

What students think of their VET training

In 2017, student satisfaction with the overall quality of their training is high at just over 87% for VET graduates and 90% for subject completers.

Nearly 85% of graduates undertake their training for employment related reasons, with around 13% having personal reasons. For subject completers, figures are generally similar. However, when subject completers do not continue their training, this is due to four roughly equal and main reasons: training related (25%), a changing job situation (22%), personal reasons (21%) and, finally, because they got all they wanted from the training they undertook (21%).

In terms of employment outcomes, 78% of graduates and 84% of subject completers were employed after training. Of those graduates employed after training, 67.5% received at least one job-related benefit from the training and 57% had an improved employment status. For subject completers 43% had an improved employment status after training. Graduate incomes post-training varied, though. It is higher if they were employed before training and highest for graduates in architecture and building ($62 500) and education ($62 400).

For apprentices and trainees 92% of graduates in a trade occupation course were employed after training while the corresponding figure for graduates in non-trades was 78%. While 70% of trades graduates were employed in the same occupation as their training, only 38% of non-trades were.

Other information is available on further study outcomes, and the publication includes tables comparing 2016 and 2017 data, as well as breakdowns by state and territory and student characteristics. A data slicer and a times series spreadsheet from 2008 to 2017 are also available.

What employers think of VET

In 2017 37% of employers had jobs that require vocational qualifications. This was similar to the 2015 findings. For these employers the main reasons for having jobs that require vocational qualifications were to provide skills required for the job (57%), to meet legislative, regulatory or licensing requirements (49%), and to meet and maintain professional or industry standards (31%).

Employers were generally satisfied that vocational qualifications provide employees with the skills they require for the job. The level of satisfaction, around 75%, was similar to 2015.

Of the 13% that were dissatisfied with vocational qualifications of their employees 42% of them believed that the training was of poor quality or low standard, 41% that relevant skills were not taught, and 29% that there was not enough focus on practical skills.

The types of training are important. In 2017, just over 54% of employers used the VET system to meet their training needs, 51% provided unaccredited training to their staff, while around 81% of employers provided informal training to their staff, up 3.5 percentage points from the 2015 survey results.  Finally, employers were finding it more difficult to recruit employees than in 2015, and were also finding them slightly less proficient in their work.

The publication also includes information on apprentices and trainees, unaccredited training, as well as breakdowns by state and territory, provider type, employer size and industry sector.