NCVER’s “Total VET students and courses 2021” reports that a total of 4.3 million students were enrolled in nationally recognised vocational education and training (VET) in 2021. This was up 9% from the numbers in 2020.
The numbers story
Government-funded students increased by 4.5% to 1.4 million in 2021 when compared with 2020’s numbers.
Just over 3500 (actually 3529) registered training organisations (RTOs) delivered nationally recognised VET, and “an estimated 24% of the Australian resident population aged 15 to 64 years participated in this training.”
Comparing the 2021 data from that in 2020 showed that “full-year training equivalents (FYTEs) increased by 12% to 1.1 million.” In addition, “students enrolled in nationally recognised programs increased by 4.4% to 2.1 million.”
In terms of those courses offered through fee for service, domestic numbers increased by about 13% to 3.2 million while – as expected due to the pandemic – international fee-for-service students decreased by 4.3% to 213 000.
Provider type also tells a story with 3.2 million students (about 74%) enrolled at private training providers, about 18% at TAFE institutes, 10.5% at community education providers, around 2 to 2.7% enrolled in other provider types: schools (2.7%), 2.5% at enterprise providers and 1.8% at universities. Historical data from 2017 are also provided, showing that all provider types had reduced in their numbers from a total of nearly 3950 in 2017 to the reported number of 3529 in 2021.
In terms of qualifications undertaken in 2021:
“there were 2.8 million enrolments in nationally recognised programs. 92.6% of these were in qualifications: 86.1% in training package qualifications and 6.5% in accredited qualifications. Compared with 2020, training package qualifications increased by 6.3% to 2 385 400, accredited qualifications increased by 6.6% to 181 300, training package skill sets [interestingly] decreased by 24.3% to 91 600 and accredited courses increased by 10.4% to 113 100.”
In addition, “management and commerce was the most popular field of education, comprising 21.7% of all qualification enrolments. This was followed by Society and culture (19.7%) and Engineering and related technologies (16.0%).” ‘Food, hospitality and personal services’ and architecture and building’ both ran in at around the 8.5% level.
Finally, “the highest number of qualification enrolments were in Certificate III level qualifications (39.4%), followed by Certificate IV (20.0%), and Certificate II (18.8%).”
You can access total VET activity fact sheets here as well as an atlas of total VET activity, which is a mapping resource that provides detailed total VET activity (TVA) information by geographic region, from state or territory level and lower.