Outcomes for those international students studying onshore and completing their qualification is one of the regular NCVER statistical reports. The latest one was released in late April 2022.

“The report Australian vocational education and training statistics: international onshore VET qualification completer outcomes 2021 provides a summary of the outcomes of international students who completed their VET qualification in Australia in 2020. It uses data collected in mid-2021, with 14 574 international onshore VET qualification completers responding to the survey.”

“Employment outcomes have improved for international onshore VET qualification completers. The increase in employment after training was observed for both those who were employed and not employed before their training,” said NCVER’s Managing Director Simon Walker.

According to NCVER’s press release the report found that “in mid-2021, 75.5% of international onshore VET qualification completers were employed after training, up 10.8 percentage points from the same period in 2020. A total of 72.8% were employed in Australia, which was 12.2 percentage points higher than in the previous year.”

In addition:

Of those employed before their training, 36.5% got a better job after training (up 10.0 percentage points from 2020) and 14.5% were employed at a higher skill level (up 3.2 percentage points from 2020). Overall, 64.1% of international onshore VET qualification completers had an improved employment status after training, which was an increase of 10.5 percentage points from 2020.


Satisfaction was also high, with 85.4% indicating that they were satisfied with their training overall (up 1.7 percentage points from 2020). The top two cited reasons for enrolling in a VET qualification in Australia were to develop or start their own business and to improve their general education skills. In all, 88.9% achieved their main reason for training.

As with domestic students, COVID worked its magic for this group too:

A total of 84.4% of international onshore VET qualification completers had some or all of their training shift online while over half (53.2%) faced at least one challenge with their online learning experience. Further, of the 61% who undertook a work placement, 43.6% had their work placement delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Simon Walker said.

The impacts and challenges included a lack of face-to-face interaction with their instructors and peers (these two were the most significant at 54 and 44% respectively), missed opportunities to get workplace experience, poor internet at home, unsuitable subject matter, lack of equipment and also lack of support from their teachers/trainers/instructors.

You can access summary tables here and there is also a databuilder that enables you to look at time series data on the survey elements. Table 15 related to the effects of COVID in the summary tables compares the equivalent data or international and domestic students which, in itself, is quite interesting. It shows that the effects were broadly similar for both groups.

If you are interested in history…

Here are a couple of past articles from VDC News on the same topic! One comparing the 2017 data for international and domestic students and the other looking at last year’s set international student data.