In its latest VET-related Review by the Productivity Commission is concerned to make VET accessible, efficient and of high quality.

The first stage in the process has produced an issues paper.

The Review

The Review “will assess progress made by governments against the NASWD [or the National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development to its friends], and whether the agreement is still an effective long term framework for government policy and cooperation.” It will also consider the findings of the plethora of other recent VET-related reviews. Its terms of reference can be accessed here.

The website for the Review shows it has a wide scope. It is looking at the extent of Agreement’s “achievement of the objectives, outcomes, performance indicators, targets, reform directions and roles and responsibilities,” as well as options into the future. Options considered include those around co-ordination and streamlining of support for VET, funding and pricing arrangements and ways to promote increased participation in VET training.

The Issues

The Review’s issues paper, released in November 2019, was followed by a short period in which submissions were sought before Christmas, and the 60 or so submissions can be accessed from the Review’s website. The paper sought input on a whole raft of issues by raising an extensive series of questions.

These questions have been focussed on how well the NASWD is working, with specific information being requested around whether the current objectives and policy directions will meet future needs, the effectiveness of the sector’s performance reporting and quality assurance arrangements, including VET data gathering and reporting arrangements, VET markets and how well they are working, VET funding and pricing and how funding arrangements might affect choice – for example, between university and VET studies.

The issues paper also canvasses options to streamline and better co-ordinate apprenticeships and data collection. Finally, the Review considers how to extend language, literacy, numeracy and digital (LLND) programs to all Australians through better programs of foundation learning as well as how service provision for disadvantaged groups might be improved.

Next steps

An Interim Report is due for release at the end of March this year. The final study report is due to be handed to the Australian Government in November 2020 and should be released shortly after. So, this review is one that VDC News will be following periodically for the rest of 2020.

What you can do

You can subscribe to the study here to be kept informed about its progress. You can also make a brief comment any time you wish. The Productivity Commission will provide an opportunity for further comment on the release of the interim report on 31 March 2020.