Another article in this edition of VDC News focuses on total VET activity. This one looks specifically at VET in schools.

Over a five-year period, the number of school students undertaking vocational education and training has declined.

What’s the big picture?

In 2018 there were 230,700 students doing VET in schools (VETiS). Of these, 18,200 – or around 8% – were school based apprentices or trainees according to NCVER’s publication “VET in Schools 2018”.

Numbers are down, though, in both the shorter and longer terms. Compared with 2017, VET in Schools students decreased by 4.7% and school-based apprentices and trainees went down by 8.9%. Queensland saw the largest drop in participation. Looking back to the data from 2014 to 2018, VET in Schools students dropped by 6.7% over the period while school-based apprentices and trainees decreased by 13.3%.

As always, the big VETiS numbers are in Queensland, around 74,700, followed by Victoria and New South Wales – with 50,700 and 47,900 respectively. Most are aged 16 to 17, although Queensland gets them young with a significant participation of 15-year olds. Queensland also has the highest proportion of school-based apprentices and trainees, and this has been a consistent trend over time.

Digging a bit deeper

NCVER’s data slicer allows you to dig into the VET in schools data deeper. Using it is quite intuitive, and it enables you to explore by state or territory, year, school type and enrolment and completions data.

You can also explore gender, apprentice and traineeship status, language spoken at home and by disability or Indigenous status. Parent training package and program level can also be examined.

NCVER’s press release gives an indication about what the data slicer user can find out. For example, they report that:

“Certificate II qualifications continued to be the most popular (undertaken by 54.8% of all VET in Schools students), however the number of students undertaking qualifications at this level has declined by 2.6% since 2014.”

In contrast, the number of students enrolled in certificate III qualifications increased by 1.7% since 2014, with 34.6% of all students undertaking training at this level in 2018.

So, what programs were most popular?  “Tourism, travel and hospitality remains the most popular training package, with 14.8% of all VET in Schools students undertaking qualifications in this training package in 2018.”

However, the “Business services training package was the second most popular, with 12.4% of VET in Schools students undertaking qualifications in this training package in 2018, followed by the Sport, fitness and recreation training package.”

On 29 October next NCVER will be offering a free webinar entitled “VET for secondary school students: employment and further training destinations.” You can register for that webinar here.