The results of the NCVER 2020 student outcomes survey convey the message is that completing a qualification is important. Of those students who did, 56% had a better employment status after training. Their satisfaction levels were also very high at 88%. COVID has had its effects too.
It’s a big survey!
During the survey around 900 000 domestic VET students and 60 000 international onshore VET graduates were contacted. They included those who had completed or part-completed a qualification in 2019. The survey sample also included students who had undertaken short courses such as skill sets, or even just single subjects. Around 250 000 completed the survey.
They were asked about “their satisfaction with training, employment, and further study outcomes, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected them.”
An interesting part of the story is what those doing short courses think
The survey report found that the most common reasons for undertaking training in a qualification were employment related, and the one most commonly cited was “to get a job”, whereas for those enrolled in short courses or individual subjects, it was more likely because it was a requirement of their job.
Much of the interesting stuff is about completing or part completing short courses. High proportions of those undertaking short courses and individual subjects were already employed: over 82% or more. In addition, a higher proportion of them had improvements in their employment status (around 58 to 61%) than even qualification graduates (56%). The worst performance was for those who part-completed a qualification (49%).
Satisfaction levels of those doing short courses or individual subjects was very high. For those completing such programs their satisfaction was north of 92% (compared with the 88% for qualification completers and 76% for part-completers)! In addition, the survey found that about 84% of qualification completers and 74% of qualification part-completers “are likely to recommend their training provider.” The picture is even better for the short course completers, where 89% would recommend their provider while around 93% were happy with the quality of assessment, teaching and the overall quality of training. Those are all good outcomes, but there are probably lessons to be learnt from the part-completers about what could have been done better to keep them there!
The impact of COVID
The survey found that, of the qualification completers who were employed after training, around 35% had their hours reduced after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and about 13% had their hours increased. Around 7% were temporarily stood down due to COVID-19.
Other findings show that:
“Of the qualification completers who were not employed on the reference date [in] late May 2020, 20.6% had a job previously that they lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic [and] of the qualification part-completers who were employed after training, 33.3% had their hours reduced after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and 12.5% had their hours increased. 7.4% were temporarily stood down due to COVID-19.”
Finally, “of the qualification part-completers who were not employed on [the reference date in] 2020, 19.5% had a job previously that they lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The effects of COVID were similar for those undertaking short courses, and:
“Of the short course completers who were employed after training, 31.1% had their hours reduced after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and 10.3% had their hours increased [while] 6.9% were temporarily stood down due to COVID-19.
Of the short course completers who were not employed on the reference date [in] May 2020, 31.6% had a job previously that they lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The paper also reports on the outcomes for short course part-completers, and subject only completers. Whatever way you look at it, though, COVID has had a very significant impact.
Other stuff to look at!
In addition to the survey report, other products include times series data from 2011 to 2020, an excel spreadsheet of VET qualification completer outcomes by qualification and details about median income after training.