The Victorian budget for 2022-23 was handed down by the Victorian treasurer Tim Pallas on 3 May.

It is wide ranging, but in VET terms touches on two key issues: VET delivered in secondary schools and approaches to skilling Victorians.

Skilling Victoria

The Victorian government is investing in the skills and training Victorians need to help them find decent, secure jobs.  As the treasurer noted in his speech:

“We are investing more than $100 million in the skills and training Victorians need, with more support for TAFEs and an expanded Apprenticeship Support Officers program.”

The 2022-23 budget has provided $12 million to continue and expand the Apprenticeship Support Officers program. This, they hope, will help provide apprentices and employers with tailored support to ensure more Victorians complete their training and move into work. As some of the budget papers note, the funding “will target learners most at risk of dropping out, including female apprentices.”

TAFE is a winner too as the Government places it “at the centre of a strengthened skills and training system” The Victorian Government “is investing $83 million to support and strengthen TAFEs as they sustainably transition to a new funding model and expand coordination of practical placements for TAFE students.” And, as the budget papers note:

“This builds on our significant previous investment in TAFE, helping students access more TAFE courses and get trained for a wider variety of jobs.”

The budget is providing $4.1 million to add Diploma and Advanced Diploma courses in Auslan to the list of Free TAFE courses. Nearly $800 000 is also being allocated to provide an accessibility review of all Victorian TAFE campuses to help people with disability access the training and skills they need to succeed. In addition, $10 million is being provided to establish new Skills Solutions Partnerships that will help address skills shortages in priority areas through collaboration with government, industry, TAFEs and dual sector universities.

Finally, further funding is being provided to strengthen the Office of TAFE Coordination and Delivery within the Department of Education and Training. This funding will enable strategic projects to be undertaken and enhance collaboration across the TAFE network.

Revamping and improving VET delivered in schools

Treasurer Tim Pallas noted in his speech that:

“We’ll introduce a new vocational pathway, to give every student more choice in VCE, with a commitment of nearly $280 million.”

“That will expand the Head Start school-based apprenticeship model to every government secondary school in the state.”

With the new VCE Vocational Major and Victorian Pathways Certificate replacing VCAL, the Government is moving to enact the findings of the Firth Review in order to create one certificate that will, it’s hoped, give every senior secondary student more choice, and ensure they have the skills they need for post-school education or work.

The 2022-23 budget “invests $277 million to deliver this transformation of Victoria’s senior secondary system. This includes $86 million to improve access to a core offering of vocational and applied learning pathways in secondary schools, $88 million to support and expand the teaching workforce and support schools to deliver excellent programs, and $69 million to expand the Head Start school based apprenticeship and traineeship model to support students to complete their senior secondary certificate while progressing towards a qualification.”

Funding supporting the new VCE aims to champion vocational and applied learning pathways. Support for this process includes professional learning for government school teachers to implement the new curriculum, support to the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority for assessment moderation and to create a student portal and support for non-school senior secondary providers to transition to the new framework.

Accessing information

The budget papers can be found here. Key papers include the treasurer’s speech and the budget overview.