Vocational Education and Training Reform

Governments Layout their VET Reform Priorities

The Australian Government released the Heads of Agreement with states and territories to cover JobTrainer but also sets out areas of reform and the schedule for settling a new national agreement for skills.

The tables below outline the various elements set out in the Heads of Agreement.

JobTrainer Timing
$1 billion JobTrainer Fund, on a 50:50 cost share basis. The Commonwealth will contribute $500 million to the fund in 2020-21 as an initial and immediate investment in a reformed skills system
Established by August 2020. Training from September 2020
The fund will enable a rapid increase in low, or no fee, training places for job seekers and young people in areas of identified and genuine skills need, based on a list of qualifications and short courses agreed with the NSC
The fund will support around an additional 340,000 training places
Pricing - National Skills Commissioner Timing
States and Territories agree to work with the National Skills Commission (NSC) to develop an approach to estimating the costs of delivering training and to and. This includes sharing data on costs of delivery, student outcomes and provider performance.
By October 2020
Release efficient prices for common VET qualifications
1 July 2021
Release efficient prices for all VET qualifications
1 July 2022
Immediate Priorities – Quality and Relevance (Drawn from VET Reform Roadmap) Comment
Simplifying, rationalising and streamlining national VET qualifications across industry occupation clusters and the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)
No sign of development work on this agenda apart from new branch set up in the Department of Education, Skills and Employment
Introducing improved industry engagement arrangements
Skills Service Organisation contract expires end 2020, and no tender issued yet. Three Skills Organisation Pilots just commencing.
Strengthening quality standards
RTO Standards are scheduled for review
Building Registered Training Organisations (RTO) capacity and capability for continuous improvement
This refers to self-assurance recommendation from ASQA Rapid Review. ASQA has released a discussion paper on self-assurance with comments due by 31 August
Developing a VET workforce quality strategy
Reviews being conducted by consultant firms
New National Skills Agreement Comment
  • Finalise by August 2021, with a transition period commencing from 1 January 2022, or when it is signed by the Commonwealth and one other party
  • Will cover the five year period to 2026-27.
Adopting a new funding modelthat improves national consistency for students, integrates subsidies and loans and is linked with efficient pricing and the skills needed by employers
Refers to work of National Skills Commissioner
Developing and funding nationally accredited micro-credentials and individual skill sets, in addition to full qualifications, and supporting lifelong learning through an integrated tertiary education system
State and territory senior officials conducting this work but it has been delayed
Providing stronger support for foundation skills and ensuring access for all Australians with low levels of language, literacy, numeracy and digital literacy.
Promoting apprenticeships and other employment-based training, including pre-apprenticeships, and undertaking reforms to boost geographic mobility and labour supply.
Strengthening VET pathways for secondary school students and improving the quality and vocational relevance of VET in schools.
Refer Shergold Review
Working with the National Careers Institute (NCI), to reduce the proliferation of careers information available, and supporting the NCI to provide access to career information that best enables people to make decisions about their learning, training and employment pathways
Enhancing transparency and accountability, through clear roles and responsibilities for governments and industry, and increasing data collection and analysis that is shared publicly to support regular assessment of governments’ policies and performance.
No mention of providers.
Supporting a viable and robust system of public, private and not for profit providers, with contestability in VET markets, to ensure high quality training and student choice.
Will rely on Productivity Commission advice
Increasing real investment in VET, while undertaking agreed reforms needed to ensure this investment will improve outcomes for Australians and the economy.
Hopeful sign of more funding to come