Foundation ideas for rebuilding voced and why we don’t need a “long-winded review”

The learned L H Martin Institute has published a collection of policy papers, “to stimulate discussion on vocational education.”

This is an immensely astute anthology, superbly scheduled to address the commentariat’s consensus that it’s time to remake the role of training in the post-school sector.

There are nine 2018 papers and four earlier essays which combine to create a context for understanding the origins of the present VET mess and what can be done to fix it.

If Labor ever gets to establish its government inquiry into the post-school sector there are papers here that will save a bunch of time on establishing what issues to address – although establishing a case for ending the divide between training and universities would not take long.

“As the need for higher-level vocational education increases, it becomes increasingly nonsensical to retain hard sectoral and funding boundaries between institutions that primarily deliver vocational education and those that primarily deliver higher education. Parity of esteem can only come with parity of policy and resourcing,” as Anne Jones from Victoria U puts it.

But whatever happens has to happen fast. A paper on what is happening overseas as Australia prevaricates, by Ruth Schubert, Leo Goedegebuure and Lynn Meek, explains; “what we definitely do not need is yet another all-encompassing long-winded review of the tertiary sector … we cannot afford to waste time in making the changes, as the world around us is moving rapidly.”


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