While the TAFE lobby blames governments and private providers for less falling than plummeting enrolments it is just a touch more complicated. Kristen Osborne and Michele Circelli set out reasons why school completers do and don’t progress to training in a new research review for the estimable National Centre for Vocational Education Research. They include:
status: VET is seen as offering “practical and work-related learning” but, “a negative view … exists at the primary and secondary school levels in relation to its value, prestige and importance.”
misunderstanding: “students have a higher interest in VET-related jobs than in VET post-school pathways, indicating a misalignment between their occupational and educational aspirations”
finances: up-front fees and living expenses while studying
peer influence: “perceptions that VET is for those of low academic ability”
gender stereotyping: 2 per cent of young woman consider an apprenticeship compared to 11 per cent of males
It’s going to take a decade to fix this.