By CLAIRE FIELD
As the Commonwealth pursues greater national consistency – a comparison between WA and NSW shows only 90 JobTrainer courses in common
JobTrainer is the joint Commonwealth-state and territory $1bn investment in 344,000 extra VET places over the next 12 months.
Despite the scheme being announced in August, to date only three jurisdictions have worked out which courses they will fund and which providers can deliver them: New South Wales, South Australia and the last jurisdiction to sign up to the scheme, Western Australia.
In NSW 291 providers have funding to deliver 337 courses. In South Australia, there are 158 providers and 300 courses, and in Western Australia 132 providers and 171 courses.
I am not a mathematician but for NSW this looks a little like “regression towards the mean”. The Productivity Commission previously identified NSW subsidising hundreds more VET courses than other jurisdictions. Not this time.
As the Commonwealth pursues greater national consistency – a comparison between WA and NSW shows only 90 JobTrainer courses in common.
While the NSW list includes a good number of animal studies and horse breeding/performance courses, in WA they are apparently preparing to rebuild their tourism sector after months of a hard COVID-border with a priority on tourism, tour guiding and events (not priorities in NSW).
Once all jurisdictions publish their JobTrainer details I will publish a fuller analysis. In the meantime, this exercise already highlights wide disparities in state government priorities, as well as extreme differences in course duration across different Training Packages for courses at the same AQF level.
How about three weeks for a Certificate Two in Maritime Operations when AQF Level Two qualifications should be six to 12 months’ duration? Yes, this qualification has pre-requisites and maps to an industry certificate of competency – but it is one of dozens of anomalies which raise questions about how appropriately the AQF is being applied. I will be highlighting more in the weeks ahead.
Claire is an advisor to the tertiary education sector