NSW TAFE won big


The state government focused Job Trainer resources on the public system

Last week the 2020 government VET funding data was released and it shows a number of surprising things in relation to how states and territories allocated their JobTrainer funding.

Whatever is driving the mismatch (CMM 28 July) in New South Wales between the VET graduates being produced and the occupations in shortage – the state government’s decision to allocate a large portion of their JobTrainer funding to short courses (at a rate no other jurisdiction got close to) is interesting.

The focus on short course funding, predominantly locally developed skill sets, was the reason for the significant increase in government-funded enrolments in NSW last year (up 60,620 on 2019 levels).

Almost all of the extra government-funded enrolments in NSW (59,690) were in locally developed skill sets. TAFE NSW saw an increase of 71,305 government-funded enrolments in these skill sets in 2020, reflecting the NSW government’s decision to focus resources on TAFE NSW during the pandemic.

Aside from NSW, the only other jurisdictions to experience growth in government-funded VET students in 2020 were Queensland and Western Australia and they both recorded modest increases.

The number of government-funded students in Victoria and South Australia declined, and the three smallest jurisdictions enrolled approximately the same number of government-funded students in 2020 as they had in 2019.

Looking at which providers government-funded students enrolled with in 2020, there were increased numbers in TAFE in NSW and to a lesser extent Queensland, while there were fewer government-funded students in TAFE in Victoria compared with 2019. Across the rest of the country government-funded TAFE student numbers were more or less stable.

Government-funded students in the ACE sector declined across the board, while private providers enrolled slightly more government-funded students in South Australia and Western Australia and held steady everywhere else except Victoria where private provider student numbers declined slightly.

There are some helpful charts available on the NCVER website or on my website.

 Claire Field is an advisor to the tertiary education sector