The VET course cost of federalism

There’s more than curiosity behind the Commonwealth wanting to know what the states charge  

Learned readers are puzzled by the National Skills Commission report on VET course prices, which uses a mammoth of math to demonstrate differences between what the states and territories charge for the same subjects (CMM April 7).

But just because the NSC has built a comparative price model does not mean states and territories will want to give up the power to set their own prices in favour of national ones. “They just refuse to discuss the elephant in the room in the belief everyone will come together and agree,” a LR says.

And why is the NSC doing its own digging another LR asks – is that not why Hephaestus, Greek god of trades, created the estimable National Centre for Vocational Education Research?

CMM asked an expert who knows the way in and out of the VET policy weeds who says the NCVER has never held data on individual courses, probably because the state and federal minco that owns it has never told it to.

But it still could have done the job the NSC pulled in consultant Deloitte to work on – the NCVER has systems that collect data from all Registered Training Organisations, which could be expanded to cover course costs.

So why not use the experts in-place? Perhaps because the feds want their own intel independent of the states and territories, which the Commonwealth solely controlled National Skills Commission can provide.

Handy when it comes to negotiating VET funding with the states and territories.

An elephant named “Federalism” – who would have thought!