Trainers ticked off: Feds fund Deakin U to develop VET programme

Days after the Business Council of Australia warned against a “cultural biasagainst VET, ministers appeared to make the point.

Yesterday education minister Dan Tehan and skills minister Michaelia Cash announced funding for Deakin U to develop training for Indonesia’s logistics system. Yes, that’s Deakin University, which was not missed by TAFE Directors Australia’s Craig Robertson, who last night said the grant was “in fantasy land”.

““Deakin is a laudable organisation but hardly has the credentials or experience to represent Australia in an industry engagement approach for vocational qualifications. … Efforts by universities in the vocational space often end badly. A natural bent to research and citations does little to enable genuine engagement with industry to develop their workforces, Mr Robertson said.

“It would be nice to think that there could be better collaboration between the sectors so that work goes to where it is done best, not to growing the balance sheet of a university, or to placate a sector annoyed by decisions to cap growth funds.”

His comments are in-line with Business Council of Australia Jennifer Westacott’s speech this week which warned of a “cultural biasagainst VET (CMM yesterday).

“A cultural bias that is created by teachers, our educational institutions, government, businesses, media and parents. A cultural bias that ‘smart’ people go to university, and the not so smart kids go to VET. … A cultural bias that continues into work where jobs that come from VET qualifications are seen as innately inferior and less valuable than jobs from university qualifications,” Ms Westacott said.


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