Training demand transforming

Australians are skilling-up but this does not always work, for individuals or the VET system

Lisel O’Dwyer and Ian White analysed ABS data in qualifications for the estimable National Centre for Vocational Education Research.

Findings include;

* 90 per cent of workers with a VET certificate consider it “most relevant” to their work, while 39 per cent of dip holders think the qualification is not relevant to their job, 21 per cent of people with HE qualifications think the same

* The proportion of the workforce with higher education qualifications increased 33 per cent between 2006 and 2016, compared to a 19 per cent increase in VET diplomas and 5 per cent in certificates (overall VET was up 9 per cent).

VET is being ‘crowded out’ by higher education, a development that may signal over-qualification: in a tight labour market, over-qualification may reflect credentialism and qualification inflation,” they write.

* “Jobs built around technical skills — the mainstay of the VET system — have declined (including both manual jobs and clerical jobs rendered redundant by technological change) and will continue to decline”

* Occupations with the “largest shifts out of VET qualifications” 2006-16 were ambulance officers and paramedics, dental hygienists, technicians and therapists, and medical imaging professionals

* Demand for VET training over the next five-ten years will grow in, aged care, education aids, concreters and dental assistants

There’s good news for VET provision as it now exists

“The trend towards the acquisition of higher education qualifications suggests that demand for VET may increasingly come from younger workers, who need practical skills to compensate for experience not routinely provided in higher education.”

It is also the bad news

But what VET offers will need to change, “future demand for VET may also be driven by the emerging need for the workforce of the future to reskill and upskill, by undertaking training based on skill sets or micro-credentials rather than completing full qualifications.”


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