What’s next for VIC VET

The Macklin Review of skills has a  consultation paper but a bunch of issues look decided already

The Victorian government commissioned Jenny Macklin last year to review the state’s post-secondary system (CMM November 4) and is now asking stakeholders, students, employers, providers for advice. It seems she has a fair idea of the policy foundations the review will recommend.

“I hope this review will be the opportunity to build a VET system focussed on quality, excellence and innovation, rather than a market in which too many providers are focused on profit over outcomes.  This starts with re-establishing Victoria’s TAFEs as leaders in a VET system that can compete with the world’s best,” she writes. The context for submissions includes;

System excellence and equity:  Ms Macklin point to open market, unchecked student loans and cuts to TAFE funding, “the legacy of these disasters still clouds the sector, and public trust in VET remains low.” However, the demand driven system in HE “resulted in a portion of students incurring high debts for low-quality qualifications completed at university, which could have been competed for lower cost at VET.

National policy stability: “This review will assist the Victorian Government to assume a lead role in setting national policy directions.”

Accountability: “Victoria does not yet have a regulatory system for VET that can be relied on to deliver good student outcomes and value for taxpayers’ money. Regulatory processes themselves may be driving down quality, by forcing providers to focus on compliance rather than excellence.”

Governance: Existing arrangements, “encourage TAFEs to act as competitors within a mixed market, rather than as collaborators with a shared role in serving the Victorian economy and community”

Funding:  TAFE needs “sufficient funding” to meet its, “unique public role, including workforce arrangements, public asset maintenance, and public sector compliance requirements.”