Who knows what a VET course costs

The people who compiled the national VET average price benchmark database will have an idea

Last month the learned Tony Palladino commented that across the country VET course prices are all over the place (CMM March 16). And now the National Skills Commission reports it has established average price benchmarks for qualification, subsidies, fees and prices across the Commonwealth which shows the range.

The report finds that jurisdictions use cost of delivery in their calculations but (quelle surprise!), “more detailed assumptions (for example, cost per hour, number of hours and portion of the price subsidised) lead to differences in both total price and the level of subsidy applied.”

There is a bunch of detail, which can be as coy as it is complex, with analysis reported on eight un-named “jurisdictions,” instead of just naming which states and territories charge what.

Still overall, the NSC says there is enough data to build “a national pricing model for government funded VET qualifications.”

Good-o, except that not all “jurisdictions” may  be keen to accept a national course price which does not reflect local interests. As the report states, “differences in the standard fee subsidy split may account for more of the difference in subsidies paid between jurisdictions than underlying differences in the cost of delivery.”

Ah federalism, ain’t it grand!