Who knows where VET funding goes

Governments might but are not telling

By Claire Field

My analysis of the State-Territory variation in government-funded VET (CMM July 24) triggered some good discussions. One person pointed out NSW’s increase in students masks the fact that many are enrolled in skillsets. TDA has new analysis out on the decline in hours of government-funded VET and suggest it’s due to the strength of the jobs market.

Regrettably, we don’t have answers as to whether people are choosing jobs or university over VET, or if funding skillsets is a good or bad thing?  That’s because we don’t know where the government funding actually goes or its impact.

The VET sector used to have nationally agreed KPIs which meant we could all see if jurisdictions were ‘heading in the same direction’. That’s fallen by the wayside.

As a former ministerial adviser reminded me recently, Victoria then took the lead. For example, their 2015 Training Market report was 153 pages of regional, industry, student and provider-level data. Their last report was in 2017 and only 8 pages long.

Other States typically produce similarly brief lists of statistics (although the NT government has calculated the economic value of crocodile farms!)

I’ve gathered the views of a number of VET leaders on policy and reform – but to get policy right we urgently need more transparency in data reporting.

Claire Field analyses VET and international education for subscribers, here 


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