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VET needs some powerful friends

24 June 2014

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Delivering the Swinburne University 2014 Chancellor’s Lecture, Business Council of Australia (BCA) chief executive, Jennifer Westacott, said reform of the vocational education and training (VET) system needs to be far-reaching, with greater Commonwealth involvement and closer links to industry.
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Jennifer WestacottDelivering the Swinburne University 2014 Chancellor’s Lecture, Business Council of Australia (BCA) chief executive, Jennifer Westacott, said reform of the vocational education and training (VET) system needs to be far-reaching, with greater Commonwealth involvement and closer links to industry.

She said that while higher education is not short of people with opinions, “VET on the other hand, needs more powerful friends”.

No matter what successive governments have said, future-proofing VET has not been a national priority and this has to change.

Westacott said TAFEs need to be freer to operate as distinct businesses on a commercial basis, as other government enterprises do.

She singled out Training Packages for criticism, saying the narrow focus caused industry to perceive skill miss-match, worsened by continued rigidity in the apprenticeship system. She said the worsening of state finances were clearly eroding VET funding, and this needed to be corrected.

See
Redefining vocational learning in the global economy
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