Victorian VET Funding Review announced

10 February 2015

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The new Victorian Labor government has announced a comprehensive, independent review of the funding of Victoria’s vocational education and training (VET) system, as presaged during the election campaign.

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Bruce McKenzie Minister for training and skills Steve Herbert says the VET Funding Review will provide a more sustainable model for public TAFE Institutes and private training providers.

According to Herbert, the former Liberal government left Victoria’s training sector in crisis. Government contributions to public TAFEs fell from $733 million in 2011 to $468 million in 2014, leaving many TAFEs at risk of financial collapse.

At the same time, Herbert says the former government’s constant changes to subsidy rates have caused confusion and made it difficult to make long-term plans for private providers.
These sudden and repeated changes caused financial instability, undermining the ability of both TAFEs and private training providers to support Victoria’s growing industries.

The review, to be headed by former Holmesglen TAFE head Bruce Mackenzie, with support from deputy reviewer and former VECCI and Jayco Corporation Chief Executive Neil Coulson, will ensure all training providers are supported through a more sustainable funding model so they can meet the needs of growing industries.

The review will seek input from Victorian students, parents, employers, training providers and other stakeholders over the coming weeks.

An interim report will be delivered within 100 days of its commencement (that is in May, around the time of the State budget) with the final report completed later this year, so that the government can consider the recommendations ahead of the start of the 2016 TAFE and training year.

Terms of Reference

The Government has asked the Review to inquire into and report on how to improve the quality, stability and sustainability of the Victorian training market, by recommending alternative VET funding models and settings that:
a. match training delivery to the growing job opportunities in Victorian industries;
b. ensure all government subsidised training is high quality;
c. allow rural and regional communities to access training that meets their local needs;
d. meet community service obligations to support vulnerable and higher needs learners to complete training and transition to employment;
e. build a strong and responsive public Technical and Further Education (TAFE) sector;
f. manage training expenditure within the existing vocational training budget while preserving a framework of student driven choices;
g. recognise the public and private benefits of training and ensure fees and student costs are not a barrier to participation; and
h. Ensure eligibility to access subsidised training is fair and well-targeted.
i. The Review is also asked to comment as necessary on:
j. How other government policy levers may be used to support the quality, stability and sustainability of the Victorian training market. This could include the regulation of training providers; requirements for government contracted training provision; information and decision support tools for students; and implications for national training policy.
k. The implications of recommended reforms for other directly-related areas of education in Victoria (including secondary schooling and the roll out of new Tech Schools, and the higher education sector).

See
VET Funding Review

 

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