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VET declines in Victoria

23 March 2015

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 The Andrews government says the latest Victorian Training Market Report the vocational education and training (VET) in Victoria was in crisis under the former Napthine government.

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TAFE enrolments, in particular have continued to plummet, with government-subsidised places falling by 33% over the past year.

More vulnerable Victorians are missing out with government-funded training enrolments by regional students, trainees, disabled and disadvantaged learners all in decline.

There was an 18% drop in 15 to 19-year-olds receiving government-funded training last year.

Training and skills minister Steve Herbert said the figures, which were revealed in the latest Victorian Training Market Report, showed the damaging impact of the former government’s cuts to the sector.

It shows we have had a failure of our training system at exactly the time when our economy and people needed it the most. Our training system should have been veering up, but the opposite happened.

The report, which was released on 23 March, said since 2012 there has been a 40% drop in students undertaking government-subsidised apprenticeships and traineeships.

Private training organisations now make up 56% of all government-subsidised enrolments, up from 48% in 2013.

This compares to a share of just 25% for TAFEs, down from 32% the previous year.
Once full-fee students were taken into account, TAFE course enrolments were down by 15% compared to 2013.

Herbert said TAFEs look after the most disadvantaged students, support local communities and were often the only training providers in rural areas.

Herbert said he didn’t think it is sustainable for them to drop much more.

He said the former government cut TAFE and training funding by $1.2 billion which meant less teachers, less courses and less services for disadvantaged students.

He said the government is committed to repairing  the damage but said it could not be done overnight.

The challenge of the new government is to reverse that trend, get a funding system that is stable and to make sure our training system matches our jobs and grows opportunities for all people.

The Andrews government has announced a $320 million TAFE rescue fund and has appointed former Holmesglen head Bruce McKenzie to review the funding of the state’s vocational education and training system.

Key points

  • Fewer students were in government subsidised training in 2014 compared to 2013 – down 8% and down 13% since 2012
  • Completion rates have been steadily declining – only 34%of courses commenced in 2013 were reported as being completed
  • There are declining numbers of young people in government subsidised training –down 13% in 2014
  • Declines in training participation have occurred across the state – there was a 12%  decline in the number of students living in regional Victoria enrolled in government subsidised training compared to a 7% decline in metropolitan Melbourne
  • There has been a decline in enrolments by TAFEs – the number of government subsidised enrolments by TAFEs dropped by 33% over the last year, from 207,943 to 139,182 in 2014
  • Apprentice enrolments have been stable over the last year
  • Traineeships continue their large decline –down by 34% in 2014
  • Training in areas of skills and industry need increased in 2014 – government subsidised enrolments for qualifications in specialised or in shortage occupations rose 9% to 207,202 enrolments in 2014, accounting for 47% of all industry specific enrolments in 2014

 

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