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VET numbers continue to drop

The Australian     |      27 May 2015

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  The number of publicly funded vocational education students has dropped for the second year running, just as open markets have been rolled out across the country to encourage more training.

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VETPreliminary 2014 data shows the number of students fell 3.5%  last year, on the back of a 3.6%  fall in 2013.

Australia trained 65,000 fewer publicly funded vocational students last year, with the open market pioneer states of South Australia and Victoria each losing more than 30,000 students.

Victoria, which opened its training system to full private competition from 2009, surrendered 5% of its students last year. South Australia, which launched a fully contestable training scheme in 2012, lost a huge 22% of its students last year.

Both states changed their funding arrangements radically after enrolment spikes blew their budgets.

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research, which compiled the data, said the declining numbers also reflected the removal of Productivity Places Program funding. The PPP, another failed attempt at an open training market — this time from the Rudd-Gillard government — was wound up well before expending its $2.1 billion budget.

The report says student numbers were steady in NSW. But a methodology change saw more than 21,000 students counted twice, suggesting NSW also lost almost 11,000 students.

 See
Government-funded students and courses, 2014 – preliminary (NCVER)

 

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