Fewer people in publicly funded training – NCVER report

30 June 2015

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The number of people enrolled in government-funded training declined 3.5% to 1.79 million last year compared with 2013, with student numbers at TAFE continuing to fall as against private providers.

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Data published by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) in Government-funded students and courses 2014 show student numbers declined at TAFE and other government providers (8.8%) and community education providers (12.2%) but increased at other registered providers (8.4%) to 582 500. Overall, the number of enrolments is similar to the level in 2010.

Comparing training activity for 2014 with 2013, student numbers declined across the board but was more pronounced for young people (aged 15 to 19 years), down 29 900 or 6.7% to 418 000.

“There are a couple of reasons for the decline in government-subsidised training. Apprenticeships and traineeships are a significant part of Australia’s training system, so changes in apprentice numbers impact on overall training numbers”, said Dr Mette Creaser, National Manager, Statistics and Analytics.

“The other factor is change to training and, more broadly, education policies, such as limiting government subsidised places under skilling programs and the lifting of the caps on university places”.

Going against the trend, enrolment numbers increased for Indigenous students (4.7%), students with a disability (6.1%) and students from non-English speaking backgrounds (2.7%).

In terms of participation, more males study at certificate levels; 76.4% compared with 67.2% of females. In comparison, a higher proportion of females (19.5%) study at diploma or higher levels than males (9.8%). The number of students studying full-time also increased, up 6.5% to 343 500.

In terms of programs, students studying for diploma or higher qualifications increased by 5.9% to 258 800 students, with growth strongest at diploma level (up 8.8%).

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