VET - What is it?
Vocational education and training is ‘education and
training for work’. It exists to develop and recognise
the competencies or skills of learners.
It has traditionally
been seen as post-secondary, non-university education and
training, focusing on apprenticeships. But reforms in the
past decade now see vocational education and training programs
offered in secondary schools, stronger links with university
study options and six levels of qualifications offered in
most industries, including high growth, new economy industries.
Providers of learning
and assessment services are registered by the system and
regularly audited for service quality. The system enables
providers to operate anywhere in Australia, and to issue
nationally-recognised qualifications. In May 2001, there
were over 4000 registered training organisations, including
TAFE institutes, private training and assessment organisations,
enterprises, universities, schools and adult education providers.
System clients are the
learners themselves (students, apprentices, trainees and
retrainees) and their employers.
provide the central system ‘architecture’. Training
Packages specify the competencies that must result from
the provision of learning services, industry requirements
for assessment, and the qualifications that result from
competence. In industry areas where there are not yet Training
Packages, accredited courses are used instead.
- vocational education and training in Australia is an industry-led
system, through the leadership of an industry ANTA Board
and through the development of industry-recognised Training
Packages by representative bodies.
state and territory governments - the ANTA Agreement brings
together Australian Government, and state and territory
governments to provide the policy and regulatory frameworks
for the VET system. Governments implement the National Training
Framework (which includes Training Packages and the National
Quality Training Framework) to enable consistency, quality
and national recognition of provider services. Governments
also provide approximately half the funds for the system
- the other half being provided by enterprises and learners
Vocational education and training (VET) in Australia had
its roots in the mid to late nineteenth century with the
establishment of mechanics’ institutes, schools of
mines and technical and working men’s colleges to
develop the skills of Australia’s working population.
For almost 100 years, training and institutions were largely
concentrated around males working fulltime in a fairly narrow
band of trade related industries.
In the 1960s and 70s…
Industry and society started to change. The traditional
manufacturing, mining and agricultural industries started
to decline in economic significance and new industries,
like communications and finance, were emerging. More women
entered or re-entered education and the workforce. The 1974
Kangan Report on Needs in Technical and Further Education
defined the roles and the mission of what is now known as
the TAFE system. Training began to change with more preparatory
and pre-vocational training and slowing growth in the traditional
heartland of trade and technical training.
Into the 1980s…
The services industries continued to expand at the expense
of the mining, manufacturing and construction industries
--- TAFE’s traditional territory. Networks of private
training providers, largely providing training to service
industries, were also emerging. A number of reports pointed
to the need for the training system to be driven by the
needs of the individual and industry so the economy as a
whole could prosper.
In the early 90s…
The Deveson (Training Costs of Award Restructuring), Finn
(Young People’s Participation in Post-Compulsory Education
and Training) and Carmichael Reports looked at expanding
training systems, increasing young people’s participation
in training and a consolidated national system. Consensus
developed across Australia that substantial reform and a
unified national effort was required.
All states, territories and the Australian Government agreed
to the establishment of ANTA and a co-operative federal
system of vocational education and training with strategic
input by industry.
The Fitzgerald Report into the implementation of the national
system led to some of the current elements of today’s
VET system, including concepts of best practice and user
choice, states and territories taking responsibility for
accreditation and standards endorsement and a stronger and
more coherent industry training advisory structure.
The late 90s……
This period saw the introduction of New Apprenticeships,
the establishment of the National Training Framework, the
introduction of VET in schools and the development of Training
In 2000 and beyond…
The national VET system continues to respond to industry,
individual and community needs, focusing on capturing the
best advice possible from industry; meeting client needs;
and clearer, higher quality standards, all within a nationally
consistent, quality VET system. In a rapidly changing global
work and social environment, improvement must be continuous
and the VET system will continue to change to equip Australia
and Australians for the future.
An eye on
Part of ANTA’s role in providing
leadership for the VET system involves planning for the
future. Our current vision is given in the National Strategy
Thinking about the future means setting the scene, recognising
where we are now, looking at likely or possible forward
scenarios, and setting a vision for achieving them.
Source - ANTA