NCVER report shows federal funding of the VET sector has dropped 11% in the last 2 years

Federal government funding for TAFE and training was cut by $326 million last year, a new report says. According to the NCVER report the NSW government increased their contribution to vocational education significantly by 20.5 percent in the 2018 calendar year compared with the previous year.

Read more here:–spt.html and

TAFE NSW abysmal staff survey results leaked

TAFE is facing an "existential threat", says a former bureaucrat, as a new survey finds staff morale has plummeted.CREDIT:ADAM MCLEAN
The results have shown overall, staff engagement has fallen from 56 per cent last year to 49 per cent this year.  Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee has tasked the managing director of TAFE NSW to direct the executive leadership team to visit all campuses and listen to the concerns of TAFE NSW staff so urgent action can be taken to improve.

Generation Z: leaving school

Around 69% of Australian 17-year-olds who planned to go to university when they finished school were at university one year later, according to new data released today by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

Generation Z: leaving school uses data from the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY) to explore young people’s experiences as they reach the end of their schooling years and begin to transition into post-school study and enter the workforce.

It uses findings from interviews with the newest group of LSAY participants who commenced the program in 2015 to explore how they are faring at age 18 in 2018.

“The wealth of information provided through the LSAY program gives us a better understanding of the key events in the lives of young Australians,” said Mr Simon Walker, Managing Director, NCVER.

“For example, in 2017 we asked participants about their plans when they finished school.

“The following year’s interviews with the same group of young people shows us how they fared with those plans, whether they went on to university, started an apprenticeship or traineeship or other vocational training, or got a job.

“The survey also gives us an insight into the reasons why some left school before graduating, with the most common reason cited being that they had a job, or an apprenticeship or traineeship to go to.”

Information is also provided on young people’s living arrangements, showing that in 2018 around 14% of 18-year-olds had already left home.

“We found that about a quarter of 18-year-olds from non-metro areas had left home compared with 9% from metro areas,” Mr Walker said.

Another key finding is that 18% of 18-year-olds had provided some form of unpaid care over three consecutive months.

“While it’s common for young people in this age group to care for younger relatives, of those who had provided unpaid care, 18% had cared for an adult relative and 12% for a parent or guardian.”

View Generation Z: leaving school on the LSAY website.

The LSAY survey program tracks 15-year-olds over a ten-year period as they move from school into further study and training, work, and into adulthood. It provides valuable insight into key perspectives and changes for young Australians.

The latest data from the group of participants who commenced the LSAY program in 2015, known as the ‘Y15 cohort’, has also been released today.

Summary data can be accessed using LSAY QuickStats, while the unit record data is also available free of charge via a formal application process.


TDA Newsletter 2 December 2019

In this edition

  • Back on the horse – comment by CEO Craig Robertson
  • Technology to disrupt hundreds of thousands of jobs, new report finds
  • Private college that took $210m in government funds acted ‘unconscionably’
  • CIT to get new campus
  • More organisations to gain access to VET student records
  • ASQA cancels, suspends private colleges
  • Year13 & TDA – Beyond the data webinar
  • Diary

Back on the horse – comment by CEO Craig Robertson

It was pleasing to see Skills ministers agree Friday week ago to review VET Student Loans.

Loans for vocational education were legislated as VET FEE-HELP (VFH) in 2007; the last Act in John Howard’s Prime Ministership. The scheme kicked off proper in 2009 with VFH providers needing articulation agreements into higher education for the courses to be eligible for loans. The objective was to grow the proportion of the workforce with higher level skills.

VFH started slowly because of the lead time for articulation agreements and the slow approval process. In 2012, as part of a new inter-government agreement to introduce demand driven entitlement to Certificate level courses, VFH conditions were loosened. No articulation agreement, first among them. Students incurred an immediate 20 per cent loan fee unless they were enrolled in a state or territory subsided course – students benefitted by following priorities set by states and territories. The rationale was to open access to this level of VET as a strong equity measure, and to encourage private training activity by using loans to mitigate the barriers caused by high upfront fees.

The VFH horse bolted – out of control and in ways no one ever contemplated. There’s been plenty of column inches on that one. VSL replaced VFH in 2017, and participation at this level of VET tanked. VSL loans are around $300 million each year for about 58,000 students. Reasons are as many as bets on a race, but chief among them must be the limits on the loans.

Given VFH experimented with de-regulated fees it reasonable, expected almost, for the Government to limit loans, and thereby regulate fees. (The Government may say fees remain unregulated because there are still options for direct student contribution, but this mocks the purpose of student loans in overcoming upfront fees, and there’s very little private contribution in practice anyway.)

Fee regulation means the government needs to have a good idea of costs of delivery lest the loan over-shoots, giving a bonus to the provider at the expense of the student, or under-shoots at the cost of the provider, although ultimately the student because the provider has little option bar cutting delivery. Remember, the logic of the consumer (student) arbitrating quality and calibrating price was proven ineffectual in the face of the slick sales jobs of charlatans.

Enter Steven Joyce, followed by the National Skills Commissioner and the Productivity Commission. Joyce has suggested, and the commissioner and commission tasked to come up with a consistent national price for VET qualifications, and move even toward university funding rates.

Let’s look at one qualification – Diploma of Remedial Massage – the seventh most popular course in VSL with a maximum loan of $10,342. It has 16 core and five optional units with about 1700 nominal hours plus 200 hours compulsory work placement. Nominal hours represent the training effort for the qualification and are set by experienced curriculum designers. NCVER says a full-time load is 720 hours, so it’s at least a two-year full-time course, with the provider receiving $5,170 per year for each student. Assuming 12 per class as the limit for a practice-based qualification like this one and the provider has $62,040 to run it for the year! That doesn’t even pay for a full-time teacher.

Am I exaggerating the requirements of the qualification? Look at the unit with the highest nominal hours – Provide Remedial Massage Treatment. It has 18 separate elements of performance which need to be demonstrated and 62 separate items of knowledge the student must acquire, before even basic physiology and anatomy. If ASQA audits this unit, it has at least 80 points it can test for compliance, before it considers the efficacy of the assessment tools, the application of foundation skills or testing inputs such as unit duration.

Is the qualification important? According to Australian Industry Skills Committee data, the number of massage therapists has grown from 3,300 in 2000 to 19,900 in 2018 with 23,900 predicted for 2023. Remedial massage is bound to follow the same trajectory.

Is the twenty per cent loan fee justified? MySkills tells us the average full-time salary for Remedial Massage is $46,500 and the repayment threshold for the loan is $45,881. Graduating students start repayment straight away. Any argument for the loan fee to remain because of poor employment or wage outcomes weakens any claim that VET is the same as higher education or has the Government diluting the merits of qualifications they endorse.

Where to start? I encourage the Commonwealth to get back on the student loan horse.

Oh, and if universities were paid to do the qualification – they’d get $13,073 in subsidy and $9.395 in student loan…. each year!

Technology to disrupt hundreds of thousands of jobs, new report finds

As many as 630,000 jobs, equal to about 7% of Australia’s workforce, could be displaced by new technologies over the next decade, according to a new report by Cisco.

The fastest-shrinking sector will be construction, which is predicted to lose more than 70,000 jobs over the decade, while a further 33,000 jobs are predicted to be lost in the manufacturing sector.

The report, Technology and the Future of Australian Jobs, undertaken in conjunction with Oxford Economics, says healthcare will be by far the biggest net job creator in Australia over the next decade, expanding by 80,000 jobs.

The tourism and wholesale and retail sectors are also predicted to experience significant net increases in the sizes of their workforces, increasing by 22,000 and 20,000 workers respectively.

The study highlights the implications for governments and education providers in preparing Australia’s workforce for the future.

“Policymakers face a dilemma between seizing the economic advantages new technologies will bring and managing the repercussions they will have for the workers that bear the brunt of the transition,” the Cisco report says.

“Many workers will have to adapt not only their skillsets, but potentially their working habits and location, to meet the demands of the new economy,” it says.

“Education providers must ensure a pipeline of skilled workers is in place to feed into the workforce. This includes relevant formal training for new entrants to the labour market, as well as a much broader base for lifelong learning and more flexible training provision.”

TDA works in partnership with CISCO and Optus to explore the opportunities through digital skilling for TAFE students.

See ‘Technology and the Future of Australian Jobs’ (able to be downloaded under the heading ‘Future of Work’

Private college that took $210m in government funds acted ‘unconscionably’

The Federal Court has found that private training college, Australian Institute of Professional Education (AIPE), engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct in enrolling students into thousands of courses under the former VET FEE-HELP scheme.

The ACCC and the federal Department of Education and Training commenced proceedings against AIPE in 2016.

The court found that AIPE breached consumer law when it told consumers their courses were free, when in fact they incurred debts of up to $20,000.

The court ruled that AIPE engaged in unconscionable conduct by offering free laptops as inducements, failing to assess students’ suitability, failing to explain the debt students would incur, and paying “extraordinary” commissions to third party agents and recruiters.

“AIPE enrolled consumers in around 16,000 courses and obtained over $210 million in Commonwealth funding as a result of its misleading and unconscionable conduct,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

AIPE was placed into liquidation after the ACCC commenced proceedings.

CIT to get new campus

The ACT government has announced that Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) will get a new state-of-the-art campus in the Woden Town Centre.

CIT Chief Executive Officer Leanne Cover said the new campus is expected to be the VET technology and service skills learning precinct, delivering courses in areas such as business, cybersecurity, IT, the creative industries, hospitality and tourism.

“Therefore, the ACT Government’s decision to build a new campus in the Woden Town Centre with a continued CIT presence in the CBD aligns with CIT’s strategic directions, and it is a very exciting news,” Ms Cover said.

“The ACT Government’s announcement is a significant milestone in the history of CIT and will enable the Institute to continue to be the region’s most trusted and dedicated VET provider.”

More organisations to gain access to VET student records

The federal government has introduced legislation that will expand the range of organisations able to gain access to a person’s authenticated VET transcript.

Currently anyone with a student identifier can access their national training record and give permission to share it with a registered training organisation or a VET-related body.

Legislation before the parliament will enable student-controlled access to transcripts to be extended to businesses, recruitment agencies, licensing bodies, and other third parties.

The Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships, Steve Irons, said employers, employment agencies, and state, territory and Commonwealth licensing bodies have shown an interest in being able to verify an individual’s authenticated VET transcript.

“This change provides confidence to industry on the authenticity of VET qualifications and reduces regulatory burden for the individual and third parties,” he said.

“These arrangements also reduce the risk of individuals tampering with their transcript before providing it to an employer.”

ASQA cancels, suspends private colleges

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has cancelled, suspended and rejected the registrations of a host of private training colleges.

ASQA’s latest regulatory update shows 13 training colleges have had their registrations cancelled, three have been suspended and one had its renewal application rejected.

Some of the training providers impacted may be able to have decisions reviewed, including by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

See ASQA’s latest regulatory decisions update

Year13 & TDA – Beyond the data webinar

Join Year13 & YouthSense for a complimentary webinar hosted by CEO Will Stubley on December 10. This will be an opportunity to keep up to date with their latest research ahead of the release of their third After The ATAR report in March next year.

The theme of the webinar will be Beyond The Data: Understanding The Psychographics Of Youth and will explore what this time of year means to young people as they finish high school, receive their final marks, make decisions about their future and more.

You’ll also be able to engage live with the host Will Stubley, who will be fielding any questions you may have and take your feedback regarding what insights you want to hear in future research.

Secure your place now!

Diary Dates

Australian Council of Deans of Education Vocational Education Group
5th Annual Conference on VET Teaching and VET Teacher Education
9 – 10 December 2019
Charles Sturt University Wagga Wagga Campus
More information

AVETRA Conference
20/20 vision for VET: Research at the centre of future policy and practice
23 – 24 April 2020
More information

VDC 2020 Teaching & Learning Conference
14 – 15 May 2020
RACV Torquay Resort, Great Ocean Road, Victoria
Registrations opening soon

‘No Frills’ 2020, 29th National VET Research Conference
NCVER co-hosted with TAFE WA, North Metropolitan TAFE
8 – 10 July 2020
Perth, Western Australia
More information

World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics
2020 World Congress

14 – 16 October 2020
Donostia – San Sebastian, Spain
More information


TAFE NSW spends big on consultants

TAFE NSW spends big on consultants
More than $6.4 million on 8 different contracts to various firms to provide advice and services across the TAFE sector has been spent between June 2018 and September 2019 by the NSW government.  The government is half-way through amalgamating its once 10 separate institutes into one central entity referred to as “OneTAFE reforms”. 

Student VET FEE HELP debt to the tune of $493 million wiped by Canberra so far this year and more to come

The effects of the now defunct VET FEE-HELP scheme is still being felt three years after the government scrapped the program as more people discover they were duped by shonky private training providers. It could take up to a year to assess thousands more unresolved complaints according to the Commonwealth Ombudsman and this is due to the unprecedented volume of people coming forward now seeking to have their debts re-credited.

Jobs for the boys in interim national skills commissioner appointment

Michaelia Cash has defended the appointment of Adam Boyton to the $500,000-a-year job of interim national skills commissioner. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

The appointment of former Liberal staffer Adam Boyton to the interim national skills commissioner role has been called into question as it has been revealed that the procurement process undertaken by the government allowed him to secure the position through limited tender “due to an absence of competition for technical reasons”.

VETinfoNews November 2019 edition

Welcome to the November 2019 edition of VETinfoNews We welcome your feedback and contributions. Please email us at
Welcome to the November 2019 edition of VETinfoNews
We welcome your feedback and contributions. Please email us at

The Lower fees, local skills program launched on 14 October and has been very well received.
Through the program, course fees for 34 VET qualifications will be halved in 2020 and 2021, and fees are capped annually at $400 for concession students and at $1,200 for non-concession students.
Go to to find out more!

WA VET Ambassadors: Matthew King

WA Trainer of the Year 2019 Matthew King took to the national stage last week where he added runner up in the Australian Trainer of the Year his plethora of achievements.

As an electrotechnology trainer at Swan Trade Training Centre, Mathew provides inspirational learning experiences whilst remaining relevant to industry.

With a genuine passion for working with young people, Matthew believes through great teaching you can shape the next generation.

As a VET Ambassador, Matthew will play a key leadership role promoting VET in Western Australia and continuing to seek opportunities to inspire innovative teaching practice for our vocational education and training sector.

New release of TAE training package
A new release of the TAE training package — TAE 3.0 — is now available on

It includes two new Inclusion of People with Disability cross sector units.

  • TAEXDB401 Plan and implement individual support plans for learners with disability
  • TAEXDB501 Develop and implement accessible training and assessment plans for learners with disability

Each of the following TAE qualifications has had one additional unit added to the elective bank.

  • TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
  • TAE50116 Diploma of Vocational Education and Training
  • TAE50216 Diploma of Training Design and Development

What hasn’t changed

  • The bank of core units.
  • The trainer and assessor credential requirement upgrade (see FAQs here).
  • Requirements for learners who hold or are attaining the Certificate IV.

WA TAFE college governing council membership Expressions of interest 2020

Would you like to help shape the strategic direction of training in Western Australia?

Expressions of interest are now open for membership of the governing council of the Central Regional, North Metropolitan, North Metropolitan, North Regional, South Metropolitan and South Regional TAFE colleges. EOIs are also sought for the Governing Council Deputy Chairperson position at North Metropolitan  and South Regional TAFEs.

Applications are open until Friday 24 January 2020.

 Full details and how to apply

New VET partnerships to drive jobs growth in regional WA

Exciting new partnerships and programs from North Regional TAFE, Central Regional TAFE and South Regional TAFE will focus on skills development for local communities, creating more apprenticeships and traineeships, and showcasing careers in agriculture, fisheries, forestry and food industries to secondary school students.

Read the full story

Enterprise Training Program boosting training and upskilling

WA’s social assistance and allied health sector has welcomed the new Enterprise Training Program (ETP), which provides support to employers to help upskill their workforce. Working in partnership with an RTO, employers in the social assistance and allied health sector can apply for up to $300,000 in funding.

Funding for approximately 3,500 training places for aged care and disability care workers has been allocated since the roll-out of the pilot program, with skillsets linked to the Certificate IV in Ageingand the Certificate III in Individual Support the most common.

Read the full story >

In the South West of Australia, the Noongar seasonal calendar includes six seasons in a yearly cycle: Birak, Bunuru, Djeran, Makuru, Djilba and Kambarang.Each of the six seasons represents and explains the seasonal changes we see annually.

This weekend we enter Birak — the sixth of the Noongar seasons (December to January) – the first summer, season of the young. Birak sees the rains ease, and the warm weather take hold. Afternoons are cooled by the sea breezes that abound.

Traditionally, Noongar people enjoyed the bounty of fresh seafood this time of year, and burned sections of scrubland in mosaic patterns, to encourage new growth and make it easier to move across country.

Have you read the 153-page final report from the review of the Australian Qualifications Framework?
It’s available here on the Commonwealth Department of Education website >Would you like a quick explanation of what’s being proposed following the review of the AQF?
WorldSkills National Competitions coming to Perth in 2020!

In very exciting news for our Western Australian VET sector, it was recently announced that Perth will host Australia’s premier skills showcase the WorldSkills Australia National Championships.

Showcasing up to 60 different skill categories, this is Australia’s biggest VET competition. It brings together the nation’s best and brightest apprentices, trainees, educators, employers and industry professionals who will compete for the title of national champion in each skill category. It’s going to be an action-packed event! Be sure to stay with VETinfoNews for all the latest updates and announcements.

Read the full story

TeamWA is getting ready!

On Friday 22 November, Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery announced the WA Training Squad for the WorldSkills Australia national championships at a special medal ceremony.

Recognised for their outstanding performance throughout the regional WorldSkills competitions, 196 competitors received medals with 66 being nominated for the WA Training Squad. From this squad, the WA team will be selected to compete as Team WA at the WorldSkills Australia National Championships here in Perth 13—15 August next year.
Read the full story

The Australian Training Awards were held on Thursday 21 November in Brisbane,
and once again the best of VET in WA VET was in the spotlight.

Two of WA’s nine nominees from the WA Training Awards 2019 winners received accolades.

Barminco, one of the world’s largest hard-rock underground mining services, won the the prestigious Large Employer of the Year Award in recognition of their excellent training programs, dedication to staff development and successful partnerships with RTOs.

Matthew King, an electrotechnology trainer at Swan Trade Training Centre, came in runner-up position for the Australian Trainer of the Year Award.  Matthew was responsible for establishing the only school-based pre-apprenticeship electrical course run by in-house staff in Western Australia.

Wayne Collyer, former Managing Director at South Metropolitan and Central Regional TAFEs,  was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the VET sector over more than 30 years.

Throughout his career Mr Collyer achieved significant results for VET in WA through developing future VET leaders and providing leadership to state and national policy committees, including his executive membership of the TAFE Directors Australia Board.

Read the full story

Applications for the 2020 WA Training Awards open in February 2020! 

Nominations now open for 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards
The Awards applaud the leadership, vision, excellence and commitment of young people under 29.
Nominations close 11 December.  Find out more
Great resource for VET promotion and training information

The SUCCEED magazine, from, is an excellent resource to promote VET to students and clients. Topics include:

  • what is VET, and what to expect from a VET course;
  • study options that VET offers;
  • an explanation of qualification pathways;
  • information about training providers; and
  • an overview of course fees and student loan options.

It also has VET success stories to inspire and motivate students, a section promoting apprenticeships and traineeships, and career development information. Last but not least, it provides a comprehensive profile for 15 industry areas, each with a “what to study” course list aligned with industry categories and career possibilities.

Take a look at SUCCEED

  • Perth is now even more attractive for international students, boosting education, training, jobs and tourism for Western Australia.
    Read the full story
  • In an Australian first, TAFE has partnered with Rio Tinto to develop a new Certificate IV in Remove Operations qualification that will create career pathways.
    Read the full story
  • WA energy utility providers join forces with TAFE to upskill WA workers to service the future electrical landscape.
    Read the full story
  • Bel Skinner, a music lecturer at North Regional TAFE, was nominated for an ARIA award as Music Teacher of the Year, a first for the VET sector.
    Read the full story
  • Reduced course fees under the new Lower fees, local skills program are paving the way for training aligned with new METRONET jobs.
    Read the full story
This selection of news stories is from

Applications are open until 13 December
2020 Industry Skills Forecast: What does your industry need?

Artibus Innovation has been commissioned by the Australian Government to support the Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) for Construction, Plumbing and Services and Property Services in their work reviewing, renewing and developing vocational education and training (VET) within their sectors. You’re invited to have your say.

TAC education program for RTOs and VET practitioners

As part of the Training Accreditation Council’s commitment to provide registered training organisations and VET practitioners in Western Australia with professional development opportunities, they deliver an education program.

TAC has delivered a great range of workshops through 2019 to support our WA VET sector, and we look forward to seeing what they’ll be offering in 2020.

Missed something?
TAC provide recordings of their most popular workshops, and downloadable resources, on their website.

View the available recorded sessions and resources

Automotive consultations and projects
A number of AUT projects are in initial consultation or training product review/development stage, including heavy and light vehicle, marine, motorcyle, sales and administration, and body repair qualifications and skill sets. View the AUT projects

Draft rail materials
TACs have finalised draft TLI training package materials for the Network Fault support and the Train and Network Control Operations Review projects. AIS invites you to provide feedback.

Rail Network Fault Support
 Train and Network Control Operations

Exhibited Animal Care and Marine Wildlife Project
Feedback is invited for the updated Certificates III and IV in Captive Animals, new units of competency and new skill sets.

 Have your say

Business services
Business enterprise skills and technical skills projects in the BSB training package are now available for review and feedback is invited. BSB projects

Creative Arts and Culture (CUA)
TDraft training products for a numver of areas within the CUA training package, including Screen, media and broadcasting, Arts and Health, and Music, are now available for review and feedback.

 Review of CUA

New projects for new skills as Gas industry expands
The Gas Industry Reference Committee has initiated four projects to review and develop qualifications and occupational skills standards to address the changing skill needs of the industry.
 Find out more

The Commonwealth Government’s new National Careers Institute (NCI) will provide leadership in the delivery of high quality, evidence-based career development to enable Australians to make informed decisions about their learning, training and work pathways.

Newly appointed Careers Ambassador Scott Cam is working with the NCI to make sure individuals and business can take advantage of the career pathways on offer. Resources, including career development videos, will become available over the next few months.

Visit the NCI website

WA Industry Training Councils on Facebook

Did you know that most of our WA ITCs are on Facebook? Visit them via the links below, and follow their page to keep up with all the latest news.
WA nominal hours guides

The following WA nominal hours guides have been finalised for the training package, and are now available for download from the Department’s website.

  • ACM Animal care and management (v3)
  • CPC Construction, plumbing and services (v9.5)
  • MEA Aeroskills (v4)
  • MST Textiles, clothing and footwear (v2)
  • MST Textiles, clothing and footwear (v2.1)
  • SFI Seafood industry (v1)
  • TLI Transport and logistics (v5.1)
Free NCVER webinar
The dynamics of qualifications: Implications for VET
Join NCVER in this free webinar as they explore new research into how industry demand for VET and higher education qualifications has shifted over a decade. Tuesday 10 December 2019 from 1.30—2.00 pm ACDT.If you can’t attend the webinar, you can read the paper

Copyright © 2019 Department of Training and Workforce Development, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you subscribed to VETinfoNews, or you are on a mailing list with the Department.View previous editions of VETinfoNews here

Aussie businesses underspend on training and skills

“We risk being left behind”: Why the $2.5 billion training gap is bad news for Aussie businesses
New research released this week by Deakin Co. and Deloitte Access Economic shows a significant gap between the investment on recruitment versus training by businesses. The research also suggests that business performance is being affected by the country’s skill shortages even though a third of Aussie workers having bachelor’s degrees.

Read more here: