Strengthening VET will support our rapidly changing economy

Media Release
  • Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills

The Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Karen Andrews, has outlined the crucial role of VET as Australia’s economy undergoes rapid change and technology alters the nature of work.

“As the economy continues its structural adjustment due to the end of the mining boom, it is the VET sector that can provide the tools to upskill and reskill workers to capitalise on new employment opportunities,” Minister Andrews said.

“VET is a fundamental part of our economy. And it offers a vital pathway for Australians to pursue their career goals and passions.

“There are around 4 million students undertaking vocational training. The numbers of Indigenous students and those with a disability are also increasing.

“It’s crucial that those millions of students are getting value for money, a quality education, and that they’re learning skills our economy really needs now and into the future.”

Minister Andrews outlined her vision for the future of VET at an event hosted by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia in Melbourne today.

In her speech, Minister Andrews echoed recent comments by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull about the rapid pace of change taking place in Australia, driven by global trends.

“Australia’s future prosperity will be driven by harnessing our diverse economy - this includes looking to new sectors to support new sources of jobs, and to drive productivity to underpin continued economic growth,” Minister Andrews said.

“This is why we are making investments to ensure VET is poised to help advance Australia’s economic development.”

These measures include the new $1.5 billion Skilling Australians Fund to boost apprentice numbers, a new apprentice mentoring program for industries undergoing structural change, and a stronger and more sustainable VET Student Loans scheme.

“All of these measures are geared towards lifting the quality and relevance of training, and to create more apprenticeship places,” Minister Andrews said.

“More than ever, our economy will need a workforce which is modern, skilled and adaptable.”

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