Ley brings together industry & schools to talk Voc Ed reform
- Assistant Minister for Education
Assistant Minister for Education Sussan Ley will today lead a roundtable in Melbourne with over 40 representatives from industry, schools, training providers and government in a bid to improve the quality of vocational education and training in Australia’s schools (VETiS).
Ms Ley said a lot had changed in the decade since the last VETiS strategy was drawn up (2001) and she was concerned about the “growing inconsistency” between the quality of training being delivered in schools and the expectations of employers, particularly traditional trades.
Ms Ley said she had a vision to improve VETiS in five key areas and the roundtable would look at both longer-term reform and prioritising actions for “immediate impact”.
“The future prosperity of our economy and nation depends on a highly-skilled workforce, yet Australia is currently crying out for high-quality tradespeople in a number of areas,” Ms Ley said.
“It’s becoming harder and harder for students to leave school and pick up unskilled work like generations before them and we need to make sure vocational education is keeping pace.
“It’s time we got schools, government, industry and trainers all in one room and worked towards creating a stronger future together and that’s what I’m doing.
“I also want to ensure our kids know they don’t have to choose between school and a trade anymore – that they can graduate Year 12 with the necessary skills to successfully continue their training with an employer.
“The pathway for vocational education students needs to be as clear as the pathway for those heading to university – they shouldn’t be treated like the ‘B team’.”
Ms Ley said “one of the frequent criticisms” employers shared with her about VETiS was graduates often did not live up to the standard of skills expected by the industry, despite holding recognised qualifications.
Ms Ley said she hoped to work with all parties to reform VETiS in five key areas by developing:
1. A first class career pathway for all
2. Stronger linkages with industry
3. High quality training
4. A flexible and responsive system
5. A streamlined regulatory environment.
Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) Director of Employment, Education and Training, Jenny Lambert, backed Ms Ley’s decision to set up the roundtable.
“The business community welcomes this opportunity convened by Minister Ley to discuss how students and the economy can make the most of the significant investment of time and funding in school-based vocational training,” Ms Lambert said.
“There are tremendous opportunities to improve the return on that investment in terms of job outcomes and credit towards further education.
“We should strive to better serve our young people and future workforce.”