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The vocational education sector needs a plan and action, not more talk

Ruth Schubert and Leo Goedegebuure write in The Conversation (3.10.18) that, with talk of more reviews into Australia's ailing vocational education sector in the offing, what's needed now is proactive leadership and action. The authors argue that we already have all the research reports, reviews and inquiries we need to make reform to the VET sector happen.

'Some 20 years ago, the Australian vocational education system was regarded as world class. Sadly, this is no longer the case when compared to systems in places such as Canada, the Netherlands, Germany and even China.

'Australia’s vocational education system has been bedevilled by competing jurisdiction control, political ideology, chronic under-funding, piecemeal reforms, rampant rorting by a small number of corporate private providers, and a disappointing and surprisingly high level of policy confusion.

'In February this year, Labor announced it would commit to a generational review of the VET sector in Australia if elected at the next election.

'There is already a substantial list of research reports, reviews and inquiries into issues within the sector. A well-crafted plan can be distilled from this, which, combined with proactive leadership and action, is what the sector needs. Not yet another all-encompassing, long-winded review that will inevitably run aground due to the short-term federal political cycle.'


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