National Skills Week highlights VET sector

by Brett Henebery29 Aug 2017
The diversity of vocational education and training (VET) will be on display in communities throughout Australia, as part of National Skills Week which was launched on Monday.
National Skills Week – which runs until September 3 – is the focal point for the promotion of Australia’s VET sector and communicates the emerging trends and new growth drivers connecting skills training with job outcomes.
This year’s theme ‘More than you know’, reflects the myriad of career pathways that people interested in high quality, nationally-recognised qualifications can pursue.
Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Karen Andrews, said Monday’s launch on the Gold Coast was a great opportunity for all Australians to learn about the value of VET.
“National Skills Week is a celebration of the positive effect the VET system has on the lives of every Australian,” Andrews said.
“Whether you’re still at school, finishing secondary school studies, transferring skills, or thinking of changing or advancing your career, VET is a great choice that offers real pathways to new skills and real jobs.”
The Skilling Australia Foundation (SAF), a not-for-profit organisation which conducts skills assessments and provides relevant Industry based short courses, has called for the status of the vocational training industry to be raised.

A report released in May by SAF – titled: ‘Perceptions are not reality: myths, realities & the critical roles of vocational education & training in Australia’ – sought to clarify a number of myths about the sector.

SAF CEO, Nicholas Wyman, told L&D Professional that VET needs to be at the forefront of both economic and educational debates.
“Raising the status of vocational education is a crucial part of addressing youth unemployment and youth disengagement,” Wyman said.
“It is also essential if we are going to make a dent in the national skills shortage, long-term unemployment and stop the overreliance on imported labour to act as a stop gap.”

Wyman said that with the announcement of the Skilling Australians Fund, the recent Federal Government Budget appeared to back this push for vocational education with $1.5bn to be spent over the next four years on trainees and apprentices.
“A renewed focus on apprentices and trainees will boost the number of people who choose and succeed in this pathway, supporting more Australians to get the skills they need for jobs in demand.”  
This was also a view supported by Andrews, who said VET graduates have the advantage of being trained to be ‘work ready’.
“I encourage all employers to seek them out. Not only are VET graduates trained in a world class education system, their qualifications are designed and delivered by industry experts,” she said.

“I encourage people of all ages to attend an event in their local area and learn more about the many thousands of qualifications available through VET.”

Related stories:
Why we should raise the status of vocational training
Calls for greater investment in technical training