At the ACPET 2013 National Conference in Adelaide on 29th August 2013, The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Shadow Minister for Employment Participation, outlined a number of issues for VET and potential game changers in her speech.
The Shadow Minister began with this key comment,
“From my perspective in my position we must ensure we ask the right people the right questions.”
I think by default she means that the right people haven’t been asked the right questions in relation to advice for sound policy development, from the coalface and on funding too.
Pointing to the recent Australian Apprenticeship funding cuts, Sussan highlighted the latest NCVER data which although there was a slight rallying in commencements, comparing against figures of 12 months ago they are considerably down.
“We have to ensure that funding for training is targeted where the real need is both currently, and forecast into the future”, she said.
I think a shift towards economic winners – focussing on jobs and skills that will boost the economy.
The Hon Sussan Ley MP stated,
The vocational training space is a pretty convoluted mess, to put it bluntly. Overhaul of the VET system will be crucial in ensuring that we have a system to lead us into the future.
This will probably translate into a review of the national VET landscape, all the committee’s, structures, agencies, advisory arrangements including the Industry Skill Councils and funding.
Liberal’s view is that there is, “… a lot of duplication and waste in the Vocational Education space.”
Public monies and funding will be targeted considering the return to the economy, business and industry.
Whilst talking briefly about international education and higher education, Sussan commented on the adverse effects of ‘dodgy’ providers and where specific investigation needed to be undertaken in terms of quality. She also said, “…it is apparent that ASQA has no real teeth when it comes to cracking down on poor course offerings” and “…some providers are being closed down for minor indiscretions” – look out ASQA!
Another area that Sussan has been critical of the environmental scans undertaken by Industry Skills Councils and the inadequacies of NCVER data particularly in relation to apprenticeship drops outs and commencements. She believes that, “…too often apprentices haven’t got a real understanding of the qualification they are attempting.”
It seems that the Liberal party thinks that red tape in VET has gone too far and will want to review the whole system.
And who does Jennifer Hewett from the Australian Financial Review think the next Minister will be?
If you want to know how the VET game may change from Monday book into the VET Game Change webinar on 13.9.13 at 1.00 pm AEST – places are limited.
NB. A copy of The Hon Sussan Ley’s speech to the ACPET conference was provided by her office however it is not a final transcript.