State funding of VET qualifications


Context
The development of a competitive training market model for VET in Australia since the 1990s was implemented in order to further meet industry needs and increase choice, diversity, efficiency, equity and quality of student outcomes. This has led to an increase of private providers in competition with TAFE institutes. The implementation of the Victorian Training Guarantee in 2008 by the Victorian State Government further extended the marketisation of the VET sector in Victoria.

The recent Senate inquiry on the private VET sector had focused on VET funding. However, much of the discourse has been on the continual viability of the ‘contestability model’ for the VET sector.

The Victorian VET Funding Review will provide advice to the State Government on how to improve the quality, stability and sustainability of the Victorian training market by recommending alternative VET funding models and settings.

Position
Both the Senate inquiry and the VET Funding Review are welcomed. However, both the Inquiry and the Review should not focus on the philosophy behind the contestability model, but rather the issue regarding how all training programs are currently being funded equally, irrespective of how the course is being delivered. Essentially, consideration is not given towards the use of teaching resources or the length of the course with regard to how a course is funded.

Recommendations:

  • The cost of all courses should be funded based on the quality of the course. Quality can be discerned by examining how the course is delivered, the teaching resources used, and the length of the course
  • The Victorian Government and the Tasmanian Government should genuinely consult with industry with respect to expectations on delivery and quality outcomes and expeditiously act on information of rorting to restore industry’s confidence in the Victorian VET system.

18 June 2015