VET infrastructure in secondary schools


Context
On 3 February 2015, Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, Assistant Minister for Education and Training released the Government’s independent review in the Trade Training Centres (TTCs) in Schools Program. The review, based on consultations with schools, TTCs and industry in 2014, was conducted to inform the Government on ways to optimise use of the TTC expenditure and improve the delivery and quality of vocational learning and VET delivered to secondary schools.

In addition, the Victorian Government, as part of its election campaign, promised that it will establish 10 new ‘Tech Schools’ across the state for students in Years 7 to 12.

Position
There is insufficient industry engagement with TTCs and if there is any form of industry engagement, it only occurs at the end of a TTC school course. In addition, TTCs, in their quest to contextualise training, inadvertently led students to experience negative SWL experiences.

In addition, TTCs had been established without sufficient consideration of the impact on local industry, the local TAFE and access to SBAT which provide students with both employment and qualification outcomes. TTCs are expensive to set up and this is often done without industry engagement. Further, maintenance costs of TTCs are not properly considered nor are the necessary skills of teachers in the TTC.

It appears that TTCs and schools place more emphasis on obtaining government funding rather than on the well-being of students and quality training outcomes primarily because both TTCs and schools are out of step of industry expectations.

With regard to the new Tech Schools that the Victorian Government is promising to create, training in these Tech Schools must be conducted in a manner that involves significant industry engagement.

Recommendations:

  • VET infrastructures in secondary schools must have compulsory trainer quality guidelines to ensure proper teaching.
  • Industry must be consulted on a regular basis and have a more active role towards the development of standards for training students in employability and industry skills.
  • Before further centres are established, genuine consultation with industry is needed.

18 June 2015