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Financial Review article warns of skills shortage if VET funding is not addressed

15 January 2018

An article in Saturday’s Financial Review warned that skills shortages may result if the slide in government funding for VET since 2012 is not addressed.

The story points to recent reports that show the decline in funding to VET at a time when funds for higher education and schools have both increased.

VET experts called for greater accountability to halt the trend that has seen the states withdrawing funding for vocational education and training.

“The agreement that governs funding for VET enables the states to withdraw without consequence,” Peter Noonan from the Mitchell Institute said.

“The fall-off in VET is because there is no clear accountability – unlike schools, which also have joint funding. Earlier versions of the National Agreement for Skill and Workforce Development had stronger accountability obligations on the states.”

TDA Chief Executive Craig Robertson, speaking about the impact of demand-driven (entitlement) funding across the states and territories introduced under agreement with the Commonwealth, said “TAFEs were prepared to go along with the government program to encourage enrolments.

“But the independent providers cut corners. And we never liked the fact the government went alone with VET FEE-HELP, without dialogue with state and territory governments.”

Mr Robertson also said that the advent of demand-driven enrolments for universities helped create a perfect storm that contributed to the decline in VET.

See ‘Skills crisis looms as VET training slides in favour of university degrees’

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