What role do apprenticeships and traineeships play in VET?

I would like to thank the Assistant Minister Karen Andrews for her recent update.  It is reassuring to know that there is considerable contemplation of VET’s future, particularly as we are getting very close to the expiry of the National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform (202-17).

The update from the Minister did lead me to consider the role of apprenticeships (incorporating traineeships) in Australia.  Doing a little basic statistics work I determine that as of September 2015 this group made up 6% of all students in the VET system (262625 apprentices:4,500,000 total enrolments) according to NCVER data at https://www.ncver.edu.au/publications/publications/all-publications/2874.

This group is very significant to VET, and the formation of skills in Australia.  The commentary, though, sometimes lead me to think that there may be a view held that VET is largely based on an apprenticeship model.  For example, the Minister states, “As the flagship of the vocational education system, apprenticeships are my key priority and we are focused on reversing the decline that began in 2012.”

Do you share this concern that a view of VET could be described perhaps as a 1950’s view, rather than a 21st Century view?  I will be very interested to read the replies.







1 thought on “What role do apprenticeships and traineeships play in VET?

  1. Thanks for your observations about the relatively small proportion which Apprentices contribute to the extensive range of VET related programs and enrolments

    I know that some recent research looks at the 80 20 rule in that 80% of students are enrolled in maybe 20 % of the Training packages. Come to the AVETRA conference in 2017 and find out more detail.

    My plea is that more understanding and resources should be devoted to the Foundation and generic enabling skills. VET and TAFE have a significant role to play in ongoing adult applied, practical and project-based learning particularly in this technological and technocratic age. Spare a thought for STEM and STEAM… to include the ARTS, languages and cultural programs.


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