A government and industry partnership in Australia is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to obtain formal qualifications and training. Vocational Education and Training (VET) targets school leavers aged 15 and above in order to equip them with the skills and knowledge needed to enter the workforce for the first time, as well as those already in employment to provide them with the expertise required for a promotion or to train them for a new job within a different sector.
Recently, VET underwent a reform in order to meet six new objectives set by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Industry of Skills Council (CISC). Themed around industry responsiveness, quality and regulation, funding and governance, and data and consumer information, these objectives have been devised to ensure that the programme that students undertake is sufficient for them to gain employment in the workplace upon completion.
VET gives students the opportunity to work with industry professionals who are experts in their chosen field. The knowledge and experience they pass on to the students allows them to gain a balanced mix of both theoretical and practical training, resulting in a real hands-on learning experience.
Because of the wide range of courses of offer and flexible learning options, VET is an extremely popular choice for many Australians. It provides qualifications for a variety of different employment sectors, from professional certificates to advanced diplomas, and students are able to choose what subject and qualification they want to study based on what they need to get in to their chosen sector.
Some students are now even opting to take a VET qualification in place of a university education as the costs are much lower. Even for international students, the annual costs associated with a VET qualification – between AUD$4,000 to AUD$22,000 – are much more competitive than the AUD$15,000 to AUD$33,000 needed for an undergraduate Bachelor’s degree. VET qualifications are also much shorter to complete, so students who opt for VET are able to save even more in costs.
VET qualifications often have lower entry requirements than an undergraduate Bachelor’s degree and although the final qualifications level is lower, many employers now recognise it and students are therefore able to enter the career they want. Where a university qualification is required for entry into the workforce, students can still opt to take VET as it provides them with the necessary qualifications to apply for advanced standing, meaning that the time spent at university is less, resulting once again in lower overall costs.
The VET qualification allows employers to recruit a well-trained and skilled workforce, and it is also an economical alternative to a Bachelor’s degree. Overall, it is extremely beneficial for the Australian economy and it is clear to see why it is becoming a more popular option among both employers and students.
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