Market Models Won’t Fix VET – Learning is a social process not a business


copyright-symbols-and-rules-you-need-to-know-04 2015

Intellectual Property of Dr. Bruce D. Watson, DEd Melbourne and attributed authors as noted.

For Private individual use. All rights reserved.


When you have deregulation and subsidisation of private VET providers, it just means they can charge whatever they reckon they can get away with, and it forces all the prices up to increase profit.

Extracts from a speech by Pat Forward, Federal TAFE Secretary, Australian Education Union [Source:]

“The truth is this: market models won’t fix the problems in vocational education.”

“The poverty and austerity of market design as an organizing principle for the sector is being revealed ….. All stakeholders must call for a rigorous public debate that contributes to the development of policy that would shape the future of the sector.”

“Markets are not the way to organize social goods like education. Advocates of market design cannot point to a single piece of research that shows that it works in education.”

“Markets are neither good masters, nor good servants.”

“…..There has been an almost universal call to upgrade quality requirements among training providers. A call for increased quality will not work either because quality is hard to define in a market-driven, fragmented, CBT system. The problem with CBT is that it severs the link between learning and assessment.”

“According to CBT, learning happens anywhere anytime, and can be assessed in any place. This trivialises vocational education because in the end curriculum and structured teaching and learning don’t matter, and nor do teachers or institutions.”

“……. Learning is a social process linked to an educational institution, even where a part of that learning is on the job. …. [T]he current focus of quality is the outcomes of learning. It is an impoverished learning experience which can be conflated narrowly with outcomes.”

“The call for increased quality in a market system will not work because the current batch of government bureaucrats have no idea how to define quality.”

“There has never been a greater need for vocational and further education in publicly funded educational institutions, with highly qualified teachers. In working with students at these institutions (whether in classrooms, workplaces, or online), the focus must be on contemporary industry skills, but it must also be on further education, and on citizenship and on building the capacity of this and future generations to participate powerfully in society.”

Private RTOs

Would /will Private RTOs accept the need for highly qualified teachers/trainers working with students/trainees (whether in classrooms, workplaces, or online), with the focus on:

  1. contemporary industry skills,
  2. further education,
  3. citizenship ,
  4. building the capacity of this and future generations to participate powerfully in society?

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