Putting ‘Education’ back in Vocational Education and Training (Part 1)


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.

Published: www.academia.edu

First, two key points:

1. educationists have been excluded from the industry led VET system since its inception. VET is totally an Industry-led System. I think that is a mistake.

2. the latest iteration of the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment trains for skills in system compliance but that is about all. VET is an Industry-led System so it gets what it accepts. I think that is a mistake.

I contend that some of the quality and other issues in the Australian VET System could be addressed by putting ‘education’ back into Vocational Education and Training. The emphasis has been too swayed towards the existing workplace and the short-term needs of employers that distort broader educational and economic goals.

Short responses to open discussion.

1. Education


Industry led “Competency-based Training BT is tied to the existing workplace and it does not provide students with access to the disciplinary systems of meaning that underpin vocational practice. Instead it provides students with access to contextually specific elements of theoretical knowledge, which can limit students’ capacity to use knowledge in novel contexts. Government and its educational systems must equip the whole population for rapid social, economic, cultural and technological change, and this goes beyond training for specific jobs.”

“The implications for VET policy are that it needs to move from a focus on products (such as training packages and assessment materials) to a focus on processes (brokering standards, accreditation and assessment). The conceptual basis of qualifications will need to move from training people for specific workplace tasks and roles to a focus on the person and their development in preparing them for a broad occupational field.” http://tinyurl.com/km65vdp

2. VET Trainers

A recent quote from a practitioner, ” I believe that the “dodgy” RTO’s interpretation of competence and the regulator’s inability to recognise this – is what is wrong with VET”

In Germany, a major strength of that dual system is the high degree of engagement and ownership on the part of employers and other social partners. But the system is also characterised by an intricate web of checks and balances at the national, state, municipal, and company levels that ensures that the short-term needs of employers do not distort broader educational and economic goals.” http://tinyurl.com/kft5pvt

“One main difference between Germany [and the UK] is that in Germany, enterprises pay for education and accept government regulations of in-house training programmes. If a German company decides to take on trainees – which no employer is obliged to do – it offers to take on the costs for education. But the company is then obliged to implement training regulations that, in the end, are formally legalised by federal government decree.” http://tinyurl.com/mdsk8n8

“Improving VET is intrinsically linked with the quality of teachers. Various patterns are emerging within the different national improvement strategies. First, a much greater emphasis is being placed on improving the quality of vocational teachers rather than workplace instructors; only in countries with a ‘dual system’ serious steps are being made to upgrade the qualifications of the latter. In England and Scotland, the focus on workplace ‘trainers’ is limited to their (students’ performance) assessment role. Second, general subject teachers in vocational schools are typically better qualified than vocational subject teachers (the dual system-based countries are again exceptions here). Most countries are trying to standardise qualifications and limit the traditional regional differences (like in Italy and Spain).” http://tinyurl.com/lepbqqv

“Vocational education and training in Germany is deeply embedded and widely respected in German society. The system offers qualifications in a broad spectrum of professions and flexibly adapts to the changing needs of the labour market.

Additional Resource:

The quality of teaching in [Australian] VET: final report and recommendations http://tinyurl.com/n6x4sdg

Looking forward to some constructive comment and criticism.


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