How to fix Voc. Ed. & Training comprehensively – Issue Seven

(C) Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.

Intellectual Property of Dr. Bruce D. Watson, DEd Melbourne, FAIM, MACE,

For Private individual use and comment.


Establish Institutes of TAFE as the core framework for the VET System


Repair the damage and rebuild Institutes of TAFE to ensure people in rural and and more remote areas have equal opportunity for VET training and qualifications. This,  together with a recognition of the important role they take with respect to community engagement and community development – rarely a role taken up by private providers accept some not-for-profit private RTOs.

Private RTOs are not well placed to fill holes in provision created by the withdrawal of TAFE from both certain activities and localities. In many cases, Private Providers lack the relevant capacity and the vagaries of the funding system, as governments struggle to contain costs, are not conducive to long term planning and investment.

Under current settings, many TAFEs risk (and are) becoming residualised, needing “special assistance” to cover declining revenues. This runs counter to the logic of “marketisation” and it runs counter to Australia’s economic and social interests.

The capability and reach of the VET system is being rundown and what is now a diverse and polychromatic system will be reduced to a disturbingly homogeneous and monochromatic system.

Redevelop institutes of TAFE into Polytechnics


The TAFE and VET “brand” has been so badly tarnished by the well documented and prior known free market outcomes of privatised, marketised, commodified education and training.

For the benefit of students and employers,there needs to be a radical revision of the whole Australian Voc. Ed. and Training System  based on contemporary vocational educational principles, not corporate rhetoric.

A primary area of attention is a polytechnic model for the State’s TAFE colleges to jointly offer higher education in under-serviced regional and outer metropolitan areas, to address gaps between areas of population growth and higher education provision in Melbourne and around the state. [McKenzie, 2015]

Establish and fund Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVE)


CoVEs must offer specialist higher vocational education based on skills needs set up to address the need to compete in a global economy and tackle social inclusion.

The aim is to replace competition between training providers with strategic planning based on partnerships between public and private providers and between colleges and schools, guided by a collaborative vocational education and training stakeholder/beneficiary voice – not just ‘industry’ – whatever that is.


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