We’ve known for a long, long time that the Privatised VET System doesn’t work. Fix it comprehensively – stop tinkering at the edges.



It only took 20 years for the realisation, that history in education had shown that privatisation of vocational education and training would be a disaster. It has been -unequivocally.

Unfortunately, we still see only the tip of the iceberg and corporate speak to try and suggest otherwise. $6 billion in rorts is not a drop in the ocean what ever number of RTOs were involved in the rorts. And, even more importantly, the often forgotten thousands of students who have had qualifications cancelled, left with incomplete courses and, the salt to the wound, the public VET Provider TAFE being directed to fix up the mess caused by certain private RTOS and take on duped students, without recognition.

Even the Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET) has only recently introduced a Code of Ethics for their member Private RTOs; they say Private RTOs will be independently assessed by ACPET for quality and ethics, 20 years after the System began. No conflict of interest here? Given ACPET hasn’t done anything in this regard since its inception, what has been happening before now? Why should ACPET be trusted now? The organisation name is a misnomer – it has publicly proven that it is a “Council for Private RTOs”, not “private education and training” which includes students and trainers.

There will be no national effective “moving forward” until an educationally-based framework is adopted and the Business/Industry-led VET System framework is totally replaced.

I have consistently been drawing these very issues, and much more, to public view and also to Government Ministers both Federal and State. Interestingly, the only ridicule and trolling emanates mostly from Private RTOs directors and self-professed “business people”. That tells my colleagues and I something. It doesn’t take Einstein to realise that a Private RTO relying totally on Government Subsidies to function is not a “business” at all – it is a quasi-Government Agency relying on public handouts. And the ridicule and trolling hardly demonstrates a cohort that understands its “business”, “clients” and “professionalism”. To me, it demonstrates a cohort that is anxious, insecure in its “business” environment and lacking the necessary networks and cooperation that could actually help them.

For those who still want to ridicule and troll the many people that have exposed the educationally unsound framework of the current Industry-led VET System, I draw your attention to an article that highlights what well regarded Business leaders think about the Privatised VET System of the last 20 years, including:

  • Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA)  believes a shift away from VET’s current training packages is needed to broaden skills taught. Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell agrees.
  • It’s run by the trainers for the trainers
  • There is no consideration for the people they are training.
  • Each region is different and has different requirements, and the governments need to recognise that. Courses offered need to be appropriate for the region, and that’s not necessarily how the current system works.
  • Another primary recommendation is to broaden the skills provided by VET courses to provide better skills that are “transferable across occupational clusters”, with CEDA criticising the current courses as being “restrictive.”

Please see: “VET sector a “disgrace” and in need of comprehensive review, say business leaders” – DOMINIC POWELL / Monday, August 29 2016 – SmartCompany. http://bit.ly/2bSlfRj

I also invite the same people to review my comprehensive analysis of almost all aspects of the current VET System and note the similarity of the content. This puts to paid that I don’t support business, etc. Business itself recognises the current VET System is a disaster since its privatisation and lack of educationalist input: “How to successfully design and implement a Vocational Education and Training (VET) System that works” http://bit.ly/1YWwUgu

Still doubt my position, research synthesis, assessment and analyses? Here is another recent analysis by a respected vocational education and training practitioner: “The failure of privatisation and the case for a fully public TAFE system” http://bit.ly/2bRP19v


  • While VET is industry- led, and considered a “business” there will be negligible moving forward in any national educational sense.
  • While education and training is considered a product- there will be little moving forward in any national educational sense.
  • While students are considered inputs – there will be little moving forward in any national educational sense.

We have known in the past, and know now, from up-to-date vocational and training theory and practice, what will benefit students, trainers, employers and the Nation, rather than only the public purse profiteers with no more than a Cert IV level understanding of “training and education”.


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