OECD Reviews of Vocational Education and Training

2077-7736 (online)
2077-7728 (print)
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Higher level vocational education and training (VET) programmes are facing rapid change and intensifying challenges. What type of training is needed to meet the needs of changing economies? How should the programmes be funded? How should they be linked to academic and university programmes? How can employers and unions be engaged? The country reports in this series look at these and other questions. They form part of Skills beyond School, the OECD policy review of postsecondary vocational education and training.

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OECD Reviews of Vocational Education and Training: A Learning for Jobs Review of Australia 2008

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Kathrin Hoeckel, Simon Field, Troy R. Justesen, Moonhee Kim
30 Nov 2008
9789264113596 (PDF)

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Learning for Jobs is an OECD study of vocational education and training (VET) designed to help countries make their VET systems more responsive to labour market needs.

The Australian VET system has many strengths including strong engagement of employers, a well established national qualification system, extensive VET data and research. The system is flexible and allows for a fair degree of local autonomy and experimentation. But at the same time there are a number of challenges, including a lack of clarity and potentially duplication in the respective roles of Commonwealth, states and territories in planning and delivering VET, a lack of clear and simple rules for entitlement to funding, difficulties in providing a reliable foundation in skills forecasts, some gaps in the data base, somewhat complicated and cumbersome training packages and an ageing teacher and trainer workforce.

The OECD review assesses the main challenges faced by the VET system and presents an interconnected package of policy recommendations. For each recommendation, the report describes the challenge, the recommendation itself, supporting arguments, and issues of implementation.

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Table of Contents

Summary: strengths, challenges and recommendations 5
-Strengths 5
-Challenges 5
-Recommendations 6
Chapter 1. Introduction  7
-1.1 The OECD policy review of Australia 8
-1.2 The structure of the report 9
-1.3 A snapshot of VET in Australia  9
-1.4 Strengths of the Australian VET system 11
-1.5 Challenges confronting the Australian VET system 12
Chapter 2. Policy recommendations 15
-2.1 Clarifying responsibilities for VET 16
-2.2 Funding reform  17
-2.3 Making the market work for VET 21
-2.4 Planned provision and skills forecasts  24
-2.5 Putting VET data to work 31
-2.6 Improving the apprenticeship system 31
-2.7 Reforming training packages 35
-2.8 Investing in the VET teacher and trainer workforce 39
References 43
Annex A. Background information 48
-1. Terms of reference for Australia 48
-2. Biographical information 49
-3. Programme of the review visits 50
Annex B. International and national statistics  52

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