Setting the direction for vocational education and training

7 July 2016

People in a laboratory looking into a microscope

The NSW Government is delivering greater choice for students and employers by building a more flexible and demand-driven vocational education system.

In its just released Directions Statement for Vocational Education and Training, the NSW Government outlines the next phase of its Smart and Skilled reform program for Vocational Education and Training (VET) in NSW.

The statement includes proposed changes to the program that will:

  • Benefit both students and employers
  • Help more students access training, particularly disadvantaged students and those in rural or regional areas
  • Ensure high quality standards and strict consumer protections.

Building a Smart and Skilled workforce

Introduced in January 2015, Smart and Skilled aims to help people in NSW get the skills they need to find a job and advance their careers.

This next phase of Smart and Skilled will deliver a more responsive, flexible skills list matched to the jobs available now and in the future, and help training providers to offer new qualifications, provide greater choice to students and continue to deliver fair pricing and funding.

Setting the future direction for VET

The release of the Directions Statement for Vocational Education and Training follows a recent independent review commissioned by the NSW Skills Board and a NSW Legislative Council review into the VET sector.

Both reviews indicated that Smart and Skilled is on track, with the statement focusing on five themes emerging from the reviews:

  • Improving access and choice for students
  • Continuing to ensure fair pricing and funding
  • Maintaining a responsive and flexible NSW skills list
  • Stronger accountability and controls over subcontractors and brokers
  • Ensuring an efficient application process that maintains quality

Budgeting for success

The 2016-17 Budget provides 550,000 Government-subsidised training places, 50,000 more than last year, for people who can train or upskill to get the job or career they want.

The Government has also been able to make sure the most vulnerable people in the community have the chance to get into training and into jobs:

  • Fee-free scholarships will give 200,000 people in social housing, in out-of-home care and who are experiencing or have experienced domestic and family violence and their dependants access to free vocational education.
  • Investing $100 million over the next two years will help young people in areas of high youth unemployment get into training or into a job, and stick at it.
  • Encouraging more people to take up STEM skills training will put them in the best place to get the jobs of the future.

For more information see Training Services NSW.