Why students and parents need to look beyond university

Media release | 29 November 2017

Deputy Premier and Minister for Skills John Barilaro, and the Assistant Minister for Skills Adam Marshall today said the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey has made a compelling case for students and their parents to look to Vocational Education and Training (VET) if their ultimate aim is to get a job.

Mr Barilaro, a university dropout-turned-tradie himself, said short and medium term employment rates of university graduates had fallen significantly over the past 10 years.

“The 2017 Graduate Outcomes Survey by the Social Research Centre shows only 67.5 per cent of 2014 university graduates found work within four months,” Mr Barilaro said.

“The survey also revealed completion rates for university courses are at their lowest levels, with a third of students who started their degree in 2010 dropping out.

“Students are taking longer than ever to complete their degrees, with only two thirds of students finishing their bachelor degrees within six years.

“Many university graduates are finding it difficult to find a job and are realising that VET can provide a better option. That’s why one in three university graduates are choosing to do a VET course after they’ve graduated.

“I was encouraged to go to university by my parents, and it just wasn’t for me.

“After dropping out of university, I opted to take up a trade and do an apprenticeship. It was something that I enjoyed and was passionate about, and I never looked back.

“We absolutely need and want a strong university sector in NSW, but as a passionate advocate for VET, I want students and parents to know uni isn’t their only option for a rewarding and fulfilling career,” he said.

Figures on VET employment outcomes from a Skilling Australia report released in May showed 78 per cent of VET graduates and 82 per cent of VET apprentices and trainees are employed after training.

“The graduate employment rate of VET students who train as part of a trade apprenticeship is as high as 92 per cent according to the Skilling Australia report,” Mr Barilaro said.

“VET offers the opportunity to earn while you learn and all the signs are that VET is increasingly a smart option when it comes to getting a job.”

Assistant Minister for Skills, and the Minister responsible for TAFE Adam Marshall said the latest Survey demonstrates the significant opportunities provided by choosing the strong public VET provider TAFE NSW.

“TAFE NSW is the largest provider of Vocational Education and Training in Australia, providing students across NSW with the practical skills they need to hit the ground running and meet the needs of industry and employers across the state,” Mr Marshall said.

“The NSW Government is helping deliver the skilled workforce for the future through its One TAFE NSW reforms which will continue to deliver a strong and publicly-owned VET provider.

“Students seeking the skills and training they need to secure a job should look no further than TAFE NSW,” he said.

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