There’s a real gap between grads attaining qualifications and being work ready. According to the National Centre for Vocational Education and Training (NCVER) 75% of today’s 23-year-olds perceive their lack of experience as another barrier to obtaining work.
Fifty percent of those young people feel they lack the right kind of education or training. Fortunately, there are some excellent approaches to combat this gap, and Vocational Education and Training (VET) is leading them.
VET’s direct connection to industry produces skilled graduates with strong enterprise skills
In FYA’s New Work Reality report it was revealed that it is critically important that young people are able to develop their enterprise skills through formal education as [these skills] continue to be proven to be a powerful predictor of long-term job success as jobs of the future demand enterprise skills 70% more than jobs of the past.’ Studying VET can help develop students’ enterprise skills by enabling practical applications of their skills as they learn.
In practice, preparing students for the world of work has less to do with data retention and more about applying skills and demonstrating knowledge in real world settings. We spoke to Rachel Dudok about her transition from working at Qantas as an aircraft maintenance engineer to her current job at Aviation Australia preparing the next generation of aviation staff. Rachel’s industry experience, paired with a VET course in business, enabled her to make a swift transition between roles. As someone who now works in the Aviation education space her work is very much centred on those vital enterprise skills, like communication, problem solving, digital literacy, and time management that she harnessed through her studies and work experience.
Innovative Industry Partnerships
VET providers are mandated to maintain close relations with industry to respond to local trends on what sectors are demanding from a labor and skills point of view. With an eye on where innovations are heading, VET courses are continuously updating. To see more about this, check out this video ‘VET it’s right now’.
FYA’s partnership with South West TAFE in Victoria comprises a number of key elements driving innovation in VET: a new training model, in partnership with the growing healthcare and social assistance sector, a digital tool which will accurately inform job-seekers about the jobs, skills and TAFE courses that can support them in their career trajectories; and a new dynamic learning space where students can develop enterprise and technical skills in an immersive environment alongside local entrepreneurs developing ideas for micro-businesses to provide context for their learning.
VET qualifications are designed with industry for up to date skills and knowledge. Alongside this, VET trainers are professionals in their fields, this expertise is relevant for vital insights, networks and opportunities to their students. Take it from Sebastian, a VET Graduate who launched into his career in design before he completed his qualifications through opportunities offered to him by teachers.
To find out more how VET works in tandem with industry, check out episode 3 ‘So I heard, VET is a thing of the past’
Students in the driver’s seat.
The nature of VET qualifications allows for students to be in control of their studies. For example, students can choose the level of training with many levels of Certificates, through to Diplomas and tailor it to how much or little time you wish to study, or by which load you wish to take on be it full time or part time. For workers looking to reskill or upskill, VET provides that flexibility to cater to students’ lifestyle arrangements.
Some apprenticeships and traineeships are determined by how well you complete your theoretical training, so based on competencies, students may be able to finish sooner! If you’re curious about how VET works, check out our VET FAQ article.
You can also study VET while you’re at school through an Australian School-based Apprenticeship (AsbA). This means students are able to acquire workplace skills through an industry-developed training package or an accredited course. So in completing an ASbA, they’re ahead in understanding what work place settings look and feel like, they’re better placed to make decisions about their senior high school subjects (and beyond) and they also have a nationally recognised certificate based on their competency and skill. By simulating aspects of the workplace within the training, students feel prepared with the right skills to enter the workplace.
FYA has partnered with the Federal Department of Education and Training to highlight the opportunities in Vocational Education for young Australians navigating the world of work. The So I Heard series explores just some of the many options out there.