CCA Conference: Northern Territory expert will use big data to explore impact of Australian VET marketisation

A Northern Territory vocational education and training (VET) expert will use big data to explore the impact of marketisation on the sector, at CCA’s upcoming Brisbane conference, 19-20 November.

Dr Don Zoellner (pictured), a former Pro Vice Chancellor at Charles Darwin University, will expand on Professor John Quiggin’s theme on the unsuitability of market-based approaches to Australian education and training. By looking at big data sets, Dr Zoellner will analyse the gap between what was promised by those who advocated for the marketisation of the delivery of vocational education and training and what a now relatively mature market has produced.

His session – entitled “VET market outcomes in NSW and Victoria; The outcomes of choice and competition” – will compare the supposed case of policy learning in New South Wales on the basis of the early market experiences in Victoria.

Dr Zoellner says: “Our VET sector has been singled out for 30 years of a real time experiment in marketising and privatising the delivery of human services. Big data sets demonstrate that, in spite of the benefits that are attributed to user choice, certain groups have suffered major disadvantages in the VET market. The singular focus on choice of training provider has curtailed or even eliminated many other choices including choice of occupation, employer choices, choice of location, choice of delivery style and level of qualifications available to the community”.

Dr Zoellner will speak at CCA’s annual conference in Brisbane on Tuesday 19 November 2019: more details here.

About Dr Don Zoellner

Dr Don Zoellner has worked in the school, vocational and higher education sectors in the Northern Territory since 1973. He served as the Executive Director of Centralian College in Alice Springs and Pro Vice-Chancellor Community and Access at Charles Darwin University (CDU). He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Enterprise and Career Education Foundation and Chairperson of the Australian Principals’ Associations Professional Development Council. Dr Zoellner has served on numerous advisory committees, reviews and evaluations of education and training at both NT and national levels.

Dr Zoellner is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators and former board chair of Group Training NT. He currently serves as the independent chair of the Industry Skills Advisory Council Northern Territory board, is the NT representative on the Australian Industry and Skills Committee and is a member of the Senior Secondary Pathways into Work, Further Education or Training Review Panel. Following his retirement from CDU in 2010, Dr Zoellner completed his Doctor of Philosophy in 2013 by describing the development and implementation of Vocational Education and Training policy in Australia and continues to research, write, present and publish in the area. He has recently presented papers in England on social enterprise in VET at a conference in Sheffield and on VET ministerial behaviour at Oxford University. He holds an honorary appointment as University Fellow at CDU.


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