Australia’s community education sector has continued to hold its own in providing vocational education and training (VET), despite a national decline government-funded VET activity.
The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) has released the 2016 results of Government-funded VET students and courses.
On two of the three measures from the NCVER Report, Australia’s community VET providers saw the greatest increase of all VET sectors. While national government-funded figures increased slightly and community providers decreased slightly (see table below), community providers still had 5.8% of all students.
However, in terms of full year training equivalents (FYTEs, which measure the training activity undertaken by a student on a full-time basis for one year), and hours of delivery, community providers had the largest increase of any type of provider.
“Community Colleges Australia is most pleased to see that community providers are still ‘in the game’ and actively providing VET services. This occurs despite the absence of a national policy on the role of adult and community education (ACE) providers in VET, and almost no coordination between how the different Australia states and territories treat community-provided VET,” said Dr Don Perlgut, CEO of CCA.
Government-funded students, hours of delivery and full-year training equivalents, by provider type, 2012–16
|TAFE and other government providers||882.1||824.0||693.9||575.5||660.4||52.2||14.8|
|Community education providers||93.9||102.1||93.4||79.4||73.3||5.8||-7.6|
|Other registered providers||550.1||542.4||584.6||555.1||516.0||40.8||-7.1|
|Students attending various providers||16.8||14.1||21.4||14.7||16.0||1.3||8.5|
|Total students||1 542.8||1 482.6||1 393.2||1 224.7||1 265.6||100.0||3.3|
|Full-year training equivalents|
|TAFE and other government providers||432.5||413.1||363.3||275.4||283.5||54.1||2.9|
|Community education providers||25.6||23.5||23.9||21.4||22.2||4.2||3.9|
|Other registered providers||215.5||215.3||261.1||250.2||218.4||41.7||-12.7|
|Total full-year training equivalents||673.6||651.8||648.4||547.0||524.1||100.0||-4.2|
|Hours of delivery|
|TAFE and other government providers||311 368.6||297 403.3||261 609.8||198 271.7||204 085.0||54.1||2.9|
|Community education providers||18 408.3||16 900.5||17 177.4||15 411.5||16 015.7||4.2||3.9|
|Other registered providers||155 191.0||154 982.8||188 027.1||180 169.1||157 256.1||41.7||-12.7|
|Total hours of delivery||484 967.9||469 286.6||466 814.4||393 852.4||377 356.9||100.0||-4.2|
Source: Table 2, Government-funded students and courses 2016, NCVER, p. 8 https://www.ncver.edu.au/publications/publications/all-publications/government-funded-students-and-courses-2016
Key findings from the Report:
In 2016 there were 1.3 million students enrolled in the government-funded VET system: defined as all Commonwealth and state/territory government-funded training delivered by technical and further education (TAFE) institutes, other government providers such as universities, community education providers and other registered providers.
In 2016, compared with 2015 saw:
- Student numbers increased by 3.3%;
- Subject enrolments decreased by 3.1%; and
- hours and full-year training equivalents (FYTEs) decreased by 4.2%.
An estimated 7.8% of the Australian population aged 15 to 64 years participated in the government-funded VET system in Australia in 2016, including an estimated 21.3% of the Australian population aged between 15 and 19 years, and 43.7% aged 24 years and under.