In his latest post, CCA CEO Dr Don Perlgut examines the profitability of the private, for-profit VET sector, particularly in light of the recent announcement of the massive profit of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA).
Dr Perlgut’s article points out that there are virtually no “for-profit” institutions in the Australian schools sector, and that in the university (tertiary education) sector, for-profit institutions enrol only 4% of Australian university students. Yet in the VET sector – according the National Centre for Vocational Education and Research (NCVER) – in 2015, some 3,012,100 of a total 4,524,600 (66.6%) VET students enrolled in private for-profit institutions. TAFE came in a distant second, with 932,300 students (20.6%); and community providers trailed third with 205,700 students (4.5%).
Dr Perlgut’s article quotes a 2015 report by Serena Yu and Damian Oliver from the University of Sydney’s Business School that examined the margins of for-profit publicly listed Australian VET providers, finding that they ranged up to 30%, much higher than the heavily criticised CBA’s 16.5%.
The article wonders whether or not this is good for the Australian economy, our development of skills and our increasingly battered VET sector, wondering if there is another way forward.