4:47 PM, Feb 26 2018


23 February 2018



Apprentice employment network backs review of tertiary education sector


Australia’s National Apprentice Employment Network (NAEN) today supported the federal opposition’s pledge for a review of post-secondary education with a view to lifting the status of vocational careers.


The National Executive Officer of NAEN, Lauren Tiltman, said that one of the key constraints on the apprenticeship and traineeship system has been the second-class status that often attaches to vocational choices.


“It is important that we do everything possible to lift the status of VET so that more people are equipped with the skills needed for the jobs of the future. Unfortunately, many students and parents instinctively think that university is the sole pathway for career success.


“This overlooks the outstanding job outcomes for VET graduates, where more than 90 per cent find employment upon graduation – higher than in the university sector.


“The skills acquired through VET equip young people with capabilities that make them highly sought, adaptable, enterprising and job-ready, with many going on to start their own businesses,” Ms Tiltman said.


International experience in Germany and, more recently in the UK where a review is also underway, demonstrates the merit of academic and technical pathways which are equivalent and, in many cases, complementary.


Over the course of a career, many workers will move between sectors as jobs, skills and technologies change. Career options need to increasingly take account of adaptable, lifelong learning that will require the VET and university sectors to work in collaboration.


“It is clear that apprenticeships, including those in the traditional trades, as well as new higher-level apprenticeships, are a key part of this approach. Any review needs to ensure that apprenticeships remain a bedrock of Australia’s training system and are invigorated to meet new skills challenges,” Ms Tiltman said.


Media Contact: Bob Bowden, Foresight Communications 0412 753 298  bbowden@bowmac.com.au


The National Apprentice Employment Network is the national peak body representing the network of over 100 Group Training Organisations (GTOs) employing apprentices and trainees throughout Australia. www.naen.com.au


Patron - His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd)

Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia