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Business urges Government to strengthen VET in schools


Release Date: 18/12/2015
The Illawarra Business Chamber has praised the final report of the Legislative Council’s inquiry into Vocational Education and Training in NSW, urging the NSW Government to adopt its recommendations.
 
“We’re pleased the Inquiry has recognised the vital importance of vocational education and training for the employment outcomes of young people in the Illawarra and the state as a whole,” said Debra Murphy, Illawarra Business Chamber’s Chief Executive Officer.
 
“We know from our September Business Conditions Survey that skills development is a major concern for our members.
 
“Yet at a time when local businesses are crying out for skilled workers, youth unemployment in the Illawarra is a disproportionately high 18%, above the State average of 12.7%.
 
“That’s why we strongly support the Committee’s recommendation for the NSW Government to expand the school-based apprenticeship and traineeship program to facilitate greater participation by students, including those living in regional areas,” Ms Murphy said.
 
Ms Murphy noted that the Inquiry’s finding mirrored the advice of the NSW Business Chamber in its report, Paving the Pathway: Addressing Post Year 10 Education, which recommended a wide-ranging review of VET with a view to supporting more pathways to employment and vocational training for students.
 
“Raising the bar on the standard of VET delivered in NSW must be a priority if we are to give young people in the Illawarra the skills they need to succeed and meet the needs of local industries.
 
“Community Service Obligation funding will also continue to be important in the regional areas like the Illawarra, which is why we also support the Inquiry’s recommendation for an annual review to identify thin markets and decide on regional funding needs.
 
“The VET system has suffered recently from reports of unethical behaviour and poor quality provision by a minority of training providers. Robust and efficient regulation of training providers and adequate resourcing of the national regulator is critical.
 
“It will be important, however, to ensure that any additional audit and compliance requirements under the NSW Quality Framework do not duplicate the work of the Australian Skills Quality Authority or place an unnecessary regulatory burden on training providers,” Ms Murphy concluded.
 
Media Contact:          Rebecca Burdick 0417 135 858



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