AVETRA Submission to the Inquiry into the role of the technical and further education

In April 2013 Linda Simon, working with the executive, submitted a response to the inquiry – to view the submission click here

 

AVETRA Submission to the Productivity Commission: The Vocational Education and Training Workforce.

In April 2010 the Productivity Commission was asked by the federal government to report on the Education and Training Workforce. In May the commission indicated that the study of the VET workforce would be the initial priority, before the commission proceeded with the subsequent investigations into the early childhood and school workforces.

In July 2010 AVETRA registered with the Productivity Commission as an association that wished to make a submissions and contribute to the commission’s subsequent workshops and report for the Federal Government and COAG.

Our submission is a public document and willremain on the Productivity Commission website for the duration of their investigation into the Education and Training Workforce over the next two years.

Download here:    AVETRA’s Response to the Productivity Commission

A draft submission was prepared by the AVETRA executive, and a request sent to members of the association for references of research work completed in the area the VET workforce. The following submission was constructed using the feedback from the draft proposal and from additional material contributed by AVETRA members.

The Productivity Commissioner David Kalish, in his address to the ‘No Frills’ NCVER conference, indicated the independence of the commission from government and their desire to hear about the issues voiced within the field. However, he also indicated that the commission was driven by the agreed terms of reference, and had subsequently outlined in their issues paper the framework that they would be using for their investigation and structure of their final report.

David Kalish also impressed on his audience that the commission was searching for evidence, details and figures about the issues of practitioners and managers in the field to support the issues, ideas and options proposed.

The executive decided that this was an opportunity for AVETRA to make a public submission and be seen as a significant voice in the field. It is an opportunity to both the maturity of our research sector, and to indicate that we are responsible for significant resources that have been, and can be used, to shape and reshape the composition, the management, the capability and the development of the VET workforce.

However, it was also evident that our ability to present a unified AVETRA statement about the VET workforce to the commission on the wide-ranging issues involved would be impossible, as we represent such a diversity of researchers, all with very different perspectives and agendas.

What it is possible for AVETRA to address is the significant role played by the VET research community in re-shaping the VET workforce over the past decade, and the critical role of continuing such productivity to inform the future development of the workforce structuring and development.

Our submission is supported with the details of research undertaken and published by our members and international work that has been used to inform VET workforce structuring, development and practice within Australia. I would like to give my specific thanks to those researchers who took the time to provide a listing of their work and the work of significant researchers in the domain of the VET workforce.

It was my intention that our submission would represent our membership by underlining the importance of research and research infrastructure in the continued development of the VET workforce.

I have structured our submission to establish our relevance and contribution in shaping past policy and practice, and in terms of capability to guide the future.

Members of the executive also felt l that it was important to indicate the growing diversity of what counts as the VET workforce, and to indicate that without aspirations of improved professionalism, the VET workforce will continue to sit, slightly marginalised between the degree-based professions of schools and higher education. Given the scope of the commissions brief, this is an ideal time illuminate this disparity.

While it would be effective to link the outcomes of each research study to the issues raised by the Productivity Commission, this was not feasible in the time available. Out intention was primarily to draw attention to the major contribution that our members have made, and can make, to the development of the VET workforce, and to open the doors for subsequent invitations to the face to face discussion at the round tables that will be held later. I hope we have provided the Commission with material that they can use utilise and explore as they pursue their continued field study.

Llandis Barratt-Pugh

President of AVETRA 2010

July 2010