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Education Training, Government Federal

4 Million Students Suggest A Rethink On Government Skills Is Policy Required

Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) 2 mins read

The latest data that shows nearly nine-in-ten skills training students choose to study with an independent Registered Training Organisation (RTO).  This highlights the need for the Australian Government to radically rethink it’s approach to skills training policy according to the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA), the peak body representing independent skills training, higher education, and international education providers.

ITECA’s comments come after the latest data from the National Centre for Vocational Educational Research (NCVER) shows that 89.4% of the 4.53 million students in skills training – that’s 4.05 million students – study with independent RTOs.

“When it comes to selecting a training provider to help students achieve their life and career goals, ITECA members are clearly the preferred option by nearly nine-in-ten students,” said Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Executive.

With the Australian Government undertaking significant reform to the skills training system, ITECA argues that a major rethink of Australian Government policy is required.

“Currently, there is a significant push by the Australian Government to put 'TAFE at the heart' of the skills training system, which many independent RTOs across the nation are pushing back against. Instead, ITECA firmly believes in putting students at the heart of the system, where their freedom to choose their preferred training provider is backed by the government," Mr Williams said.

The latest NCVER data also shows that independent RTOs support students undertaking the majority of complex and higher-level qualifications.

“73.6% of students studying a diploma or higher qualification and 72.0% of students studying a Certificate IV qualification are with independent RTOs.  The Australian, state and territory governments need to recognise that students have voted with their feet and prefer independent RTOs, so government policy needs to back the decision of these students,” Mr Williams said.

“Of interest is that 78.3% of the 161,655 Indigenous students choose to study with independent RTOs and that 87.3% of the 1,282,630 students in remote, regional, and rural Australia also choose to study with independent RTOs,” Mr Williams said.

The NCVER data also shows that private RTOs lead on key measures of student satisfaction including achieved main reason for doing the training, satisfied with support services, and improved employment status after training.

“Now is the time for the Australian Government to undertake a major reset of policy, to ensure that future regulatory and funding decisions are agnostic as to the provider type.  In this context, students should be supported with government funding whether they choose to study with a quality independent RTO or a public TAFE college,” Mr Williams said.

“It’s independent RTOs that are the mainstay of Australia’s skills training system.  It’s time that the Australian Government respect the wishes of students and back their decision to study with an independent RTO,” Mr Williams concluded.

Ends.


Key Facts:

NCVER data shows that 89.4% of the 4.53 million students in skills training – that’s 4.05 million students – study with independent RTOs.

NCVER data shows that 78.3% of the 161,655 Indigenous students in skills training choose to study with independent RTOs.

NCVER data shows that 87.3% of the 1,282,630 students in skills training across remote, regional, and rural Australia choose to study with independent RTOs.


About us:

ITECA Introduction:  Established in 1992, ITECA is the peak business organisation representing independent providers in the skills training, higher education, and international education sectors.


Contact details:

Troy Williams - ITECA Chief Executive
e: troy.williams@iteca.edu.au
m: 0400 599 934

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