Why vocational education matters now more than ever
Anne Jones looks at how we can design education to nurture the capabilities needed for an active and equitable citizenship in a digital society.
TAFE Colleges, and their predecessors, have long fostered the growth of Australian artists, and the cultural and artistic landscape in Australia. From pre-eminent Australian painters such as Sidney Nolan and John Olsen to street and contemporary artists like Rone and Tracey Moffat; musicians and bands such as Augie March and Troy Casser-Daly; fashion designers from Akira, to J’Aton Couture to Lisa Ho; filmmakers, animators, dancers, writers – so many of the talented people who have shaped Australia went to TAFE.
The 2017 Federal Budget delivered nothing for TAFE or TAFE students, and is a continuation of the Turnbull Government’s attack on the sector, and its failure to provide policy leadership or support.
Australian vocational education is beset by several big problems that have accumulated and enlarged over decades.
The VET sector is in crisis. Australia must guarantee 70% of VET funding to TAFE, and shut down the VET FEE-HELP scheme.
In the current debate around vocational education and amidst the growing concern about the activities of the private sector, a proposal to extend VET FEE-HELP to lower level VET qualifications has emerged.