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VET Teacher Training

Overview

This page provides information and data on VET Teacher Training, which is one component of the Education industry.

Vocational education and training (VET) is the largest education sector in Australia, with 4.2 million enrolments in 2017 (compared to 2.2 million enrolments in primary education, the next largest sector). VET teachers play a pivotal role in training a flexible workforce, addressing skills gaps and supporting Australia’s future economic prosperity. It is therefore essential that VET teachers receive appropriate and sufficient initial training through the Training and Education Training Package and have access to ongoing professional development opportunities.

Nationally recognised training to deliver vocational education and training is delivered under the TAE – Training and Education Training Package.

Information sourced from the Education IRC's 2019 Skills Forecast.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

The Education industry, including Tertiary Education and Adult, Community and Other Education, saw considerable growth between 2000 and 2019. The employment level of the Tertiary Education industry, which includes VET and Higher Education, grew from 182,600 in 2000 to 251,800 in 2019 and is projected to reach 256,400 by 2024. The employment level of the Adult, Community and Other Education industry grew from 63,800 in 2000 to 187,500 in 2019 and is projected to reach 243,900 by 2024.

The employment level of Vocational Education Teachers has fluctuated since 2000. Employment in the occupation peaked in 2009 at 47,100 but declined to 33,600 in 2019. It is projected to increase to 37,500 by 2024.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Program enrolments in VET Teacher Training-related qualifications have declined year on year between 2015 and 2018. At the peak in 2015, there were nearly 61,800 program enrolments. In 2018 there were just over 41,250 program enrolments. Program completions have more than halved between 2015 and 2018. At the peak in 2015, there were nearly 29,260 program completions, which dropped to just over 10,170 in 2018. Subject only enrolments declined between 2015 and 2017, and then rose between 2017 and 2018 to a new peak of around 15,360.

In 2018, the vast majority of program enrolments (more than 93%) were at the certificate IV level. All other program enrolments were at the diploma or higher level. More than 93% of program enrolments are in Training and Assessment qualifications with an intended occupation of Vocational Education Teacher.

The majority of training was provided by private training providers (59%) and TAFE institutes (36%). The majority of subjects were funded through domestic fee for service arrangements (82%).

New South Wales had the single highest proportion of students enrolled in VET Teacher Training-related qualifications in 2018, with 31%, followed by Victoria with 24% and Queensland with 22%. More than a third of training was delivered in Queensland (35%), followed by New South Wales (27%) and Victoria (21%).

Apprentice and trainee commencements rose between 2010 and 2012, peaking at 690, before declining to a low of 9 in 2015. Between 2015 and 2018 commencements have been rising again slowly but steadily to a five-year high of 78 in 2018. Apprentice and trainee completions have followed a similar trend to commencements. Completions rose between 2010 and 2013, peaking at 342, before declining to a low of 0 in 2016. Between 2016 and 2018 completions have been rising again slowly, up to 26 in 2018.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, visit NCVER’s VET students by industry. If you are prompted to log in, select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of Total VET.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

The Education IRC's 2019 Skills Forecast suggests the top three priority skills for the Education industry are:

  • Understanding, implementation of, and compliance with, regulatory changes
  • Demonstrating an ability to adapt to changes and continuously deliver high quality training
  • Undertaking and applying research to training practice.

The Skills Forecast states that the top five generic skills required in the Education industry are:

  • Learning agility / Information literacy / Intellectual autonomy and self management (adaptability)
  • Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) (Foundation skills)
  • Design mindset / Thinking critically / System thinking / Solving problems
  • Communication / Virtual collaboration / Social intelligence
  • Managerial / Leadership.

The Skills Forecast also identifies the top four priority industry and occupation skills as:

  • Skills to identify individual learner needs
  • Working and catering for learners with disability
  • Planning, organising and delivering learning in both group based and workplace learning environments
  • Facilitating of online and face to face learning.

According to the job vacancy data, the top requested skills by employers were communication and planning skills, followed by time management and research. The most advertised occupations were Performing Arts Teacher followed by Aged Care Trainer/Assessor. The top employers were Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University and the Government of Western Australia.

The Education IRC's 2019 Skills Forecast acknowledges that the level of skill required for workers in the vocational education sector is high due to the requirement for contemporary industry expertise, as well as specialist training and assessing skills. In addition to specialised skills in subject areas, key current competency needs for VET sector workers include:

  • Identifying individual learner needs, including learning style and language, literacy and numeracy skill needs
  • Designing and developing learning strategies, resources and programs
  • Planning, organising and delivering learning in both group based and workplace learning environments
  • Facilitating online and face to face learning, including active listening, monitoring and presentation skills
  • Designing and developing assessment tools
  • Planning and executing activities and processes to assess competence and participating in validation of assessment.

The ability to apply these skills requires VET trainers and assessors to have a developed understanding of the psychology of learning, of different learning styles and the pedagogy of the sector.

The Education IRC's 2019 Skills Forecast highlights a number of key drivers in the vocational education sector:

  • Structural economic changes – Structural change often means that while some industries grow, jobs in some industries will disappear in response to industry decline. Workers in these industries will be required to gain employment in other sectors and may require reskilling to do this. Growth in services exports (education and tourism), health and social services (including aged care), and some professional services (notably finance and technology services) will mean that many new students will need to be trained to fill positions in these industries. It will be important to ensure that all learners and workers are prepared for careers, rather than for a single job role, and that they have the right skills to take advantage of emerging opportunities. The VET sector has a critical role to play in enabling this training and ensuring that learners and workers are prepared for future industries and occupations. Additionally, it will be critical that the VET trainer and assessor workforce continues to upskill and seek professional development in order to retain currency. These structural changes also mean that where there is an increased demand for new workers or upskilling in an industry, there is potential for an increased demand for VET trainers and assessors in those growth industries. Conversely, there may be a reduced demand for VET trainers and assessors in slowing industries. Overall, the increasing sophistication of the economy will require VET trainers and assessors to be better skilled and prepared for these changes in the workforce.
  • Technological advances – In the VET sector, the impact of new and emerging technology is dual faceted. Technological developments are impacting how vocational education material is delivered, thereby impacting the necessary skill requirements of trainers and assessors, whilst simultaneously impacting the content of vocational training.
  • Regulatory reform – The regulatory and policy environment pertaining to the VET sector is complicated, with numerous layers of State and Federal regulation and standards. This creates a complex operating environment for organisations as well as individual trainers and assessors who must stay abreast of varying requirements.
  • Learner cohort changes – Key trends are changing the composition and characteristics of the VET learner cohort and it can be challenging for VET teachers to address the needs of a very diverse learner population. Reskilling and upskilling across industries as job requirements change will likely result in a learner cohort that encompasses a variety of ages, backgrounds and experiences. VET has a high level of engagement with diverse learner groups including Indigenous learners and learners with a disability. Demand for VET from overseas is expected to continue to grow in the coming years.

Recent publications about the training and skill needs of VET teachers include the following five titles. Further recent publications are listed below in the Relevant research section.

Addressing the Challenge of Scholarship and Industry Currency in Vocational Education: a Pilot was published in the International Journal of Training Research. The article explores a pilot project in which three VET teachers in an Australian dual-sector university trialled a scholarship framework by undertaking a small ethnographic inquiry into current practices in their respective industries. The framework defined a method for engaging with industry while simultaneously developing VET teacher capability in scholarly practice. The claimed success of the pilot is traced primarily to having a framework that provided a logical guide for the planning and execution of the projects and institutional support in the form of mentoring and paid time release.

The thesis Building Capability in VET Teachers, by Anne Dening, is a pragmatic interpretive enquiry regarding the capability development of VET teachers in Australia. The significance of studying capability development of teachers is that currently VET sector requirements for teacher qualifications and teaching capabilities are much lower than many equivalent VET sectors internationally, and the compulsory education sector nationally. The research seeks to identify what is needed to enable VET teachers to acquire, maintain and advance their teaching capability to meet the unique features of VET education and its students. The focus of the study also includes the leadership and systems required to ensure that this progression in teacher capability occurs.

Good Practice in VET Teaching and Learning: a Guide to Practitioner Perspectives provides information about, and examples of, good practice in teaching and learning for VET providers. It was commissioned by the Victorian Department of Education and Training and developed by drawing on the wide and varied experiences of VET practitioners working in the government-subsidised training market in Victoria. It is intended that this Guide will assist training providers in their ongoing practice and support their objectives to consistently strengthen and improve their teaching, learning and assessment practice.

In the paper How can VET Teacher Education and Development be Improved? by Hugh Guthrie and Anne Jones, the authors look at history to understand what research, enquiries and audits during the Certificate IV level qualification era and before can tell us about the formal qualification needs of VET teachers. They then go on to discuss the future: what formal qualifications could better support the initial and continuing education of VET teachers, who should deliver them and how. Towards the end of the paper the authors look briefly at higher level qualifications, their architectures and roles, before drawing some conclusions and posing some ways forward to address the challenges facing the effective initial and ongoing education and training of VET teachers.

Industry Currency and Vocational Teachers in Australia: What is the Impact of Contemporary Policy and Practice on Their Professional Development? was published in the journal Research in Post-Compulsory Education. The article examines issues associated with industry currency activities for Australian VET teachers. It reports on findings from a qualitative study which employed a multiple case study methodology to examine advanced skills for VET teachers. Emergent findings suggest that while legislation requires VET teachers to maintain current vocational competencies as well as knowledge and skills for effective VET teaching, interpretation of policy into practice has led to an unbalanced approach which emphasises industry currency activities over pedagogical skills development. Further, VET teachers reported difficulty completing currency requirements due to competing pressures of time and teaching commitments, and some industry currency activities regarded as legitimate by VET managers and auditors appear to offer limited developmental opportunities for VET teachers while other activities were overlooked.

Links and resources

Government

Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)

Federal, State and Territory Departments

State and Territory regulators

 

Industry associations and advisory bodies

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI)

Australian Council of Deans of Education Vocational Education Group (ACDEVEG)

Australian Industry Group (Ai Group)

Business Council of Australia (BCA)

Community Colleges Australia (CCA)

Enterprise Registered Training Organisation Association (ERTOA)

TAFE Directors Australia (TDA)

 

Employee associations

Australian Education Union (AEU)

VET Development Centre (VDC)

 

Relevant research

Addressing the Challenge of Scholarship and Industry Currency in Vocational Education: a Pilot – Nancy Everingham, David McLean, Jane Mancini, Amber Mitton and Melanie Williams

Building Capability in VET Teachers – Anne Dening

Good Practice in VET Teaching and Learning: a Guide to Practitioner Perspectives – D. Stevens and A. Deschepper

How can VET Teacher Education and Development be Improved? – Hugh Guthrie and Anne Jones

Industry Currency and Vocational Teachers in Australia: What is the Impact of Contemporary Policy and Practice on Their Professional Development? – Teressa Schmidt

Integration of Learning for Refugee and Migrant Students: VET Teachers' Practices Through Practice Theory Lens – Sarojni Choy and Gun-Britt Wärvik

Maintaining Industry and Pedagogical Currency in VET: Practitioners' Voices – Mark Tyler and Darryl Dymock

Professional Development for Teachers Working with International Students – Ly Thi Tran and Rinos Pasura

Some Issues that Prevail in Australian VET Trainer Training Context: Occasional Paper – Bryan West and Chula Seneviratne

Towards a More Systematic Approach to Continuing Professional Development in Vocational Education and Training – Darryl Dymock and Mark Tyler

When the Whole is More than the Sum of its Parts: Investigating Ways that Advanced Skills for VET Teachers are Conceptualised and how They are Developed – Teressa Schmidt

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment, 2018, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal  

  • by ANZSIC 3 digit Industry, employment projections to May 2023
    • 810 Tertiary Education
    • 820 Adult, Community and Other Education
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2023
    • 2422 Vocational Education Teachers.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018, Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ06, viewed 1 November 2018 http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202018?OpenDocument

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 3 digit Industry, 2000 to 2018, May Quarter
    • 810 Tertiary Education
    • 820 Adult, Community and Other Education

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018, Employed persons by Occupation unit group of main job (ANZSCO), Sex, State and Territory, August 1986 onwards 6291.0.55.003 - EQ08, viewed 1 November  2018 http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202018?OpenDocument

  • Employed total by ANZSCO 4 digit occupation, 2000 to 2018, May Quarter.
    • 2422 Vocational Education Teachers.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by 4 digit industry (Higher Education, Technical and Vocational Education and Training and Adult, Community and Other Education), and 4 digit level occupation (Vocational Education Teachers) to identify the relevant VET-related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce.                                                                                             

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Students and Courses from the following training packages or qualifications:

  • TAA – Training and Education Training Package and TAE – Training and Education Training Package
    • TAA40104 - Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
    • TAA50104 - Diploma of Training and Assessment
    • TAE40110 - Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
    • TAE40116 - Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
    • TAE50111 - Diploma of Vocational Education and Training
    • TAE50116 - Diploma of Vocational Education and Training
    • TAE50211 - Diploma of Training Design and Development
    • TAE50216 - Diploma of Training Design and Development
    • TAE50310 - Diploma of International Education Services
    • TAE70110 - Vocational Graduate Certificate in Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice
    • TAE70111 - Vocational Graduate Certificate in Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice
    • TAE70210 - Graduate Certificate in Management (Learning)
    • TAE70311 - Graduate Certificate in International Education Services
    • TAE80110 - Vocational Graduate Diploma of Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Leadership
    • TAE80113 - Graduate Diploma of Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice
    • TAE80210 - Graduate Diploma of Management (Learning)
    • TAE80213 - Graduate Diploma of Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Leadership
    • TAE80312 - Graduate Certificate in Digital Education
    • TAE80316 - Graduate Certificate in Digital Education.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 program enrolments
  • 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 subject enrolments
  • 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill-sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document.

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

Training and Education Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 2010 to 2018 commencements
  • 2010 to 2018 completions
  • 2018 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2018 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Priority skills data have been extracted from the Education IRC's 2019 Skills Forecast.

Job vacancy data have been extracted from Burning Glass Technologies 2019, Labor Insight Real-time Labor Market Information Tool, Burning Glass Technologies, Boston, viewed July 2019, https://www.burning-glass.com.

Data shown represent most requested generic skills, occupations and employers according to internet job postings in Australia between July 2016 and June 2019 filtered by ANZSIC and ANZSCO classification levels listed below.

  • Generic skills / Occupations
    • 2422 Vocational Education Teachers (Aus) \ Polytechnic Teachers (NZ)
  • Employers
    • 2422 Vocational Education Teachers (Aus) \ Polytechnic Teachers (NZ).

 

Updated: 16 Apr 2020
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