Collaboration between registered training organisations (RTOs) and employers is a key channel for learners to find employment and employers to find skilled employees.  

While there are many successful instances of collaboration across Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) system, some learners and employers experience difficulty accessing formal training through an RTO. At the same time, RTOs do not necessarily know where there is a demand for training and a significant investment is often required to set up resources for certain courses. Viability is a key consideration for RTOs when deciding whether to develop and deliver a course. For the industries Skills Insight works with, there is a particular challenge in certain regions where potential learners are spread across a large geographical area, making it particularly difficult to bring together learners, employers and RTOs. 

The racing and breeding industry is one example where programs have been established to address these barriers and support improved collaboration and access to training. However, they are only available in certain regions. Using already successful programs as a starting point, Skills Insight is undertaking a research project to examine how barriers to training are being experienced and addressed in the racing and breeding industry. As part of this research, we are engaging with relevant organisations to uncover insights into existing solutions and what makes them successful. We are also looking at key considerations for success if similar programs were to be applied more broadly across the racing and breeding industry and other industries.   

Consultation to Date

As an example of successful collaboration between employers and trainers, the project team conducted interviews with those involved with the Fast Track Program in the Hunter Valley and the Silverdale Farm Academy in the Southern Highlands. They also attended site visits at a stud farm in Bunbury WA and hosted online meetings with employers and training providers. Desktop research was also undertaken to support these consultations.

During February and March, the project team conducted round table consultations in Queensland and Western Australia, two states where there is a significant racing and breeding industry, but no delivery of certain qualifications. Workshops were attended by:

  • Stud managers and owners
  • Training providers
  • Government organisations
  • Apprenticeship and traineeship services
  • Racing QLD and Racing and Wagerging WA
  • Secondary schools

At these workshops we discussed existing programs, what barriers there might be to establishing similar programs in other states, and solutions to these barriers. Generally, employers expressed challenges in attracting staff, which was attributed to a lack of recognition of the career opportunities available in the industry. Trainers experienced challenges with the high costs and high risk of delivering training in the industry and the lack of availability of educators and trained supervisors.

  • Warwick – Thursday, 15 February 2024 
  • Brisbane – Thursday, 21 March 2024
  • Perth – Tuesday, 12 March 2024
  • Bunbury – Thursday, 14 March 2024

Project Team

Ruth headshot

Ruth Geldard

Project Manager, Skills Insight
[email protected]

Diana headshot

Diana McNaughton

Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Skills Insight
[email protected]

Next Steps

Thank you to everyone who has participated in this project to date. Your contributions will inform a report which is being produced outlining the findings of our consultations. Industry feedback will be drawn on to provide advice on how to support improved connections between employers and RTOs, so that learners can secure the training and skill development they need to thrive.   

You are welcome to provide feedback at any time throughout the project. We encourage you to register for project updates through our newsletter using the subscription button below. Alternatively, please feel free to get in touch with the activity manager Ruth Geldard at [email protected] or by calling 03 9321 3526.