Formal VET training plays a crucial role in preparing people for employment opportunities and supporting employers to secure a skilled workforce. However, the need for training delivery in particular skill areas is not always apparent, or if it is apparent, training is not always possible to supply. 

Click across the tabs to view active and completed project stages. Consultation takes place at every stage of the project.

It can be difficult to gauge the true demand for training from uptake or enrolments in a qualification. A host of factors might prevent registered training organisations (RTOs) from offering a qualification, so even though industry needs the training supplied, it may not be available for enrolment. Similarly, learners or employers may experience barriers to engaging with formal training that are not related to the qualification itself. The challenges for all parties can be particularly pronounced in rural, regional and remote areas.  

This project will explore the factors impacting the visibility of demand and the delivery and uptake of VET training to produce a research paper outlining the challenges faced and recommendations for potential solutions. It will build on similar research undertaken in 2020 incorporating developments in the VET system, training delivery and the workforce over the past four years.  

Project Scope

The project will focus on 13 industry areas, where there is evidence of low enrolment qualifications (less than an average of 40 enrolments over a 3-year period).  In total 41 qualifications have been identified in the following areas:

  • arboriculture
  • horticulture
  • irrigation
  • landscaping
  • nursery operations
  • permaculture
  • pest management
  • aquaculture
  • fishing operations
  • seafood post-harvest operations
  • fisheries compliance
  • forestry and wood products
  • pulp and paper operations.

Initial consultation will take place in Victoria during the development stage to test the approach. This will include focus groups, on site interviews and online interviews with stakeholder from the following industry areas: arboriculture, permaculture, horticulture and forestry and wood products. There will then be the opportunity for consultation nationally as part of the broad consultation stage.

Key Questions

  • What are the main variables impacting supply and demand of formal VET training?
  • What strategies could address the challenges in meeting training demand?
  • For each qualification, what are the relevant variables, and what are the strategies that will best address them?

Timeline

Project Team

Ngaire headshot

Ngaire Stratton

Project Manager, Skills Insight
[email protected]

Julie headshot

Julie Stratford

Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Skills Insight
[email protected]

Mark headshot

Mark Fletcher

Researcher, Skills Insight

Forestworks

This project involves a range of activities, some of which are being undertaken by ForestWorks as part of their collaborative partnership with Skills Insight. ForestWorks has an enduring and strong connection working with the forestry, timber, paper, fibre and furnishing industries and will work on this project where it relates to these industries.

True demand for training is not always possible to gauge from qualification enrolment data alone. Registered training organisations (RTOs) face challenges in delivering qualifications, meaning they may not be able to supply training everywhere it is needed. Even where qualifications meet industry needs and are available to enrol in, learners or employers may experience barriers to engaging with formal training. In rural, regional and remote areas, delivery and engagement in formal VET training can be especially challenging.  

Consultation is underway as part of this project to explore the factors impacting the visibility of demand, challenges with delivery and barriers to uptake of VET training. The project approach is currently being tested in Victoria with stakeholders from the arboriculture, permaculture, protected and production horticulture, and saw technology industries. This has included focus groups, on site interviews and online interviews with relevant trainers, employers, industry organisations and unions. This will allow us to refine the approach before broad consultation from June to September.

During this stage, the forest and wood products and pulp and paper industries were identified for inclusion in the project. Challenges in these industries have been examined by ForestWorks with extensive industry consultation. The findings from this work will be incorporated into the approach and findings of this current project. For more information see: the Improving Enrolments Project and Forestry Workforce Training Program Scoping Study November 2023.

Next Steps

During the broad consultation stage, the project team will undertake discussions with stakeholders around the country across all 13 industry areas that are part of this project. We want to hear from stakeholders about what factors are impacting supply and demand for each qualification and what strategies might help address these challenges.

Consultation will be followed by a period of review and analysis to determine if any further investigation is required. Your insights will then be used to produce a research paper outlining the challenges faced and recommendations for potential solutions. The research paper will be submitted to DEWR in November 2024, with potential for future projects as a result.

Links to register for consultation opportunities taking place as part of the broad consultation stage will be available on this webpage soon. In the meantime, you are welcome to contact the project manager, Ngaire Stratton [email protected]

Industry Areas & Qualifications for Consultation

Consultation is taking place as part of this project to explore the challenges related to delivery of and engagement with formal VET training.

We encourage input from RTOs, employers, unions and industry organisations about barriers to delivering and engaging with formal training.

Skills Insight is organising focus groups and on site interviews and online interviews with relevant stakeholders from June to September. These activities are taking place nationally, across the 11 industry areas listed below.

We want to hear from stakeholders about the factors impacting supply and demand for each qualification and what strategies might help address these challenges.

Your insights will be used to produce a research paper outlining the barriers to meeting training demand and recommendations for potential strategies to address them. This will be submitted to DEWR in November 2024, with the potential for future projects coming out of the project findings.

Consultation Opportunities

See below to register for opportunities to participate in focus groups, online interviews and on site interviews.

Online interview will be held to better understand the nuances impacting access to training in specific industry areas and regions.

On site interviews will be held around the country in between focus groups. To arrange a suitable time, please email [email protected]    

Focus Groups

Register for a focus group for your industry and preferred location using the links below. If none of the focus group times suit, you are welcome to organise an online or on site interview.

Victoria


Melbourne, Tuesday 25 June

Northern Territory


Darwin, Monday 12 August

Darwin, Tuesday 13 August

South Australia


Adelaide, Monday 26 August

Adelaide, Tuesday 27 August

Western Australia


Fremantle, Monday 2 September

Perth, Tuesday 3 September

Industry Areas & Qualifications for Consultation

This stage has not yet commenced.

At the finalisation stage, final checks are conducted and the outcomes of the project are submitted to the Department for consideration. Following this, outcomes are published or enacted.