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. 

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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 the agriculture, forestry, pulp and paper and seafood industries, where there is evidence of low enrolment qualifications (less than an average of 40 enrolments over a 3-year period).  

Consultation with trainers and employers will take place around the country through a series of focus groups, site visits and interviews. We will also undertake desktop research and a survey. 

Key Questions

  • What factors contribute to low enrolment rates in specific training packages and qualifications within these industries? 
  • How do factors like job availability, industry needs, and economic conditions affect the demand for training delivery in different locations, particularly in rural, regional, and remote parts of Australia? 
  • What are the main challenges faced by RTOs in delivering training in areas with thin markets, and how do these challenges impact the availability and accessibility of training? 
  • How can we overcome obstacles to training delivery and increase enrolment rates in qualifications where there is an industry need for that training? 


Project team

Ngaire headshot

Ngaire Stratton

Skills Insight
[email protected]


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. 

This stage has not yet commenced.

At the broad consultation stage, we present and discuss potential solutions, collecting feedback from a wide range of stakeholder across the country. It follows consultation with various stakeholders that has already taken place throughout the project.

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.