A national report has called for an overhaul of the Vocational Education and Training sector for rural, regional and remote students.
Case studies and information sessions were held in Tasmania as part of the review process.
The report, authored by Flinders University Emeritus Professor John Halsey was commissioned by the federal government.
The final report was tabled as part of the Education Council meeting in Adelaide on Friday.
One of 11 recommendations made in the report by Dr Halsey called to expand the availability and accessibility of the VET sector for rural, regional and remote students.
This includes work experience programs, VET, dual VET and university pathways and two-year associate degree programs.
The report aligns with the aims of The Examiner’s Pick up the Tools campaign, which was launched earlier in the month and aims to secure the future of TasTAFE.
“The national statistics show there is a persistent relationship between location and educational outcomes when data for the various measures is aggregated,” Dr Halsey said in the report.
“The national statistics also raise very important questions about innovative ways to increase VET and university qualification rates with courses and programs that enhance the capacities of graduates.”
The report noted an “enduring problem” for rural, regional and remote students’ accessing VET.
“There is the enduring problem, which has been ‘part and parcel’ of education in Australia for over a decade, namely the status and value differential between a VET pathway and a qualification compared to a university degree.
”The net effect of this issue is the worth and relevance of VET is diminished and discounted at a time when the exact opposite is required.
“The national statistics also raise very important questions about innovative ways to increase VET and university qualification rates with courses and programs that enhance the capacities of graduates.”- report author Dr John Halsey
Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham said Dr Halsey’s report identified gaps and room for improvement across a variety of areas of Australia’s education system.
“Most importantly this report highlights there is no silver bullet,” Minister Birmingham said.
“To address the issues Dr Halsey’s report raises is going to take the concerted efforts of many, including states and territories and everyone from families to teachers and school leaders, to universities and student accommodation managers to preschool educators.”
In Tasmania, the VET sector is provided by the public provider TasTAFE and about 149 private registered training organisations.
It is funded primarily by the state government and supplemented by the federal government.