Challenges facing VET: Effective adult class size

Challenges facing VET


The number of students in an adult classroom has been the center of attention for the researchers for a few years. There have been various manifolds in perspectives of research regarding this subject. Some of the researchers suggest smaller class sizes are better whereas others deny the productivity of small classroom sizes and recommend larger classrooms Read more…

Challenges facing VET: Distraction

Challenges facing VET

We live in a world changing faster than ever before, with more technology and productivity tools at our fingertips than ever before; and yet, one of the most common frustrations facing anyone working in RTO Land is overwhelm.

There’s too much to do and not enough time to do it.  We’re constantly feeling ‘on’ all the time, never being able to Read more…

Who needs to write Training Packages?

Challenges facing VET

If VET is to meet the needs of our workforce – present and future – then what needs to be trained must be communicated clearly to the people doing the training and assessment.

A workplace supervisor or colleague cannot be expected to hold TAE and is therefore not trained to read and interpret units of competency.  This is the reason I have always been taught – and continue to teach my students – that Third-Party Verification forms should not be a direct copy and paste of the Performance Criteria of a Unit of Competency.  Instead, we must use wording that has meaning for the third party. Read more…

Challenges facing VET: The drop in traineeships and apprenticeships. Why is it happening?

Challenges facing VET

A recent figure revealed that the federal government over the last five years has underspent close to $1 billion of its budget on TAFE, training and apprenticeships. This is on top of previous cuts.

At the same time, that these budgets cuts are happening, Australia is still experiencing critical skills shortages in several industries.  A number of experts have warned of serious effects on the Australian economy. Read more…

Challenges facing VET: Recentralising the Learner

Challenges facing VET

It is fair to presume that when it comes to vocational education and training, the learner would figure as quite a central figure.

However, anyone who watches the news will be aware that Australia’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) industry is in crisis.  For various reasons, training providers have come under fire from the media and are under the watchful scrutiny of regulatory bodies.  Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) are scrambling to adjust Read more…

Marking assessments – do we need to change our mind-set?

Challenges facing VET

Over the years, many of my colleagues have had a whinge about marking.  They enjoy the training but they see marking as an unpleasant chore.

I’m wondering if this is because it’s just seen as “compliance paperwork”, whereas I view marking as one of the best opportunities we can have to deliver training. Read more…

Challenges facing VET – Do learning resources motivate learning?

Challenges facing VET


I was talking to a client yesterday about learning resources.  He is happy to write his own assessment resources (and prefers to do so because he can tailor them to the learner groups).  On the other hand, he says he doesn’t have time to write the learning material.  He has tried several approaches, and the last approach was to provide a textbook.  That didn’t work either.  It was a good textbook but the learners were resistant to reading so much information.

Then there is the dilemma Read more…

Challenges facing VET – Assessing knowledge in VET?

Challenges facing VET


Assessment faces many challenges; one in particular is that Assessment practices are typically designed by individuals without specialist test design skills.  Another challenge is that such Assessment practices are then “Validated” by individuals who lack specific skills in test evaluation. The result is impossibly wide variation in the relative quality of assessments across RTOs – With the consequence that there is wide variation in outcomes. Read more…

Challenges facing VET – Where’s the other half of the story?

Challenges facing VET


There’s something about the Black Friday Sales and the massive hype that goes with this event that reminds me of what’s happening in the VET sector, and it’s got nothing to do with sales.

I asked some students recently if they knew what the Black Friday sales were all about – and no-one could relate this to the tradition in America of the shopping spree that happens the day after Thanksgiving. Read more…

Challenges facing VET – Is any Qualification Worthless?

Challenges facing VET

Not so long ago the VET system was put under the spotlight for a number of “worthless” qualifications being pushed onto students for nothing more than profit. We need to be mindful we exist as part of a system in which education enables people to competently do useful work. At least that’s the idea. What’s the deal with so many worthless qualifications? Read more…

Challenges facing VET – Is it too radical to require a workplace?

Challenges facing VET

I ‘joined’ the VET sector back in 1999 in a local not-for-profit VET provider (remember Skillshares?).

We were running primarily ‘jobseeker’ style courses.

We had three key focus – get people skills; get people a job; get a contract in the next tender round. I’m pleased to say that they were almost always in that order.

I didn’t have much experience in VET at the time. My only exposure had been a wholly poor previous experience as a student at my local TAFE (Don’t fret – I have had many wonderful experiences with TAFE over the years since as both student and teacher – I am reliably informed that in my teenage years [at least] I was not a great student to teach). Read more…