2020 VET student outcomes data now available

Media release

19 January 2021

The latest data from Australia’s largest survey of vocational education and training (VET) students is now available.

This year, close to one million students who finished nationally recognised training in Australia in 2019 were asked about their satisfaction with training, employment, and further study outcomes, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected them.

Students who had undertaken training in qualifications, short courses, and individual subjects took part, with over 250 000 students completing the survey.

Results from the survey, which was run in mid-2020, show the most common reason for undertaking training in a qualification was to get a job, whereas for those enrolled in short courses or individual subjects, it was because it was a requirement of their job.

Of those students who completed a qualification, 56% had a better employment status after training.  While this is significantly higher than those who completed only part of a qualification (50%), it is down about 10 percentage points on last year (66%).

Satisfaction with training is also higher among qualification completers than part-completers, with 88% and 76% satisfied respectively.

The survey revealed the COVID-19 pandemic has affected VET qualification completers and part-completers’ outcomes in several ways:

  • About a third have had their hours reduced
  • 13% have had their hours increased
  • 7% were temporarily stood down
  • Of those who didn’t have a job at the end of May 2020, about 20% had a job previously that they lost because of the pandemic.

Quotes attributable to NCVER Managing Director Simon Walker

The results of the 2020 National Student Outcomes Survey are particularly important given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We added extra questions to this year’s survey to understand how the pandemic has affected students’ employment and further study outcomes, which will help governments plan for recovery.

Around 900 000 domestic VET students and 60 000 international onshore VET graduates were contacted during the survey, which was expanded this year to include students who study VET as part of their secondary schooling and those aged 15 to 17 years.

To better reflect the training undertaken in the VET system, results of the survey are presented for five student groups (previously two), consistent with NCVER’s Total VET students and courses publication.

The publication itself has some new elements including a fully digital report and a new DataBuilder, which replaces the previous Excel data slicer. This tool provides enhanced functionality and access to more outcome measures and variables. Instructions are provided.

VIEW: VET student outcomes 2020

Related data products and resources:

General NCVER resources:

Media enquiries: Helen Wildash M: 08 8230 8418 E: communications@ncver.edu.au

About NCVER: we are the main provider of research, statistics and data on Australia’s VET sector. Our services help promote better understanding of VET and assist policy-makers, practitioners, industry, training providers, and students to make informed decisions.

This work has been produced by NCVER on behalf of the Australian Government and state and territory governments, with funding provided through the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment.