Government-funded training enrolments decline

Media release

3 July 2018

The number of students enrolled in government-funded training decreased by 5.9% to 1.2 million students in 2017 when compared with the previous year, according to a new report released today by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

Government-funded students and courses 2017 provides a snapshot of vocational education and training (VET) funded by Commonwealth and state/territory governments that is delivered by TAFE institutes, other government providers (such as universities), community education providers and other registered providers.

In terms of participation, 7.2% of Australians aged 15–64 years were enrolled in the government-funded VET system in 2017, down from 7.8% in 2016.

Demographically, 45.1% of government-funded VET students were aged between 15 and 24 years, 48.6% were female, and 80.9% studied part-time. The number of Indigenous students increased by 1.2% to 84 500, while the number of students with a disability decreased by 4.2% to 109 200.

Apprentices and trainees comprised 23.7% of the government-funded VET student population in 2017, with the number of apprentices and trainees undertaking off-the-job training increasing by 1.5% to 282 400 students.

Australian vocational education and training statistics: Government-funded students and courses 2017 is now available from

The Historical time series of government-funded vocational education and training has also been updated. Visit to download the updated data.

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 and Training.

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