Government-funded training enrolments decline

Media release

18 July 2019

There were 1.1 million students enrolled in the government-funded vocational education and training (VET) system in 2018, down 1.9% when compared with 2017, according to a new report released today by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

Government-funded students and courses 2018 provides a snapshot of 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, an estimated 6.7% of Australians aged 15–64 years participated in the government-funded VET system in 2018, similar to 2017.

In 2018, enrolments in government-funded programs at certificate I or higher declined by 6.3% to 1.14 million program enrolments. Both hours of delivery and full-year training equivalents decreased by 6.4% when compared with 2017.

Demographically, 45.4% of government-funded VET students were aged 24 years and under in 2018 and 49.0% were female. The number of Indigenous students increased by 1.8% to 79 000, while the number of students with a disability remained similar to 2017 at 100 800.

A total of 1747 training organisations delivered government-funded VET in 2018, including 35 TAFE institutes, 357 community education providers, and 1413 other providers.

Australian vocational education and training statistics: Government-funded students and courses 2018 is now available from

The Historical time series of government-funded vocational education and training has also been updated.

Enquiries: Helen Wildash, PR and Social Media Officer M: 0448 043 148 E:

About NCVER: we are the principal 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 Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business.