Regional approach to VET may improve student outcomes

Media release

22 March 2018

Vocational education and training (VET) outcomes may be improved if training providers take a more regional approach to course offerings and institutional learning support, according to a new report released today by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

The report Improving participation and success in VET for disadvantaged learners shows that VET providers who focus more on immediate regional needs can also contribute to improving opportunities for disadvantaged Australians and the communities in which they live.

“Skills needs and disadvantage can vary by both type and level across different parts of the country,” said Dr Craig Fowler, Managing Director, NCVER.

“As VET is often administered by governments and communities along regional boundaries, this study offers some interesting considerations for VET policy and practice.”

The report presents three main areas for training providers to consider when developing a successful regional approach, drawn from thirteen case studies where both participation and completion rates were relatively higher for disadvantaged learners.

“It can be useful for training providers to build relationships with local employers and service agencies,” Dr Fowler said.

“This assists in understanding the types of disadvantaged students within their local community and also what employment opportunities are available, allowing them to tailor their course offerings and support strategies.”

The report recommends making these support strategies available to all students across the institution, with an emphasis on identifying needs and customising support to each individual learner, combined with promoting other community outreach programs that might be of benefit.

The findings from this report have been included in another new release, From school to VET: choices, experiences and outcomes, which brings together recent NCVER research and relevant data to highlight the often complex issues school students face when transitioning into the VET system.

The report also identifies points along the journey that young people find positive and supportive, which can be enhanced by providers understanding the regional environment and building relationships with employers and service agencies in their local communities. It then suggests areas where future research may be beneficial.

Improving participation and success in VET for disadvantaged learners and From school to VET: choices, experiences and outcomes are both available from

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.

Media enquiries: Helen Wildash, PR and Social Media Officer
P: +61 8 8230 8418 M: 0448 043 148 E: