Entry to vocations: current policy trends, barriers and facilitators of quality in VET in Schools

By Kira Clarke, Veronica Volkoff Research report 22 October 2012 ISBN 978 1 922056 18 4


As part of the three-year research program, 'Vocations: the link between post compulsory education and the labour market', this working paper sets the policy context and direction of the entry to vocations research stream. After looking at the current ‘in-school’ element of VET in Schools programs and jurisdictional differences, the paper raises a set of questions for discussion. For example, are more advanced and intense programs of VET in Schools needed to deliver stronger labour market outcomes? Do VET in Schools programs need to be more directly connected with post-school VET programs? 


About the research

This working paper is part of a wider three-year program of research, 'Vocations: the link between post-compulsory education and the labour market', which is investigating both the educational and occupational paths that people take and how their study relates to their work. This particular paper looks at entry to the labour market or further study from school after undertaking a VET in Schools program.

The authors describe the current 'in schools' element of VET in Schools and the differences across jurisdictions in Australia. Further research in this strand will involve quantitative analysis and the mapping of VET in Schools participation, case studies and international comparisons. They take as their starting point an assumption that effective VET in Schools should have a vocational outcome, in terms of a job or further vocational study.

The paper raises a number of key questions, which will be explored in future research. These include:

  • Are more intense programs of VET in Schools needed to deliver stronger labour market outcomes or to ensure they are more directly aligned with post-school VET programs?
  • How do we make VET in Schools a career pathway rather than a retention strategy for nonacademically inclined students?
  • What preparation is needed for the effective teaching of VET in Schools? Should teachers have undertaken full teacher training like other school teachers or, as is the case with VET teachers, the current Certificate IV in Training and Assessment?

Tom Karmel
Managing Director, NCVER


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