Visions and options: A report on five forums introducing the research consortium on building VET provider capability

By Berwyn Clayton, Pauline Robinson Research report 9 October 2008 ISBN 978 1 921412 62 2


This publication outlines the outcomes of forums held in 2005 to introduce the consortium research program which has investigated ways of building VET provider capability. It found a range of issues were of concern to participants as they considered how registered training organisations might position themselves to meet the demands of their various clients in the future. In particular, they noted that in a continually changing VET environment, attention would have to be given to new structures and ways of working as well as renewing the VET workforce.


About the research

This paper presents the outcomes of five state-based forums conducted to introduce the consortium research program investigating building vocational education and training (VET) provider capability. Despite being first published on the consortium’s website in 2005, it presents visions and options that remain current today. This is hardly surprising as the forum participants were asked to consider how registered training organisations might position themselves to meet the future demands of their various clients.

Key messages

  • Changes in the sector have offered new opportunities for improving client focus and responding to both community and industry needs. Nevertheless, the ongoing changes in the sector have caused turbulence. Many of those providers and staff who are trying to be more flexible feel themselves constrained by the operational environment.
  • New structures and ways of working need to be fostered, including enhancing industry connections, having registered training organisations collaborate rather than compete, and increasing flexibility both at the whole-of-organisation and work-team levels. Collaboration needs to be encouraged, despite the push towards increased contestability of funding.
  • A more strategic approach is needed to VET workforce planning. This includes recruiting staff with relevant skills and attributes, maintaining and building the skills of staff, and finding better ways to make registered training organisations employers of choice.

Readers interested in other components of this research program on building VET provider capability should visit, where all the consortium’s research activities have been consolidated. The overview of the research findings: Supporting vocational education and training providers in building capability for the future: Research overview by Harris, Clayton and Chappell is of particular relevance.

Tom Karmel
Managing Director, NCVER

1 Formerly employed by the Canberra Institute of Technology.


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