"In a rapidly changing employment environment, the speed, value and skills that VET provides are the solution to today's growing needs."
The only thing we can know for certain about the future of Australia's workforce is that it will look very different to how to does today. Changing technology, industry disruption and the rapidly-evolving automation and digitisation of traditional roles mean that as a nation, we need to be more agile than ever before.
According to a recent report by Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand (CAAZ), two-thirds of career starters expect that their jobs will either not exist or will fundamentally change in the next 15 years. The Foundation for Young Australians also claim that today's school leavers will work in 17 different jobs across five careers by the time they retire, spending an average of three years in each job. This means learning or training is no longer something we do once; it's something we will all need to invest in multiple times over our lifetimes, or face the prospect of becoming obsolete.
If, as expected, workers spend three years in each role, studying a three-year full-time degree is not a feasible way for people to both learn and fully participate in the workforce. According to the CAAZ report, the current university system is too rigid to deliver the education required by these future trends. Given that recent data shows that more than half of university students are taking longer than expected to complete their studies, the need for agile training solutions is more apparent than ever.
The alternative is a workforce wasting a significant portion of their key earning years training in concepts and methods that will be superseded by new technology or requirements almost as soon as they graduate.
That's where Vocational Education and Training (VET) comes in. According to a report by Skilling Australia; "In a rapidly changing employment environment, the speed, value and skills that VET provides are the solution to today's growing needs." A VET certificate can train students to be job ready in as little as six months and a diploma in as little as one year. Because VET training focuses on work-readiness, students can rapidly evolve and expand their capabilities to enter or rejoin the workforce with up-to-date skills that will keep them relevant and ready to tackle new trends.
VET's approach has always been one of work-integrated learning, giving students the additional benefits of putting their new skills into practise even as they are learning. Teachers who are embedded in industry ensure students are kept abreast of real-time updates and shifts as they occur, rather than being out of the loop while they train.
VET training packages are developed and updated by Service Skills Organisations (SSOs); independent organisations that ensure qualifications are relevant, timely, and meet the existing and emerging skills required by industry. This makes certain VET training is built on industry intelligence, with emerging skills shortages and industry needs being key drivers in the development of workforce training.
Students who undertake VET training are much more likely to secure long-term employment, as their training and skills will continue to meet the needs of their workplaces, and they will be invested in building successful futures.
TAFE Queensland is committed to training the workforce of the future, with choice, flexibility and support at the centre of our training philosophy. Find a future-focused course near you today, or browse our online courses.