25 February 2013
Young people – particularly young women and those living in rural and regional areas – are likely to be hardest hit by changes in Victoria to Vocational Education and Training (VET), according to a report by the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic).
YACVic CEO Kate Colvin said increased fees, fewer courses, and inadequate support for barriers like homelessness, mental health issues, and difficulties with literacy and numeracy will deter many disadvantaged young people from gaining new skills.
“This is not only a big problem for them individually, but comes at a critical point for the Victorian economy,” Ms Colvin said. “With all the implications of an ageing population, there has never been a more important time to ensure all young Victorians have the skills for work.”
“We understand that budgets are tight and the Government wants to shift spending towards courses it considers more valuable. Our concern is that many young people may now opt out of undertaking any vocational training at all.
“YACVic’s report Vocational Education and Training (VET) and young Victorians: a way forward provides early analysis of the likely impact of the VET changes. It shows they are most likely to hit two distinct groups: young people from rural and regional Victoria, and young women,” Ms Colvin said.
In response, YACVic is calling on the Victorian Government to:
- Fund programs that can demonstrate they will not only enrol a disengaged young person but also achieve a successful completion and a pathway into a job.
- Closely monitor the impact of the VET changes on disadvantaged young people.
- Improve public transport and school bus access to VET programs, particularly in rural and regional areas.
- Make a stronger push to engage and retain female students in non-traditional industries, especially where there are skill shortages.
Media please note: The full report is available on request. Kate Colvin is available for interviews on 0418 103 292
Response to YACVic report from The Hon. Peter Hall, Minister for Higher Education and Skills.
Response from Minister Hall - VET changes 130221 (4.24 MB)