|Case Studies on Technical and Vocational Education in Asia and the Pacific - Australia (UNEVOC - ACEID, 1996, 56 p.)|
Much has been achieved in the five years since the national system of vocational education and training was initiated. The highly consultative nature of the reform process has enabled the changes to proceed with the broad agreement of employer bodies and union leaders. A series of representative working parties has established the principles on which the reforms are based. The most notable achievements are as follows:
· a national infrastructure has been established to co-ordinate competency development, curriculum development, funding and priority setting;
· a nationally agreed framework is in place establishing the principles for recognition of training;
· competency standards have been developed for industries employing 2,000,000 people (about one third of the Australian workforce) and Competency Standards Bodies now exist representing industries covering 80 per cent of workers:
· new training curricula are being devised which are more closely linked to performance in the workplace;
· a new national qualifications framework is about to be implemented;
· a significant number of new providers of recognised training have entered the system;
· a range of innovative methods of delivery of training are being put into practice;
· industry and institutional providers are progressively recognising the benefits of working collaboratively;
· general education is being linked to vocational education with the focus on work-related key competencies;
· entry-level training is being completely re-vamped under the Australian Vocational Training System (AVTS) and providing for a highly flexible system of arrangements with strong workplace linkages; and
· policies to improve the participation of disadvantaged groups in vocational education and training have been implemented.
The process of reform is a long-term development, which will take several years to stabilise. While many of the features of the system are still being refined, these significant achievements have laid the groundwork for a national system of vocational education and training designed to fulfil the needs of industry and individuals.