|Women in a Competency-Based Vocational Training System: The Australian Experience (IIEP, 1996, 74 p.)|
|Chapter 3. What is happening on the ground?|
This chapter focuses on two arenas of reform. The first of these is the Australian Vocational Training System (AVTS) for entry level training, now formally adopted following a three-year trial phase. Reviewed here is some research on how gender equity issues were addressed in the pilot projects. Three aspects are highlighted:
· procedures for implementing equity objectives in the pilot projects;
· patterns of womens participation in the pilot projects;
· reasons for the patterns.
The other arena is the general field of VET provision, dispersed through a network of state training agencies and private training providers. Two aspects of the new developments relevant to improving training opportunities for women in VET are discussed here:
· the effect of the shift to competency-based approaches;
· changes in the culture of training.
Given that many developments are still at an early stage it is probably more useful to talk of emerging trends rather than successful or unsuccessful outcomes. However, it is useful to focus on these early developments, first to see whether or to what extent formal gender equity goals are in fact being taken up in practice. Secondly, an examination of some of the qualitative research now being conducted around the AVTS and the new VET system may provide a better understanding of factors contributing to, or hindering, gender equity goals. At the same time, it needs to be recognised that this is a long-term policy agenda and that processes of social and cultural change are slow. Additionally, many of the structural arrangements for delivering vocational education and training are new. Caution therefore is needed in interpreting early outcomes.