The recently released annual national report of the Australian VET system revealed there were 1.8 million VET students in 2010-that’s an increase of 5.4 per cent on the previous year under the Government’s $11.1 billion investment in vocational education and training scheme. Between 2007 and 2009, the report shows the number of VET students completing their qualifications increased by 23 per cent from 321,000 to 394,000.

In addition to the $1.4 billion already provided to the states and territories each year, the Commonwealth Government has committed $1.75 billion over five years to overhaul the national training system.

Under the proposal which will go to the Council of Australian Government’s meeting next month:

  • all Australians will have access to a government subsidised training place up to their first Certificate III, and
  • interest-free loans will be available to all students studying publically-subsidised diplomas and advanced diplomas at approved VET providers, enabling up to 60,000 students per year to defer the upfront cost of tuition.

The proposed reforms build on the $3 billion Building Australia’s Future Workforce skills package announced in the last Budget including the new $558 million Workforce Development Fund.  (The National Workforce Development Fund is an industry-led training model designed to train up new and existing workers to meet the skills needs of businesses across the country.)

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