June 5, 2018

Mitchell Institute Report – More People are Required to Participate in VET

Since World War 2, successive Commonwealth and state governments have recognised that a well-educated population is essential to Australia’s economic and social wellbeing, and have put in place policies, systems and institutions to raise levels of participation in education at all levels. 

Eighty-five per cent of young people now complete a full secondary education, and most go on to gain higher education or Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications. Many adults also undertake higher education or VET courses to upgrade their skills and qualifications. 

Completion of higher education or VET qualification is increasingly a prerequisite for access to, and successful participation in, the labour market. The Department of Jobs and Small Business forecasts that over 90 per cent of the 948,000 new jobs expected to be created by 2022 will require a post school qualification. 

Australia’s population is growing and getting older. Labour force participation rates will need to increase to offset the impact of population ageing. If participation rates in higher education and VET in Australia fall as the population increases, there will be fewer people of prime working age who can effectively participate in the labour market in the future.