Symposium Focuses on Changing VET Landscape


Around 80 leaders in vocational education and training from Catholic schools across the state have come together in Brisbane today to discuss best practice and explore some of the key emerging issues at a two day QCEC symposium entitled VET and vocational learning in a changing landscape.

“Changes of government at both Federal and State levels in the past 18 months have led to a degree of uncertainty about directions for all VET providers, including the schooling sector,” QCEC Executive Director Mike Byrne said.

“This forum aims to explore the key issues emerging, as well as help the Catholic sector to establish a clear agenda to take to government to help us build on the already significant contribution in this space.

Mr Byrne said some of the issues already on the table include implementing best practice in preparing students for work, the role of RTO’s, VET and tertiary entrance, and gender balanced access to VET courses.

He said the Queensland Catholic sector is a strong believer in the benefits of vocational education and training delivered within the school context.

“Around 49% of the 10,500 students exiting Year 12 in Queensland’s 100 Catholic secondary colleges in 2014 received a VET qualification, while 10.2% achieved a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship.

“We believe it is vital that schools provide multiple pathway options for students to provide opportunities for them to engage and develop in their areas of interest as well as assist them into suitable career paths.

“In training young people, we also believe that students benefit from the holistic support and guidance offered in the school context.

“The school context provides extensive opportunities for social, emotional, spiritual, cultural and physical growth, along with leadership opportunities,” Mike Byrne said.

The forum will incorporate keynote presentations across a range of national and state issues including National VET Reform Agenda, Queensland VET investment, and industry engagement strategies.

Models of VET delivery across Catholic school authorities in Queensland and interstate, and school RTO management will also be in focus.

The symposium was officially opened this morning by the Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills Hon Yvette D’ath MP.