The future of L&D and The VET sector in Australia

Over the past few months I have been seeing an increasing number of concerning trends in L&D in Australia particularly in the VET sector, but in reality across the board.

One of these seems to be a move away from having specialist L&D people looking after training within organisations and a move towards having generalist HR folk, or senior management either in charge of or responsible for the training needs of either the organisation or their department or unit.

Now on the surface this may not seem like a bad idea, surely managers know what their staff need, or a good HR person can figure it out and get it delivered, however particularly in Australia with our quite complex VET system there is without a doubt, at least in my mind, at least some degree of specialist knowledge which is required in order to successfully navigate training within Australia, which goes beyond, ‘that program seems good and is a good price’.

The accredited training environment in this country is complex, and navigating that complexity is something that a lot of organisations do not seem to do very well. They fall into the ‘we can give you free training’ line pandered by a lot of RTO’s, without real thought for the outcome for their staff and the organisation. Sure it may not cost them anything directly, but it doesn’t give them the targeted outcomes they may have got if they had examined the process and the offerings more closely, or if they had understood how the sector works and what ‘free training’ generally means.

Even if we step outside the VET sector and look at training in general, there is so much choice in terms of offerings and price, and who is delivering the material to sometimes make it difficult even for a seasoned professional to make a well informed decision about the best direction to take.

Maybe it’s just me, or maybe the good people in L&D have made it look easy and organisations creating a situation where organisations are not valuing the input and outcomes produced by their L&D folk as much as they once were.


About pauldrasmussen
Paul Rasmussen is one of Australia’s most widely read Vocational Education and Training Commentators. He provides deep, unbiased analysis and insights not only on topical issues, but also on the underlying structure and policy which supports the industry. His writing and analysis has been praised for its uncompromising and thought provoking style and its ability to focus on the issues of real importance to the sector. He has advised various government departments and ministers, training providers, public and private organisations, not for profits and small to medium enterprises on the VET sector and the issues and opportunities facing it. He is one of Australia’s most awarded learning professionals and a regular speaker at a range of conventions and forums. His extensive experience in vocational education, and learning and development coupled with formal qualifications in philosophy, ethics, business and education management allow Paul to provide a unique view of the road ahead and how to navigate it.

2 Responses to The future of L&D and The VET sector in Australia

  1. Leo Salazar says:

    I had to look it up, so I thought I’d share for the other non-Australians who are following you: VET = Vocational Education and Training.

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