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ERIC Number: ED569135
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Sep
Pages: 83
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 88
ISBN: 978-1-925173-62-8
Shedding Light: Private "For Profit" Training Providers and Young Early School Leavers. NCVER Research Report
Myconos, George; Clarke, Kira; te Riele, Kitty
National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)
This research investigates the oft-criticised segment of the vocational education and training (VET) sector in Australia--private, for-profit registered training organisations (RTOs)--with the aim of gaining a clearer understanding of the approaches they adopt in training 15 to 19-year-olds who have left school early. Through a nationwide survey of private RTOs and a series of consultations with providers and industry stakeholders in Victoria, South Australia, and Queensland, the authors set out to reveal the nature of training provided by private RTOs to those young people seeking to complete their initial qualification, and the ways by which they respond to the needs of their young learners. On the basis of the findings, changes are considered that may be needed in order to improve the training outcomes for this growing cohort of learners. The research is set against a background of federal, state, and territory-based training entitlement regimes, which ensure a greater role for the VET sector in supporting the initial qualification attainment of young Australians. It has also been undertaken at a time when state and national governments are promoting a marketised and, consequently, highly competitive provider environment, prompted largely by the 2012 National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development and the National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform. These initiatives saw an expansion in both the number of private RTOs accessing government-funding, which now comprise approximately 3000 of Australia's 4200 registered training providers, and the number of private RTOs delivering vocational education to early school leavers. In this context a convergence of two trends was observed: (1) a high number of private RTOs that often lack the infrastructure, economies of scale, and student supports found in TAFE (technical and further education) institutions; and (2) a high number of young early school leavers relying on such providers to help them to renew or continue their education. While the numbers of young people undertaking vocational education have increased, the completion rates of publicly subsidised courses remain very low. Data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) indicate that, for those aged under 25 years in full-time study with no prior post school qualification, the estimated completion rate is 51.6% (NCVER 2016). This suggests that catering to the needs of young people in VET--across all provider types and settings--remains a significant challenge. It is for this reason that the focus is on the private RTOs, who now represent a prominent segment of the VET landscape. The following are appended: (1) Survey Instrument; (2) Sample Provider Profiles; (3) Semi-Structured Interview Instrument: Private RTOs; and (4) Semi-Structured Interview Instrument: Other Stakeholders.
National Centre for Vocational Education Research Ltd. P.O. Box 8288, Stational Arcade, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia. Tel: +61-8-230-8400; Fax: +61-8-212-3436; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Australian Government Department of Education and Training
Authoring Institution: National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) (Australia)
Identifiers - Location: Australia