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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2012  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/05/2012   
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Education and training

VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING (VET)

Vocational education and training (VET) is a fundamental driver of a skilled Australian workforce. VET includes courses which lead to formal qualifications in a wide range of trade and professional fields, as well as course components aimed at developing or refining specific work-related skills or workplace practices. Most VET courses which lead to a formal qualification are delivered at the Certificate I-IV or Diploma/Advanced diploma levels.

There were 2,794 registered training providers in Australia in 2010. While many of these are private providers, government-funded providers such as technical and further education (TAFE) colleges tend to be larger, multi-purpose institutions, meaning that most VET students (74%) are engaged with government providers.

Publicly funded VET is provided by TAFE colleges as well as by higher education institutions, secondary schools and colleges, agricultural and technical colleges, and adult and community organisations. Private providers of VET include private training organisations, business colleges, industry associations, adult and community organisations and employers.

In 2010, there were approximately 1.8 million students enrolled in publicly funded VET courses (table 12.12), of whom just over half (54%) were under 30 years of age. Between 2006 and 2010, VET student numbers grew about 7% for both males and females (graph 12.11).

Graph 12.11 VET STUDENTS

Among younger age groups, males were more likely than females to be studying in publicly funded VET courses, comprising 56% of enrolments for those under 30 years of age. Females comprised a greater share of older VET students. Overall, just over half (52%) of publicly funded VET students were male.


12.12 VET STUDENTS, Publicly funded vocational and preparatory courses(a), by age2010
Males
Females
Persons(b)
no.
no.
no.

15-19 years
258 172
203 334
462 017
20-24 years
178 446
127 986
306 981
25-29 years
104 476
87 284
192 202
30-39 years
159 572
149 811
310 113
40-49 years
122 728
148 771
272 298
50-59 years
78 286
92 725
171 485
60 years and over
30 634
32 381
63 216
Total(c)
935 763
846 748
1 787 196

(a) Includes all VET delivery by TAFE and other government providers, multi-sector higher education institutions, registered community providers and publicly funded delivery by private providers. Fee-for-service VET delivery by private providers has been excluded. School students undertaking VET in schools have also been excluded. A student is an individual who was enrolled in a subject or completed a qualification at any time in 2010.
(b) Includes 'sex not stated'.
(c) Includes 'age not known'.
Source: National Centre for Vocational Education Research, data available on request, National VET Provider Collection.


VET courses are classified according to specific fields of education. Table 12.13 shows the number of course enrolments in 2010 in 11 broad fields of education and for mixed field programs. Since students may be enrolled in more than one VET course, the number of course enrolments is greater than the total number of students. In 2010, there were 2.2 million course enrolments taken up by 1.8 million students.

The most common broad fields of study for VET courses were Management and commerce (20%), Engineering and related technologies (17%), Society and culture (11%), and Food, hospitality and personal services (10%). Each of these fields is strongly linked to gender, with courses in Management and commerce, Society and culture, and Food, hospitality and personal services all being predominantly studied by females (65%, 74% and 62%, respectively), while most students studying Engineering and related technologies were male (91%). Education and Creative arts had more even distributions of male and female course participants.

Mixed field programs, which either encompass multiple fields of study or are more generalist in nature, such as bridging and enabling courses, comprised 16% of VET course enrolments, with participation divided almost evenly between males and females.


12.13 COURSE ENROLMENTS(a), By course field of education and sex, Australia2010
Male
Female
Not known
Total
Course field of education
no.
no.
no.
no.

Natural and physical sciences
3 800
5 009
5
8 814
Information technology
32 300
17 725
17
50 042
Engineering and related technologies
334 436
32 231
537
367 204
Architecture and building
165 338
11 806
344
177 488
Agriculture, environmental and related studies
71 217
23 630
126
94 973
Health
40 887
77 245
236
118 368
Education
32 764
42 562
181
75 507
Management and commerce
150 616
280 349
1 044
432 009
Society and culture
64 119
180 221
662
245 002
Creative arts
26 931
36 397
61
63 389
Food, hospitality and personal services
83 832
135 493
375
219 700
Mixed field programmes
173 049
188 153
551
361 753
Total
1 179 289
1 030 821
4 139
2 214 249

(a) Includes all VET delivery by TAFE and other government providers, multi-sector higher education institutions, community providers, and publicly funded delivery by private providers. Fee-for-service VET delivery by private providers has been excluded. Secondary school students undertaking VET in schools have also been excluded.
Source: National Centre for Vocational Education Research, National VET Provider Collection.


Apprenticeships and traineeships

Of 441,000 apprentices and trainees, 204,000 or nearly half (46%) were in the Technicians and trades occupations (table 12.14). Two specific trades occupations: Automotive and engineering (50,000 apprenticeships) and Construction (55,000 apprenticeships) were the largest occupations for apprenticeships/traineeships, with the exception of the broad Clerical and administrative occupation (68,000 apprenticeships).

Males comprised two-thirds (66%) of all apprenticeship/traineeship participants, and more than 98% of participants in three trades occupations – Automotive and engineering, Construction and Electro-technology and telecommunications. Males also comprised more than 70% of participants in the other major trades occupations of Engineering, ICT and science, Food trades, and Skilled animal and horticultural workers, as well as two non-trade occupation groups, Machinery operators and drivers and Labourers.

Females were more highly represented than males in four non-trade occupation groups — Managers, Community and personal service, Clerical and administrative and Sales. Community and personal service workers recorded the highest share of female participants at 72%.


12.14 APPRENTICES AND TRAINEES IN TRAINING, By occupation(a)—31 March 2010
Male
Female
Total(b)
no.
no.
no.

Technicians and trades workers
Engineering, ICT and science technicians
4 981
1 543
6 524
Automotive and engineering trades workers
49 392
970
50 364
Construction trades workers
54 314
534
54 849
Electrotechnology and telecommunications trades workers
33 100
643
33 744
Food trades workers
14 109
5 003
19 113
Skilled animal and horticultural workers
6 504
1 933
8 437
Other technicians and trades workers
16 799
14 458
31 257
Total Technicians and trades workers
179 198
25 084
204 287
Managers
5 729
10 898
16 627
Professionals
1 549
1 156
2 705
Community and personal service workers
13 416
34 325
47 741
Clerical and administrative workers
25 843
41 945
67 788
Sales workers
17 168
27 680
44 850
Machinery operators and drivers
27 879
3 266
31 146
Labourers
17 959
7 548
25 507
Total
288 742
151 902
440 650

(a) Classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, First Edition, 2006 (1220.0).
(b) Includes sex not stated.
Source: National Centre for Vocational Education Research, National Apprentice and Trainee collection.


Staff

In 2010, there were 36,000 VET teachers employed in TAFE and other VET institutions in Australia (table 12.15). Slightly more than half of these were female (54%). Three-quarters of male VET teachers were full-time, compared to approximately half of female VET teachers.



12.15 VET TEACHERS(a)2010
Full-time
Part-time
Total
'000(b)
'000
'000

Males
12.4
4.1
16.6
Females
10.0
9.6
19.6
Persons
22.4
13.8
36.2

(a) Annual average of quarterly data.
(b) Refers to persons working 35 hours or more in the survey week.
Source: Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly, Aug 2011 (6291.0.55.003).


Work-related training

Many workers seek, or are provided with, training courses specifically to meet the skill and practice needs of their workplace. Table 12.16 shows the proportion of workers who had, in the previous year, participated in a work-related non-formal course, by sex, work hours and occupation (as at 2009). Non-formal learning refers to structured taught learning, but unlike formal learning, does not lead to a recognised qualification, per the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF).

Workers in the occupational categories of Community and personal service workers (36%) and Professionals (33%) were much more likely to have participated in work-related non-formal courses than were those in other professions. The lowest rates of participation were reported in the Sales workers and Labourers occupations, both at 15%.

Overall, there was little difference in the participation rates of males and females, at 23% and 24% respectively. However, there was some variation by occupation group. Males were more likely than females to have participated in a work-related course in the Community and personal services occupation (41% compared with 33% for females). In contrast, female Professionals (36%) were more likely to have participated in a course than male Professionals (30%).

People working full-time were much more likely to report that they had participated in a work- related course, at 26% of workers, than were part-time workers (18%). Full-time Sales workers were twice as likely as part-time Sales workers to have participated in a work-related course (22% compared with 11%).


12.16 PARTICIPATION IN NON-FORMAL WORK-RELATED TRAINING COURSES(a)(b), By occupation and sex—2009
Full-time
Part-time
Males
Females
Total
%
%
%
%
%

Managers
26.5
14.0
23.4
27.6
24.8
Professionals
35.5
26.1
29.9
36.4
33.2
Technicians and trades workers
19.8
12.2
19.2
15.9
18.7
Community and personal service workers
40.5
31.3
40.5
33.5
35.6
Clerical and administrative workers
22.2
14.9
21.2
18.9
19.5
Sales workers
21.9
10.6
17.4
14.0
15.3
Machinery operators and drivers
21.8
14.1
21.5
12.2
20.7
Labourers
19.1
10.3
16.3
12.6
14.9
Total
26.4
17.6
22.9
24.5
23.6

(a) Proportion of persons in occupation participating in a work-related course in the previous 12 months.
(b) Classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, First Edition, 2006 (1220.0).
Source: ABS data available on request, Survey of Education and Training, 2009.

 

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Statistics contained in the Year Book are the most recent available at the time of preparation. In many cases, the ABS website and the websites of other organisations provide access to more recent data. Each Year Book table or graph and the bibliography at the end of each chapter provides hyperlinks to the most up to date data release where available.


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