Productivity Commission report shows WA training sector needs help

The Productivity Commission’s Report on Vocational Training and Education paints a pretty bleak picture of the training sector in Western Australia, Greens (WA) spokesperson for Training Hon Alison Xamon MLC has said today.

“Enrolments are falling, funding is falling and we are at best, middle of the pack in outcomes achieved for our students,” Ms Xamon said.

“The Report graphically shows the steady reductions in State Funding for training that have occurred over the last few years.

“Now, with the Federal Government likely to both reduce the amount of funding and restrict where that funding can be applied, this leaves our VET sector in terrible shape.

“We still have no indication of how the funding hole will be filled.”

Ms Xamon said Government payments to non-TAFE providers had started to go up again, even though enrolments are going down.

She said this meant more money was being funnelled out of TAFE.

“TAFE is one of the fundamental ways people access training and the better opportunities education brings,” Ms Xamon said.

“This move to Government-funded private training providers is worrying, given the audit results over the last year.

Ms Xamon said the Department found that more than 50% of the audited publicly-funded private RTOs had moderate to significant non-compliance issues with their contracts.

She said, separately, the Training Accreditation Council audits had found surprisingly high numbers of RTOs to be non-compliant with the national standards, even after being given a 20 day period to attain compliance.

“It is vitally important for WA’s future that we get our training system working well and people enrolled in training,” Ms Xamon said.

“This is how we can best help people get jobs.”