National Report on Schooling in Australia 2013

Senior schooling and youth transitions

6.1 Participation in vocational education and training, including VET in Schools


The Australian vocational education and training (VET) sector provides nationally consistent vocational training and qualifications for those entering or already engaged in the workforce. Competency standards (units of competency) for vocational qualifications in different industries and occupations are set out in nationally endorsed training packages, which also define the qualifications in each industry. The requirements for each level of VET qualification are set out in the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), which also sets out guidelines for senior secondary certificates of education (Year 12 qualifications) and qualifications in the higher education sector. Qualifications delivered through the VET sector range from Certificate I (AQF level 1) to Graduate Diploma (AQF level 8).

Secondary school students in all states and territories can undertake VET courses as part of their school program (VET in Schools courses), usually in the senior years of schooling as a part of the Senior Secondary Certificate of Education in each jurisdiction. Secondary students can also take VET courses in addition to their school studies, or move from school to full-time VET study, or a combination of part-time VET and work.

Until 2008, the proportion of senior secondary students undertaking VET in Schools courses was a key performance measure (KPM) for schooling. From 2009, this KPM was broadened to all 15–19-year-old VET students (whether or not they were enrolled in school) as a proportion of the 15–19-year-old population. The specification for participation is the completion of at least one unit of competency in a VET qualification at AQF Certificate II or above 1.

This measure, KPM 1(e) in the Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia 2012, includes VET in Schools students, but also includes school-aged students who have left school and are still engaged in education and training through an institute of technical and further education (TAFE) or other registered training organisation (RTO). Table 6.1 shows the Australian data for this KPM for the period 2009–2013. Part 9: Additional statistics, table 20 shows state and territory data for this KPM for 2013.

Proportion of the population aged 15–19 years who in the calendar year successfully completed at least one unit of competency as a part of a VET qualification at AQF Certificate II or above

Table 6.1 Number and proportion of 15–19-year-olds who successfully completed at least one unit of competency as a part of a VET qualification at AQF Certificate II or above, Australia, 2009–2013

Table 6.1 Number and proportion of 15–19-year-olds who successfully completed at least one unit of competency as a part of a VET qualification at AQF Certificate II or above, Australia, 2009–2013


Notes:

A successfully completed unit of competency/module includes competencies with an outcome of competency achieved/pass/recognition of prior learning granted.

The KPM is derived by calculating student numbers in the 15–19 year age group as a percentage of the estimated residential population in the corresponding group.

Sources: NCVER, National VET in Schools Collection 2009–13; NCVER, National VET Provider Collection 2009– 13; NCVER Key performance and program measures for school-aged youth in vocational education and training 2013; National Report on Schooling in Australia, 2012; ABS, Cat. No. 3101.0, Australian demographic statistics, December 2013

See also Part 9: Additional statistics, table 20


Figure 6.1 Proportion of 15–19-year-olds successfully completing at least one unit of competency at AQF II or above (percent)

Figure 6.1 Proportion of 15–19-year-olds successfully completing at least one unit of competency at AQF II or above (per cent)


In addition to KPM 1(e), education ministers approved two program measures for young people’s participation and attainment in VET, disaggregated by industry area and by qualification level. These are reported for 2013 in tables 6.2, 6.3 and 6.4.

Occupation and industry profile of VET engagement for 15–19-year-olds who in the calendar year, successfully completed at least one unit of competency/module as a part of a VET qualification at AQF Certificate II or above

Table 6.2 Number of 15–19-year-olds who have successfully completed at least one unit of competency/module as a part of a VET qualification at AQF Certificate II or above, by major field of education, Australia, 2013 (’000)

Table 6.2 Number of 15–19-year-olds who have successfully completed at least one unit of competency/module as a part of a VET qualification at AQF Certificate II or above, by major field of education, Australia, 2013 (’000)


Note: These figures relate only to characteristics of each student's major course.

Sources: NCVER, National VET in Schools Collection, 2013; NCVER, National VET Provider Collection, 2013; NCVER, Key performance and program measures for school-aged youth in vocational education and training 2013


Table 6.3 Number of 15–19-year-olds who have successfully completed at least one unit of competency/module as a part of a VET qualification at AQF certificate II or above, by major qualification, Australia, 2013 (’000)

Table 6.3 Number of 15–19-year-olds who have successfully completed at least one unit of competency/module as a part of a VET qualification at AQF certificate II or above, by major qualification, Australia, 2013 (’000)


Note: These figures relate only to characteristics of each student's major course.

Sources: NCVER, National VET in Schools Collection, 2013; NCVER, National VET Provider Collection, 2013; NCVER, National VET Provider Collection 2013; NCVER, Key performance and program measures for school-aged youth in vocational education and training 2013

Level of AQF certification for 15–19-year-olds who in the calendar year successfully completed a VET qualification

Table 6.4 Qualification completions for 15–19-year-olds by qualification level, Australia (’000), 2013

Table 6.4 Qualification completions for 15–19-year-olds by qualification level, Australia (’000), 2013


Sources: NCVER, National VET in Schools Collection, 2013; NCVER, National VET Provider Collection, 2013; NCVER, Key performance and program measures for school-aged youth in vocational education and training 2013


KPM 1(e) and the VET program measures include all 15–19-year-old students. The information below refers to students who are identified as VET in Schools students. For the purposes of the VET in Schools data collection, these are students who are undertaking VET as a part of a Senior Secondary Certificate of Education 2. These data are not restricted to Certificate II or above, or to students who have successfully completed at least one unit of competency.

VET in Schools includes school-based apprentices and trainees. These are students who, as well as undertaking an accredited VET qualification as a part of their school studies, have entered into a formal contract of part-time paid employment and training with an employer. Typically, these students undertake part of their traineeship or apprenticeship while at school, and complete it once they have left school.

Table 6.5 shows the number of 15–19-year-old school students undertaking VET in Schools programs each year 2009–2013 with school-based apprentices and trainees disaggregated.


Table 6.5 Number of 15–19-year-old students(a) undertaking VET in Schools programs, Australia, 2009−2013

Table 6.5 Number of 15–19-year-old students(a) undertaking VET in Schools programs, Australia, 2009−2013


(a) Approximately 10,000 students recorded in the VET in Schools data collection 2013, who were outside the 15–19-year-old age range, are excluded from these data.

(b) School-based apprentices and trainees include students who undertook at least one module/unit of competency in a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship.

Sources: NCVER, National VET in Schools Collection, 2013; NCVER National VET Provider Collection, 2013.NCVER, Key performance and program measures for school-aged youth in vocational education and training 2013, NCVER.

See also Part 9: Additional statistics, table 21 and table 22


The VET qualifications attempted by school students are most commonly at AQF Certificate II, but there is a policy emphasis on encouraging participation in AQF Certificate III and above. Between 2012 and 2013, the number of VET in Schools students aged 15–19 years declined by 1.1 per cent. However, the number of 15–19-year-old VET in Schools students enrolled in Certificate III qualifications increased by 12.7 per cent.

Due to time constraints, VET in Schools courses do not necessarily lead to the achievement of a full AQF VET qualification. Where they do not, students assessed as competent in one or more units of competency receive a statement of attainment towards a certificate or other qualification and are eligible to complete the full qualification post-school.

Tables 21 and 22 in Part 9: Additional statistics provide extra information on the participation and attainment of young people in VET, including VET in Schools, in 2013 and for the period 2009–13. Further detailed information is included in the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) publications Australian vocational education and training statistics: young people in education and training 2014 and Key performance measures and program measures for school-aged youth in vocational education and training 2013.






1 The specification of the successful completion of a unit of competency in the KPM is a marker for genuine participation in a VET course (as opposed to an initial enrolment, which may not be followed through). It is not intended that the KPM be regarded as a measure of attainment.

2 In most (but not all) states and territories these students are enrolled in secondary schools.

Back to top