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Small businesses less satisfied with VET system

Small business satisfaction rates with the vocational education and training (VET) system have declined, primarily due to a lack of useful training offered by providers.

Small businesses less satisfied with VET system
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  • Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
  • November 04, 2019
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The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell has urged vocational education and training (VET) providers to engage more with small businesses, amid declining use and satisfaction rates.

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research revealed in its 2019 survey of employer use and views of the VET system that small business employers using the VET system have dropped from 47.5 per cent in 2017 to 44.9 per cent in 2019.

Moreover, small business satisfaction with the nationally accredited training has fallen from 80.7 per cent in 2017 to 76.7 per cent in 2019.

“Small businesses have identified a number of reasons for the drop in satisfaction levels with VET,” Ms Carnell said.

“They’re primarily concerned there’s not enough focus on practical skills and that the level of training does not meet their needs.”

Ms Carnell advised that VET professionals need to consult with small businesses so they train the right people with the right skill set.

“Small businesses employ the highest number of people in the Australian workforce, including apprentices, but more than 40 per cent continue to experience some level of difficulty in recruiting skilled workers,” she said.

“It’s important that VET providers understand the need to be flexible in their approach to training workers, even if that means tailoring courses to match the skills needed by small businesses.”

The Ombudsman suggested that instead of concentrating on whole qualifications, VET providers should provide a range of short courses to build a skill set that is relevant to the small businesses in their community.

“If training organisations genuinely engage with small business employers, new markets will open and enrolments will grow,” Ms Carnell said.

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