Department of Education
The Department of Education (DoE) emphasises that vocational education and training (VET) delivery in schools has been very successful. This is demonstrated by:
- the doubling in student numbers participating in VET between 2012 and 2016
- more students completing VET qualifications that lead to further education, employment and training pathways
- more students completing higher level qualifications while at school
- students using VET to contribute to Western Australian Certificate of Education achievement.
DoE accepts recommendations 1, 2, 3 and 4, noting that:
- the response referred to in recommendation 1 was delayed in order to incorporate the findings of this audit to provide a consistent and cohesive direction
- work related to recommendation 2 has already commenced
- the review indicated in recommendation 3 will be undertaken during 2017 for future implementation
- the Training Accreditation Council (TAC) and the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) are the regulatory bodies for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs). DoE can only act to review the areas related to school practices in recommendation 4.
DoE recognises that support for schools could be strengthened in the areas of contracting and procurement of RTO services, whilst ensuring schools retain the capacity to respond to local needs, as referred to in recommendation 5 and 8, noting that:
- recommendation 5 requires improved clarity to ensure all parties have a common understanding of the intent and processes to be undertaken, and it must reflect the roles and responsibilities of each of the organisations to ensure their involvement is appropriate
- for recommendation 8, the Standards for RTOs 2015 outlines the responsibilities of RTOs and compliance with these standards is overseen by ASQA and TAC. The legislative requirements of RTOs will need to be considered in the development of any contract models.
DoE has good relationships and regular interactions with the School Curriculum and Standards Authority, Department of Training and Workforce Development (DTWD) and TAC. The ability of DoE to influence their policies, the allocation of their resources and their operations is, however, limited. This impacts on the feasibility of DoE being able to implement recommendations 6 and 7, given these areas are under the direct control of DTWD.
Department of Training and Workforce Development
The Department of Training and Workforce Development notes the findings and recommendations of the Office of the Auditor General report ‘Vocational Education and Training for Year 11 and 12 students’.
DTWD has worked closely with the Department of Education to implement the changes to the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) in respect of vocational education and training for year 11 and 12 students.
DTWD has already made significant policy changes to improve the effectiveness of VET in schools through the development of an industry endorsed qualifications register that provides guidance to schools about appropriate VET pathways and best practice guides to assist schools in the quality provision of VET to school students.
DTWD has also provided greater clarity to TAFE colleges on school access to TAFE profile funding in 2017, including increasing the availability of job focused qualifications to a wider range of students. DTWD will continue to work with the Department of Education to support the most effective allocation of TAFE profile places to schools.