From the end of World War II until the early 1970s, vocational education and training (VET) in Australia was surprisingly static and resilient to government-led reform, due to the dominance of industry and union power. Following the oil shocks of 1973 and associated unemployment and declining union power, there have been calls on the federal and state governments to adopt a more proactive approach to dealing with quality assurance in the VET sector. In recent times, private registered training organisations (RTOs) are increasingly being used by federal and state governments to directly address the unemployment problem through programs such as the Productivity Places Program. As a result, an examination of quality assurance in the VET sector is increasingly important. This paper reviews the evolution of VET in Australia and examines what impact policy reforms have had on quality assurance in VET, identifying some opportunities and challenges facing the Australian VET sector in the changing global economy.
Journal of Vocational Education and Training Vol. 62, Issue 3, p. 327-349