On this page:
- A dynamic and diverse market
- Governance of the sector
- Funding of VET delivery
- Training delivery
- Training packages
- Quality in the sector
- Reform of the sector
- Informed consumers
- Foundation and core skills
- Apprenticeships and traineeships
- Skills and licence recognition
- Skills engagement
Australia’s VET system provides training for a wide range of workplace skills and knowledge-based competencies for a wide range of occupations, through a variety of training institutions and enterprises.
The system provides training for students of all ages and backgrounds. Students have many options for training and may study individual units or full qualifications. Training takes place in classrooms, workplaces and online, and can be either full-time or part-time.
There are almost 4 million students (including overseas students) enrolled in our training system, or one in four working age Australians.
At the national level, Australia’s VET system is led by a council made up of Australian, state and territory government ministers responsible for industry and skills. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Industry and Skills Council provides leadership and direction for the sector.
The council has agreed to streamline governance arrangements and involve industry more in policy development and the oversight of the performance of the VET sector. As a result, the Australian Industry and Skills Committee as established to provide industry with a formal role in advising the COAG Industry and Skills Council on policy directions and decision making in the national training system.
A five-member Vocational Educational and Training Advisory Board provides advice on VET to the Minister.
Both Australian and state and territory governments are integral to the governance, regulation and support of our national VET system, and work alongside various independent bodies to ensure quality outcomes are delivered. Australian state and territory governments have ministers, government departments and training authorities that administer vocational education and training.
Australian industry plays a leading role in the VET system to ensure the sector drives improvements in productivity and competitiveness across the economy.
VET delivery in Australia is largely funded by the Australian, state and territory governments. However, companies and individuals also contribute to the cost of training. Companies can contribute by purchasing training for their employees, while students contribute through the payment of course and administrative fees.
About 4600 registered training organisations deliver VET in Australia through TAFE institutes, universities, secondary schools, private training providers, enterprises, industry organisations community-based providers and other government organisations.
The training website is the official national register of VET in Australia and an authoritative source of information on training packages, qualifications, accredited courses, units of competency, skill sets and registered training organisations.
For more information visit the For training providers page.
Training packages are a key feature of Australia's national VET system. A training package is a set of nationally endorsed standards and qualifications for recognising and assessing peoples’ skills in a specific industry, industry sector or enterprise.
High quality training ensures that VET graduates have the skills required by industry and employers and that consumers have confidence in nationally-recognised VET qualifications.
Australia maintains high quality VET outcomes through several regulatory frameworks.
The national VET regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority, registers training providers, monitors compliance with national standards and investigates quality concerns. In Victoria and Western Australia, the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority and the Training Accreditation Council Western Australia perform these roles.
The Australian Qualification Framework regulates qualifications nationally to ensure quality and consistency.
The Australian Government is encouraging greater industry leadership in the VET sector, to ensure our national training system produces skilled individuals who are able to contribute to economic growth and prosperity.
The government engaged in a process of VET reform to ensure our training system is delivering high quality training which is responsive to the needs of industry and not over burdened by unnecessary red tape.
The Australian Government is also working with states and territories through the National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform to transform the national training system.
The Australian Government is supporting transparency in the national training system and wants consumers to have access to the information they need on training courses and providers. Initiatives to support these objectives include:
- the Unique Student Identifier, which gives students online access to their nationally recognised training records
- the myskills website, where users can search for all VET courses and training providers
- data collection and research activities, including those conducted by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research.
- The Department of Education and Training supports the development of core and foundation skills so that individuals are equipped with the language, literacy, numeracy and employability skills required by businesses.
- More information available on the training providers page.
- In many industries, apprenticeships and traineeships provide the best pathway for skills development. They combine structured training for a nationally recognised qualification with employment.
- This job pathway can begin at school with Australian School-based Apprenticeships.
- Apprenticeships and traineeships are available in a wide range of trades and other occupations, in most sectors of business and industry.
- Almost 100 000 employers across Australia – more than half of them small businesses – employ around 400 000 apprentices and trainees.
- For more information visit the Australian Apprenticeships website and the apprenticeships and traineeships page.
- The Australian Government is supporting the recognition of prior learning, including of qualifications gained overseas, and the recognition of some domestic licences across state and territory jurisdictions.
- Visit the Skills and licence recognition page for more information on these initiatives.
- The Australian Government is undertaking skills engagement work internationally and nationally.
- To ensure Australia remains a leader and innovator in international skills policy, system design and development it is sharing and exchanging VET expertise and experience, particularly in South Asia, South East Asia and North Asia.
- Visit the International skills engagement page for details.
- At home, Australian Government support is promoting the value of VET for both individuals and our economy through the Australian Training Awards, Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors programme, WorldSkills Australia and National Skills Week.