Webinar #11: Is this the time for a VET explosion?

Insider Guides’ eleventh webinar brought together hosts James Martin and Rob Lawrence with Janelle Chapman, Executive Director of TAFE Queensland, to discuss what the VET sector can do to take advantage of the changing international education landscape and what the sector could look like in a post-COVID world.

After such a sudden disruption, will VET students return to Australia and how can VET meet the demands of international students? These were the central questions posed in this week’s webinar. 

“I personally see a future where we have more frequent programs of shortened durations for people to up-skill and have portable skills that they move around with…is it time now to really push that vocational option where we can do that up-skilling quite quickly… It gives people the skills that they need to be able to do their own job, a higher level job, or a new job,” shares Janelle [00:10:48].

With the increase in popularity for up-skilling and developing transferrable skills, Rob calls the VET sector a “sleeping giant,” it’s just a matter of increased exposure.

“It’s up to us as VET providers to be able to profile what we do best. I don’t think vocational providers have done that well over the years. We have some great things that we do, we just need to profile and promote the hell out of that both in Australia, in our communities, to government, and then offshore as well. Universities do this well – they have been very loud and vocal. I think VET providers have the ability to do this as well,” shares Janelle [1:01:30].

Topics discussed include:

  • VET work-ready pathways
  • Duration of VET studies – increasing or decreasing?
  • Supporting VET students during this time
  • VET providers’ transition to online learning
  • Public vs. private VET systems
  • Opportunities in regional Queensland
  • Future prospect pools
  • Degree awarding VET providers vs. universities
  • Building primary markets
  • Steps to retaining and incentivising students to re-enrol

Webinar poll:

Webinar attendees were invited to participate in a poll regarding this week’s topics. In regards to 2021’s biggest hurdles for attracting new international VET students, 63% of respondents believed travel restrictions would have the biggest impact, with 23% believing it would come down to personal financial difficulties. Meanwhile, the audience was split (33%) that ‘slightly more’ or the ‘same number’ of international university graduates will study at TAFE to build their portfolio of work-ready skills.

Poll questions:

  1. Do you believe that there will be an increase in the number of international students studying Higher Education degrees at VET institutions instead of universities?
  2. Do you believe that more international university graduates will then study at TAFE to build their portfolio of work-ready skills?
  3. What will be the biggest hurdles in 2021 in attracting a new cohort of international VET students?