Release type: Media Release


A vision for VET - building on the past, securing our future

Today Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Karen Andrews outlined a vision for a strong, flexible and high quality vocational education and training (VET) system—one that delivers real skills for real careers.

A vision that builds on the Australian Government’s work to restore VET’s reputation for excellence and quality, and boost apprenticeship and traineeship numbers.

Minister Andrews addressed the Australian VET Policy Forum in Melbourne, and said the Government’s work which is underway in the sector is already having a real impact.

“Historically, Australia’s skilled workforce has underpinned our country’s stability and prosperity however under the previous Labor Government apprentice and trainee numbers began to fall—in a single year (2012-13) there was the largest drop ever of 110,000 (22%)—leaving us facing areas of skills shortage,” Minister Andrews said.

“We must continue to strengthen Australia’s VET training system to produce the high quality, skilled workforce for the future.

“VET training provides real opportunities for work, and gives people the chance to be self-sufficient and contribute to the wellbeing of our communities.”

Minister Andrews said the sector’s leaders continue to face the significant challenge of turning around the widespread and inaccurate belief that universities were the only pathway to a rewarding career.

“Australia’s university sector is world-class but university study is not for everyone. VET or an apprenticeship offers real opportunities for people to develop the skills they want and that business and industry are desperate to employ.”


  • In 2018–19, the Australian Government will provide approximately $3 billion for VET.

  • Funding to the states and territories will total $1.8 billion.

  • $1.2 billion has been budgeted for the Commonwealth’s own programs, like the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program and Adult Migrant English Program.

  • An estimated $1.5 billion for the Skilling Australians Fund will help create up to an additional 300,000 apprenticeships and traineeships through to 2021-22.