The major overhaul of the Australian Government’s investment in skills is the right way to go, ensuring that
funding is directed to providing the economy needed to sustain the recovery in the post Covid -19 environment.
That’s the view of the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA), the peak body representing
independent providers in the higher education, vocational education, training and skills sectors.
“The Prime Minister is right, current funding arrangements, which see every state and territory fund vocational
education and training, are broken. Students and their employers are bewildered by competing study and funding
op tions. Reform is long overdue,” said Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Executive.
Reform is particularly important for independent Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) tha t support more than
80% of the 4.1 million students in vocational education and training, that’s four times as many students at
indepent providers than at public TAFE colleges.
“Independent providers do some great work helping studen ts nagivate the ma ze of funding programs ; it’s a
daunting task. Different loan programs and different levels of government funding make it hard for students.
That the Australian Government has stepped -up to provide reform is great,” Mr Williams said.
ITECA welcomes the P rime Minister’s announcement of a new architecture that will see funding directed to the
skills areas which will best support economic growth.
“Students need to know where the jobs will be when considering their study options. Similarly, independent
training providers need to know what courses will be in demand. That’s what makes the work of the National
Skills Commissioner most important,” Mr Williams said.
Importantly, the fact that this funding will be available to both quality indepen dent RTOs and public TAFE colleges
“The move towards an activity -based funding model that provides state and territory governments with clear
guidance on where money will be provided to support students is welcomed. Students, employers and ta xpayers
will be served well by this approach,” Mr Williams said.
Independent RTOs are the backbone of Australia’s vocational education and training system. There are around
3,500 independent RTOs operating around Australia that, according to the National Centre for Vocational
Education and Research (NCVER), employ 200,539 people.
As the sector’s peak body, ITECA has been extensively engaged by the Australian Government in reforms, not only
on funding matters but also on regulation of the sector.
“Today’s a nnouncement by the Prime Minister is a clear signal that positive reform is on the way and ITECA
looks forward to further engagement with the government to achieve the outcomes that students, their
employers and independent training providers need,” Mr Wil liams concluded.