An effective TVET system is required to increase workforce participation in helping companies develop new technologies and increase productivity of the economy. This research paper discusses the Seven Trends of VET development in the world and issues that VET institutions need to consider. A wide range of macro and micro factors – including policy and governance, the economy, society and technology – drive trends in TVET development.
In an effort to understand and evaluate these trends, Cisco and Optus/Alphawest have conducted studies on emerging global trends in TVET. This work aims to share information with TVET institutions and policy makers and focuses more deeply on some of the challenges that may arise in the coming years. The assessment of global trends is mainly based on overseas case studies and the latest research and policy thinking. This investigation identified Seven global trends in TVET development, based on their impact on the sector as a whole and their potential applicability in Australia.
Each trend is presented with a real-life example. These include trends around how students change learning patterns, patterns of student retention, new forms of learning, and trends around new forms of cooperation in the VET sector.
First trend: Students join vocational training at an earlier and later age
This trend is also happening locally, where Australian schools are expected to take students’ pathway into account. The number of 15- to 19-year-olds in Australian vocational education and training schools increased from 167,100 in 2006 to 216,700 in 2009. The very definition of a retention goal – i.e. completion of year 12 or equivalent – is a direct indication that the pathway to an accredited apprenticeship is of considerable value.
As demand for new skills and higher qualifications increases and populations in developed countries age, the need to retrain older workers will be higher . European countries have been particularly active in addressing this challenge through lifelong learning policies. The number of EU citizens aged 50 to 64 years in training has increased from 1% to 26% in EU countries between 2005-2009.
Second trend: The world vocational training market tends to move abroad
Skilled people are increasingly moving between countries in response to changing needs. In 2010, an estimated 193 million migrant workers globally moved to different countries in search of work. Accordingly, the demand for training, re-skilling and recognition of migrant workers will increase. Arguably, the rate of movement of people between countries for vocational training will also continue to increase. However, some evidence suggests that this is not the case. Two main factors have contributed to the trend of not training abroad:
- The world’s two largest international training resource markets, China and India, have added significant training capacity.
- US, EU and Australian training providers have begun to invest heavily in ‘domestic’ delivery as a model for education international.
Third trend: “Retaining” students is the new strategy
The economic argument for student retention is irrefutable: acquiring a new customer is significantly more expensive than maintaining an existing one Yes. Providers are realizing that much of the cost associated with training a learner is expended before completion. In cases where funding is bound for completion, the economic costs of losing students midway are substantial.
Fourth trend: Distribution is now omnichannel and rich
The emergence of online learning and blended learning is hardly a new trend. However, recent trends in blended learning and online learning tend to focus on two areas:
- Move from replicating face-to-face pedagogy to developing new pedagogy
- Towards mobile learning.
Fifth trend: New funding models and cost-changing approaches are emerging to meet infrastructure requirements floor
Revenue uncertainty, cost and profit pressures, and difficulties in forecasting future skills demand are forcing TVET institutions to think about the infrastructure requirements. Organizations are looking at innovative ways to reduce investment in new infrastructure through the use of new technology (such as simulators or online collaboration tools) to avoid investment costly. New financial models and cost-sharing agreements enable cloud-based services to reduce administrative costs while improving focus on guidance services.
Friday trend: New industry partnerships are driving broader, deeper, and more relevant training
The supplier-consumer model between the industry and the provider has emerged in the VET sector. As competition becomes more intense, including new players from outside the VET sector, the industry is demanding new models of cooperation. These models focus on establishing deeper and broader collaboration.
Seventh trend: The shift between education sectors is making old issues hotter
Traditional boundaries between education disciplines are being blurred. Because of the overlap in products, learners are less likely to distinguish between supplier types and expect seamless transitions between sectors. The sheer displacement between fields has challenged funding models, the recognition of earlier coupling and learning frameworks. Increasing focus on disadvantaged students when moving between systems is also challenging for systems
Skill is an international currency
Skills are an international currency: they are a source of economic advantage and are increasingly ‘tradable’. Some argue that this has always been the case, and that the ‘war for talent’ – a term coined in the late 1980s – has been going on for decades.
However, global trends have important implications for training institutions today, including both challenges and opportunities. The continued development and relevance of the VET sector depends on its ability to meet new needs from industry, learners and the wider community. Organizations that provide training will need to adapt in fundamental ways, and across governance and training/learning. In particular, they will need to become more flexible in managing costs, responding to new requirements of learners and economies, working closely with sectors, industries and learners, changing new in all aspects of the student’s learning process.
Australia is recognized as an advanced TVET market. This is largely influenced by the highly decentralized nature of the TAFE system in some States, and the move towards a model that is competitive in the domestic training market.
According to a competitive model, considerable power has been transferred to consumers of education and training, and the influence of Government as is a reduced shopper.