Business Needs And The Role Of The Independent Sector
Monday, January 21 2019
ACPET National Monday Update – 21 Jan 2018
Troy Williams, ACPET Chief Executive Officer
In the discussions the Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET) has with stakeholders from across the business community, it’s clear there is strong support for the work of independent providers in the Higher Education and Vocational Education and Training (VET) sectors. This isn’t surprising given that independent providers deliver around 60% of all VET student enrolments nationally, about 90% of international student VET enrolments and are growing higher education enrolments at over 10% per year; with student satisfaction rates equal to those of public sector TAFE colleges and universities.
This important role isn’t always understood by government in the same way that it is by business. In a discussion paper entitled Future-Proof: Protecting Australians Through Education and Skills, the Business Council of Australia (BCA) sets out both its vision creating a culture of lifelong learning and building a universal education system for Australians across schools, the Vocational Education and Training (VET), and Higher Education sectors. There’s recognition that independent providers augment the work of public schools, universities and TAFE colleges – the system should work as one.
As the BCA Chief Executive Officer, Jennifer Westacott, argues in the paper Australia’s education system can be the ballast against the rising tide that provides all Australians with the opportunity to fulfil their potential, the most skilled nation, best trained and best educated society in the world. It’s a strong proposition that’s supported by ACPET as we push for systemic reform.
A major focus for ACPET is to provide our members with the information that allows them to align their offerings with the needs of businesses of all sizes. This isn’t straight-forward as businesses, and therefore independent providers come to terms with changes stemming from an ageing population, global competition, and the influence of technology on the way consumers make purchases and how businesses deliver these.
Independent providers in the Higher Education and VET sectors have demonstrated time and again their ability to equip students and businesses with the skills needed to meet the challenges and changes of the twenty-first century. Collectively, we’ll ensure that the independent sector is recognised for its ability to do this and continues to be an integral part of Australia’s education and training system.
Troy Williams FIML MAICD
ACPET Chief Executive