WPC Group

You are here: Home
Thursday, 17 Aug 2017

'Hands-On Skills Up to the Job' - The Advertiser, Adelaide

VET your course to get an edge in the job market, reports Lauren Ahwan

VOCATIONAL education graduates are becoming more employable than their university counterparts.

Employers now prefer candidates with the work-ready skills VET provides, says SkillsOne general manager Kirstin Casey.

"There's no doubt that the kids that come out of vocational qualifications are definitely ready for the workplace, not just in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths)," Casey says.

She says VET is no longer considered a second option behind uni.

"(They) are on par and actually industry is choosing the VET students because, generally, they have those job-ready skills," she says.

A Grattan Institute report has found VET graduates particularly are in demand across several STEM sectors, while uni graduates were not meeting the skill requirements of industry. Another report, released last year by the Federal Government, found 68 per cent of the total STEM workforce is comprised of VET graduates, compared with just 32 per cent of university graduates.

Nicholas Wyman, chief executive of training organisation WPC Group, says the hands-on experience of VET graduates gives them a distinct employment advantage. "If you look at what employers are saying, they want people with job-ready skills," he says.

Australian Council for Private Education and Training chief executive Rod Camm is hesitant to say employers prefer VET over uni, saying some research still indicates an inclination towards university.

"VET is really important, there's no question about that, but ultimately employers want a quality person and a qualified person," Camm says.

Brittany Wilson and Jye Mullen have just started an Advanced Diploma of Accounting at TAFE SA, after both completing a Diploma of Accounting. Although the pair hope to eventually go on to university to study business or commerce, they believe having vocational education qualifications will be advantageous for their careers.

"There's a lot of practical stuff that you learn at TAFE - the lecturers make a point of showing you how you will be able to use (what is taught) in the workplace," says Wilson, 18, who wants ultimately to work as a forensic accountant.

She says vocational education is also a little bit cheaper than studying at university and she will get credit at university for the study she completes at TAFE.

Add comment