Vocational Education and Training Reform


A well-functioning VET system that delivers the skills we need is fundamental to a strong and prosperous economy that delivers the jobs Australian families and industry want.

The Australian Government has embarked on a significant reform of the VET system. The objectives of reform are to improve the quality, job outcomes and status of VET which are necessary for the system to adapt to future skills need.

Top quality providers and top quality courses enhance the contribution VET makes to the employment prospects of students and boost the status of VET amongst families, students and employers, industry and community.

Reforms focus on enhancing industry leadership in the development of training products (to reflect emerging skills needs and support greater mobility between occupations), strengthening the apprenticeships system and supporting increased participation in high-quality training.

Four key themes reflect the key objectives of VET reform. These are:

  • industry responsiveness
  • quality and regulation
  • funding and governance
  • data and consumer information.

A range of VET reform measures reflecting the vision for VET reform and the objectives have already been introduced.

Vocational education and training reform pre-2016 

The VET Reform Taskforce

As part of the Australian Government's VET Reform agenda the VET Reform Taskforce was established in November 2013 to engage with industry and the training sector to develop and progress agreed reforms. In July 2015, with the VET reform process well underway, the policy functions of the Taskforce were transitioned into the Department of Education and Training.

Objectives for reform

At the inaugural meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Industry and Skills Council (CISC) on 3 April 2014, Ministers agreed on six objectives for reform of the vocational education and training (VET) system:

  1. A national VET system which is governed effectively with clear roles and responsibilities for industry, the Commonwealth and the states and territories.
  2. A national system of streamlined industry-defined qualifications that is able to respond flexibly to major national and state priorities and emerging areas of skills need.
  3. Trade apprenticeships that are appropriately valued and utilised as a career pathway.
  4. A modern and responsive national regulatory system that applies a risk-management approach and supports a competitive and well-functioning market.
  5. Informed consumers who have access to the information they need to make choices about providers and training that meets their needs.
  6. Targeted and efficient government funding that considers inconsistencies between jurisdictions or disruption to the fee-for-service market.

Significant progress has been made in meeting these objectives. 

To reflect this evolution, the VET reform objectives have been refined into four main themes:

  • Industry responsiveness
  • Quality and regulation
  • Funding and governance
  • Data and consumer information.

Consultation and discussion

The process of VET reform has involved extensive consultations and engagement with stakeholders. Summaries of consultations undertaken by the VET Reform Taskforce prior to 2016 are available

Minister's Media Centre

For further information such as VET Reform media releases, speeches and interview scripts visit the media centre of the Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills

Useful links

Australian Apprenticeships

Australian Industry and Skills Committee

COAG Industry and Skills Council

Unique Student Identifier

Reforms implemented