Abstract: For some time Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have been readily participating in [vocational education and training] VET certificate programs, above rates for non-Indigenous Australians (albeit at lower levels of attainment than non-Indigenous Australians). Relatively high participation rates are not however translating into higher levels of employment. Successive 'Closing the Gap' reports point to a widening gap in employment participation, particularly in remote areas. This suggests that the role of VET certificate courses in improving employability of participants is problematic. Compounding the problem of transition to employment is the problem of attrition. In remote parts of Australia, attrition rates for VET courses are very high, for example certificate I courses have attrition rates of more than 90 per cent. It would appear that on the whole, participants are not getting what is needed from their courses and they are dropping out as a result. However, this is not the case for all courses. To address these concerns a research project titled Enhancing Training Advantage for Remote Learners funded by [National Centre for Vocational Education Research] NCVER, is examining what makes programs more successful. The project, auspiced by Ninti One Limited with research partners from around Australia, will be conducting five case studies on successful programs in a variety of remote Australian contexts to determine what factors make them work well to achieve better retention and employability for participants. This paper and presentation will report on initial findings of the five case studies. It will also present an analysis of quantitative data from VOCSTATS and the five programs to illustrate the kinds of achievements that are possible in an efficient, and effective VET program for remote learners. Some formative implications from the findings will also be discussed. Published abstract.
Guenther, John, Marshall, Mel, Dwyer, Anna, Wooltorton, Sandra, Boughton, Bob, Stephens, Anne, Williamson, Frances, Skewes, Janet, Bat, Melodie, 2016, Enhancing training advantage for remote learners, Conference Paper, viewed 28 November 2023, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=11208.