Abstract: For many of us, when conjuring up a picture of very remote Aboriginal Australia, our images are drawn from a common storehouse of disadvantage, where the consequences of low levels of education, and high rates of unemployment, shade the environment with unpleasant tones. From this position it is not difficult to see why ‘closing the gap’ in education and employment outcomes directs our future imagining for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples. If only we could get more people finishing school, achieving VET qualifications at certificate three or above then in the future more people would be able to get jobs, and their lives would reflect something better. But is this picture one that has been built up from the evidence or one that is more rooted in the ground of common and often unquestioned assumptions? Is holding a certificate the most valid or effective ticket needed for supporting people along their livelihood pathways? As part of the Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation (NintiOne) ‘Pathways to Employment’ project, this paper will provide a brief snap shot of remote Australia using the 2011 Census Data. By reviewing current VET qualifications and industry profiles questions will be raised about the assumed positive link between formal qualification and employment outcomes. This link with be further problematized through drawing on case study findings associated with a non-formal, non-accredited learning approach to microenterprise development in very remote Aboriginal Australia. Arguing that much of the VET sector is shaped by certain employment centric values which see human capital delivery models privileged, this paper highlights the significance of more holistic vocational and adult education models which acknowledge local agency and place the development of social and identity capital at their core. The paper will conclude by emphasising the need for the national VET system to re-imagine its role in remote Aboriginal communities from primarily the delivery of human capital competencies to the facilitation of learning spaces that build identity and agency.