THE Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell said vocational education and training (VET) providers need to engage more with small businesses, amid declining use and satisfaction rates.
The National Centre for Vocational Education Research recently released the 2019 Survey of Employer Use and Views of the VET system, which found small business employers using the VET system fell from 47.5 percent in 2017 to 44.percent in 2019. The report also showed small business satisfaction with the nationally accredited training fell from 80.7 percent in 2017 to 76.7 percent in 2019.
“Small businesses have identified a number of reasons for the drop in satisfaction levels with VET,” Ms Carnell said. “They’re primarily concerned there’s not enough focus on practical skills and that the level of training does not meet their needs.
“It’s clear from these statistics that VET professionals need to consult with small businesses so they train the right people with the right skill set.
“Small businesses employ the highest number of people in the Australian workforce, including apprentices, but more than 40 percent continue to experience some level of difficulty in recruiting skilled workers," Ms Carnell said.
“It’s important that VET providers understand the need to be flexible in their approach to training workers, even if that means tailoring courses to match the skills needed by small businesses.
“Instead of concentrating on whole qualifications, they should provide a range of short courses to build a skill set that is relevant to the small businesses in their community," she said.
“If training organisations genuinely engage with small business employers, new markets will open and enrolments will grow.”