Knowledge and Resource Hub
12 March 2018

Vocational education and training in NSW: Report into access and outcomes for young people experiencing disadvantage

This paper presents the results of consultations, research and a literature review into the barriers faced by young people who want to complete a Vocational and Education Training sector qualification. The research found that young people may experience a multitude of intersecting challenges when accessing or completing VET courses, including financial constraints, socio-economic factors, geographical remoteness and limited literacy and numeracy skills. These barriers are often exacerbated by funding rules, lack of information and difficulties with navigating the complex service systems. Certain cohorts of young people, like Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, young people leaving out-of-home care, those experiencing homelessness, young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds, or with disabilities, have lower levels of VET take up and completion rates. Therefore, it is important to identify and support these young people through early intervention and proactive support. The VET sector is vital to create a workforce that meets the growing and unmet demand in different employment sectors. The NSW Government and the community will benefit from efforts to ensure young people are provided with opportunities to successfully pursue careers in their chosen employment pathways through a whole-of-sector approach.