NSW vocational education and training (VET) review

The NSW VET Review is a comprehensive examination of the vocational education and training sector. Now in its consultation phase, the review is focused on identifying the strengths, gaps and opportunities for improvement in skills development and training, to support our students and workforce.

The review is a NSW Government commitment to restore TAFE to be the best it can, and reskill NSW. Led by an expert panel and supported by the NSW Department of Education, the review is following a 3-phased approach.

Phases of the review

Phase 1: landscape analysis and discussion paper

An independent review panel assessed the current landscape of vocational education and training (VET) in NSW, along with the skills needs of the state. The research and analysis conducted during this phase formed the foundation for a public-facing discussion paper to guide consultations in Phase 2.

Status: complete as of August 2023

View the discussion paper.

The discussion paper supporting this consultation phase posed questions to prompt feedback and engagement across 4 key themes:

  • boosting student success
  • placing TAFE NSW at the heart of the system
  • delivering VET in NSW
  • preparing VET for the future.

Phase 2: stakeholder consultation and interim report

Phase 2 focused on engagement and consultation with stakeholders through roundtables and a digital forum that allowed for public feedback. The foundation for these consultations was the discussion paper from Phase 1. An interim report from Phase 2 was delivered to the government by the review panel in December 2023. The government is currently considering the report findings in 2024.

Status: complete as of December 2023.

The independent VET Review Panel made 7 recommendations to the government in its Interim Report. These recommendations focus on TAFE NSW at the centre of the vocational education system and VET delivery in NSW. A high-level summary of these recommendations includes:

  1. The NSW Government should clarify the role of TAFE NSW in the NSW training system through a TAFE NSW Charter.
  2. TAFE NSW should develop a revised operating model that aligns educational delivery with industry needs, prioritises local and community engagement and enhances support for teachers.
  3. TAFE NSW and the NSW Department of Education should work together with education regulators to pilot self-accreditation of selected and agreed Australian Qualifications Framework courses. The pilot should include an evaluation process for future TAFE NSW self-accreditation.
  4. The NSW Government should consider ways to rebuild TAFE NSW capacity to offer training. These include removing TAFE from the contestable funding market, streamlining its funding, ensuring funding for TAFE reflects operating costs and establishing clear guidelines for TAFE NSW so its assets can maximise public good and be used appropriately for commercial purposes.
  5. The NSW Government should ensure governance arrangements for the NSW VET system are strengthened and set up to represent provider, industry, and workforce expertise.
  6. The NSW Government should increase the number of permanent roles for TAFE teachers and convert temporary roles to permanency within the NSW education system and TAFE NSW.
  7. The NSW Government should audit the condition, age, and geographic distribution of VET infrastructure across NSW. The audit should include TAFE NSW, public schools and all other government-owned or funded VET assets and see if there is alignment between major tertiary education infrastructure announcements and VET needs.

The NSW Government welcomes the findings of the Interim Report and will consider its recommendations. Work will progress on preparing a TAFE Charter to set the future direction for TAFE NSW, and TAFE NSW will also start working on a revised operating model.

While the Interim Report focuses on the immediate challenges for TAFE NSW, the Final Report will have a stronger focus on the broader VET system.

The NSW Government will consider both reports in their entirety.

Phase 3: final report

A final report is expected to be delivered in mid-2024. The NSW Government will spend time reviewing the findings and recommendations.

Status: in progress.

The NSW Department of Education will also develop a NSW Skills Plan. This plan will provide a long-term, overarching vision for the NSW skills sector to drive outcomes for individuals, industry and the state.

The review panel

A panel has been established to ensure the integrity and independence of the review.

The review panel members were selected by the NSW Department of Education for their demonstrated deep understanding of TAFE and the NSW VET system, knowledge of different student pathways and cohorts, and relevant academic and/or government review experience.

Dr Michele Bruniges AM (Chair)

Dr Michele Bruniges AM has previously held numerous senior public service positions. In these roles she has demonstrated a comprehensive knowledge and significant expertise in delivering operational and strategic outcomes across the education and training sectors.

Dr Bruniges is a former Commonwealth Secretary (2016-2023) holding responsibility for education, skills, employment, and training during this period of time, has been Director-General, NSW Department of Education and Communities (2011-2016) and Chief Executive, Education and Training in the ACT (2005-2008). She currently serves as the Chair, OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) Governing Board and is the incoming Chair for the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL).

The Hon. Professor Verity Firth AM

The Hon. Professor Verity Firth AM is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Social Justice and Inclusion) at the University of Technology Sydney, a member of the Australian Universities Accord Ministerial Reference Group and served as NSW Minister for Education and Training from 2008-2011. Verity has deep knowledge and experience in pathways for equity cohorts and a strategic understanding of TAFE and the NSW VET sector with more than 15 years working in education.

Jason Ardler PSM

Jason Ardler PSM is a Yuin man who has held senior executive roles in the NSW public and university sectors for more than 20 years. He was the Head of Aboriginal Affairs NSW for 8 years, leading government strategy and reform to improve the social, cultural, and economic wellbeing of Aboriginal people.

Jason is the co-founder and director of Thirriwirri, a 100% Aboriginal owned consulting organisation, Chair of the National Indigenous Australians Agency’s Indigenous Evaluation Committee, and a director of the NAISDA Indigenous performing arts college. He has extensive understanding and experience of different pathways, workforce and economic development initiatives, and equity student cohorts.

More information

Throughout 2024, we will share updates about the review on this webpage and via our stakeholders, as we work together to build a stronger, more inclusive vocational education and training system for NSW.

Written submissions and 'Have your say' survey closed on 24 November 2023. The feedback and insights from this stage of consultation will be reviewed to inform the Review’s final report. We look forward to engaging with stakeholders further on the VET Review during 2024.

You can stay informed about the review's progress by subscribing to our newsletter.

You can also contact us at any time by sending an email to NSWVetReview@det.nsw.edu.au.


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