Review on the NSW vocational education and training sector

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Review on the NSW vocational education and training sector has been temporarily paused while the NSW Government and the Review Panel focus on responding to this unprecedented crisis.

It is anticipated that the Review will recommence in late 2020. The terms of reference will be updated once the full impacts on our original timelines can be better determined.


The VET sector in NSW needs to do better for the future:

  1. From 2001 to 2017, participation in VET declined steadily. Those students who do participate are failing to complete their course at a rate of 47.5%.
  2. NSW has a higher overall skills shortage compared to Victoria and Queensland, with 30 identified skills shortage areas in NSW.

Other challenges faced by the NSW VET system include quality and efficiency, public perception and system complexity. Many of these challenges are also faced by other Australian jurisdictions and have been the subject of a number of recent, comprehensive reviews.

Over the last five years, major reforms and initiatives have been implemented to improve the quality and efficiency of the NSW VET sector. These include the introduction of Smart and Skilled in 2015, modernising TAFE NSW, and providing 100,000 fee-free apprenticeships.

But there is much more to do.


Reform to the VET system is needed if NSW is to remain nationally and internationally competitive, and VET is to be regarded as a genuine and desirable option for school leavers.

Governance and reporting

Mr David Gonski AC and Professor Peter Shergold AC will lead the review.

Secretariat support will be provided by the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

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