Converting Carmichael's VET in Schools legacy: Certified for university, yet not ready for the workforce

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper presented at Conference (not in Proceedings)


    The seductive policy allure of delivering nationally recognised vocational education and training (VET) in senior secondary schools has remained undiminished since the mid-1980s. State, territory and federal governments have similarly found irresistible the urge to develop idiosyncratic versions of valuing, assessing and reporting student achievement. Although technical education and expanded curriculum offerings in the final years of schooling had accompanied increases in student retention, the Carmichael Report provided a national impetus to extend workplace-based vocational training reform even further. However, the outcomes expected of VET in Schools delivery have often not materialised and the space remains highly contested. Using a case study of the implementation of national VET policies in Australia’s least populous jurisdiction, this presentation explores the possibility that more recent reform efforts aimed at achieving the intended outcomes have been wrongly directed at the operations of schools. By using a policy trail analysis, it will be argued that policy incoherence in the technologies of accreditation and certification, driven by contests over whose knowledge is most valid, has created an unstable foundation upon which to report highly valued industry-based skills and knowledge in the senior secondary certificate. One contrary outcome is that VET qualifications are now considered to be valid when calculating an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank but are less well regarded in terms of making young workers ready for the labour market.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages31
    Publication statusPublished - 2020
    EventNational Vocational Education and Training Research Conference 'No Frills' - Online
    Duration: 7 Jul 202010 Jul 2020
    Conference number: 29th


    ConferenceNational Vocational Education and Training Research Conference 'No Frills'
    Internet address


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