COVID-19 the catalyst for a new paradigm in vocational education and training

Susan Bandias, Rajeev Sharma, Alana Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines the response by a Vocational Education and Training (VET) provider in the Northern Territory (NT) of Australia to the travel and social distancing restrictions brought about by COVID-19. The paper commences with a description of the impact of COVID-19 on the VET sector. The paper then describes the VET regulatory environment prior to February 2020 and the responsibility of VET providers to comply with the requirements of the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), in the delivery of VET programs to domestic and international students. A discussion of the lack of a specific vocational education pedagogy, the complexity of delivering VET programs online as well as current research findings in this area follows. A description of the College provides the context to examine the impact of COVID-19 on the delivery of programs in the Northern Territory VET sector. The paper describes how the College, which had a high international student cohort, migrated their courses online in order to remain viable in the highly volatile and unforeseen circumstances brought about by COVID-19. In order to ascertain the effectiveness of the online delivery of course offerings, a questionnaire and a series of face to face and telephone interviews were conducted with key stakeholders. The mixed method approach employed in this research was consistent with contemporary social and educational research. The paper concludes with the call for a new paradigm and policy shift in Vocational Education and Training post COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-256
Number of pages21
JournalAustralian Journal of Adult Learning
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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