Geographic equity in vocational education and training markets: Intentional failure or benign neglect?

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Abstract

This article explores outcomes resulting from three decades of national competition and new public management policies favouring increased user choice in vocational education and training markets. Large data sets describing system-wide numbers of enrolments, the number of enrolments in the top 20 training packages, the various fields of education, level of relative remoteness/access to services, Indigenous status and level of relative socio-economic disadvantage are interrogated. If the introduction of contestable markets has delivered the anticipated benefits in access, equity and choice, it would be expected that a larger number of students from each equity group and region would show improvements in the measures described. Unfortunately, detailed results from three states identify an inability of the marketised national training system to produce a nation of lifelong learners who experience equitable access by exercising a wide variety of choices as originally anticipated; calling into question 30 years of bi-partisan commitment to vocational education and training reform.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-32
Number of pages18
JournalAustralasian Journal of Regional Studies
Volume28
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022

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