4-in-5 VET Students Prefer Independent Providers

Date —

17 August 2020

Education Sector/s —
Vocational Education & Training

Summary —

Around 80% of the 4.2 million students in vocational education and training (VET) are with independent Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), backing the sector’s reputation for delivering quality outcomes to students and their employerslook for.  The data is contained in a new report published by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

Key Issues —

The NCVER report provides an estimate of the extent and nature of nationally recognised VET delivered in 2019 by RTOs of all types.

The data covers 2019 and, in comparison with the previous year, shows that the total number of vocational education and training students increased by 3.2% to 4.2 million.

Some 79% of the 4.2 million students are with independent providers that include non-profit providers, for-profit providers, community colleges and enterprise providers. This number increased by around 4% compared to the previous year.

Less than 20% of students opted to study with a public TAFE college.

The number of domestic fee-for-service students increased by 2.8% to 3.1 million students, representing around 68% of the sector.

The Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) points to the data as a clear sign that independent providers are the mainstay of Australia’s vocational education and training system.


“Independent training providers have a track record for delivering the quality outcomes that students and their employers look want. In this context, it’s hardly surprising that around four in five students prefer to study with an independent RTO,” said Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Executive.

Other NCVER data shows that when it comes to delivering quality, independent providers enjoy student completion rates, post-study employment rates, and levels of student satisfaction equal to, or better than, public TAFE colleges.

The role of independent training providers will be central to supporting the economic recovery that will follow the Covid-19 pandemic and ITECA has been involved in extensive consultation with the Australian Government concerning the roll-out of the JobTrainer initiative .

ITECA is also monitoring the international VET student market which has taken a hit during the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of international VET students increased by 15.3% to 224,400 in 2019 according to the NCVER report; however, this number is expected to significantly drop in 2020.

Getting Involved —

ITECA’s ability to play a lead role in matters associated with this issue rests on the advice and guidance of individuals serving on the ITECA Vocational Education & Training Reference Group.  ITECA Membership – It's a great time to get involved.

Further Information —

If you're an ITECA member and would like more information on this matter, the ITECA team would value the opportunity to talk to you.  Simply send an email to policy@iteca.edu.au or telephone 1300 421 017.  Stay up to date via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


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ERTOA Enterprise Registered Training Organisation Association

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