What is “VET. It’s right now” all about?
Over the last month my social media feed has been filled with images from the new ‘VET. It’s right now’ campaign. To be honest I wasn’t initially sure of what it was all about. After spending some time researching and also attending a breakfast on the campaign I thought I would share what I have learnt.
It’s a rebrand and celebration of VET
This campaign, at its core is a celebration of vocational education and training in Australia. It is a push by the Australian Government in conjunction with the Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA) to highlight the relevance of tertiary pathways outside of university. Uni is not for everyone and this campaign focuses on the opportunities stemming from picking vocational education and training.
In particular it focuses its messaging on dispelling the myth that VET is a secondary option for students (after university) and that graduates from VET are less likely to be employed after study. The campaign highlights that vocational education and training covers 7/10 of the fastest growing jobs and that more than 77% of VET graduates are employed after training.
VET is about more than just apprenticeships
A key part of this campaign is focused on broadening our perception of what VET is. It encourages us to think beyond apprenticeships alone and to see VET as the industry-focused education option that keeps up-to-date with the changing world of work. While the apprenticeships program is a core VET offering, this campaign highlights the diversity of programs and courses beyond apprenticeships alone.
It’s about encouraging industry to get on board and into the classroom
At the breakfast I attended we heard from a higher apprenticeships student who is currently completing his Diploma of Business through the 1.5 years Skills For Australia program at PWC (to learn more about this program click here). He spoke to us about the company projects he’s been working on from day one at PWC and how, while he is studying he is able to learn from best practices in the industry and create networks within the company.
A recurring challenge we are hearing from industry is how can they source graduates that are industry ready and this is where VET appears to finds its home. If you can train students in the industry, like the Higher Apprenticeships Program there is no gap from education to employment. Employment becomes the education.
Parents are one of the big targets
One of the primary challenges highlighted by the campaign breakfast was that parents are often holding the greatest bias when it comes to favouring university over alternative VET options. Both are valid options and dispelling the idea that university is the only pathway is a key hope of this campaign.
Get a VET grad in to speak at your careers day
As part of the campaign they have created resources for careers advisors in schools. If you are a careers advisor or teacher this is a great resource to help you to set up your own VET day. You can even be paired with your own local VET Alumni who can come in to the school to chat with your students.
So in summary – has the campaign changed my mind on VET?
After all my research I must say I am pretty excited about how we are starting to encourage and open more alternative pathways for post school options. Whether it is a trade, higher apprenticeships or easier access for all of us to lifelong learning and upskilling, this campaign highlights that VET is ready to help you to stay relevant and ‘right now’ in the workplace.