The Voice of VET: Emerging Opportunities for Vocational Education in 2019

4bf428ed6af9ff680b7ac8b24b046f3d?s=50&d=mm&r=g Claudia Reiners
Head of Product Management

The Voice of VET (VOV), RTO (Registered Training Organisation) Industry Australia 2019 Report has just been released, with some incredibly useful insights into the vocational sector.

Some Key Takeaways:

  • The report is based on surveying 444 senior managers at RTOs (Registered Training Organisations) across Australia.
  • The VET industry in Australia is now generating an estimated $11.6 billion in annual revenue.
  • While the spotlight often falls to the University sector, the VET industry plays a massive role in our economy, and shouldn’t be ignored.
  • The majority of the sector is actually made up of small to medium sized businesses, ‘placing them squarely within the engine room of our economy.’

VET: Playing a crucial role in economic growth

The VOV ‘considers a healthy VET system and skilled workers to be critical to the prosperity of Australia’.

We couldn’t agree more, and wholeheartedly believe that a prosperous VET system that manages skills shortages and equips Australia for the future is the way forward for economic prosperity.

Similar to our partnerships across the higher education and vocational space, the report goes on to mention that ‘working together with and alongside higher education, TAFEs and RTOs, including private, enterprise and community providers, contribute to the agile mix of knowledge and skills necessary to sustain and grow a strong, competitive economy for the future’.

It’s worth noting that the VET sector enrols about 4.2 million students a year. Whether you’re a policy maker, student, or an everyday Australian, the VET industry has a huge impact on our economy.

Biggest opportunities for the sector

The Report has identified that 25% of RTOs see ‘new markets’ or ‘new products’ as their biggest business opportunities moving forwards.

These were identified as the highest ranked opportunities by survey respondents for the sector:

  • Opening new markets (international, rural and interstate) / growing the RTO / marketing
  • Increase course diversity / additions to what we deliver / new products / scope

Biggest challenge for the sector

The report also identified compliance as the biggest challenge that VET providers are faced with. Compliance is viewed as nearly four times more challenging than the next biggest identified challenge of staffing.

Ongoing challenges and pressure points

The VET sector has had a tumultuous ride since the end of VET-FEE-HELP days, and as the Report goes on to mention, the industry has been working hard to repair the reputational issues brought on by past providers who may not have had student interests at heart.

There are also the continued perceptions around VET being only for those who miss out on university.

The report has identified the key pressure points for VET providers as:

  • The reputation of VET
  • Attracting new enrolments
  • Price margins and profitability
  • Competitive activity
  • Government funding

Student enrolment numbers, student acquisition strategies and the amount of employee training or coaching are likely to be the biggest progress drivers at individual RTOs over the next 12 months.

Progress Drivers

More specifically, the report has mentioned these as the top 3 drivers of progress for RTOs in the next 12 months:

  • The number of student enrolments
  • The focus on student acquisition strategies
  • Amount of training / coaching of employees

Another item identified as being a progress driver for RTOs was also the ‘$ value of spending on marketing and advertising your business online on the Internet/the web’ – which puts Candlefox in a prime position to assist RTOs in their student acquisition strategy.

In Summary

The Voice of VET (VOV) is a platform supporting the health of the VET industry through the publication of quality independent research and content, focused primarily on RTOs and TAFEs.

Much like our Student Sentiment Index, which has indicated that the education industry is in good health, 63% or RTOs surveyed in the Report said business was good or better than a year ago, and 78% expect revenues to be as good or better in the next 12 months.

As a key industry partner, at Candlefox, we’re committed to supporting the VET sector through our partner providers.

We’ll continue bolstering our efforts to support providers in their student acquisition strategies through our course marketing and lead generation, as well as via our full suite of products and services.

4bf428ed6af9ff680b7ac8b24b046f3d?s=100&d=mm&r=g Claudia Reiners
Head of Product Management

As Head of Product Management at Candlefox, Claudia is responsible for defining our product strategy so that we can continue to build and deliver innovative solutions for both our B2C Marketplace visitors and B2B partners.

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