Earlier this month, WorldSkills Australia released the results of a National survey on the understanding and perceptions of Vocational Education and Training (VET). With one in four Australians not knowing what is meant by the term “vocational education and training”, the results suggest that more needs to be done to educate people with regard to VET and the contribution it makes to society and the Australian economy. At a time when youth unemployment figures now sit at 14% (20% for 15 to 19 year olds) and with an increasing number of university graduates saying that they are leaving university with a degree but no work skills, these results highlight that it is even more important that we continue to raise awareness of the VET sector.
With the 2014 WSA National Competition being held next month, I have had the privilege of attending several Uniform Presentations and Team Farewell Functions. The young men and women who I have met and who are in their final stages of preparation for the competition have already shown incredible skills and commitment and, by virtue of their success at the Regional level, are already skills champions. And now, more than ever we need to promote our skills champions as well as acknowledging and celebrating their achievements to showcase what can be achieved via a VET pathway.