Giving the student perspective on VET

Earlier this year, VicSRC worked to provide a submission to the parliamentary inquiry into the perceptions and status of vocational education and training. Executive Advisory Committee member, Anjali, wrote about her experience in giving the student perspective on the submission.

In April, VicSRC presented at a Parliamentary Inquiry into the perceptions and status of Vocational Education and Training (VET). We were asked to share our expertise on questions like ‘What are the perceptions and status of the VET sector and how does this impact student enrolment choices? How can perceptions and status of the VET sector be improved?’

As a representative body of Victorian students, we felt that it is necessary to recognise the importance of an education system that is tailored towards the needs & interests of all students. 

As part of the hearing process, we provided our insights and recommendations about VET and the  perceptions around it, based on our knowledge, experiences and perspectives as school-aged students.

We recognise the importance of an education system that is tailored to the needs of students, embedding student voice at every level of decision-making to ensure the best possible outcome for students and the broader community. The purpose of our role in this inquiry was to elevate student voice to the highest level of government decision-making at a national level. 

A few of our recommendations included increasing the exposure of Victorian students to VET by providing accessible information to students and their families and supporting schools by working closely with them to develop resources about VET which can then be distributed. 

In many cases, there is stigma around VET subjects that deters students from completing VET and TAFE, as it's perceived as an inferior option for those who are ‘less’ academic. The government must work with relevant stakeholders to provide students and their families with information, which should celebrate their achievements and this valuable pathway.

About the author

Anjali VicSRC 2023 Executive Advisory Committee Member