Professor Leesa Wheelahan was interviewed by The Australian, March 8, 2017.
Picture: David Geraghty.
Excerpt: Competency-based training needs to be discarded, along with the training packages it is based around, vocational education researcher Leesa Wheelahan has declared.
In a rare visit to her homeland, the Toronto-based researcher said CBT — the bedrock approach to Australian vocational education for two decades — had demonstrably failed in its three objectives of making qualifications more mobile, aligning training with occupations and overcoming a 1980s mistrust of public institutions.
Dr Wheelahan has also called for a comprehensive inquiry into vocational education and training, saying a dozen or so “bitsy” reviews over the past three years have failed to resolve a crisis in VET. She said the crisis was epitomised by rorts and regulatory crackdowns, plummeting TAFE market share and a collapse in VET resourcing — with the system losing almost one-third of its per-hour funding within a decade. Ever since the first training package’s introduction in 1997, she said, problems in VET had been blamed on implementation.
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