“Competency-based VET a disaster: Leesa Wheelahan”

March 9, 2017   |   News

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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