Australians deserve more from their post-secondary education and skills system

Business welcomes the release of Tanya Plibersek’s terms of reference for a national inquiry into Australia’s post-secondary education and skills system.

Australian learners and workers deserve more from our post-secondary education system. They need to be able to rapidly gain the skills they need to adapt to a changing world, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.

“We are pleased the terms of reference reflect concerns about our current flawed system. The current system is plagued by distorted and unfair funding, a lack of market information and confused responsibilities between federal and state governments.

“As participants in the opposition’s consultation process, we strongly support the breadth of the terms of reference which will give the inquiry the scope for a thorough examination of Australia’s needs into the future.

“In particular we are pleased to see the inquiry’s terms include the importance of an equitable and transparent funding model.

“Taxpayers contribute $20 billion annually to fund the post-secondary education and skills system but the current approach to funding is distorted and unfair, favouring higher education at the expense of vocational education and training.

“Getting this right doesn’t just mean giving learners the best chance, it also means value for money for taxpayers.”

The Business Council’s Future-Proof post-secondary education and skills reform plan identified changes to our post-secondary and education skills system which would place the learner in charge and promote a culture of lifelong learning by letting people rapidly upskill and reskill throughout their working lives, with the skills businesses need.