The refrain from employers is often the same: many young Australians aren’t job-ready and lack work skills. It seems that prospective employees have taken heed to the message in the song and are flocking to TAFE as their university degree isn’t enough to satisfy their prospective employer.
The changing face of the employment landscape has created a chasm in the job-skills department.
Whereas TAFE could be seen as a “bridge” to university ten years ago the tables have turned significantly and the path is becoming increasingly different: university – TAFE – job.
In the coming weeks thousands of secondary school students will receive their HSC and VCE results, most of whom will be sweating on their score to allow them their first choice of study. They’ve been indoctrinated from an early age that they need a university degree to “get a good job”.
Over 20 per cent of TAFE Western Sydney Institutes’ 1600,000 students have a degree or advanced tertiary credential. That’s an increase of around 100 per cent over the last 10 years.
There is a changing of attitude with employers when comparing university qualified students with TAFE qualified. Just what practical skills can an arts qualified prospect bring to the workforce compared to one with a similar qualification in TAFE?
Employers view candidates more along the lines of practical skills that can be applied immediately.
NSW TAFE Commission Board chairwoman Margy Osmond said university graduates did TAFE courses because it made them “work-ready rather than just qualified”.
“Industry also knows that a TAFE NSW graduate can get on with the job,” she said.