A recent report from the Independent Tertiary Education Council of Australia (ITECA) shows that 4.3 million learners were enrolled in training during the pandemic.
Of those, an impressive 87.1% of the total number enrolled with independent skills providers. That is, like us at Selmar!
Learners turn to training in tough times
The COVID-19 pandemic created a lot of change – some for the good, and some for the bad. A positive trend which has emerged from the pandemic is that learners, employers and governments are investing more energy and funding into the training sector.
The ITECA report, which uses data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), reveals that in 2021 approximately 4,299,555 learners enrolled in a skills training course. This represents a huge increase in the number of people undertaking training since the previous year, with some 356,180 additional learners entering a training course.
The results show a heartening trend: when times are tough and the economy is under strain, people are more likely to invest time, money, energy and enthusiasm into getting qualified and improving their skills.
Results highlight the strength of independent providers
The majority of learners who undertook skills training last year turned to independent providers for their courses. According to the report, the independent sector supported 3,745,295 learners last year – that’s an incredible 87.1% of the total number of people in training and an increase of 423,890 since the previous year.
This result shows a strong preference for independent providers when it comes to skills training. We’re seeing critical proof that learners trust independent RTOs like us to deliver training the economy needs in areas like community services and healthcare.
How we compare to TAFE
It’s not difficult to see why learners are turning to independent providers like Selmar rather than TAFE.
There are a few key differences which can make studying with an independent RTO more accessible, including:
- Flexible study options
- Access to funding
- Smaller classes
- One on one time with dedicated trainers
- Learner support
Another clear advantage is that unlike TAFE courses, which tend to be broader in scope, independent providers can offer niche, highly focused training in key areas like aged care and early childhood education and care. At Selmar, our courses are developed by and taught by experienced sector professionals with real life, real work and the needs of the sector in mind.
Considering the results, it’s true to say that learners looking to undertake job-relevant skills training trust independent providers over their equivalents in TAFE. It makes us proud to see that increasing numbers of learners are relying on the independent sector to provide the training and support they need.
Our learners are satisfied
The NCVER survey results indicate that our learners are satisfied* with the training we provide. For example:
- 92.5% of our learners found Selmar’s training relevant to their job
- 91.2% were happy with the quality of their training overall
The NCVER results also show that high numbers of learners who were not employed before their training successfully obtained jobs after completing their course, with a majority of learners also reporting that our training improved their employability overall.
We’re happy with these results. More than that – we’ll use them to continue fine tuning our approach to training and to keep improving the quality of our courses.
*NCVER student outcomes survey 2020
Experience where it counts
In a skills-based context, teaching is intimately connected to practical experience.
The current preference for independent providers indicates that learners value the experience we bring to our courses, which are designed and implemented by dedicated trainers who have worked in the sectors they train in for many years.
For learners, getting experience means putting their skills to use in an actual workplace – which is why all our courses involve a practical placement component to prepare them for work.
The training journey has many moving parts. Quality training takes all these parts into account and tries to ensure the learning experience is meaningful at every stage. This means putting effort into how we design our courses, ensuring that we have the best trainers and providing resources which help learners achieve success.
It also means ensuring our learners have positive employment outcomes once they’re qualified. Our recent NCVER results show we’re enhancing employment through quality training, with 86% of learners gaining employment after training with us.
Helping learners to succeed
The success of our learners is our number one priority, which is why we have specific resources designed to help learners achieve their goals, including:
- Literacy and numeracy support
- One on one training
- A dedicated Learner Success Team
- Practical placement coordinators provide assistance and support
- A range of delivery modes to suit different lifestyles and commitments
Access to funding
A key finding from the ITECA report suggests that increased learner numbers is due in large part to a renewed government commitment to skills training.
Like many RTOs, we provide both learners and employers with access to key funding initiatives such as JobTrainer.
The renewed focus on funding is a positive shift and something we’re pleased to see. It’s important that we continue to pledge our commitment to skills training alongside the government.
Be part of our commitment
The exponential increase in learners training with independent providers highlights the importance of the training we provide.
Like many independent RTOs we’re committed to strengthening the workforce. In doing so we’re creating a sustained increase in wages and ensuring the survival of essential community sectors like aged care and early childhood education. It’s our hope that this creates benefits for all.