CHAPTER 7 OVERVIEW
- A SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Introduction
7.1 When the Karigan Committee surveyed the technical and further education scene in 1972 and 1973 it encountered a system struggling against the effects of years of neglect - TAFE was poorly resourced, poorly planned, poorly housed and morale among staff was low.
7.2 Twelve years later TAFE has doubled its student numbers by sustaining an extraordinary 6 per cent per annum growth rate. Course offerings have expanded dramatically and there is a new professionalism about the system.
7.3 TAFE is now better housed after the expenditure of over $l,700m on capital facilities from Commonwealth and State sources.
7.4 Strong central planning units have been established and there is now a core of expert staff in the essential service areas of curriculum and staff development.
7.5 Commonwealth and State governments have a strong commitment to TAFE because it has been recognised that TAFE is the major provider of vocational education and training, and is the education sector most responsive to changing community demands. A high rate of growth was implied because TAFE has been the sector chosen by governments through which to implement initiatives aimed at
underpinning economic development and social change.
7.6 The current trend of change reinforces the view' that high rates of enrolment growth will be maintained.
Governments - Commonwealth and State - have a large and continuing stake in ensuring that the infrastructure of TAFE is adequate to meet objectives.
Commonwealth Financial Programs: 1974-1986
7.7 Since 1974 the funding of TAFE has been based on a partnership arrangement between the States and the
Commonwealth. The States have the primary responsibility for TAFE and therefore for general operating costs. For its part, the Commonwealth has maintained a capital program with expenditure running on average at twice the rate of State capital expenditure; it has provided funds for equipment purchases; and it has provided a series of recurrent grants for special purposes.
7.8 The Commonwealth has also provided a general
purpose recurrent grant to honour a commitment to reimburse the States for the loss of revenue resulting front the abolition of tuition fees in 1974.
7.9 All of the abovementioned programs have been administered by the Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission or its predecessor bodies. In addition, the Commonwealth has operated programs through other agencies, notably labour market programs through the Department of Employment and Industrial Relations, and special assistance for Aborigines and migrants through the Departments of Aboriginal Affairs and Immigration and Ethnic Affairs respectively.
7.10 Following detailed analysis, the Committee
considers that the array of Commonwealth programs that has operated since 1974 has been of great benefit to the
development of TAFE and that the general framework of assistance remains appropriate for the immediate years ahead. However, as stated in Chapter 3, the Committee is of the view that future arrangements will be assisted by a clearer statement of program objectives and improved
accountability measures. These aspects are taken up by the Committee in its recommendations for revised arrangements for Commonwealth assistance for TAFE.
The Future Context for TAFE
I11 £ 1 _.)A
- C%4a. S. £sLt
users of TAFE resources; young people make up 49 per cent of enrolments in vocational courses but they comprise 65 per cent of total student load and account for 68 per cent of teaching hours. The future resource requirements of TAFE are therefore heavily dependent on future rates of youth participation in TAFE.
7.12 Demographic effects relevant to TAFE include:
continued growth in the 15-19 age group until 1988 followed by a decline the numbers in this age group in 1992 are expected to be at about the same level as for 1984;
a similar pattern of growth followed by decline is expected in the 20-24 and 25-29 age groups over the next decade; and
strong growth in the 30 years and over age group.
7.13 Over the last decade there has been strong and sustained growth in the TAFE participation rates for all age groups. This trend is expected to continue, resulting
in continued strong growth in TAFE enrolments despite some lessening of pressure from demographic influences.
7.14 TAFE is taking an increasing share of students proceeding directly from Year 12 to tertiary education,; in
/ 1984 universities, colleges of advanced education and TAFE
/ drew roughly equal shares of Year 12 school leavers. This trend has significant implications for future levels of TAFE enrolments and resource requirements given the 10 per cent increase in secondary retention rates between 1980 and 1984.
7.15 Economic and social objectives held by State and Commonwealth governments also suggest a continuing
important role for TAFE and the need to sustain high rates of enrolment growth. This implies the need for a
responsive TAFE system which will engage in comprehensive vocational preparation for initial employment and in retraining; in particular to:
provide broad-based adaptive skills both as an
investment in future productivity and to minimise the social and money costs of retraining; and
respond to the need for retraining for those who have not had the benefit of a broad vocational preparation and who find themselves caught by industry adjustment.
7.16 In addition to satisfying the economic requirements of a rapidly changing industrial scene, maintaining a priority for the development of TAFE will also benefit individuals through:
better living standards;
greater mobility within the labour market;
more options for further education/training and personal development; and
greater ability to cope in a high technology environment.
7.17 The Commonwealth Government's recently announced strategy for young Australians, "Priority One", will
involve a number of initiatives including:
the introduction of a system of traineeships (ATS) to complement post-compulsory schooling and other streams of vocational preparation;
the integration of several community-based training programs into a single program;
the integration of existing wage subsidy programs and a rationalisation of youth income support arrangements so that they are related to age rather than type of
progressively eliminating by 1989 the gaps between rates of educational allowance and unemployment benefit for persons under 21 years.
Aligned closely with these initiatives is the Commonwealth Government's policy which encourages young people to stay
on and complete a full secondary education or its equivalent.
7.18 From a labour market perspective, it is expected that, by the early 1990s, most young people will be in some form of full-time education/training, full-time employment or some combination of the two; and by that time,
measurable unemployment will virtually be eliminated amongst 16 and 17 year olds.
7.19 Apart from ensuring an adequate vocational
preparation for as many young Australians as possible, the Government has also recognised the labour market needs of older groups in the community through a number of
7.20 In summary, all of the factors which combine to form the future context for TAFE suggest the need to
maintain a priority for the deveiopmentof TAFE.
be indispensable to the achievement of a wide range of economic and social objectives held by governments.
Future Growth in TAFE
7.21 Different age groups within the TAFE student population draw on TAFE resources at different rates, a
result reinforced by Government policies. The Committee therefore has found it convenient to assess the prospects of enrolment growth in TAFE by making separate assessments for each of the'two. younger sub-groups - those aged 15-19 years and 20-24 years - and for the group aged 25 years and over.
The 15-19 Age Group.
7.22 Young people aged 15-19 are the primary target of the Government's youth strategy. This strategy is, above all, active in nature: it aims to encourage young people
into full-time education, full-time employment, and structured combinations of employment, education and training. It therefore rests on the objectives of increasing enrolments in the post-compulsory years of secondary school, and full-time enrolinents in TAFE and in higher education; it aims at enhancing opportunities for
part-time study for those who are employed; it aims through special measures to provide education and training
opportunities for the unemployed; and through programs such as the Australian Traineeship System it offers new
arrangements to combine work and study.
7.23 The Committee has developed an "activity profile", as set out in Table 7.1, classifying young people according to major activity; that is, categories of full-time
education, full-time employment, and unemployment. The assumptions underlying these projections are set out in Chapter 4..
EDUCATION/LABOUR FORCE ACTIVITY PROFILE OF 15-19 YEAR OLDS, JUNE 1984 (ACTUAL) AND POSSIBLE SCENARIOS FOR JUNE 1990
AND JUNE 1992 ('000)
Major Activity June 1984 June 1990 June 1992
7.24 The 1990 scenario implis:
an annual growth rate of just under 2 per cent in full-time education enrolments (4-5 per cent in TAFE);
a small increase in apprentice numbers based on a DEIR assessment of labour market requirements;
Schools 522 570 565
TAFE 51 66 73
Higher Education 72 85 88
Other 11 12 14
Total 656 733 740
Apprentices 110 125 125
Trainees - 75 75
Other 322 300 252
Total 432 500 452
Unemployed, looking for
full-time work 122 65 30
Other 82 72 68
TOTAL AGE COHORT 1292 1370 1290
the announced target numbers for traineeships under ATS;
a continuation of the decline in full-time regular employment; and
a substantial fall in youth unemployment in line with
7.25 The 1992 scenario uncovers a point of major
significance for future strategies for youth.
resources are put in place to sustain the education and training options
depictedfor 1990, the demographic decline in the youth population
beyond1990 will then produce a situation which could lead to the virtual elimination of
unemployment among 15-19 year olds by the early 1990$. The policy import of this is to ensure that TAFE has the
capacity to cater for an average annual increase in full and part-time enrolments by the 15-19 age group of around 7 per cent per annum over the next few years.
The 20-24 Age Group.
7.26 The Government's youth strategy, while
concentrating on the immediate post-compulsory school 15-19 age group, also comprehends the 20-24 age group,
particularly because of that group's continuing unemployment problems. Over the last 10 years, the
unemployment rate for the 20-24 group has hovered around a level one-half the rate for the 15-19 group. The rate for both groups has declined substantially since 1983 but, in terms of actual numbers, unemployment among 20-24 year olds as at August 1985 exceeded that for 15-19 year olds.
Compared to the late l970s, the incidence of unemployment for the 20-24 group has risen from around 40 to over 50 per cent of total youth unemployment. It is therefore
important that youth strategies not be allowed to develop in a way which relegates the needs of older youth to a relatively lower priority.
7.27 In recent years full-time enrolments of 20-24 year olds have grown at an average annual rate of 14.5 per cent and part-time enrolments by 7.1 per cent. The numbers in this age group of the general population are projected to decline but the Committee expects this demographic effect to be more than off-set by the increases in participation which have been evident for some years. For the reasons set out in Chapter 4, the Committee's 1990 scenario assumes an average annual increase in enrolments for the 20-24 age group of around 8 per cent per annum, a rate equivalent to that recorded for the 1981-1984 period.
The 25-64 Age Group.
7.28 People aged 25 and over make up over half of the TAFE student population in the vocational and preparatory streams but on average utilise considerably less teaching resources than younger students. Relatively few of these students study on a full-time basis with the great bulk
(some 96 per cent) enrolled part-time. Enrolment growth for the older age group has been at an average annual rate of 14.3 per cent between 1981-1984.
7.29 The enrolment level of 350,000 in 1984 (after netting out multiple enrolments) represents a participation rate in TAFE of 25-64 year olds of 46 per thousand of the population. This rate compares with 28 per thousand in 1976 and 33 per thousand in 1981. Future enrolments of this age group in TAFE can increase markedly both through a further rise in the participation rate and the increase of almost 823,000 in this age cohort of the population between 1984-1990; the demographic effect alone would generate an additional 38,000 enrolments by 1990.
7.30 Government initiatives such as the new Adult Training Program will add to demand pressures; however, resource constraints will obviously limit the capacity to meet increased demand for entry to TAFE by the older age group. Accordingly, the Committee's enrolment estimate for this group in 1990 has been based on a much reduced rate of growth in enrolments, from 14.3 per cent per annum
(1981-1984) down to only 7.0 per cent per annum (1984-1990)
7.31 The aggregate enrolment picture for 1990 emerging from the preceding analysis of the three age sub-groups is contained in Tables 7.2 and 7.3.
7.32 Achievement of the outcomes sought under the Government's youth strategy is central to the Committee's ,scenario for TAFE for 1990. The Committee estimates that
enrolments in TAFE for the 15-24 year group will increase by 213,000 between 1984-1990, an average annual increase of
7.2 per cent. This implies an increase in youth
participation rates from 155 to around 230 per thousand over the period.
7.33 For the 25-64 age group a lesser rate of enrolment growth is projected - 7.0 per cent per annum - with
participation rising from 46 to 63 per thousand over the six-year period.
Full-time 51 15 12 80 66 28 19 115
Part-time 201 144 338 751 305 225 507 1115
Total 252 159 350 831 371 253 526 1230
Participation Rates (b)
Full-time 39 11 2 7 48 21 2 9
Part-time 156 107 44 64 223 169 61 86
Total 195 118 46 70 271 190 63 95
The discrepancy between the totals and the sums of components is made up of persons aged 65 and over and persons for whom age was not stated. Appropriate adjustments have been made to projected 1990 totals to account for this factor.
per 1,000 population aged 15 and over.
ENROLMENTS AND PARTICIPATION RATES IN TAPE STREAMS 1-5, BY MODE OF STUDY AND SELECTED AGE GROUPS,
1984 (ACTUAL) AND 1990 (ESTIMATED)
15-19 20-24 25-64 Total 15-19 20-24 25-64 Total