Stephen Matchett. Funding of vocational education is creating inconsistencies with the funding of higher education. LESS than half the unemployed people who completed a government funded training qualification in 2010 found work, according to the Productivity Commission's report on government services, released this morning.
Some 46 per cent found employment after their course, with 44 per cent unemployed and nearly 9 per cent describing themselves as out of the workforce.
And the number of unemployed helped into work by a course dropped by 8 per cent between 2006 and 2010.
The findings are part of the Commission’s comprehensive report on the $4.9 billion state and federally funded training system, which provided courses to 1.4 million people in 2010. A further 400,000 people studied with private providers.
Declining student outcomes confirm this finding. In 2010 nearly 59 per cent of publicly funded vocational education and training graduates, “indicated they had improved their employment circumstances after completing their course,” down more than 5 per cent since 2005.
Despite the declines in employment outcomes an overwhelming majority of VET graduates said they were satisfied with the quality of courses they completed and the publicly funded system expanded significantly last decade. Between 2005 and 2009 the number of completed VET qualifications grew by over 30 per cent. Around 80 per cent of employers in contact with the VET system are also satisfied.  
The findings are part of the Commission’s comprehensive analysis of state and commonwealth funding of the training system.
The mix of VET subjects studied approximates what is popular in the university system with nearly 30 per cent of publicly funded training system students in management and commerce subjects. A further 17 per cent were in “society and culture with 15 per cent in engineering and nearly 9 per cent in food and hospitality.