Professor Stephen Billett was invited to brief the Queensland Parliament’s Employment, Education and Training Committee in its inquiry into vocational education and training in rural, regional and remote Queensland. The enquiry was chaired by Ms Kim Richards MP and James Lister MP (Deputy Chair) on the 23rd May 2022. 

The key points Stephen made to the Committee were that regional, rural and remote communities have distinct needs for provisions of VET in both their focuses and educational processes. 

Professor Stephen Billett. Photo supplied.

Further he stated that the characteristics of regional, rural and remote communities and their respective needs for VET have distinctive strengths and limitations. 

Professor Billett says:

“The aim of the inquiry is to improve the provision of vocational education in rural, regional and remote Queensland communities. I hope it will have some implications for how both TAFE and universities support these provisions, individually or together, and the degree by which the private provision of vocational education and training will be extended across these communities.”

Parliamentary Enquiry: Photo supplied

Professor Billett noted there is a need for localised and inclusive assessment of need as well as enactment and evaluation of VET provisions, such as an Industry Engagement Framework. He further stated that there needs to be considerations of how localised governance and development arrangements for VET might progress, which might include Regional Job Committees and Industry Skills Advisors. Finally, he advocated evaluating the potential role of ‘anchor institutions’ and place-based VET Provisions. This involves championing the occupations served by VET.  

The briefing and questions from the committee lasted 45 minutes. Proceedings were televised and recorded in Hansard and the full recording can be seen here.