By Francesca Beddie

In Landmarks in the governance and policy frameworks of Australian VET, Robin Ryan, retired adjunct academic, Flinders University, surveys a set of landmark policy documents on vocational education and training (VET). He charts the history of the systems of governance, institutional frameworks and processes of policy formulation. This exercise uncovers some recurring and deep-seated themes that persist despite intermittent programs of comprehensive reform and directional change in VET. These stem from competitive value systems: one narrow and instrumental; the other broader and focused on social justice and individual self-development. Ryan argues that the difficulties successive governments have faced since the mid-twentieth century in developing a coherent future direction for the VET sector derive from a failure to face up to fundamental questions about the role and purpose of the sector. He points, in particular, to the perennially unresolved ‘training or education’ dichotomy.

The landmark document collection can be found in VOCED plus, the international tertiary education database. It is accompanied by a timeline and other essays on the history of VET.