WAVE Calls for a Gender-Equitable Approach in the VET Workforce Blueprint

WAVE Calls for a Gender-Equitable Approach in the VET Workforce Blueprint

Women in Adult and Vocational Education (WAVE), a leading advocate for gender equity in vocational education and training (VET), today has released its comprehensive submission to the Australian Government’s VET Workforce Blueprint. The submission outlines critical recommendations to address systemic and structural inequity within the VET sector and proposes measures to ensure a gender-equitable workforce.

WAVE’s submission highlights the importance of recognising and addressing gender inequality to achieve a sustainable and diverse VET workforce. The organisation stresses that without confronting these inequities, the VET Workforce Blueprint risks failing to attract, retain, and adequately support staff, thus hampering the sector's growth and its capacity to meet Australia’s evolving skill needs.

Key recommendations from WAVE’s submission include the integration of gender and intersectional analysis in workforce planning, alignment with broader policy initiatives for gender equality, and the development of a Gender Equality Action Plan within the Blueprint. These measures aim to dismantle barriers to women’s employment in the VET sector and ensure equitable access to training and professional development opportunities.

National Co-Convenor of WAVE, Kit McMahon, emphasised the need for a systemic change, stating, “It is imperative that the VET Workforce Blueprint not only acknowledges but actively addresses the deep-rooted gender inequalities within the sector. By implementing a gender-equitable approach, we can create a VET workforce that truly reflects and serves the diversity of the Australian population.”

McMahon further highlighted the importance of a comprehensive understanding of the VET workforce that includes educators, assessors, and the wider ecosystem to effectively address workforce challenges. “Our recommendations aim to build a foundation for a VET workforce that is inclusive, skilled, and equipped to meet the future demands of our economy while advancing gender equality,” McMahon added.

WAVE’s submission is a call to action for the Australian Government to prioritise gender equity in the development of the VET Workforce Blueprint. By doing so, the government will not only enhance the sector's capacity to deliver quality education and training but also contribute to the broader goals of gender equality and economic empowerment for women. The key recommendations are:

  • Address systemic and structural inequity in Australia's VET system to improve outcomes for women, considering the entire VET workforce, including roles within and outside of Registered Training Organisations.
  • Develop a VET Workforce Blueprint with a comprehensive understanding of the workforce, incorporating educators, assessors, trainers, and other VET ecosystem roles, ensuring inclusivity.
  • Utilise evidence and data analysis, such as that by Jobs and Skills Australia, with a gender lens and consideration of intersectional barriers to underpin the VET Workforce Blueprint for sustainable workforce strategies.
  • Align the VET workforce blueprint with broader Australian policies on gender equality, women’s economic empowerment, and workplace wellbeing, including efforts to prevent gendered violence.
  • Base future workforce plans and strategies on gender equality and mainstreaming methodologies to meet the needs of the VET sector and Australian industry, aligning with community expectations and government policy.
  • Recognise the importance of a gender-equal VET workforce for achieving an equitable VET and Skills system, as stated in the VET Workforce Blueprint.


View Submission


Key Contact

For further information and to access the full submission, please contact:
Kit McMahon, National Co-Convenor, WAVE
Email: kmcmahon@whise.org.au

About Women in Adult and Vocational Education (WAVE)

WAVE is a national network advocating for gender equity in the VET and adult education sectors. Since 1985, WAVE has been at the forefront of research, policy advice, and advocacy, addressing the challenges faced by women and girls in vocational and adult education. With a commitment to social justice and equity, WAVE works collaboratively with governments, educational institutions, and the community to create inclusive and transformative learning environments.

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