22 Jan WAVE pre-budget submission 2024 to the Australian Government
WAVE pre-budget submission 2024 to the Australian Government – Support for Equitable Vocational and Adult Education: Addressing Inequity in our skills system
In a proactive move to combat the persistent inequity within Australia's national vocational education and training system, WAVE has been a vocal advocate for change. Recognizing the pivotal role vocational education plays in fostering women's economic equality, it is evident that the current national policy framework falls short in providing the necessary environment and enablers.
Our latest submission calls for a concerted effort to establish a fundamental framework that ensures equity within Australia's skills system, beginning with a focus on the Jobs and Skills Councils and enhancing the capacity and capability of these crucial organizations.
Aligned with this vision, the budget proposal we present supports key elements of the existing skills policy infrastructure, including Jobs and Skills Councils, evidence collection, and strategic guidance. A proposed budget allocation of $24.85 million over five years is not only instrumental in fostering the growth of Australia's skills landscape but also aligns with the ambitious goal of a $128 billion return, as outlined by the Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce (WEET).
Based on compelling evidence regarding the positive impact of improved completion rates, addressing skills shortages, and enhancing productivity, our analysis estimates a conservative return of at least 10% of Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce (WEET) recommended $12.8 billion over the 10-year plan for the reform of the skills and education sector alone.
To put this investment into perspective, our submission accounts for a mere 0.05% of the annual Vocational Education and Training (VET) budget, which amounted to $10.9 billion across delivery, employer assistance, and other expenditures, including research, policy, and administration.
Breaking it down further, our proposal equates to approximately $2.45 per woman per year, signalling a modest yet impactful investment that promises to yield better outcomes from our VET system. This endeavour not only benefits individual women but also positively influences their communities, the workplaces aiming to recruit them, and their families.
WAVE urges government ministers to consider this comprehensive proposal as a strategic and financially sound initiative to address the persistent inequity in our national vocational education and training system. By allocating resources wisely, we have the potential to create a more equitable, productive, and economically vibrant Australia.