Monday, September 25, 2006

More training but who should pay?

Today's Australian Financial Review (offline only) covers the argument over who should pay for increased vocational training. What's unusual about the story is that the argument isn't between the Commonwealth and the States, but instead between the three leading national business organisations.

On the one hand the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry argue for income-contingent loans (i.e. individuals should pay more) on the other, the Australian Industry Group, with muted support from the Business Council of Australia, argue that industry, governments, and individuals all need to pony up. As an aside, the Australian Industry Group back up their claim with this excellent research.

Unsurprisingly, I'm in the latter camp although I think it is increasingly difficult for TAFE to argue against fees while at the same time providing more and more higher level qualifications.

It is now a near universal consensus that more training is vital to support continued economic growth (this is a variation on the 2002 federal Treasury's Intergenerational Report), however it is good to see some of the more ludicrous statements challenged in the media.

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