Small business owners are increasingly dissatisfied by the vocational training offered by existing service providers according to a recent report by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research.
The report’s findings have prompted the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell to suggest the vocational and education training (VET) system is out of touch with small business owners’ needs.
Carnell says VET providers need to engage more with small businesses, amid declining use and satisfaction rates.
The research found small business use of the VET system has slipped to just 44 per cent in 2019 with satisfaction rates falling to 76.7 per cent.
Carnell said business owners had identified a number of failings in existing offerings, with many suggesting there is not enough focus on practical skills.
“It’s clear from these statistics that VET professionals need to consult with small businesses so they train the right people with the right skill set.
“Small businesses employ the highest number of people in the Australian workforce, including apprentices, but more than 40 per cent continue to experience some level of difficulty in recruiting skilled workers.
:It’s important that VET providers understand the need to be flexible in their approach to training workers, even if that means tailoring courses to match the skills needed by small businesses.”
Carnell suggests one solution could be offering short courses that build skill sets over time.
“If training organisations genuinely engage with small business employers, new markets will open and enrolments will grow,” Carnell said.