2023 New South Wales Skills Training Snapshot Released


A new analysis of government data on New South Wales’ skills training system shows that, when it comes to the task of training and educating the workforce, it is independent Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) that do the heavy lifting.

The data can be found in the 2023 New South Wales Skills Training Snapshot released this week by the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA), the peak body representing independent providers in the skills training, higher education, and international education sectors.

“The data shows that 80.8 per cent of the 1.1 million students in skills training across New South Wales trust independent RTOs to help them get the skills needed to achieve their life and career goals,” said Troy Williams, ITECA Chief Executive.

The report draws upon data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) and dispels the myth that public colleges provide the bulk of skills training in New South Wales.

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“Independent RTOs deliver the lion’s share of higher level and complex qualifications across New South Wales.  It’s clear that students and employers view them as the go-to source of quality skills training,” Mr Williams said.

The 2023 New South Wales Skills Training Snapshot highlights the significant contribution of independent RTOs across the state.

Independent Training Provider Enrolments

  • Diploma (and above) qualifications: 46,295 student enrolments  (50.5 per cent of the total)
  • Certificate IV qualifications: 80,705 student enrolments (54.4 per cent of the total)
  • Apprentices and trainees: 59,505 students (51.8 per cent of the total)
  • Total enrolments: 921,585 student enrolments (80.8 per cent of the total)

The figure of 80.8 per cent of all student enrolments is included by including shorter courses (less than full qualifications), including those required to get a job including the Responsible Service Of Alcohol course, forklift driving courses, and first aid courses.  The data also shows that independent RTOs support students in key critical student cohorts, as noted by the data below.

Independent Training Provider Enrolments

  • Indigenous students: 35,650 students (66.2 per cent of the total)
  • Rural, regional and remote students: 270,095 students (80.6 per cent of the total)
  • Students with a disability: 31,535 students (57.3 per cent of the total)

The data also shows that independent RTOs achieve higher levels of student satisfaction on key measures, including satisfaction with support services and satisfaction with learning resources.

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“Currently, there is a significant push by the State Government to put ‘TAFE at the heart’ of the skills training system, which many independent RTOs are pushing back against. Instead, ITECA New South Wales firmly believes in putting students at the heart of the system, where their freedom to choose their preferred training provider is backed by the government,” Mr Williams said.

This was originally published as a media release from the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA).

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