The latest report from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) reveals a positive trend in employment for international onshore Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification completers in 2022 compared with 2021. The report highlights the main reasons international students undertake training in Australia, the barriers to employment, and satisfaction with training.
Reasons for Training
The NCVER report, which surveyed 13,686 international onshore VET qualification completers, found that the main reason for training was employment-related, with 72.3% of students undertaking training for this purpose. The other 24.7% was for personal reasons, while the remaining 3% was for further study.
Of these, the most common reasons for training were:
- to develop or start their own business (23.0%)
- to improve general education skills (16.4%)
- to gain extra skills for the current job (14.8%)
This reflects the growing trend of international students seeking vocational education and training in Australia to gain practical skills and hands-on experience to succeed in their desired careers.
Barriers for Employment
The report also found that of those looking for work at some stage after training, 82.3% faced at least one barrier when looking for work. The two most common barriers mentioned were:
- lack of jobs due to COVID-19, which was cited by 37.0% of respondents, down 14.1 percentage points from 2021
- do not have the required permanent residency or work visa (32.7%), down by 4.7 percentage points from 2021
Despite these challenges, the report found that international onshore VET qualification completers were largely satisfied with their training experience, with 87.2% reporting satisfaction with the training overall and 82.9% likely to recommend their training provider. Furthermore, of the 90.8% of students who undertook learning online, 85.6% were satisfied with the support received from teachers/trainers during online learning, while 83.2% were satisfied with the overall quality of their online experience.
The report also noted that despite the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the job market, a higher proportion of international onshore VET students were employed in Australia after training in 2022 than over the previous four years. Mr. Simon Walker, the Managing Director of NCVER, attributed this increase in employment opportunities to easing COVID-19 border restrictions in Australia and removing the limit on student visa holders’ working hours in 2022.
The data gathered shows that the percentage of international onshore VET qualification completers also has an improved employment status after training.
- 83.0% were employed after training, an increase of 7.5 percentage points from the previous year
- 73.0% experienced an improved employment status after training, an 8.9 percentage points increase from 2021
- 49.5% chose to enrol in further study after training
These indicate that VET courses in Australia are highly valued and can lead to improved career prospects for international students.
Before starting their training in Australia, 76.1% of international VET qualification completers held a job. Of these, 18.9% were employed at a higher skill level, and 41.3% were employed in a better job after training, up 4.4 and 4.8 percentage points, respectively, from 2021. This highlights the importance of VET courses in providing students with the necessary skills and knowledge to progress in their careers.
For those who did not have a job before training, the report shows significant improvements in their employment outcomes. In 2022, 66.1% of individuals who were not employed before training secured a job afterward, representing an increase of 7.4 percentage points from 2021 and 21.5 percentage points from 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest the NCVER report is encouraging for international students looking to pursue vocational education and training in Australia. It shows that VET courses are highly valued and can lead to improved career prospects for international students. With the easing of COVID-19 border restrictions, international VET students can look forward to more employment opportunities in Australia after completing their courses.