Employer signals TAFE graduates preferred in ECEC job ad - a sign of things to come?
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > Employer signals TAFE graduates preferred in ECEC job ad – a sign of things to come?

Employer signals TAFE graduates preferred in ECEC job ad – a sign of things to come?

by Freya Lucas

November 10, 2022

For many employers in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector the decline in the calibre of vocational education and training has been an ongoing topic of discussion for a number of years. 


In a submission to the review of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act in 2011, the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) noted that it would “support introducing regulatory methods that encourage high-quality new and existing RTOs to increase their market share if accompanied by increased barriers to entry and auditing of poor quality RTOs” and that “regulation of education and care qualifications should be given high priority because those affected by poor-quality qualifications are young children and among our most vulnerable”. ACECQA also reflected on the longevity of the issue of substandard vocational education in the sector. 


Feedback from employers in the ECEC sector, shared in the same submission, indicated that the competency of VET-sector graduates “often falls short of employer expectations”. 


“In several instances, employers have made clear to ACECQA their preference for graduates from well-established, high-quality RTOs, with graduates from lower-quality RTOs often requiring significant additional training and support.”


Some of the largest employers have also referred to a ‘blacklist’ of RTOs who they will not recruit graduates from. 


Recently this preferencing has becoming more overt, with one provider advertising for a 2022 trainee position using the wording “TAFE students preferred” in the title. 


The service, located in Western Sydney, is family-owned and operated, and advertised for the graduate position earlier this year, successfully recruiting a trainee for an 18-month position as she completes a Certificate III in early childhood education and care.


The service was contacted for comment about their experience but were unable to respond in line with publication deadlines. 


Advice for educators who are evaluating RTOs through which to pursue an ECEC qualification is available here

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