VET Knowledge Bank

Policy initiatives > Programs and policy initiatives

This page contains an alphabetical listing of programs and policy initiatives that were previously listed in the Glossary of VET. Information about these programs and initiatives has been updated and links to related publications in VOCEDplus are included.

Note that those initiatives that may have influenced enrolments and completions in VET from 1998 onwards are available in the Timeline of Australian VET policy initiatives

Overviews of the implementation of current national, state and territory VET policy priorities can be found on the Program delivery page.

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Aboriginal Education Direct Assistance program (AEDA)

In 1991, Cabinet endorsed the establishment of the Aboriginal Education Direct Assistance program (AEDA), and it received its funding under the annual Appropriations Act. The three elements of AEDA were the Aboriginal Student Support and Parent Awareness (ASSPA) program, Aboriginal Tutorial Assistance Scheme (ATAS) and Vocational and Educational Guidance for Aboriginals Scheme (VEGAS). The program was later renamed the Indigenous Education Direct Assistance program (IEDA).

Aboriginal Education Strategic Initiatives Program (AESIP)

The AESIP was introduced by the Commonwealth government in 1990 to fund education providers and TAFE colleges for Indigenous education initiatives. Funding was provided under the Aboriginal Education (Supplementary Assistance) Act 1989. In response to the National Review of Education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples the Act was amended, including the title which became the Indigenous Education (Supplementary Assistance) Act 1989. The AESIP was restructured and became the IESIP on 1 January 1997.

  National review of education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: final report

Aboriginal Secondary Assistance Scheme (Absec)

Absec was originally introduced as the Aboriginal Study Grants Scheme (ABSEG) in 1970 to assist Aboriginal students at secondary school, providing living allowances; payments of fees and fares, direct educational assistance, educational and vocational guidance programs, and some additional assistance in special circumstances. The name was changed to the Absec in 1985, and it was amalgamated with the Aboriginal Study Assistance Scheme (ABSTUDY) in 1989.

Aboriginal Study Assistance Scheme (ABSTUDY)

ABSTUDY is government scheme providing financial assistance to Indigenous students in school or further education. The scheme was introduced in 1968 as the Aboriginal Study Grants Scheme (Abstudy) to provide financial and educational support for Aboriginal people and communities to pursue further study or training after leaving school. It was amalgamated with the Aboriginal Secondary Assistance Scheme (Absec) in 1989 and the name changed to the Aboriginal Study Assistance Scheme (ABSTUDY). The direct assistance elements of Abstudy became new, separate programs under the Aboriginal Education Direct Assistance program (AEDA).

  ABSTUDY: an investment for tomorrow's employment: a review of ABSTUDY for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission

Aboriginal Tutorial Assistance Scheme (ATAS)

ATAS was a government program providing supplementary tutorial assistance and other kinds of study help to Indigenous students in school or further education. It was established on 1 January 1990 and incorporated the tutorial assistance allowance formerly in ABSTUDY. It initially continued to be funded out of ABSTUDY until it became part of the Aboriginal Education Direct Assistance program (AEDA) in 1991. The scheme was renamed the Indigenous Tutorial Assistance Scheme (ITAS) in 2005.

Adult Literacy and Life Skills survey (ALLS)

Adult Literacy and Life Skills survey (ALLS) is a survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to: assess the skills of adult Australians in literacy, numeracy, and problem solving; collect general participant information, including familiarity with information and communications technology; and determine the relationships of each of the assessed skills to participants' social and economic status. ALLS was conducted in Australia in 2006 as part of an international literacy study, coordinated by Statistics Canada and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Its predecessor, the Survey of Aspects of Literacy (SAL) was conducted in 1996 as part of the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS).

 Publications in VOCEDplus

  See Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies

Adult, community and further education (ACFE) program

ACFE is education and training intended principally for adults. ACFE programs include general, vocational, basic and community education, and for recreation, leisure and personal enrichment.

Australian Apprenticeships Management System (AAMS)

AAMS was an online management system established in the 2012-13 Budget to support the operations of the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN). The AAMS was to provide a platform to facilitate the electronic storage of employer, apprentice and service provider information (including online signup) and enable payments to employers and apprentices under the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program and the Government's new Trade Support Loans. The AAMS Project ceased in May 2018 and the Training and Youth Internet Management  System (TYIMS) it was intended to replace was upgraded.

 Publications in VOCEDplus


AUSTUDY is an income support scheme for full-time students and for Australian apprentices and trainees aged 25 years and over.


Career Advice Australia (CAA)

CAA was Australian Government initiative established after the 2004 election that provided a national career development and transition support system for young people aged 13 to 19. Its aim was to help young Australians make the transition through school and on to further study, training or work by building partnerships between schools, local industries and tertiary education institutions to inform students about the range of careers available and the impact of subject choices on potential careers. CAA directed four initiatives: Local Community Partnerships; Regional Industry Career Advisers; National Industry Career Specialists; and Partnership Outreach Education Model. It was replaced by the youth, career and transition programs delivered under the National Partnership Agreement on Youth Attainment and Transitions, which ran from 2 July 2009 to 31 December 2013.

  See Local Community Partnerships

  See National Industry Career Specialists

  See Regional Industry Career Advisors

  See Partnership Outreach Education Model

Career Start Traineeships (CST)

CST was an agreement introduced in 1992 under the Australian Vocational Certificate Training System (AVCTS) to target early school leavers by providing a bridge from traineeships to AVCTS.

Commonwealth Rebate for Apprentices in Full-time Training  (CRAFT)

This scheme, which replaced the National Apprenticeship Assistance Scheme in 1977, provided a technical education rebate to employers to release apprentices for basic trade training and an off-the-job training rebate to employers to release apprentices to other approved courses. With the introduction of New Apprenticeships in 1998, CRAFT formally ceased and was replaced by the New Apprenticeships Incentives Programme (NAIP).

Cooperative Research Centres Program (CRC)

The CRC program is an Australian government-funded initiative that was established to strengthen collaborative research links between industry, research organisations, educational institutions and relevant government agencies. The program commenced in 1991 and has 2 streams:

  • CRCs which undertake medium to long term industry-led high quality collaborative research for up to 10 years and must have at least one Australian industry entity and one Australian research organisation as participants.
  • CRC Projects (CRC-Ps) which undertake short term, industry-led collaborative research for up to a maximum of three years and must have at least two Australian industry entities, with at least one a subject matter expert, and one Australian research organisation as participants.

All grant funding for CRCs and CRC-Ps is required to be matched by participants, and collaboration and co-investment with international organisations and businesses to assist industry participants to engage with global supply chains and access new markets.


Framing the Future

Framing the future was a staff development initiative of ANTA that began in 1997 with the aim of helping trainers, teachers and people in industry to understand and use training packages, the Australian Recognition Framework, New Apprenticeships, user choice and other major vocational education and training initiatives. Its name was changed to Reframing the Future in 2001 and the program came to an end in 2008.

 Publications in VOCEDplus

Frontline Management Initiative (FMI)

This initiative stemmed from the recommendations of the Karpin report published in 1995. The FMI was a training program in management skills and practices for frontline managers in a wide range of industries. It was developed and piloted by ANTA, with the FMI Pearson Education package released in September 1998.

 Enterprising nation: renewing Australia's managers to meet the challenges of the Asia-Pacific century [Karpin report]

 Publications in VOCEDplus


Indigenous Education Strategic Initiatives Program (IESIP)

The IESIP was a restructured AESIP introduced in 1997, funded by the Indigenous Education (Supplementary Assistance) Act 1989 which was repealed by the Indigenous Education (Targeted Assistance) Amendment Act 2004. It was the principal government program that addressed equity issues in Indigenous education. Its aim was to improve access, participation and outcomes, and to involve Indigenous people in decision-making. The program provided funding to state and territory governments and education and training providers in the preschool, school and VET sectors under the Supplementary Recurrent Assistance (SRA), Transitional Project Assistance (TPA) and Strategic Results Projects (SRP).

 Publications in VOCEDplus

  See Aboriginal Education Strategic Initiatives Program

Institute for Trade Skills Excellence (ITSE)

The ITSE was an industry-led body to promote and advance learning, teaching and training in Australian trades education and elevate the status of traditional trades and trades education as career choices. Its key stakeholders included the Australian Commerce and Industry (ACCI), National Farmers Federation (NFF) and Australian Industry Group (AiGroup). The institute was an election commitment announced on 22 September 2004 and was established in 2005 with funding allocated over four years in the 2005-06 budget. In 2007, the institute launched SkillsOne, a digital multimedia platform of television and website. The 2008-2009 budget allocations for the ITSE were diverted for the new Government's election commitment 'Skilling Australia for the Future', which included establishing Skills Australia. The ITSE was supported by the Government to transition to a private company but wound up its affairs at the end of 2009.

 Publications in VOCEDplus


Job Placement, Employment and Training (JPET)

JPET was a government program aimed at assisting students and unemployed young people aged 15-21 years who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and/ or have multiple barriers that severely limit their capacity to: participate socially in the life of their communities; participate in economic focused activity such as education, employment or vocational training; and/or benefit from employment assistance. The program ran as a pilot in 44 locations through 1993 to 1995, when it was wound up. An expanded program was announced in the 1996-97 budget, which commenced on 1 January 1997. JPET ceased on 30 June 2009, subsumed into Job Services Australia (JSA).



LearnScope was a project of the Australian Flexible Learning Framework, that was part of a national strategy to increase the capacity of vocational education and training professionals to use flexible learning approaches and new technologies in the delivery of training.

 Publications in VOCEDplus

Local Community Partnerships (LCP)

LCPs were not-for-profit community-based organisations that helped young people make a successful transition through school and on to further education, training and employment. LCPs linked with industry and employer groups, schools, professional career advisers, community organisations, parents, young people, youth service providers and other government organisations to provide career development and transitions programs. These programs came to an end in 2009.

  See Career Advice Australia


National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Policy (NATSIEP)

In response to the findings of the Aboriginal Education Policy Task Force appointed to advise on Indigenous education in April 1988 (the Hughes Report), the intention of developing a national policy was announced in October that year. Informed in part by work previously undertaken by the Aboriginal Education Committee (NAEC) and State/Territory Aboriginal Education Consultative Groups (AECGs), the policy was endorsed in October 1989 and came into effect on 1 January 1990. It set out 21 long-term goals with the objective of achieving educational equity for Indigenous Australians by the year 2000. The policy, also referred to as the AEP, formed the basis of all Indigenous education programs. The AEP was reviewed in 1993, and Ministerial Council for Education, Employment and Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) established an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Task Force which developed 'A National Strategy for the Education of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples 1996-2002'.

 Katu Kalpa: report on the inquiry into the effectiveness of education and training programs for Indigenous Australians

 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education policy: joint policy statement 

National review of education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: final report

 Report of the Aboriginal Education Policy Task Force

National Industry Career Specialists (NICS)

NICS was an initiative under the Career Advice Australia program that comprised a national network of 10 industry sectors to support the work of individual Regional Industry Career Advisers (RICAs) by providing targeted, industry sector specific career advice and specialist information, including information on skills needs and labour markets. The 10 industry sectors were:

  • Agri-Food
  • Community Services and Health
  • Construction and Property Services
  • Electro Communications and Energy Utilities
  • Government and Community Safety
  • Innovation and Business
  • Manufacturing
  • Resources and Infrastructure
  • Services
  • Transport and Logistics.

The program ceased on 31 December 2010.

  See Career Advice Australia

National Training Information Service (NTIS)

Developed by federal and state governments to provide access to current and emerging training market information and products in vocational education and training, it comprised a database of vocational education and training accredited courses, competency standards, training packages, and training providers. NTIS was replaced by in July 2011.


Partnership Outreach Education Model  (POEM)

The POEM initiative of Careers Advice Australia (CAA) was designed to help young people not in mainstream schooling by giving them other ways to continue their learning. POEM delivered full-time accredited education, and life skills and employability training, helping young people to deal with personal issues and build self-esteem and resilience. The program commenced in 2007, and was renamed Connections later that year.

  See Career Advice Australia

Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC)

The Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) is an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) survey conducted every 10 years that measures adult skills and competencies, including literacy (reading), numeracy and problem solving skills, with a particular focus on skill needs for the information age. The international survey, which commenced in 2011, provides continuity with the 2006 Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey (ALLS) and the 1996 International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS).

 Publications in VOCEDplus

  See Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey (ALLS)


Regional Industry Career Advisors (RICA)

RICA was a network of regional advisors that worked with schools and Local Community Partnerships (LCPs) so that 13- to 19-year-olds across Australia had access to career information relevant to the area in which they lived. The program ceased on 31 December 2010.

  See Career Advice Australia

Research and Innovation Expansion Fund (RIEF)

The RIEF was established by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations in 2009 to provide researchers with the opportunity to undertake projects using Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY) data. The work undertaken through the RIEF complemented the broader LSAY Analytical Program.


School to Work Program

The STW program was a government initiative that aimed to develop partnerships between schools and industry, business and the vocational education and training sector in order to establish accredited vocational education and training (VET). It formed part of a package of Commonwealth initiatives announced in the 1996-97 budget to promote effective school to work pathways and support the implementation of the New Apprenticeships initiative in schools. The program had two elements:

  • Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Schools which targeted secondary school students and aimed to support the expansion of accredited VET in schools, particularly school-based New Apprenticeships.
  • Enterprise Education in Schools (EES) which had a broader focus across both primary and secondary school levels and aimed to encourage a culture change to enthuse and equip young people to identify, create, initiate and successfully manage personal, business, work and community opportunities.


SkillShare was a labour market program that assisted long-term unemployed and other jobseekers with significant barriers to employment in finding work or entry into further education and training through skills training, employment related assistance and enterprise activities. SkillShare centres were administered by community organisations. The program commenced in 1989, the integration of three former community based programs: Community Youth Support Scheme (CYSS), Community Training Program (CTP), and Community Volunteer Program (CVP). SkillShare was abolished as part of the labour market reforms that began in 1996.

 Publications in VOCEDplus

SkillShare Program

SkillShare Programs were education, training or employment-related programs organised by a SkillShare centre or agency.


Training and Youth Internet Management System (TYIMS)

Created in 2001, TYIMS is the information technology (IT) system operated by the Australian Government that tracks Australian apprentice and trainee and employer relations, determines eligibility for and makes payments, and formerly tracked the performance of Australian Apprenticeship Centres (AACs).

 Publications in VOCEDplus

Training Guarantee Scheme

The Training Guarantee Scheme is a former Commonwealth government initiative that encouraged businesses to take responsibility and provide training for their employees through a system of incentives. It was established in August 1990 by the Training Guarantee Act 1990 and the Training Guarantee (Administration) Act 1990, taking effect from 1 July 1990. The program was suspended for two years from 1 July 1994 by the Training Guarantee (Suspension) Act 1994, and abolished in 1996.

 Publications in VOCEDplus

Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement (TTMRA)

The Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Arrangement (TTMRA) is an arrangement developed under the Australia and New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (ANZCERTA), providing for mutual recognition of registered occupations - occupations for which some form of legislation-based registration, certification, licensing, approval, admission or other form of authorisation is required - by the two countries. The TTMRA was signed by the Heads of Government in 1996 and is administered by the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997.


Vocational and Educational Guidance for Aboriginals Scheme (VEGAS)

VEGAS was a scheme under the Indigenous Education Direct Assistance Program (AEDA) that funded projects to improve retention rates of Indigenous students and provide information about further education, training and employment options. The scheme was introduced in 1991, and in 2005 funding for VEGAS was pooled within the Parent School Partnerships initiative.


Workplace Communication in Training Packages

The Workplace Communication in Training Packages project was managed by the former Australian National Training Authority (ANTA), with funding from the Workplace English Language and Literacy Program (WELL) through the Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DETYA), to incorporate language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) into training packages. The project included:

  • Advice to Training Package developers - in 1997, the Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DEETYA) funded a project to develop a model for incorporating LLN into training packages, drawing on the National Reporting System (NRS) for identifying LLN competencies in workplace tasks. The subsequent publication Workplace communication in national training packages: a practical guide proposed a four step process for the incorporation of LLN into industry competency standards. Following piloting the proposed with training package developers and national industry bodies, revised advice to training package developers was released in the booklet Workplace communication: incorporation of language, literacy and numeracy into training packages.
  • Industry-specific LLN resources - national industry bodies were funded to develop resources for incorporation into training packages, addressing LLN issues specific to particular industries and demonstrate the benefits of integrating LLN into industry training.
  • Professional development kits - to help people with the LLN issues impacting on the implementation of training packages, kits were developed for three distinct audiences:
    • Built in not bolted on provided information for LLN co-ordinators on the incorporation of language, literacy and numeracy skills into training packages and ideas for working with enterprises to deliver training.
    • A new assessment tool was designed for workplace trainers and assessors and provides strategies for identifying LLN skills required for workplace training and assessment.
    • Ten fold returns targeted human resource and training managers, discussing the importance of integrating LLN into industry training.


Youth Pathways

Youth Pathways was a Careers Advice Australia initiative that offered personalised assistance to young people at risk of not making a successful transition through school or on to further education, training or employment. The assistance included conducting individual assessments to identify the person's particular challenges; developing a transition plan tailored to a young person's individual needs, aimed at helping them to address their obstacles, outlining actions that will help to overcome these challenges, and updated to help the young person as they progress; providing continued support and guidance as they progress through their education or training.

  See Career Advice Australia

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