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The VET workforce

Resources on this page are a mix of free and for purchase and are categorised as 'research' or 'focus on practice'. All resources listed are Australian in origin unless otherwise labelled.


Click on the following topics to access resources:

Go to the Professional development page for more resources. 

What's new in The VET workforce

  • Velg Training [added 26 February 2024]
  • Formal university qualifications for adult literacy and numeracy [updated 6 February, 2024]
    (Source: Australian Council for Adult Literacy)
    ACAL has compiled this information about opportunities for professional development in the field of adult literacy and numeracy. These specialist teaching qualifications are available at Charles Sturt University and University of Technology Sydney:

Workforce profile


Free resources

  • Profiling institutional diversity across the Australian VET sector [2016]
    (Source: LH Martin Institute)
    The aim of this research is to enhance the critical understanding of Australian VET providers, with a view to prompting an evidence based discussion to inform national and institutional policy making and strategy. The results show that the 35 providers fall into one of five major groupings, and that these types are represented across the States and Territories, with clear differences in the sample between public and private providers.
  • Understanding the Australian vocational education and training workforce [2020]
    (Source: NCVER)
    This report provides estimates of the size and nature of the Australian VET workforce. Data was collected through the 2019 National VET Workforce survey from registered training organisations (RTOs). The report presents estimates of the number of individuals working in RTOs with a particular focus on trainers and assessors. Information was also collected about volunteers who play an important role in some RTOs.
  • The VET teaching workforce in Australia [2020]
    Written by Erica Smith from Federation University, this report examines aspects of the VET teaching workforce in Australia; the context is VET for adults and disadvantaged groups, not VET in secondary schools. The report covers the following topics: (1) working conditions of vocational training teachers, such as wages and working hours, compared with other occupations; (2) qualifications and professional development for vocational training teachers; and (3) career development, career guidance, and career management for vocational training teachers.
  • Vocational education and training workforce [2011]
    (Source: Productivity Commission)
    This report considers the demand for and supply of VET workers, workforce composition and workforce planning, among other factors of significance. It also considers the context in which the VET sector operates and the implications this has for workforce composition and development, including, for example, an examination of cross-sectoral dimensions, as exist between the VET sector and the schools and higher education sectors.
  • Vocational education and training workforce data 2008: a compendium [2010]
    (Source: NCVER)
    This is a compendium of three reports. The first examines the size and attributes of the vocational education and training (VET) workforce using a variety of data sources. The second looks more specifically at TAFE's workforce. The final report considers the feasibility of a national VET workforce collection.


  • Career and Technical Education Teachers [US, updated May 2019]
    (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • College Staff Survey 2018 and 2019 follow-up [England, 2018, 2020]
    Research undertaken to improve the workforce data available on teachers and leaders in further education (FE) colleges in England. The 2018 report provides insights into the experience, qualifications and expectations of teachers and leaders in general and specialist FE colleges. The 2019 follow-up survey aimed to find out why staff changed role or left the FE sector.
  • The Education and Training Professionals Survey [England, 2020]
    Findings from a survey of independent training providers, adult and community learning providers and sixth form colleges receiving funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency in England. The report provides insights from further education (FE) providers and individual teaching staff and leaders about their teaching and leadership workforce.
  • Tertiary resourcing statistics [New Zealand]
    (Source: Ministry of Education)
  • Workforce data and Staff Individualised Record (SIR) Data Insights [England, most recent is 2018/19]
    (Source: Education and Training Foundation)
    An independent source of data on the latest trends in demographics, staffing numbers and pay across all provider types in the Further Education (FE) and Training sector.

VET teacher qualifications

VET teacher qualifications

  • Trainer and assessor requirements as of March 2024
    • The Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015 require trainers and assessors to hold certain credentials dependent on the role they have, and the training products they deliver, in the RTO. VET is delivered by trainers and assessors who have completed relevant qualification(s) through the TAE Training and Education Training Package. Version 5 of the TAE Training Package was released in December 2022. This version includes a new TAE40122 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, which supersedes and is equivalent to TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. More information is available on the VET regulator websites:
    • The Standards allow RTOs to employ a trainer and assessor who has an alternative diploma or higher level qualification in adult education rather than hold the specified training products from the TAE training package. An RTO is required to determine whether the alternative qualification is suitable. While a suitable qualification does not need to have the words 'adult education' in the title, the transcript or record of results needs to show that focus. 
      ASQA provides more information about some qualifications which are most likely suitable training and assessment credentials, including:

Free resources

  • ACDE Vocational Education Group (ACDEVEG)
    The Australian Council of Deans of Education Vocational Education Group advises the ACDE Board and represents ACDE on vocational education and training matters. The working group helps to build and strengthen high-quality educational practices in VET teacher-education programs for VET practitioners. In universities, such programs are normally undertaken part-time by VET teachers and trainers while already working in the field. ACDEVEG also provides advice to a range of external stakeholders on VET teacher quality and development.
  • How to become a Vocational Education Teacher
    (Source: Your Career, Australian Government)

For purchase

Research on VET teacher qualifications

  • Australian VET teacher education: what is the benefit of pedagogical studies at university for VET teachers? [peer reviewed article, 2015]
    This paper reports on work undertaken by members of the Australian Council of Deans of Education Vocational Education Group to provide an evidence base to argue for higher pedagogical qualifications for VET teachers.
  • Curriculum globALE: competency framework for adult educators [international, 2021]
    Published by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, this publication introduces Curriculum globALE, a basic competence framework for the training of adult educators worldwide. By providing a modular, competency-based framework and cross-curricular approach, Curriculum globALE supports the professionalization of adult learning and education by specifying core competencies as a reference framework for the qualification of adult educators.
  • How can VET teacher education be developed? [discussion paper, 2018]
    The range of qualifications undertaken by vocational education teachers and the impact of these on the quality of teaching and learning in the sector have been contested amongst vocational educators, teacher unions, teacher educators, government, industry and other stakeholders for over fifty years. In this paper, the authors look at history to understand what research, enquiries and audits during the Certificate IV level qualification era and before can tell us about the formal qualification needs of vocational education teachers.
  • Supporting the VET workforce: developing a VET workforce quality strategy [2020]
    The development of a VET Workforce Quality Strategy recognises the important contribution trainers and assessors make to a high-quality VET sector. The Strategy will aim to support registered training organisations (RTOs) and trainers and assessors to promote high quality, consistent training and assessment and support the diverse workplace roles within the sector. This issues paper provides an overview of the VET workforce key themes for the development of the VET Workforce Quality Strategy. [Excerpt from publisher]
  • The effects of teacher/trainer qualifications on the quality of VET teaching/training: executive summary [2018]
    This document summarises the outcomes of a project that  examined whether and how higher-level qualifications for vocational education and training (VET) teachers would improve quality in the VET system.
  • VET practitioners: a front-line investigation [2019]
    The opinions of currently employed VET trainers and assessors were investigated to identify what should be included in a program of learning that will prepare them and others to be effective in their roles of supporting Australian industry and enterprise.
  • VET teachers' and trainers' participation in professional development: a national overview [conference paper, 2017]
    This paper reports on the professional development of vocational education and training (VET) teachers and trainers in Australia. It utilises the data on professional development (PD) gathered from two national surveys undertaken in 2016 as part of a major [Australian Research Council] ARC-funded national research project on VET teachers and their qualifications.
  • What do we learn from 40 years of history?: issues in VET teacher education from Kangan to today [peer reviewed article, 2017]
    Adopting a book-ends approach in analysing two critical periods of time four decades apart - 1974-81 and 2011-16 - this paper examines key issues in Australian VET teacher education in the 1970s and compares them with the present. It aims to address the question: What has been learnt over that time?
  • What makes a good VET teacher?: views of Australian VET teachers and students [peer reviewed article, 2017]
    This paper contributes to the evidence base that could inform improvements in VET teaching by examining the views of two key interest groups - VET teachers and learners, on 'what makes a good VET teacher', and analyses the common themes as well as particularities in their views and their possible explanations. The findings are then examined as dimensions of interconnected practices that constitute VET teaching.
  • Why Victoria needs high-quality VET and technologies teacher education [report, 2021]
    The Campaign for VET and Technologies Education (CVTE) aims to establish initial teacher education (ITE) programs in Victoria capable of producing a sustainable supply of high-quality and professionally qualified Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) registered VET and technologies (Design and Technologies and Digital Technologies) teachers to resource Victorian schools.

Aspects of work life

Free resources

  • Building capability and quality in VET teaching: opportunities and challenges [report, 2020]
    Note: 18 September 2020: This report is being reviewed and will be re-released at a later date.
    This new publication from NCVER reports on approaches to building capability and quality in VET teaching, and associated opportunities and challenges. It draws on relevant literature about teaching quality, the content, scope and usage of existing capability frameworks and professional standards, and consultations with key stakeholder groups. Insights from stakeholders have been used to gauge the level of support for: mandatory registration, adding to the list of existing requirements for entry into employment and associated risks. Advice on how to go about attracting and developing a capable VET workforce has also been provided. The publication also reports on the successes and challenges experienced in quality improvement pilot projects.
  • Building capability in VET teachers [thesis, 2018]
    (Source: Flinders University)
    The research seeks to identify what is needed to enable VET teachers to acquire, maintain and advance their teaching capability to meet the unique features of VET education and its students. The focus of the study also includes the leadership and systems required to ensure that this progression in teacher capability occurs.
  • Building future capabilities for vocational education: why high-level teaching qualifications matter for TAFE teachers [2014]
    (Source: Australian Education Union, Department of Industry)
    This report considers the future capabilities required by TAFE teachers in the Australian VET system. Using a range of recent research and case studies in two TAFE institutions, the report concludes that the increasingly complex and challenging nature of vocational work necessitates higher-level vocational teaching qualifications as well as continuing accredited professional development.
  • Careers in vocational education and training: what are they really like? [2009]
    (Source: NCVER)
    As part of a program of research examining the capability of vocational education and training (VET) providers, this study examines the career pathways of a wide range of VET employees. It found that careers in VET are characterised by high levels of mobility and self-directed career behaviour aimed at achieving two outcomes: job satisfaction and security of employment.
  • Digital competence and professional development of vocational education and training teachers in Queensland [thesis, 2016]
    (Source: Queensland University of Technology)
    The research focuses on the digital competency levels of VET teachers in Australia, or how current PD programs are addressing this capability. The study focuses on the Australian VET sector and makes comparisons with schools and higher education in the understanding, management and use of educational technology.
  • Improving the quality, capability and status of the VET teacher workforce [2016]
    (Source: International Specialised Skills Institute)
    The research looked at models of leadership in teacher training, professional development and practice in countries across Europe to compare and contrast with those in Australia. This research aims to inform how the quality of VET teaching can be improved at a national and registered training organisation (RTO) level.
  • The professionalisation of vocational education and training practitioners: to own buy or rent: a case study of developments in Finland, Australia and Ireland [thesis, 2017]
    (Source: Dublin City University)
    This case study comparative analysis of the professionalisation of vocational education practitioners in Finland, Australia and Ireland explores the role of government, policy developers, organisations and individuals in the development of effective policy agenda and reform.
  • The teacher education of VET in Schools (VETiS) teachers [2017]
    (Source: La Trobe University)
    This study investigates the professional preparation of teachers working in VET programs in Australian secondary schools. It also investigates the similarities and differences and the enablers and blockers that occur across the various states and territories in their approaches to providing teacher education for VET in Schools (VETiS) teachers.
  • Teachers and trainers in a changing world: building up competences for inclusive, green and digitalised vocational education and training (VET): synthesis report [Europe]
    This new synthesis report from the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) identifies recent trends and policy developments in Europe on the initial and continuous professional development of VET teachers and trainers. The report concludes with key messages for designing effective policies in Europe.
  • VET practitioner's perceptions of VET higher-education qualifications [2017]
    (Source: International journal of training research)
    This paper explores the experiences of VET practitioners as students in one regional university who were enrolled in a Bachelor of Vocational Educational and Training and compared them to the larger national cohort.

For purchase

These are examples only of commercially available products. Inclusion on this list does not signify endorsement by NCVER.

  • Velg Training is a member serving organisation and a leading Australian provider of vocational education and training (VET) professional development and consulting courses. Having served the VET community since 2003, Velg Training's national client base represents Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) from across Australia.
  • VET practitioner education in Australia: issues and approaches [book chapter, 2018]
    (Source: Springer Handbook of Vocational Education and Training)
    This chapter, based on qualitative analysis of research on the development of teacher capability and the authors’ lived professional experiences, examines the main issues and approaches in the training and development of VET practitioners in Australia.


  • 21st century educators: developing and supporting great career and technical education teachers [2013, US]
    (Source: Center on Great Teachers and Leaders at American Institutes for Research)
    This publication offers insight into three human capital management policies that are critical for career and technical education (CTE) teachers: certification, performance evaluation, and professional development. It provides an overview of the current US policy landscape, its implications for CTE teacher effectiveness, and next steps for creating aligned and coherent human capital management policies.
  • Designing professional development for experienced teachers in tertiary vocational education [2016, New Zealand]
    (Source: Ako Aotearoa - National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence)
    The aim of this project was to identify how useful PD is perceived to be by experienced teachers in the tertiary vocational education sector in New Zealand and to improve the design of PD programmes.
  • Emerging technologies and the teaching profession [Europe, 2020]
    (Source: Publications Office of the European Union)
    Eight future-oriented scenarios are outlined using foresight methods. The scenarios take place in classrooms, lecture halls, training centres and digital learning environments in which emerging technologies (applications and services that take advantage of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual and Augmented and Mixed Reality, social robotics and wearable technology such as head mounted displays and sensors) could be used to support educators in their profession. They cover the following aspects: (1) lesson planning and teaching practices; (2) students well-being, motivation and non-cognitive skills; (3) language acquisition by migrant learners; and (4) special education.
  • The mentor handbook: a practical guide for VET teacher training [Europe, 2013]
    The handbook seeks to provide a general methodology for introducing mentoring as well as approaches to recruiting, supporting and training mentors, systems of mentoring and case studies that exemplify practice.
  • Professional learning of instructors in vocational and professional education [2018, Canada]
    This article presents insights from a study into instructor professional learning in vocational and professional education (VPE) in Canada.
  • Professional standards for tertiary teachers: a synthesis of recent work and initiatives [2019, New Zealand]
    (Source: Ako Aotearoa - National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence)
    This paper has been prepared to further the debate for the introduction of professional standards across the tertiary education sector in Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Teacher effectiveness training: inducting industry trainers for success [2014, New Zealand]
    (Source: Ako Aotearoa (National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence))
    In contrast to education's compulsory sectors, tertiary teachers in New Zealand are not required to have any formal teaching qualification. The authors note that this is especially endemic in vocational training organisations, where industry expertise is highly valued, and often the key requirement for teaching appointments. This report documents the history, process and outcomes of a research project designed to assist vocational education providers to improve the way in which they transition newly recruited teaching staff from different industries to teaching in a classroom environment.
  • Training needs in the further education sector [2018, England]
    (Source: Education and Training Foundation)
    This is a report of survey-based research into the training needs of people who work in post-16 education and training organisations in England. It reveals that a focus on leadership and management, English, maths and digital skills are all needed to take the FE profession forward with confidence through the current set of reforms.
  • Working and living in FE during the COVID-19 pandemic: 27 FE practitioners' voices [UK, 2021]
    (Source: The Research College Group)
    This publication attempts to record and share the experience of staff across the sector during the first lockdown and is a unique documentation of [further education] FE lecturers lived experiences across what were challenging times.
  • Writing a book proposal [blog, 2022]
    (Source: The Society for Research into Higher Education)
    Rachel Brooks and Sarah O'Shea (editors of the SRHE/Routledge Book series) along with Zoe Thomson (Education Editor at Taylor and Francis) share their insights as authors and editors, discussing some questions frequently asked by those thinking of putting a book proposal together.


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