Training Model of Vocational Education of Australian Students and
Its Enlightenment
Yanmei Wang , Jiamin Li
Zhejiang Agricultural Business College, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 312000, China
Keywords: Vocational education, Student training model, Australia, Inspiration.
Abstract: Higher vocational education is an important part of the national education system, and higher vocational
education in China is at a stage of continual development, exploration and reform. This work analyzed the
training model of vocational education of Australian students and compared Australian and Chinese student
training models. Training model of vocational education of Australian students is worthy of learning and
Higher vocational education is an important part of
the national education system and plays an
irreplaceable role in promoting the economic
development of the society. With the social need of
China and the changes of the economic
development, there has been a higher need of higher
vocational education. Vocational education theories
and talent training models in some overseas
developed countries have been continually upgraded
for many years, which is worth our learning and
reference (Jiao Hongli,2012). The Australian
education model of TAFE (Technical and Further
Education) takes lifelong education as a basic
principle. It is employment-oriented and industry-
leading, which connects ordinary education,
vocational education with higher education. After
nearly 40 years’ development, the Australian TAFE
has been one of the successful vocational education
models worldwide.
2.1 Focusing on vocational
competencies to cultivate practical
skilled talents
The key task of Australian vocational education is to
satisfy the social needs of various skilled talents, and
it aims at enabling students to grasp skills for posts
and promote students’ employment and
development. The Australian Government thinks
“the Australian future prosperity is closely related to
labor skills and production abilities” (Li
Zuozhang,2011). It puts forward that “Australia
should enforce the capital investment for a high
skilled labor force so as to have sustained low
inflation and succeed in the global economic
competition.” The research forecasts between 2006
and 2016 Australia will have 2.5 million people who
can acquire vocational education and qualification
training. Among them, about 1.7 million people will
obtain vocational education and qualification
training certificates with the level above three.
Hence, Australia has taken the training aim of the
vocational education as “Cultivating high skilled and
practical talents of technology to maximum serve the
economic and social development.”
Li J. and Wang Y.
Training Model of Vocational Education of Australian Students and Its Enlightenment.
DOI: 10.5220/0006446401740178
In ISME 2016 - Information Science and Management Engineering IV (ISME 2016), pages 174-178
ISBN: 978-989-758-208-0
2016 by SCITEPRESS Science and Technology Publications, Lda. All rights reserved
Australian vocational education focuses on
vocational abilities, and the characteristics are
embodied in that vocational training skills are
market-oriented (Wu Shuang,2012). Various
industries’ associations work out nation-wide
abilities standards according to the market need. The
process of vocational training focuses on improving
students’ practical operational abilities and
cultivating students’ job adaptability. There are only
two assessment results “Competent” or “Not
Competent” for students’ vocational training. The
various industries’ competency standards are the
yardstick for professional qualifications’
2.2 Developing training kit of
vocational education by leading
industries’ skills
The training kit is made and issued by the Australian
Industries’ Skills Committee. It recognizes and
evaluates employees’ skills with the aim of assessing
the necessary skills and knowledge of employees. It
does not specify the training forms. The training kit
includes the part recognized by the country and
facilitation materials [4]. The latter is also called the
part unrecognized by the country. The recognized
part includes “Competency Standard”, “Vocational
Qualifications”, “Assessment Criterion”, etc. All
states have the flexibility to set up and arrange the
training as per the actual situation.
2.3 Training adaptable talents on the
basis of school-enterprise
The students’ training model of the Australian
vocational education is under the influence of both
schools and enterprises. It implements school-
enterprise training, and the cultivation model is
confirmed by TAFE and enterprises according to the
enterprises’ needs and post requirements. Generally
TAFE has a board of directors and a committee of
industry consulting. The board plays a linking role in
schools and enterprises. The role is to master the
training direction and make relevant policies
adapting to the economic development needs. Some
schools set up industry committees, with which
schools negotiate to conduct vocational training and
training modes. Some schools have a school-
enterprise coordinator and its key responsibilities are
to collect industry information, promoting school-
enterprise cooperation and liaison enterprises to
participate in training programs.
Table 1 Australian AQF
Ordinary middle school
Vocational education and
Higher education
Master’s degree
Postgraduate diploma
Postgraduate certificate
Bachelor’s degree
Advanced junior college
Associate degree / advanced junior college
Junior college diploma Junior college diploma
Level Four Certificate
Level Three Certificate
Level Two Certificate Level Two Certificate
Level One Certificate Level One Certificate
High school education
Training Model of Vocational Education of Australian Students and Its Enlightenment
Training Model of Vocational Education of Australian Students and Its Enlightenment
2.4 Using vocational qualification
acquisition as a tool to implement
open cultivation
Australian vocational education is based on lifelong
education philosophy and has passed the national
qualification certificate system. It has realized a very
good connection among vocational education,
ordinary education and university education. The
existing Australian AQF is shown in the following
table which has 12th-level qualification certificates
including certificates, diplomas and senior diplomas.
The certificates have four levels. Level One and
Level Two are for elementary certificates, and those
who have acquired Level One
or Level Two can apply for elementary work. Level
Three is a senior certificate, and those who have
acquired Level Three can apply for mid-level
managerial positions. Holders of Level Four
certificate can work as junior managers. Holders of
diploma and senior diploma are based on a Level
Four certificate. To acquire the diploma and the
senior diploma they need to study for a period of
time. The work of them shall be senior management.
The Australian AQF has a rule that all levels are
coherent. That is, a lower level certificate shall be
acquired before a higher level certificate can be
obtained. Students can study at TAFE College at
grade two or three of Senior High School. Besides
the senior high school diploma, they can acquire a
Level One or Two certificate of a certain vocation.
Students can directly study grade two or three of the
university after acquiring the TAFE’s vocational
diploma, and the credits are mutually recognized.
University graduates can study at TAFE College to
receive corresponding vocational certificates. After
graduation postgraduates can also study at TAFE for
a six-month curriculum for a corresponding
The Australian vocational education is a lifelong
educational process. The enrollment of TAFE
College does not consider pre-vocation and post-
vocation, difference in ages and degrees. It
encourages people to study repeatedly and
continuously and has established a lifelong
educational model of “study-work-restudy-rework”.
The learning methods of Australian students are
open. Students at TAFE College can choose a full-
time or half-a-day and correspondence or distant
education. They can obtain certificates or diplomas
as long as they pass examinational evaluations.
situation, which is to evaluate whether a job task is
accurately performed. For example, students
majoring in food and beverage should be able to
make food in a hotel or restaurant or practical
operational room, etc. Indirect evidence refers to the
evidence of the evaluated person which cannot be
observed, such as a work or investigation report of a
completed project or assignment, a handling of an
emergency or a simulated situation. Facilitative
evidence is that the evaluator checks the third
party’s evidence to understand his or her vocational
competencies. The evidence, for example, can be a
diploma or some other evidence of the evaluated
person’s previous study experience. As long as the
evaluated person can provide the above evidence, he
or she can pass the assessment to obtain the
vocational qualification certificate.
Besides, there is an important system called RPL
(Recognition of Prior Learning) in the assessment
methods. It is a recognized system for learners’
skills and knowledge acquired from their normal or
abnormal education, training, work experience and
living experience. For example, the prior study
scores and experience in enterprises can be
recognized as study time so that the learning period
can be shortened.
2.5 Diversified assessment centering on
skilled assessment
During the whole process of assessment, teachers
can choose various suitable methods at different
stages as per students’ actual conditions. The main
assessment methods include observation, oral test,
operation, the third party’s evaluation, certificate,
interview, self-evaluation, case study report, work
production, paper exam, tape-recording and so on.
The evidence of the evaluated person is diversified
and includes mainly direct, indirect and facilitative.
Direct evidence is the performance at a set work
3.1 Development of vocational
education curriculum centering on
vocational key competencies’
3.1.1 Focusing on competences to speed the
development of vocational education
curriculum system.
The development shall take the practical skills
needed by enterprises and industries as a
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fundamental. From cultivating students’ practical
operational abilities to their competencies for a
certain profession or post, the system can help
students’ acquire vocational key competencies. Only
by centering on vocational key competencies’
cultivation, can our talents for vocational education
be really adapted to meet the social needs.
3.1.2 Promoting the diversification of the
curriculum led by industries.
The Australian TAFE curriculum system has a main
body of diversified curriculum development. Not
only industries and enterprises’ experts, government
officials, educational experts and teachers get
involved but also parents and student are part of the
main body. We shall take it as reference to
effectively ensure the development of curriculum
meets the needs of enterprises and industries while
meeting the needs of students’ future development.
We shall make students, parents and employers
satisfied with the curriculum.
3.1.3 Keeping adjusting the curriculum
based on the social needs.
It is the basic social requirement of the vocational
education curriculum to develop the vocational
education by keeping close alignment with the social
economic life and development.
3.2 Positive reform of teaching
methods and establishment of open
teaching concept
3.2.1 Vigorously promotion of teaching
methods’ reform centering on students.
Firstly, we can change teaching concepts from the
"teacher-centered" to "student-centered" and
establish a concept that teachers are mentors,
counselors and assistants for students who take the
initiative to study. A variety of methods are used to
mobilize students’ learning enthusiasm, build
interactive classrooms and establish an equally
interactive teaching mode.
3.2.2 Combination of theory and practice
and strengthening of practical skills
Students not only learn the theoretical knowledge,
but also need to walk into the training room and
practical teaching base to experience hands-on
operation. Therefore, we should reform and innovate
in the form of training to ensure the practical
operation and timeliness of training projects.
3.3 Promotion of diversification of
assessment methods and use of
comprehensive evaluation methods
3.3.1 Seeking new ways on evaluation of
Every examination or test will be able to cover as
many relevant competency factors as possible.
Questions and answers, practical operation, social
surveys, innovative design, operating experience
reports, participation in group activities, internships
and comprehensive graduation practice reports can
be adopted as the main form and content of the
evaluation methods.
3.3.2 Positive and rational use as a training
base or enterprise evaluation site.
We can replace the traditional exam with work site
assessment. We can also allow enterprises’ experts,
engineers and technicians to get involved in the
assessment. Students’ competencies can be assessed
by actual operational level and work performance.
3.3.3 Focusing on assessment on students’
whole learning process.
The summative and formative evaluation can be
combined. Teachers can use behavioral observation
and growth record on student's learning situation to
make a relatively complete, true and accurate
evaluation. The evaluation is linked with vocational
or technical qualification certificates to be more
career-oriented and effective. It promotes personal
and all-round development of students.
3.4 Improving students’ training mode
in vocational education guided by
the concept of lifelong education
Australian vocational education has already
exceeded the scope of academic education and has
used the theory of lifelong education. It has
integrated academic education and training, diluting
academic education and job training, the boundaries
of general education and adult education, as well as
full-time education and part-time education. It
closely links vocational education and economic
construction with social development. All these are
worthy of our reference. Therefore, we shall take the
Training Model of Vocational Education of Australian Students and Its Enlightenment
Training Model of Vocational Education of Australian Students and Its Enlightenment
lifelong education theory as a guide to expand the
scope of the concept of vocational education. It
incorporates the production line workers, laid-off
workers, to-be-employed workers into continual
education and higher vocational education. It makes
the higher vocational colleges to become social
workers’ lifelong learning place, middle vocational
education, higher vocational education,
undergraduate and postgraduate education will be
gradually linked while improving the students’
training mode of higher vocational education.
Currently, China’s higher vocational education is in
constant development and exploration stage of
change. It is necessary to learn from the advanced
experience and modes of foreign vocational
education. Through the analysis on the vocational
education mode of Australian students, precious
experience can be provided for China’s development
of vocational education development. It is helpful to
explore a suitable training mode of China’s
vocational education in line with the needs of
society and economic development.
This work funded by Federation of Supply and
Marketing Cooperatives on 2013 special study of
vocational education project in China, "Lifelong
Education Vocational Education’s System
Construction under the guidance of Supply and
Marketing Cooperatives”, with Project Number:
GX1329; Zhejiang Provincial Education
Department’s research project "Middle and higher
vocational automotive technical services’
convergence with marketing studies’ curriculum
system " funding. Project number: Y201327904.
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Li Zuozhang. Construction of Australian Universities and
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2011,300: 76-79.
Wu Shuang. Comparison and Enlightenment of Chinese
and Australian Vocational Education Modes. Joint
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