News & Views

29th August 2016

VET reputational damage a cause for concern

29 Aug 2016


A report by economic think tank, The Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), has called for better regulation of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector and reforms to support industry needs. (Click here to view the report)

“CEDA’s report argues that the reputation of the VET sector has been damaged by a number of scandals involving several rogue operators. We endorse this assessment,” said the National Electrical and Communications Association’s (NECA) Chief Executive Officer, Suresh Manickam.

“NECA has consistently argued for VET sector reforms to stamp out rogue operators, to ensure that training standards are delivered with high quality outcomes.”

“We have previously raised concerns about the training standards for electrotechnology students at the Canberra Institute of Technology which continues to be a subject of an ACT Government Inquiry.”

“NECA acknowledges the initial steps taken in the reform process by the Government, in particular with the VET FEE-HELP system, set up by the former Government that has contributed to these scandals. However, we remain concerned about further drops in the number of students participating in the sector and the potential for ongoing skills shortages across the electrical contracting sector,” Mr Manickam said.

“Whilst I’m confident that Minister Birmingham and Assistant Minister Andrews are aware of the issues that plague the VET sector, we call upon the Government to press ahead with further reforms that ensure clarity and transparency for apprentices and training organisations that deliver quality outcomes.”

“Reforms to the VET sector must rebuild and enhance the reputation of our sector,” said Mr Manickam.




Media enquiries and interviews

Barry Jackson – National Marketing and Communications


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Notes for editors

  1. NECA is the peak industry body representing the interests of electrical and communications contractors Australia-wide.
  2. NECA is run by electrical contractors, for electrical contractors.
  3. We have 5,000 contracting companies as members – and they in turn employ over 50,000 people Australia-wide.
  4. NECA employs almost 350 people across its seven chapters (Queensland, New South Wales, ACT, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia).
  5. The chapters provide NECA members with a range of services including: Industrial Relations, Health & Safety, Legal, Technical, Training, business-support services, product discounts and advocacy representation in Canberra with Government, Industry bodies and Training bodies.
  6. NECA wholly-owns its Legal firm, Group Training and the NECA Colleges (in WA) and EcoSmart Electricians – and has joint ventures with a superannuation company (NSW) and one of the national cabling registrars (ACRS).
  7. NECA also employ around 2,000 apprentice electricians and provides training to a further 2,000.
  8. For further information go to


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