At a time when Gender equity is so prominent in much media coverage, both within Australia and across the Globe, it is also sobering to consider the structural challenges faced by girls entering the workforce and adult-hood for the first time here in Victoria.

This graph shows Vet is Schools [VETiS] enrolments for Girls as a ratio of the Boys enrolments. 0% would mean there is an equal percentage of both boys and girls enrolled. A negative percentage [i.e. Building and Construction] shows girls are under-represented. A positive percentage [i.e. Community Services and Health] shows girls are over-represented.

VETiS Gender Bias 2011 - Victoria
Gender Bias – VETiS – Victoria 2011

Where are future opportunities for girls?

Where are the proposed cuts being made?

The current and proposed cuts to TAFE programmes, listed here [PDF] by the AEU,   further enforces an already structural disadvantage for girls and young women.  Compounding rural and regional disadvantage and the already stark labour-market inequities that have occurred over the last twenty years, there is little or no defence in my view for the changes as I understand them.

These changes do not encourage or address the growing lack of job-ready individuals and further solidifies a structural bias that I doubt few inside “urban” policy contexts seem to  really understand. Given the responses to these announcements, it does not appear Gender issues were considered appropriately.  This is a matter of both social cohesion and stark regional economic development that should be reconsidered with the highest priority.

There is nothing like good public policy to improve regional and rural competitiveness;  these proposed cuts are nothing like good public policy.



About The Author


  1. […] Skills, Gender and all that stuff… – – #TAFE #SKILLS #Gender #Equity…  […]

Share your thoughts...