≡ Menu

How can private RTOs support youth who have left school early?

Our latest research, Shedding light: private ‘for profit’ training providers and young early school leavers, investigates the approaches private RTOs adopt in training youth who have left school early. The authors surveyed 130 private, for-profit registered training organisations (RTOs) to find out their perspectives on teaching and learning practices, engagement and support services.

Providers described a range of challenges facing these disadvantaged learners. Most commonly mentioned were low literacy and numeracy skills, a lack of clarity around career goals and low employability skills.

When it comes to working with learners RTO size is important. Providers considered their small-scale and informal learning settings to be a distinct advantage, allowing them to engage in small groups or individually. However researchers also found size can cause problems if the provider is too small to provide adequate infrastructure and support services.

Developing positive relationships with students was also considered vital. Providers identified empathy, patience, humour and behaviour management, as well as a sound knowledge of the chosen trade, as crucial skill sets for trainers working with early school leavers.

Join our webinar to find out more
Thursday 29 September, 1.30pm-2.30pm ACST

Lead researcher George Myconos, from Brotherhood of St Laurence, will provide further insight on the role of private providers in training early school leavers including: barriers to participation; teaching practices; initiatives needed to support the learners; and the capability of private RTOs in providing the support. Register now


In 2015, there were 580,000 young Australians who were not in in education, employment or training (NEET), over 100, 000 more than in 2008 (Source: Investing in Youth: Australia). At the same time, despite the rapid growth in and demand for information and communications technology (ICT) workers in Australia forecast to increase by 70,000 by 2020, participation in ICT programs in New South Wales (NSW) high schools and in TAFE NSW is showing a declining trend (Source: Engaging young people in information and communications technology training in TAFE NSW). Both these publications highlight the important roles that good career guidance and high-quality VET can play in improving job prospects.

Selected international research on this topic from VOCEDplus:

VOCEDplus is NCVER’s international tertiary education research database. Stay in touch with Australian and international VET research by following @VOCEDplus and @VOCEDplusTitles.

Upcoming events

Join NCVER’s Patrick Korbel for his presentation The new VET market: quality and complexity on 7 October as part of AVETRA’s OctoberVET 2016.

OctoberVET is an annual season of VET research showcasing events which are designed and driven by local convenors and supported by AVETRA. For more information and to register

NCVER webinar: How can private RTOs support youth who have left school early?
Thursday 29 September, 1.30pm-2.30pm ACST

Join us to hear about the role of private RTOs in delivering training to young people who have left school early including; the barriers to their participation, teaching practices, the types of initiatives needed to support the learners, and the capability of private RTOs in providing the support. Register now

0 comments… add one

Leave a Comment