How do you raise the status of vocational education and training in Australia?

 

CLIENT
Department of Education and Training

SECTOR
Federal Government

SERVICES
Strategy
Stakeholder Engagement
Channel management and execution
Content Creation

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In Australia, there’s a strongly-held belief that you have to attend university to gain a career, with almost three times as many enrolling in a university course over vocational education and training (VET). While the VET sector continues to produce highly-skilled graduates who go on to exciting and fulfilling careers, there are still many misconceptions around the opportunities available with a VET qualification.

 
 
 

 
 
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This lower uptake into VET not only affects a significant portion of the young population, whose needs are not being met when it comes to support in making informed education decisions, it has wide-reaching effects on Australia’s ability for long-term economic growth. Of the current skills shortage list, almost three quarters of the occupations listed require qualifications taught through VET.

The Department of Education and Training have a need to change the current perceptions surrounding the VET sector and improve awareness that VET can lead to a rewarding career, and is not just a pathway to further study or only for apprentices.

 
Education has an incredibly important role to play in supporting prosperity through economic opportunity and greater social well-being.
— The Hon. Karen Andrews MP, Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills
 

Working with our design partners at CRE8IVE, Nerio developed a national communications and engagement strategy designed to shift the negative perceptions. We brought the tagline ‘Real Skills for Real Careers’ to life through a range of tools and engaging digital content showing that VET qualifications can lead to successful, meaningful, professional careers with great salaries and fantastic career prospects.

Aimed at school-leavers, job-seekers, employers and training providers, this strategy changes the narrative used to promote VET in Australia. We provided the Department and its stakeholders with a new language with which to talk about VET; one that reflected ambition and achievement. All students who complete VET are graduates. VET courses lead to qualifications, not just skills, and the outcomes of these qualifications are careers, not merely jobs.

 
 

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In developing the concept, we looked around the table at our own various career paths and the fact that despite the different paths we took after high school, we were all seated around the same table. We wanted to convey that feeling to young people. ‘There are many ways to succeed’ summed that message up in a way that the audience can actually connect with.
— NERIO Team
 
 
 

An emotive hero video brought together a broad range of VET graduates, telling their individual stories of how they obtained their dream job and showing there are many ways to succeed. Launched in November 2017, the video highlights the wide range of career pathways available through VET, reinforces the message that there is more than one path to learning and introduces the real people that have achieved success through VET.

A six-part podcast series featuring VET graduates tells their personal stories around their VET experiences, from choosing a qualification to gaining employment and the pressures that go with the process, in a way that potential students and their influencers can connect with.

 
 

 
 
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The podcast series allowed us to delve deeper with the VET graduates in a way that a case study video or brochure couldn’t. The interview subjects talked to us about the challenges they faced in making education decisions and in taking the next steps in their career. We needed them to open up so that our audience could see a part of themselves in the graduates.
— NERIO Team
 

A social media strategy was developed to set the tone online and provide a best-practice example to the rest of the sector. Highly targeted brochures, posters, case study videos and social media content were also created to reinforce the messaging and extend the new language and tone across all channels.

The new strategy engages audiences and invites them to think differently about VET. This is a long-term strategy with ongoing implementation. We are now working with the Department of Education and Training on a second stage of the project to extend engagement across a larger group of influential stakeholders.

 
 

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