Professor Erica Smith
Position: Professor and Personal Chair in Vocational Education and Training
Study area: Education
Location: Mt Helen Campus, T Building, Room T319A
Phone: 03 5327 9665
- Certificate IV in Training and Assessment - University of Ballarat - 2012
- Graduate Diploma Vocational Education and Training - Charles Sturt University - 2001
- Doctor of Philosophy - University of Technology, Sydney - 2000
- Master of Business (Human Resource Management) - Charles Sturt University - 1995
- Master of Arts (Area Studies) - University of London - 1976
- Bachelor of Arts - Keele University - 1975
- Associate Degree in Training and Education
- Master of Education Studies (VET Stream)
- Developing industry relationships in VET (EDTAS1002)
- VET links with the economy and industry (EDTAS2003)
Erica Smith joined Federation University Australia in March 2008. Prior to this she was Professor of Vocational Education and Training (VET) at Charles Sturt University where she was discipline leader in VET and convenor of Charles Sturt University's research grouping RIVET (Research in Vocational Education and Training) from 2003-2008. At the University of Ballarat, Erica was Dean of Graduate Studies from 2008-2010, then Chair of the dual-sector Curriculum Committee. She was appointed to a Personal Chair position in 2013. Erica is the convenor of FedUni’s research group Research in Adult and Vocational Education (RAVE).
Erica is the research leader in the Education discipline and has managed the last two ERA submissions for Education at FedUni.
She is Associate Editor of the international journal Education + Training, and on the editorial board of four others, two of which are international.
Erica has managed over 20 national research projects including four Australian Research Council -funded grants. She is a peer assessor for ARC grants and for the Excellence in Research Australia exercise, and for funding schemes in other countries.
In addition to her academic career, which began in 1993, Erica has worked as a personnel manager in industry, TAFE teacher, community worker, manager of a Registered Training Organisation and Executive Director of a State Industry Training Advisory Board.
Areas of expertise
In addition to research expertise Erica has practical and policy experience in:
- VET curriculum and competency-based training including Training Packages
- Qualifications for VET practitioners
- Apprenticeship systems
- apprenticeships and traineeships
- competency-based training
- training policy
- the 'school-to-work transition'
- delivery of qualification-based training in companies
- vocational education and training (VET) practitioners
- concepts of skill
Erica is currently concluding two major national research projects:
2014, Smith, E.,Yasukawa, K., Harris, R., & Tuck, J. Would more highly-qualified teachers and trainers help to address quality problems in the Australian vocational education and training system? ARC Linkage grant, $120,000 (Industry partner funds $45,000)
2014 Smith, E., Callan, V., Smith, A. & Tuck, J. Employer training in a changed environment. NCVER nationally competitive grant, $99,600.
Erica has recently concluded two other Australian Research Council Linkage projects:
2012, Smith, E., Smith, A. & Walker, A. How do qualifications delivered by enterprises contribute to improved skill levels and other benefits for companies, workers and the nation?
ARC Linkage grant, $180,000 (Industry partner funds $45,000)
2011, Smith, E., Hampson, I., Junor, A. & Smith, A. Recognising the skill in jobs traditionally considered unskilled. ARC Linkage grant, $135,000. (Industry partner funds $75,000)
Links to details of all of these projects can be found at RAVE (Researching Adult and Vocational Education)
Other funded projects over the past ten years:
2014 Guthrie, H., Clayton, B., Karmel, T. & Smith, E. Review of the effects of funding approaches on Service Skills qualifications and delivery in Victoria. Service Skills Victoria $75,000.
2012 Smith, E., Brennan, Kemmis, R. and a team of international researchers. Possible futures for the Indian apprenticeships system. International Labour Organisation and World Bank, $66,033. This work is being used by the Indian government in the redevelopment of its apprenticeship system.
2012 Hodge, S., Smith, E. & Barratt-Pugh, L. Modelling learning and development industry practitioner needs. $22,125.
2010, Smith, E. & Bush, A. Is there unmet demand for apprenticeships and traineeships? National Centre for Vocational Education Research. $19,701.
2010 Smith, E. & Teicher, J. Ways of seeing-reconceptualising skills. Service Skills Australia, $19,438.
2009 Smith, E., Brennan Kemmis, R., Payne, W. & Grace, L. (2009). New Deal - Workforce development for service industries VET practitioners, Service Skills Australia, $103,590.
2009, Smith, E., Walker, A., Brennan Kemmis, R. & Smith, P. Understanding the psychological contract in apprenticeships/traineeships to improve retention, NCVER nationally competitive grant, $128,150.
2006-08, Smith, E. & Patton W., Changing the way that Australians enter the workforce: Part-time working careers of young full-time school and tertiary students, ARC Linkage grant, $94,142. (Industry partner funds $18,000)
Erica is the co-ordinator of FedUni's 'PhD Masterclass' for senior VET managers, an innovative program that commenced in 2012. This program involved capital-city workshops specifically tailored for the VET discipline. Erica supervises two of these students. She has another doctoral student in New Zealand. Details of HDR students:
- Les Burr: Can the use of technology influence the participation and success of tertiary mature aged learners in rural and remote areas?
- James Cannan: Learning through practice: A study of work-based learning as part of VET programs in New Zealand.
- Barry Wright: What is the effectiveness of fully on-the-job training for apprentices in the construction industry?
Smith, E., Gonon, P. & Foley, A. (Eds.) (2015) Architectures for apprenticeship: Achieving economic and social goals. Proceedings of the Sixth Conference of the International Network on Innovative Apprenticeship (INAP). Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing.
Smith, E., Walker, A & Brennan Kemmis, R. (2011). Understanding the psychological contract in apprenticeships and traineeships to improve retention. Adelaide: NCVER.
Rauner, F. & Smith, E. (Eds.) (2010). Rediscovering apprenticeship. Dordrecht, The Netherlands. Springer.
Rauner, F., Smith, E., Hauschildt, U. & Zelloth, H. (eds) (2010) (2nd edn). Innovative apprenticeships: Promoting successful school-to-work transitions. (INAP). Berlin|: Lit Verlag.
Smith, E. & Keating, J. (2003). From training reform to Training Packages. Tuggerah Lakes, NSW: Social Science Press.
Smith, E. & Keating, J. (1997). Making sense of training reform and competency-based training. Wentworth Falls, NSW: Social Science Press.
Smith, E. (2016). Links between concepts of skill, concepts of occupation, and the training system: A case study of Australia. In S. Loo & J. Jameson (Eds). Vocationalism in further and higher education: Policy, programmes and pedagogy. London: Routledge, 65-77.
Smith, E. (2015). Using apprenticeship as a whole-of-workforce training strategy: What are the effects on training quality? In E. Smith, P. Gonon, P. & A. Foley (Eds.) Architectures for apprenticeship: Achieving economic and social goals. Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing.
*Smith, E. (2013) ‘Qualifications for work and further learning’: The Australian approach to hybrid qualifications, in T. Deissinger, J. Aff., A. Fuller & C. Jorgensen, (Eds.) Hybrid qualifications: Structures and problems in the context of European VET policy. Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang, pp 227-240.
Smith, E. (2013). Occupational identity in Australian traineeships: An initial exploration. In L. Deitmer, U. Hauschildt, F. Rauner and H. Zelloth (eds), The architecture of innovative Apprenticeship. Technical and Vocational Education and Training Series, Dordrecht: Springer, pp 131-141.
Smith, E. & Patton, W. (2011). Employers' management of part-time student labour. In R. Price, P. McDonald, J. Bailey & B. Pini (Eds.) Young people at work in the developed world. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate.
Smith, E. (2011). The changing nature of youth employment in Australia: How can this be understood? In P. Manzella & L. Rustico (Eds) Productivity, Investment in Human Capital and the Challenge of Youth Employment. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp105-119.
Smith, E. & Smith, A. (2010). Vocational Education. In G. Elliott, C. Fourali & S. Issler, Education & Social Change. London, Continuum, 274-286.
Smith, E. (2010). Apprenticeships. In P. Peterson, B. McGaw & E. Baker (Eds). International Encyclopedia of Education, 3rd edn, Vol 8, Oxford: Elsevier, pp 312-319.
Smith, E. (2010). Employability skills. In P. Peterson, B. McGaw & E. Baker (Eds). International Encyclopedia of Education, 3rd edn, Vol 8, Oxford: Elsevier, pp 368-375.
Smith, E (2010). We're here to help: Agencies dealing with apprenticeships in Australia. In F. Rauner & E. Smith (Eds). Rediscovering apprenticeship. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer, 113-124.
Rauner, F & Smith, E. (2010). Introduction: Rediscovering apprenticeship. In F. Rauner & E. Smith (Eds). Rediscovering apprenticeship. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer, 1
Refereed journal articles
Smith, E. & Teicher, J. (published on-line October 2016). Re-thinking skill through a new lens: Evidence from three Australian service industries. Journal of Education and Work.
Smith, E. (2016). Apprenticeship management at national and company levels: Good practice principles derived from recent research. International Journal of HRD Practice, Policy & Research, 1:1, 35-52.
Smith, E., Hodge, S. & Yasukawa, K. (2015) Australian VET teacher education in Australian universities: Who are the students and what are their views about their courses? Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 20:4, 419-433.
Smith, E., Yasukawa, K. & Hodge, S. (2015) Australian VET teacher education: What is the benefit of pedagogical studies at university for VET teachers? TVET@Asia, Issue 5, July.
Smith, E., Smith, A., Hampson, I. & Junor, A. (2015).How closely do Australian Training Package qualifications reflect the skills in occupations? An empirical investigation of seven qualifications. International Journal of Training Research, 13;1, 49-63.
Smith, E. (2014).Voices from a small discipline: How an education sub-discipline made sense of journal rankings. International Journal of Training Research, 12:3, 227-241.
Smith, E., Brennan Kemmis, R. and Comyn, P. (2014). How can the expansion of the apprenticeship system in India create conditions for greater equity and social justice? Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 54:3, 368-388.
Smith, E. & Brennan Kemmis, R. (2014) Credit transfer from VET to Higher Education: A pathways policy meets a roadblock. Research in Post Compulsory Education. 19(2), 230-244.
Bennett, D., Smith, E., Bennett, S., Bobis, J., Harrison, N. &Seddon, T. (2013) Who is conducting what types of educational research in Australia and how can their work be supported? Australian Educational Researcher. 40: 4, 473-492. DOI 10.1007/s13384-013-0106-z
Smith, E. & Brennan Kemmis, R (2013). Good practice principles in apprenticeship systems: An international study. TVET@ASIA - The Online Journal for Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Asia, 1:1.
Dumbrell, T. & Smith, E. (2013) Pre-apprenticeships in Australia: Differing orientations and their policy implications. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 65:2, 161-176.
Smith, E. & Patton, W. (2013): Part-time working by students: is it a policy issue, and for whom? Journal of Education and Work, 26:1, 48-76
Smith, E. (2012). Getting in through the front door: The first hurdle of researching in companies. International Journal of Training Research 10:3, 153-163.
Walker, A., Smith, E. & Brennan Kemmis, R. (2012). The psychological contract in apprenticeships and traineeships: Comparing the perceptions of employees and employers. International Employment Relations Review, 18:1,66-81.
Smith, E. & Smith, A. (2012). Buying out teaching for research: The views of academics and their managers. Higher Education: The International Journal of Higher Education and Educational Planning. 63;4, 455-472
Smith, E. & Smith, A. (2011) Does the availability of vocational qualifications through work assist social inclusion? Education + Training, 53:7, 587-602. A* Winner of AVETRA Best Journal Article award for 2011
Campbell, C., Smith, E. & Siesmaa, E. (2011). The educative role of a regional newspaper: Learning to be drier. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 51:2, 269-301
Smith, E. & Grace, L. (2011). A pedagogical poor relation: The neglect of vocational educators' qualifications. International Journal of Training Research. 9, 204-217.
Smith, E., Comyn, P., Brennan Kemmis, R. & Smith, A. (2011). Australian employers' adoption of traineeships. Journal of Vocational Education & Training, 63: 3, 363–375
Smith, E. & Brennan Kemmis, R. (2010). VET in the compulsory years of schooling: A pathway into the future or a dead end? VOCAL, Vol 8, 24-34.
Smith, E., Smith, A. & Selby Smith, C. (2010). Old dogs and new tricks: Training mature-aged workers in manufacturing industry. Journal of Workplace Learning, 22:5, 277-291.
Patton, W. & Smith, E. (2010). Part-time work of school students: Impact on employability, employment outcomes and career development. Australian Journal of Career Development, 19:1, 54-62.
Smith, E. (2010). A review of twenty years of competency-based training in the Australian vocational education and training system. International Journal of Training & Development, 14:1, 54-64.
Smith, E. & Brennan Kemmis, R. (2010). What industry wants: Employers' preferences for training. Education + Training. 2: 2/3, 214-225.
Refereed conference papers
Tuck, J. & Smith, A. (2017). VET teachers' and trainers' participation in professional development: A national overview. Renovate or Rebuild? Exploring the Architecture of VET, 20th Annual Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association Conference, William Angliss Institute of TAFE, Melbourne, 18-20 April.
Smith, E., Callan, V., Tuck, J. & Smith, A. (2017). Employer training in Australia: Building current and future skills in the workplace context. Renovate or Rebuild? Exploring the Architecture of VET, 20th Annual Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association Conference, William Angliss Institute of TAFE, Melbourne, 18-20 April.
Smith, E. & Junor, A. (2016). Using multiple iterative research methods in a national research project. ACSPRI (Australian Consortium for Political and Social Research Inc.) Social Science Methodology Conference, University of Sydney, 19-22 July.
Smith, E. & Yasukawa, K. (2016). Views of VET teachers, managers and students about VET teacher qualifications. Putting VET research to work: Collaboration, Innovation, Prosperity. 19th Annual Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association Conference, TAFE Northern Sydney campus, 21-22 April.
Smith, E., Smith. A. and Walker, A. (2015). When employers become training providers: What are some institutional issues? Work and Learning in the Era of Globalisation: Challenges for the 21st Century,9th International Conference on Researching Work and Learning, School of the Arts, Singapore, 9-11 December.
Smith, E., & Smith. A. (2015). Work and learning in jobs that are traditionally considered unskilled or low-skilled. Work and Learning in the Era of Globalisation: Challenges for the 21st Century,9th International Conference on Researching Work and Learning, School of the Arts, Singapore, 9-11 December.
Guthrie, H. & Smith, E. (2015). The effects of a radical change in funding rules for VET in Victoria, Australia. In L. Fraser and R. Mas Giralt (eds.) It’s all adult education: 42nd annual conference of SCUTREA, the Standing Conference on University Teaching and Research in the Education of Adults, University of Leeds, 7-9 July, pp 214-221.
Smith, E., Smith. A., Walker, A. & Costa, B. (2015). Enterprise RTOs in Australia: An overview from research data. Walking the Tightrope: 18th annual AVETRA Conference, Melbourne, 9-10 April.
Junor, A., Hampson, I., Smith, E. & Smith, A. (2014). Views of skill in low-wage jobs: Australian security guards and cleaners.28th Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ) Conference. Melbourne, 5-7 February 2014.
Smith, E. Smith, A, Hampson, I. & Junor, A. (2014). What do senior figures in Australian VET and industrial relations think about the concept of skill in work? Informing Changes in VET Policy and Practice: The Central Role of Research, 17th annual 2014 AVETRA Conference, Surfers Paradise, 22-24 April.
Smith, E. & Brennan Kemmis, R. (2013). Learning to work in a globalised economy: How countries use apprenticeship systems to assist school leavers. Global learning: VET network and IVETA Association 2013 International Conf., Melbourne 14-16 August.
Smith, E. & Brennan Kemmis. (2013). Globalising the apprenticeship concept: How far can apprenticeship systems be compared across countries and what can be gained? Apprenticeship in a Globalised World: Premises, Promises and Pitfalls: INAP (Network on Innovative Apprenticeship) Conference University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, April 23-24.
Smith, E. & Brennan Kemmis, R. (2012). Good practice in apprenticeship systems: Evidence from an international study. Collaboration in Technical and Vocational Education & Training: Second UPI International Conference on Technical and Vocational Education & Training. Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, Bandung, 4-5 December. Selected for plenary presentation.
Smith, E. (2012). 'The national custodian': How interest groups and academics combine to restrict access of working people to qualifications. The value and voice of VET research: For individuals, industry, community and the nation. 15th Conference of the Australian VET Research Association, Rydges Hotel Capital Hill, Canberra, 12-13 April.
Smith, E. (2012). Managing apprentices and managing PhD students: Current concerns and transferable tips. The value and voice of VET research: For individuals, industry, community and the nation. 15th Conference of the Australian VET Research Association, Rydges Hotel Capital Hill, Canberra, 12-13 April.
Smith, E. & Smith, A. (2011). Has Australia turned its back on international students? Creating and Sustaining International Connections: 41st annual conference of SCUTREA, the Standing Conference on University Teaching and Research in the Education of Adults, Lancaster University, 5-7 July
Smith, E. Walker, A. & Brennan Kemmis, R. (2011). The importance of the psychological contract for effective learning in apprenticeships. In Z. Zhao, F. Rauner & U. Hauschildt Ensuring the acquisition of expertise: Apprenticeship in the modern economy, Conference proceedings, 4th INAP (Network on Innovative Apprenticeship) Conference , Beijing Normal University, May26-27.Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching & Research Press, pp 141-144.
Smith, E. & Bush, A. (2011). Demand for apprenticeships and traineeships: What are the implications for the future? Research in VET: Janus – Reflecting back, projecting forward, 14th Conference of the Australian VET Research Association, Rendezvous Hotel, Melbourne, 27-28 April.
Smith, E., Walker, A. & Brennan Kemmis, R. (2011). The psychological contract in apprenticeships and traineeships: Differing perceptions. Research in VET: Janus – Reflecting back, projecting forward, 14th Conference of the Australian VET Research Association, Rendezvous Hotel, Melbourne, 27-28 April.
Smith, E., Smith, A., Tuck, J. & Callan, V. (2017). Employers’ use of training and partnerships with RTOs in Australia: continuity and change. Adelaide: NCVER.
Guthrie, H., Smith, E., Burt, S. & Every, P. (2014). Review of the effects of funding approaches on Service Skills qualifications and delivery in Victoria. Melbourne: Service Skills Victoria.
Smith, E. & Brennan Kemmis, R. (2013). Possible futures for the Indian apprenticeship system: Options paper for India. Geneva: ILO.
Smith, E., Brennan Kemmis, R., et al (2013). Towards a model apprenticeship framework: a comparative analysis of national apprenticeship systems. Geneva: ILO
Hodge, S., Smith, E. & Barratt-Pugh, L. (2013). Modelling learning and development industry practitioner needs: Research report. Sydney: Australian Institute of Training and Development.
Seddon, T., Bennett, D., Bobis, J., Bennett, S., Harrison, N., Shore, S., Smith, E. & Chan, P. (2012) Living in a 2.2 world: ERA, capacity building and the topography of Australian educational research, AARE-ACDE joint report.
Smith, E. & Teicher, J. (2011). Ways of seeing: Reconceptualising skills. Sydney: Service Skills Australia.
Smith, E. & Bush, A. (2011). Apprenticeship and traineeship demand and supply: Employers' views. Occasional Paper, Written to inform DEEWR Expert Panel on Apprenticeship Reform. Adelaide: NCVER.
Smith, E., Walker, A & Brennan Kemmis, R. (2011). Understanding the psychological contract in apprenticeships and traineeships to improve retention. Adelaide: NCVER.
- Co-chair, International Network on Innovative Apprenticeship (INAP)
- Convenor, The Australian Council of Deans of Education Vocational Education Group (ACDEVEG) (Go to 'Networks')
- Australian VET Research Association (Convenor of Experienced Researcher Group)
- Australian Association for Research in Education