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School of Education

VET research events

OctoberVET events

Each October or November, RAVE hosts an 'OctoberVET' event open to all members of the community, and is of particular interest to VET professionals, teachers and trainers, school careers staff and teachers, Group Training Organisations, people working with young people and industry HR/Learning and Development Managers.

The research-based event on vocational education and training is part of the series of annual national ‘OctoberVET’ events around Australia, an activity of the Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA), see

OctoberVET Ballarat events are notified on this web site; or email us to be placed on our mailing list. You will also receive RAVE newsletters if you subscribe. Email:

OctoberVET 2020

OctoberVET 2019

This year RAVE hosted the twelfth annual OctoberVET event at Ballarat, on November 14th 2019, 12.30-4.30pm  commencing with lunch, at the SMB Campus (Tech Park), Ballarat. The theme of the event was ‘Supporting young people into their futures:  Research and practice.’ The event was open to all members of the community. The research-based event was part of the series of annual national ‘OctoberVET’ events around Australia, an activity of the Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA), see

Program for OctoberVET 2019 (pdf 51kb)

View the presentations for OctoberVET 2019:

Annette Foley - Adult Pedagogies: Engaging Early School Leavers at TAFE (pdf 2kb)

Barry Wright - Worldskills (pdf 3.4kb)

Bernadette Gigliotti - What research is saying about transition (pdf 1.4kb

Erica Smith and Annette Foley - How young people in non-metropolitan areas in Victoria imagine their futures (pdf 2.3kb)

Erica Smith, Annette Foley and Morgan Wise - Learning about environmental sustainability practices (pdf 1.9kb)

Gary Workman - Tracking apprenticeship vacancy trends to identify skill shortages (pdf 1.5kb)

Gosia Klatt - Addressing youth unemployment and inclusion - The EU "Youth Guarantee" (pdf 1.4kb)

OctoberVET 2018

This year Ballarat hosted the 11th ‘OctoberVET’ conference on November 7th, 2018 at SMB Campus, Ballarat. The theme was ‘Apprenticeships and Traineeships: Research, Policy and Practice’.

The conference featured presentations on new Victorian policy developments in apprenticeships and traineeships from Carl Walsh (Manager, Tertiary Education Policy and Strategy, Department of Education and Training Victoria) and an international perspective on apprenticeships in the G20 countries from Erica Smith and Jackie Tuck, from Federation University. The event also included presentations from Denielle Beardmore on industry-led traineeships in nursing, organised by Ballarat Health Services in partnership with Federation University; and from Gary Workman on the transition of mature aged workers into a new field of work via an apprenticeship.

In presentations on research carried out as part of research programs at FedUni, Barry Wright presented on the effectiveness of fully on-the-job training for carpentry apprenticeships, while Liam Frost-Camilleri spoke of perceptions of apprentices’ literacy and numeracy skill. The event concluded with participants reflecting on policy and practice implications of the day and a panel discussion with three expert panellists. 26 people attended the event.

The program (pdf, 152kb) and presentations can be accessed below.

Erica Smith and Jackie Tuck (pptx, 4.8MB)

Barry Wright (pptx, 2.6MB)

Carl Walsh (pptx, 2MB)

Gary Workman (pptx, 2.4MB)

Liam Frost-Camilleri (pptx, 97kb)

Denielle Beardmore (pdf, 1.8MB)

OctoberVET 2017

The tenth anniversary OctoberVET at Ballarat was on November 9th 2017 at the SMB Campus, Ballarat. It had the theme ‘Training for industry’. It featured two well-known external speakers, Gary Workman (Apprenticeship Employment Network, Victoria) and Llandis Barratt-Pugh (Edith Cowan University), and an overview of a recent research project by RAVE researchers on employer training that was funded by the NCVER. The event also showcased Fed College’s partnership with IBM in an international program for senior secondary school students: P-TECH; and Fed Uni’s international research on apprenticeships, funded by the International Labour Organization. 45 people attended.

The program (pdf, 43kb) and presentations can be accessed below.

OctoberVET 2016

For the ninth year running, RAVE (Researching Adult and Vocational Education) has hosted an ‘OctoberVET’ event. This year the Ballarat event took place at the SMB Campus in Lydiard St, central Ballarat on Tuesday 18 October. The theme was ‘Teaching, training and learning: VET’s true business.’

The keynote speakers reported on two major projects in this area, ‘Investigating quality teaching in the Victorian VET sector’(Project leader: Ruth Schubert, funded by the Victorian government), and ‘What makes a good VET teacher/trainer, and how do you get there?’ (Project leader: Erica Smith, funded by the Australian Research Council). There were four other presentations about VET teaching/training and learning, three of which had an international flavour.

Presentations from OctoberVET 2016 at Ballarat can be accessed here:

OctoberVET 2015 (INAP conference)

On September 1st and 2nd FedUni's Mt Helen Campus hosted the 6th International Network on Innovative Apprenticeship (INAP) conference for the first time in Australia.

INAP was hosted by co-chair of INAP, Erica Smith, and included keynote speeches from Dr Raymond Patel (MERSETA); Dr Paul Comyn (International Labor Organisation) and Professor Stephen Billett (Griffith Uni), and was opened by Minister Simon Birmingham. Minister Birmingham was at the time Assistant Minister for Education and Training and is now the Minister for Education and Training.

The conference was sponsored by the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training, and attracted presentations from world leading apprenticeship researchers, with 35 papers presented, from 12 countries. There was also a panel of Worldskills finalists and Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors.

Conference papers can be seen at www.inap.uni-bremen and the formal book of the conference papers can be purchased from Australian Scholarly Publishing.

OctoberVET 2014

OctoberVET 2013

The program (docx, 61Kb) and presentations from OctoberVET 2013 at Ballarat can be accessed here:

Research event in Melbourne on subject-specialist pedagogy

RAVE members organised a research-based event in Melbourne on 8 March 2018 with keynote speaker Professor Kevin Orr from Huddersfield University. The event was also supported by the Australian Council of Deans of Education Vocational Education Group (ACDEVEG), and was hosted by the VET Development Centre. Over 50 people attended, from all around Victoria, from a range of VET-sector organisations.

Kevin, Professor of Work and Learning, is currently finalising a national project in the UK on the topic of subject-specialist pedagogy in VET – the different teaching and learning methods that are best suited to teaching/training for different industry areas. Huddersfield University has long been a leading VET teacher-training institution in this area.

Kevin says ‘Government agencies with responsibility for England’s further education (FE) sector have actively promoted and even required subject-specialist elements within teacher education programs. While extolling this approach they have, however, never adequately defined what constitutes subject-specialist pedagogy nor explained how it might look in FE teacher education courses for VET teachers. The project set out to explore the topic further and produce useful resources.

This presentation and workshop will critically examine subject-specialist pedagogy in FE and it will draw on findings and resources from an intervention study of teacher education for vocational science, engineering and technology. This intervention for trainee teachers as well as teacher-educators was based on concepts associated with subject-specialist approaches including Pedagogical Content Knowledge and it combined on-line resources and teaching with paper-based resources and face-to-face sessions. Participants will have the opportunity to see these resources.’

Senior practitioners in VET teacher development - Sandra Walls (Box Hill TAFE), Mike Brown (Latrobe University) – acted as discussants and joined Kevin to form a panel for a lively audience discussion.

Kevin’s presentation is attached. If you view the PPT in Slide Show view, you will be able to look at the video-clips of VET teachers in England. You will need a password, which is ‘private’. The final website (see slide 27) will be available soon, at which time the other links will become inactive work any more.

Professor Kevin Orr (pptx, 3MB)