Vocations: the link between post-compulsory education and the labour market

Project Contact

Ruth Schubert
T: +61 3 9035 6042
E: ruth.schubert@unimelb.edu.au

Project Details

This three-year project, funded by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), investigates how to improve pathways within education, within work and between them. The project is using the notion of vocations to explore how we can better link educational and occupational progression.

Four industries are used as case studies: the finance industry, primary industry, health, and electrical trades/engineering.


The project comprises of three strands:

1. Entry to vocations: how to improve occupational and further study outcomes for entry level vocational education and training (VET) including VET in schools and certificates I and II. This strand is undertaken by the Education Policy Leadership Unit of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne.

2. The role of educational institutions in fostering vocations: how to improve occupational outcomes and educational pathways within VET, and between VET and higher education. This strand is undertaken by the LH Martin Institute, the Centre for the Study of Higher Education, and RMIT University.

3. The nature of vocations today: how to improve the development and use of skills within core sectors of the labour market, how to improve vocational pathways and the changes that are needed to the institutional arrangements that mediate vocational pathways. This strand is undertaken by the Workplace Research Centre at the University of Sydney.


Year 1: Data collection and problem identification

Year 2: A range of models to address problems and improve flows

Year 3: Stakeholder strategies to implement change

More information

Below is a video of Associate Professor Leesa Wheelahan, who led the Vocations project in her capacity as Associate Professor at the LH Martin Institute. Leesa is now William G. Davis Chair in Community College Leadership at the Onatrio Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.

Research Outcomes


  • Different research products, but also integrative products, processes and events
  • Discussion papers, reports and research overviews for each strand and for project overall (download collection from NCVER)
  • Conference papers
  • Researcher meetings with invited experts
  • Seminars (see upcoming seminar).

Research Centre