Minimum qualifications in the alcohol and other drugs field: Employers' views

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    Introduction and Aims. To examine employers' opinions of minimum qualifications and perceptions of vocational education and training (VET) and determine the extent to which the VET sector addressed current workforce development needs in the alcohol and other drugs (AOD) field. Design and Methods. An online survey of 186 AOD treatment agency managers across Australia was conducted to determine levels of satisfaction with and attitudes toward AOD VET qualifications as a minimum qualification. Descriptive analyses were undertaken. Results. Most managers were supportive of a minimum qualification strategy and deemed VET AOD qualifications sufficient as a minimum level qualification. However, over half indicated that the minimum qualification should be higher than certificate IV level. One in four managers were dissatisfied with VET provided by technical and further education colleges. When seeking to employ AOD specialist workers, most managers preferred those with university level qualifications rather than VET qualifications. Discussion and Conclusions. VET has potential to meet the increasingly complex needs of AOD work by providing ongoing certificate and diploma level training and qualifications at the vocational graduate level. However, the relatively high levels of dissatisfaction with the VET sector, and concern regarding the ability of certificate IV level training to meet the needs of the AOD workforce, warrant attention. Improved linkages and relationships between the AOD field and the VET sector could increase the quality of training provided and may assist in addressing the AOD workforce development needs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)514-522
    Number of pages9
    JournalDrug and Alcohol Review
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


    • Alcohol
    • AOD workforce
    • Drug
    • Minimum qualification
    • Training
    • Vocational education


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