ARC Linkage VET Skilling Indigenous Australia

ARC Linkage VET

Project dates: 01/01/2010 - 31/12/2013

This large Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage project, LP0989663 Skilling Indigenous Australia: Effective numeracy learning for employment by regional and remote Indigenous students in Vocational Education and Training courses, aimed to develop effective ways to teach Indigenous VET students the mathematics required to successfully complete their course and enhance their employment opportunities in the future.

The project involved the study of mathematics teaching and learning within VET courses in three TAFE colleges and one secondary school (six sites altogether) in Northwest and Far North Queensland. It used the results of these studies to develop, evaluate and refine mathematics teaching and assessment resources for a variety of VET courses, particularly those associated with mining and construction.

The project developed theory about how certificate course teachers teach the mathematics situated within the certificate courses and how Indigenous students come to learn it when it is contextualised to their learning experiences. The project team developed a pedagogical model for teachers to trial with students and teachers critiqued the trial as a way of understanding their current practice and what might need to be strengthened.

The project addressed concerns about both Indigenous unemployment and Indigenous skills shortages by making VET certification and employment attainable for Indigenous students.

Funding / Grants

  • ARC Linkage LP0989663 (2009 - 2013)

Chief Investigators


Other Team Members

Dr Chris Matthews (Griffith University)


  • Ewing, Bronwyn, Sarra, Grace, Cooper, Tom, Matthews, Chris, Fairfoot, Glen (2014) Successful outcomes in vocational education and training courses and mathematics: how pedagogy and expectations influence achievement. In Lichte, N, Kulmus, C, Haberzeth, E, Kapplinger, B (Eds.), Changing Configurations of Adult Education in Transitional Times - Conference Proceedings, pp.307-327.