Explore Melbourne Polytechnic

The Rise of Vocational Education and Training – 1910s


In the 19th and early 20th centuries employers were totally responsible for the training of their employees and standards were considered poor.

1839: Victoria’s first Mechanic’s Institute established in Collins Street, Melbourne (it still operates as a lending library today).

1887: Provincial Schools of Mines were adapted to Melbourne’s manufacturing and service industries to become the first Working Men’s Colleges in Melbourne. These were the forerunners for a number of major institutes and colleges of today.

1910: Department of Education (Victoria) becomes directly involved in Technical Education through the passing of the Education Act 1910. This allows the Victorian Government to exert greater influence over established colleges and to incorporate vocational programs into the new State secondary system. About this time the concept (originally established in Germany) of the junior technical (day) school begins to be adopted in Victoria.

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Last Modified: 14th June 2013

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