VET & workforce real-time online focus groups


A government relations, marketing and advertising consultancy who had been engaged to provide strategic communication advice, key message development and copywriting services for their client with a specific education and training public initiative. Our client was responsible for communicating to stakeholders about national changes to the VET system at a local level, promoting awareness of the initiative and building knowledge of the organisation amongst stakeholders.



To use agile and low cost online market research methods in order to reveal insights about training and workforce development. To ensure the language, tone and content of the communication material was relevant and on track for all targeted audiences.

Target audiences

There were 3 primary audiences for this study:

1. Registered Training Organisations (RTO’s)
2. Learners (Students)
3. Employers and Industry


Method: 3 x Online Focus Groups – 1 group per target audience

Participant numbers: 10 per group

Duration: 60 minutes per group


The consultancy took the results and formulated the communication strategy and collateral to roll out across the different channels. This communication included keywords, descriptions and info that was highlighted by the target audiences as important and preferred. This ensured the language, tone and content of the communication material was relevant and on target for all audiences.

The research data also assisted in developing a name for the program that would engage each target audience. Furthermore, develop editorial for TasTAFE, Department of Education and the Skills Tasmania newsletters – “Fact Sheets” for each stakeholder group.

The language used by the different target groups during each online focus group session, provided speaking points for Skills Tasmania employees, and industry liaison officers, whose purpose is to interact regularly with each of the identified stakeholders. These speaking points included key messages, media comments and media release, in case there was negative criticism of the new strategy.

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