Evidence in Victoria shows boosting access to training has cut the Government's crime costs, a Melbourne economist says.
Drug crime plummets 13 per cent, when vocational education enrolments went up
Study examines explosion of TAFE and training course enrolments in Victoria between 2010-2013
Victorian reforms allowed students access to any course uncapped
When vocational education enrolments jumped up three years ago in Victoria, drug crime plummeted by 13 per cent.
Assaults and property crime also went down, and researchers said the drop was largely because it gave would-be criminals a new path in life.
The new study, A Pathway to the Straight and Narrow, has examined the explosion of TAFE and training course enrolments in Victoria between 2010 and 2013.
Dr Cain Polidano, a research fellow at Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, who conducted the study, said access to training helped people who were out of work, or had limited job prospects, get back into the labour force.