TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 14 September 2010



The TDA National Conference gets underway today. A full report on the Conference will feature in next week’s newsletter

New Ministry announced – Chris Evans to lead Skills portfolio

TDA described the  new Ministerial arrangements announced by the Prime Minister Julie Gillard as the most innovative for years, with the re-structure of education under Senator Chris Evans – to be  Minister for Tertiary Education, Jobs, Skills and Workplace Relations.

Martin Riordan (CEO, TDA) said for years skills and training had become the “poor cousin” of the Federal Education Portfolio, however the new arrangements puts Australia first with dominant focus on employment and skills for the new government. Other Ministerial appointments included:

  • The Hon. Peter Garrett MP, as the Minister for Schools, Early Childhood and Youth
  • The Hon. Kate Ellis MP, as the Minister for Employment Participation, Childcare and the Status of Women
  • The Hon. Senator Mark Arbib, as the Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development
  • Senator, the Hon. Jacinta Collins, Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. 

Ministers will be sworn-in today, and TDA looks forward to meeting with the new Ministers to discuss the key issues facing the TAFE and vocational education and training industry during the next period of government and beyond. Click here to view a full list of Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries.

Last week, TDA distributed a Special Bulletin about the agreement between the Government and the key Independents, Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor. Access the Bulletin here.

A number of industry organisations welcomed the reinstatement of the Government, see a statement from the International Education Association of Australia here, and from Group Training Australia here

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Regional TAFE NSW Institutes showcased at Skills Australia 2010 Conference

Workforce development strategies led by TAFE became a major feature of the Skills Australia 2010 Conference, held in Sydney last week.

North Coast Institute of TAFE NSW, with Institute Director Elizabeth McGregor, was part of an expert panel discussion on Skill ecosystems.

The Riverina Institute of TAFE NSW, led by newly appointed Institute Director Kerry Penton, showcased a workforce development project in collaboration with Southern Area Health Service, Health NSW.

For full conference papers, click here.  Congratulations to these Institutes for their leadership at the Conference. 

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World Congress, Birmingham – full program available

The full program has been released for the World Congress 2010, the biennial conference of the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics.

This year, the World Congress moves to Birmingham, UK and will be staged from 13- 15 November.

TDA is a member of WFCP, and Martin Riordan is the deputy chair of the OECD-based association for public vocational education and training. Click here  for bookings. 

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Crean responds to drop in international student numbers

In a press conference last week, former Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, the Hon Simon Crean MP, responded to a universities report that highlighted the falling numbers in international education:

JOURNALIST: There are new figures showing international students numbers are falling further.  Are you concerned what this could mean on the budgets of Australian universities?

SIMON CREAN: I have seen that report from the Group of Eight universities and whilst it’s true that the numbers of students coming has fallen, the numbers in universities has in fact increased. And that goes to the quality of the education offered and despite the fact that there has been a global financial crisis and a big exchange rate adjustment against Australia which adds to the costs for these students, it’s significant that the universities’ numbers have gone up. Now I have noticed a number of issues that they have raised. We will be responding to those at the appropriate time but it is not true, as they assert, to say that we include within the immigration numbers the people that come on student visas. I might also say we make no apology whatsoever for ensuring that the quality brand that is Australian education is protected. Part of the reason the numbers have fallen, in a number of  colleges is because they didn’t meet standards that in our view would have maintained the brand.

View an article from The Australian on international education and the impact of reviews to visa assessments here

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University of Canberra teaming with TAFE to establish regional campuses

University of Canberra is considering establishing two small campuses in regional areas including Goulburn and Cooma, as well as smaller establishments on the South Coast in partnership with TAFE, according to an article in The Australian.

For more information click here

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Skills shortages will cripple future productivity: Ridout

The Australian Industry Group used last week’s Skills Australia Conference to warn that research had revealed that industry remains concerned that skill shortages may cripple workforce productivity in the years ahead.

At the Skills Australia Conference, Chief Executive Heather Ridout (also a member of the Board of Skills Australia) outlined in detail the case for further investment in skills, given the growing economy, and skill shortages emerging.

The Chair of Skills Australia, Philip Bullock, said that industry needed better skills utilisation – matching where people were trained and where they were needed in the workforce.

Click here to view an article in The Australian

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Last chance to take part in Malaysia education exhibition

The Austrade education team will be presenting a series of integrated initiatives at this year's Study in Australia Kuala Lumpur (SIA-KL) - the largest Australian education exhibition in Malaysia - to be held 2-3 October.  

The initiatives include an inaugural alumni dinner, a Malaysia Qualifications Agency session on local regulatory requirements for smarter collaboration, and a roundtable session with major sponsorship boards to inform institutions of Malaysia's education sector directions. To find out more click here.

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Diary Dates 

2010 National Conference: TAFE in the Year of the Tiger
DATE: 13-14 September 2010
LOCATION: Crown Promenade, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Work Integrated Learning (WIL): Responding to Challenges
DATE: 30 September - 1 October 2010
LOCATION: Curtin University of Technology, Perth
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Leadership, Innovation and Workplace Culture
DATE: 14-15 October 2010
LOCATION: Citigate Central, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 17-22 October 2010
LOCATION: Peppers Moonah Links Resort, Victoria
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Education and Training for a more productive Australia

DATE: 29 October 2010
LOCATION: Ascot House, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information 

Research Forum - Fostering enterprise: The innovational and skills nexus
DATE: 9 November 2010
LOCATION: Australian Technology Park, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Has institutional research come of age in Australiasia?
DATE: 10-12 November 2010
LOCATION: Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Geelong
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 13-15 November 2010
LOCATION: Birmingham, UK
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Buidling sustainability through marketing
DATE: 10-11 November 2010
LOCATION: Rydges Hotel, Brisbane
DETAILS: Register for conference or enter awards online at www.atmaltd.org.au

2010 Australian Youth Mentoring Conference

DATE: 10-11 November 2010
LOCATION: Radisson Resort, Gold Coast
DETAILS: Click here for more information

World Innovation Summit for Education
DATE: 7-9 December 2010
LOCATION: Sheraton Resort, Doha, Qatar
DETAILS: Click here for more information 

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