TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 18 October 2010



 Resources industry skills shortages encourage TAFE agreement with Mongolia

The significant skills and training needs of major Australian mining and resource firms - which have committed to multi-billion investments in Mongolia - have boosted the confidence of TAFE Directors Australia to proceed with a MoU Agreement with the newly established Agency of TVET in Mongolia. 



Martin Riordan (CEO, TDA) signing skills support MoU with Agency of TVET, Byambasuren Natsagforf (Chairman, TVET), witnessed by Mongolian Minister for Education, Australian Honorary Consul, and Austrade officials.

Austrade supported high-level discussions for Martin Riordan (CEO, TDA) in the Mongolian capital, Ulaan Baatar, last week.

Martin Riordan was hosted by the newly formed Agency of TVET, and met with the Mongolian Minister for Education, Culture and Science, the Hon. Yondon Otgonbayer, who indicated his interest in supporting a special Ministerial and TVET delegation to Australia, likely in the first quarter of 2011.

Martin Riordan also had talks with the domestic mining corporation Oyu Tolgoi (an associated company of Rio Tinto), and Leighton Mining.

He also had extensive negotiations with leadership of the US$35 million Millennium aid programme in Mongolia - a project supported by USAID, currently completing a Quality Framework proposal, and TVET curriculum.

On Wednesday, 13 October, the Agency of TVET president, Byambasuren Natsagforf, signed a MoU with Martin Riordan on behalf of TDA, witnessed by the Minister for Education, an event which attracted national and regional media interest.

TDA will keep members updated on the ‘next steps’. 

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Joint TDA/VTA submission on the quality of VET teaching

TDA and the Victorian TAFE Association thank members for their input into a joint submission to the DEEWR funded project on the quality of teaching in VET. The project is managed by the Australian College of Educators and implemented by the LH Martin Institute at the University of Melbourne.

While the TDA/VTA submission builds on our earlier submission to the Productivity Commission study into the VET workforce,  this submission makes recommendations on a wider range of issues affecting the quality of the VET teaching, including: VET teacher qualifications and continuing professional development.

View the submission here.

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Parliamentary Regional committee announcement imminent

The Parliamentary Committee for Regional Australia will be established during the next sitting period of Parliament beginning today.

The Committee was established in response to the negotiations between the Government and Independent MPs, Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor.

Mr Windsor is reportedly tipped to take the place of Chair on the Committee.

In line with the terms negotiated by the two Independents, the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) has indicated that opening of the Regional Priorities Round of funding from the $500 million Education Investment Fund is imminent.

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Learning for Jobs - new report from the OECD

A new OECD report outlines 17 individual studies from countries across the globe, including Australia.

The report signals a number of key issues for the Australian VET system – see page 167 of the document.

To view the entire report click here.

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Exciting line-up for World Congress in Birmingham, U.K.

The Worl Federation of Colleges and polytechnics has released the full program for its upcoming World Congress to be held in Birmingham, in the United Kingdom, 13-15 November.

There is an exciting line-up of speakers for the Congress titles, 'Driving Global Recovery Through Education'. Click here to view the program.

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Big changes recommended for UK fee systems 

The U.K. Government has released a review of funding arrangements for Higher Education which has been met with mixed reviews from universities, polytechnics and students.

The Browne Review recommended the de-regulation of university fees which could see the fees rise from the current cap of approximately £3,000 per year to more than £6,000 per year. The changes could also lead to increased interest rates on student loans.

The changes would see most of the cost of education passed from the government to the individual, with the government only funding courses in specific areas.

The report can be accessed here.

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New partnership to provide dual TAFE/university degrees

Gippsland TAFE has signed an agreement with Monash University to offer dual-award degree qualifications.

The agreement will see the two institutions create better pathways from TAFE to university, and share infrastructure and staff. Similar agreements between Monash and other TAFE Institutes including Chisholm and Box Hill will be signed next week.

For more information click here.

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Victorian Coalition promises to ease restrictions for students

The Victorian Coalition has promised to ease eligibility criteria for state-funded VET places if elected, according to The Australian.

The Victorian TAFE Association has recently been voicing its concern that the eligibility criteria – which allow state-funded places for only those under 20 who are progressing their qualifications – which it says may deter mature students for participating in study.

View the article from The Australian here.

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Mining boom leaves the building industry wanting

A new report from the Civil Contractors Federation (CCF) says the building and construction industry faces major skills shortages because many in the industry are being lured away by mining companies.

The findings of the report highlight the need for greater long-term planning to ward off skills shortages - a key message advocated by groups like TDA and the VTA throughout the global financial crisis.

The report also says that many older workers are quitting the industry, and calls for an inquiry into why many leave around the age of 45.

Read the full article in The Age.

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New report compares apprenticeship systems around the world

Aidan Kenny from the Dublin Institute of Technology (and Coordinator UNEVOC National Centre Ireland) has forwarded to TDA a report by the London School of Economics and Politics comparing the apprenticeship systems of countries including Australia, Austria, England, France, Germany, Ireland, and Switzerland.

The report provides detailed information about each country. It ranks the proportion of apprentices per country, with Australia ranking third highest behind Switzerland and Germany.

To view the report click here. Another source of information about EU apprenticeship systems is the European Training Village (ETV) which can be found here.

Aidan Kenny was a keynote speaker at the TDA Conference in 2009.

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Member input sought – Centrelink review group

TDA’s representative on the Centrelink National Student Services Partnership Group, Jackie Wenner, is calling for member input into issues to be discussed at the upcoming meeting of the Group.

Some of the agenda items to be discussed include:

  • Update on the implementation of the changes to Youth Allowance and student payments (the Bradley Review).
  • On-campus service arrangements and other service options for students.
  • Communications strategy for students (including partnerships to engage new students).

If any members have comment/observations on these agenda items please contact Jackie Wennerby 25 October.

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Court win could disrupt skilled visas

Earlier this year a Brazilian student won the right to have his refused skilled migration visa overturned because the Department of Immigration and Citizenship didn’t allow him to take an English test after his application was submitted.

The case is expected to cause the Government more delays in processing the already long line of applications, and the Government has taken counteraction in the courts to minimise the fallout.

View the entire story in The Australian here.

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New SA regulations to support international students

South Australian Minister for Employment, Training and Further Education, Jack Snelling MP, has introduced a draft Bill to provide a stronger compliance system for VET providers in international education.

The Bill will include harsher penalties for compliance breaches, as well as a new offence for anyone providing false or misleading information to students about training courses and a proposed offence if registered providers do not report certain matters to the Regulator.

Click here to view the draft Bill.

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Policy in the Pub event – Melbourne 18 October

TVET Australia has announced its next Policy in the Pub event titled ‘How can Foundation Skills be included in all VET delivery?’

The event will feature Robin Shreeve (CEO, Skills Australia), Jana Scomazzon (Director, Language and Training Group) and Mike Sherman (Organisational Development General Manager, SMC Pneumatics Australia).

The event will be held at the Honey Bar, South Melbourne, 18 October from 4:30pm-6:00pm. For more information click here.

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New CEO for Industry Skills Council

The Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council (CS&HISC) has appointed Rod Cooke as its new CEO.

Mr Cooke has an extensive background in training and recruitment, and in the vocational education sector.   He has held senior management and training positions including the CEO of Orana Education & Training Cooperative Ltd, General Manager HR & Administration of Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, National Learning & Development Manager of NRMA, and the Australian Army.

For more information click here.

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Don’t miss out - VET teaching forum in Melbourne

A one-day forum on the professional future for TAFE and VET teachers, jointly sponsored by the Australian College of Educators (ACE) and the Australian Education Union (AEU), will be held this Friday, 22 October in Melbourne.

TAFE and VET teachers are encouraged to attend the forum, with registrations closing tomorrow, 19 October. 

For more information, please view the attached flyer.

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Latest Institutional Research newsletter

The Australasian Association for Institutional Research has distributed its latest Newsletter which features information on its upcoming Annual Forum to be held 10-12 November.

Click here to view the Newsletter.

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Diary Dates

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 

DATE: 29 October 2010
LOCATION: Port Macquarie, NSW
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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