TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 22 November 2010


Migration points test set to have a devastating impact

TAFE Directors Australia will take its concerns about the proposed new points system for skilled migration to a peak body meeting with Federal Immigration Minister the Hon. Chris Bowen in Canberra today.

The National Board of TDA met in Parliament House last Thursday, and in a statement, was critical of Federal Immigration for releasing the detailed points system without adequate industry review, any parliamentary comment, and for abandoning the points model which had been supporting skill shortages, including those under the Skills Occupational List.

The Australian newspaper today reported on TDA’s position, and quoted concerns from Australian Industry Group.

TDA has requested that the Federal Government consider a range of implementation strategies to avoid what seems likely to be a devastating impact from the new points system, and instead re-think how international students may contribute to Australia’s skilled migration program.

In particular, TDA proposes:

  • That students under 24 years-of-age be granted equal points to those 25-years and over
  • That points for qualifications be awarded based on the occupational destination of the students
  • That the proposed English language barrier testing be brought into line with international benchmarks rather than IELTS 7 levels

For more information, see TDA’s statement here. TDA will report to members details of today’s meeting in Canberra.

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Minister Garrett launches national TDA/ACE report on retaining Year 12 students through VET

TDA and the Australian College of Educators (ACE) have released the findings of national research examining ways to retain more students to Year 12 by implementing innovative vocational education programs.

The report, ‘Enhancing the retention of young people to Year 12, especially through vocational skills’, profiles nine training models that have succeeded in keeping young people in education for longer.

The report was launched by the Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, the Hon Peter Garrett MP, in Parliament House.

The Minister said that vocational education in schools needs greater awareness.

"There is quite a significant opportunity to lift the profile of vocational education and training generally.  In my role as minister, that's one of the things I'm pretty mindful of having a think about."


TDA CEO, Martin Riordan, Minister Garrett, ACE CEO, Margaret Clark, andTDA Chair, Bruce Mackenzie

Minister Garrett, Margaret Clark, CEO ACE, and Stefan Schutt, Work –based Education Research Centre, Victoria University

The report was put together by researchers from the Victorian University’s Work-based Education Research Centre, and author Stefan Schutt was on-hand at the launch to explain the findings.

Click here to view an article in the Sydney Morning Herald.

TDA and ACE released a joint media release on the report, click here to view. For a copy of the full report, click here.

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TAFE students and TDA member institutes excel at Australian Training Awards

Australia’s best and most dedicated vocational education students, employers and training providers were celebrated at the Australian Training Awards in Sydney on Friday night.

TDA congratulates those students who participated in the awards. Congratulations also go to TDA members, including:

  • Swinburne University of Technology– Skills for Sustainability, Educational Institution Award
  • Tropical North Queensland Institute of TAFE– Award for best Australian Training Initiative
  • TAFE NSW—Western Sydney Institute– Large Training Provider of the Year.

For more information click here.

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Government and industry discuss better ways of utilising skills 

Skills Australia has hosted an Industry Forum which brought together Federal, State and Territory Education Ministers, along with key industry representatives to discuss policy issues and opportunities to do with better utilising skills in the workplace.

The forum was held as part of the final Ministerial Council for Tertiary Education and Employment (MCTEE) meeting for 2010 which was held in Sydney on Friday. For more on the forum click here.

MCTEE meeting outcomes

MCTEE agreed to implement almost all of the proposals put forward as part of the strengthened Australian Quality Framework (AQF), and agreed that the changes will be implemented at the same time as the commencement of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).

Also, Chair of MCTEE, Senator the Hon Chris Evans, said that legislation to establish the new National VET Regulator is expected to be introduced into Parliament this week.

MCTEE has also gave approval for the proposed unique student identifier for VET students to be presented to COAG for consideration.

Click here to view the MCTEE Communiqué.

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TDA Board meets with heads of regulatory bodies

While in Canberra for its most recent meeting, the TDA Board discussed proposed regulatory arrangements with heads of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), and the new National VET Regulator.

Professor Denise Bradley AC, Interim Chair of TEQSA and Mr Ian Hawke, Interim CEO of TEQSA met with Board members to discuss the new arrangements for the establishment of TEQSA.

The Board also hosted a dinner at the Canberra Institute of Technology with guests including Interim Chair of the National VET Regulator, Ms Kaye Schofield, and Interim CEO of the National VET Regulator, Mr John Smyth.

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TDA’s Martin Riordan re-elected to Board of global peak body for vocational colleges

Martin Riordan, Chief Executive of TDA, has been re-elected Deputy Chair of the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP).

The World Federation AGM and Board meeting was held during its World Congress event in Birmingham, which coincided with the Association of Colleges UK Conference. 

TDA has proposed that the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics consider a new professional development network across its OECD-based public vocational education network.

The WFCP also expanded its membership, to include applications from key public VET agencies in China, India and Brazil. The next World Congress will be staged in Halifax, Canada, in 2012, and its website is www.wfcp.org.

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Minister Evans launches Critical Skills Investment Fund at Central Institute of Technology

TDA deputy chair Di Murray named as CSIF Board Member

The Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Senator the Hon Chris Evans, has toured the Western Australian Central Institute of Technology’s mining training facilities to announce the new Board of the Critical Skills Investment Fund, part of the Federal Budget 2010.

The Fund was allocated $200 million to invest in training initiatives that will support skills needs in high-growth sectors - including mining and construction.

Dianne Murray, TDA deputy chair and Institute Director of Illawarra Institute of TAFE NSW, is one of seven members announced, with Keith Spence, a board member of Skills Australia, named as Chair of the CSIF.

To view a transcript of a door stop with Minister Evans, click here.

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TAFE’s shine at marketing awards night

TAFE SA has taken out the top honours at the Australia Training and Marketing Awards held in Brisbane.

TAFE SA Adelaide North was named Marketer/Business Developer of the Year for its “creative marketing solutions”. Runner-up was TAFE Queensland with its mobile information service.

For a list of all the category winners click here.

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TAFEs helping to meet demand for tertiary skills

Chair of TDA, Bruce Mackenzie, has addressed the LH Martin Institute Conference, and noted that the Federal Government’s allocations for TAFE Institutes offering Commonwealth Supported Places (EG in nursing and early childhood teaching) was largely because universities were failing to meet demand.

However, Universities Australia Chief Executive, Glenn Withers, said the government should hold-off on allowing TAFEs to gain access to the places until the new national regulations are in place.

Read the full article from The Australian here.

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WorldSkills 2011 ‘Skillaroos’ named at the Australian Training Awards

TDA congratulates those chosen for the 2011 WorldSkills ‘Skillaroos’ team which was announced at Australian Training Awards by the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Senator Chris Evans.

The team consists of 30 of Australia’s most skilled apprentices and trainees who will train for the next 10 months in preparation for the 41st WorldSkills International Competition in London in October 2011.

The Skillaroos will be representing 27 different skill categories including restaurant service, fashion technology, car painting and landscape gardening.

For more information, click here.

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Defence funds new training places

The Minister for Defence Materiel, the Hon Jason Clare MP, has announced $12.5 million to fund almost 5,000 training places to boost the skills of the Australian Defence Force.

The fund includes $1.8 million for approximately 400 apprenticeship places. It will go towards training programs including submarine engineering short courses, Masters of Explosive Ordnance, Project Management diplomas, and Aircraft Structural Repair training.

For more information click here.

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Policy in the Pub events, Melbourne and Sydney

The next fortnight will see two Policy in the Pub events being held - one in Melbourne and one in Sydney, both with the title ‘Creating a Future Direction for Australian VET’.

The Melbourne event will be held at the Honey Bar in South Melbourne, 22 November and will feature Skills Australia CEO, Robin Shreeve, and TDA’s Pam Caven. (see flyer here)

The Sydney event will be held at the Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel, 29 November. It will also feature Robin Shreeve, along with the Director of TAFE NSW – North Sydney Institute, Kevin Harris, and CEO of the Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council, Rod Cooke. (see flyer here)

To register your attendance please email reception@tvetaustralia.com.au.

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Student data compliance workshop

The National Centre for Vocational Education (NCVER) is holding a workshop on its test for AVETMISS compliance – for which all Registered Training Organisations must meet data collection requirements by 1 January 2011.

AVETMISS is the Australian Vocational Education and Training Management Information Statistical Standard.The seminars are designed for operational staff in fee-for-service-only RTOs that have never used NCVER’s validation software but may wish to be informed nevertheless.

Places are being offered on a ‘first come first served basis’, for more information on a workshop in your nearest capital city click here

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Call for abstracts: AVETRA Conference

There’s only two weeks to go to submit an abstract for the AVETRA 2011Conference, ‘Research in VET: Janus – Reflecting Back, Projecting Forward’.

The conference will be held in Melbourne, from 28 to 29 April. For more information or to submit an abstract, click here.

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Diary Dates

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

Research in VET: Janus - Reflecting Back, Projecting Forward
DATE: 28-29 April 2011
LOCATION: Rendezvous Hotel, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

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