TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 24 May 2010





TDA AGM – this Friday in Sydney


The TDA Annual General Meeting will be held this Friday, 28 May at TAFE Ultimo, Sydney, from 2.00pm.

Ahead of the AGM, TDA invites members to join Board members for a light lunch, which will include an address by Peter Noonan, VET consultant and member of the Bradley Review of Higher Education Panel. Peter will also launch the latest TDA Occasional Paper focused on the tertiary education environment in Australia.  

The luncheon begins from 12.30pm. For catering, members are asked to RSVP and notify Carly Stokes (cstokes@tda.edu.au) of their attendance.


[Return to top]

Budget response online

TAFE Directors Australia’s official response to the Federal Budget is now available online.

TDA’s statement welcomed the Budget measures, especially the adoption of a key recommendation from TDA for the Commonwealth to invest in a measure similar to the announced Quality Skills Incentive. It also welcomed the long-awaited overhaul of the Australian apprenticeship system.

Following the Federal Budget, the Opposition unveiled some of its planned Budget cuts in an address to the National Press Club delivered by the Shadow Treasurer, the Hon Joe Hockey MP. To view the speech click here


[Return to top]

Apprentice Kickstart gets an additional boost

Further extensions of the Apprentice Kickstart program have been announced by the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP.

Ms Gillard has announced a further $20 million to be allocated to pre-apprenticeship training and $10 million for mentoring services to help apprentices complete their training and secure jobs.

The funds are in addition to those announced in the Federal Budget which extended the program for a further six months.

To view the announcement click here.


[Return to top]

Uncertainty for Trades Training Centres

Three years on from the original announcement, education providers have questioned the delays in the Federal Government’s Trade Training Centres program.

A report by The Age, highlighted that only 12 of the centres have been erected since 2007, and school principals are increasingly frustrated by the delays. The report also addresses the concerns of the TAFE sector, with TDA’s CEO, Martin Riordan, saying he was concerned about the duplication of resources considering TAFE Institutes already provide trades training.

Click here to view the article.


[Return to top]

Apprenticeship numbers set to bounce back in 2010

Early trends show a recovery in trade apprenticeships in 2010 according to a new report from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

For the first time, NVCER has released early trend estimates to March 2010, which shows trade apprenticeships returning to pre-downturn levels.

For more information click here.


[Return to top]

Sobering immigration statistics

At a government and industry consultation in Canberra last week, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) provided a range of statistics which go some way to explaining the recent crackdown on student visa applications and the tightening of regulations.

There are currently 147,500 General Skilled Migration (GSM) applications in the pipeline with another 120,000 due to be added this year. Only 61,700 GSM places have been allocated for the 2010/2011 financial year.

DIAC ise estimating at least a 30% fall in all off-shore applications for study visas this year. The rate of growth in VET commencements for the year to date is also down 30% with the private sector experiencing up to a 50% drop. China has seen a 15% drop in applications but the approval rate is at an all time high which has lessened the impact on growth.

TDA and other peak bodies proposed the establishment of a working group to review the statistics in more detail, including statistics gathered by the different provider groups, so that projections and forecasts could be developed to better inform government policy and legislative changes.

The unintended consequences of many recent changes could then be better identified before implementation. This proposal was accepted by both DIAC and DEEWR.


[Return to top]

International education provider statistics even more sobering

Some 94% of international education providers have to date applied for re-registration (1226 out of 1313) under changes to the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act.

So far 24 providers have been formally recommended for re-registration, while 401 providers have been asked by their relevant State or Territory Authority to carry out a self-assessment. These self-assessments in many cases will be followed up by site visits.

At a Canberra meeting, DEEWR also presented statistics on college closures. Click here to read more.


[Return to top]

Austrade marketing workshop

Last week an Austrade workshop on the promotion and marketing of international education helped define the key messages and strategies need to enhance Australia’s profile in international education.

Participants from key state and federal government departments and peak bodies emphasised the importance of sector and country specific messages. There was general agreement that the notion of quality needed to be further defined and explained. The importance of pathways within the Australian education system and the links to personal, social and community advancement were also highlighted as key messages.

All the participants supported Austrade’s commitment to these consultations and regarded the workshop format and other opportunities for input as an excellent model of government/industry collaboration.


[Return to top]

World Congress – call for papers

The World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics will host its World Congress in Birmingham (UK) from 14-15 November. For more information click here.

TDA has also agreed to assist in promoting the event, and members who are interested in either attending or presenting a paper are encouraged to complete an Expression of Interest form and send to the TDA secretariat.


[Return to top]

Community services and health news

The Community Services Training Package Advisory Committee is seeking feedback on the new National Quality Council (NQC) requirements and proposed changes to the Community Services Training Package.

The changes are intended to increase the flexibility of qualifications and can be viewed here. Responses are due by the end of May, click here for more information.


The Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council is presenting its new suite of resources at workshops during the National Careers and Employment Roadshow over the coming weeks. For more information click here.


[Return to top]

International conference opportunity

An international conference focussing on the role of education in sustainable development will be held in Manilla, Philippines, in November.

The conference will be jointly organised by the International Vocational Education and Training Association and the Colombo Plan Staff College for Technical Educators.

The organisers are currently calling for papers. For more information about the conference click here.


[Return to top]

TDA send best wishes to Steve Garrett and his family

TDA sends its best wishes to Steve Garrett, the newly appointed National Education Manager for Austrade, and former Education Counsellor in the UAE. Steve had been visiting Australia ahead of taking up his new appointment, and remains in intensive care in a Sydney hospital.

Steve Garrett is known to many of our members through his excellent work as the AEI Consul for the Middle East based in Dubai. On behalf of all our members and associates TDA passes on our best wishes to Steve, his family and his colleagues.


[Return to top]

DIY benchmarking tool available for e-learning

Australian Flexible Learning Framework is offering Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) the opportunity to undertake their own e-learning benchmark.

A tool has been developed that allows RTOs to gauge the impact of e-learning among students, teachers and trainers. For more information click here.


[Return to top]

Diary Dates

19th National 'No Frills' Research Conference
DATE: 7-9 July 2010
LOCATION: Central Institute of Technology, East Perth Campus, Perth
DETAILS: Click here for more information

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


 [Return to top]

To subscribe or unsubscribe to the TDA Newsletter click here.