TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 25 October 2010


Skills Australia paper examines the steps needed for a strong future VET system

Skills Australia has released a discussion paper which closely examines the future of the VET sector and the measures needed to improve quality and effectiveness, particularly in response to increasing skills shortages and improving Australia’s productivity. 

The paper addresses issues including apprenticeship reform, declining government funding, apprenticeship completion rates, the quality of teaching, and the public’s confidence in VET, among other issues. See the key issues here. View the full report here.  See an article from the Australian Financial Review here.

TAFE Directors Australia welcomed the report, particularly its strong focus on the impact of declining VET funding, and the recognition of the challenges facing TAFE staff. To view TDA’s initial comments in response to the paper click here.

Skills Australia is holding national consultations on the paper from 1-17 November, click here to find your nearest venue. Formal submissions are due by 26 November. TDA will provide a formal response to the paper on behalf of members – TDA will advise members on how to participate in the coming weeks.

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Australia China Vocational Education Research Centre – Chongqing launch


Martin Riordan (CEO, TDA) with National and Municipal ministry officials and Research Centre representatives congratulating Antoine on his adjunct appointments.

An Australia-China VET Research Centre dedicated to sharing best practice in vocational training was launched last week in Chongqing, China’s largest municipality.

The launch was attended by officials from the National Ministry of Education, National Foreign Language Teaching & Research Press, Chongqing Education Commission and other agencies including TDA.

The Australian China VET Research Centre’s key partners will be the Chongqing Academy of Education Science and the Chongqing College of Electronic Engineering, with support from the East China Normal University, Shanghai, and the Chongqing Municipal Education Commission, who hosted TDA’s official visit.

TDA has been invited to play a mentoring role; recommending research and best practice that may have application to the China VET system, and introduce wider opportunities for TAFE to play an increasingly strategic role across the emerging China VET network. The Centre will also further identify key learnings for colleges from the 2002-2007 Australia China (Chongqing) VET Project.

Both the Chongqing Academy of Education Science and the Chongqing College of Electronic Engineering both announced that Antoine Barnaart, the former Team Leader of the A$20 million AusAID VET project, will become Adjunct Professor with their organisations and the Research Centre. Antoine has previously served for two years on the National Board for TDA and is currently the Director of the AusAID-funded Australian Pacific Technical College (TDA member) based in Fiji.

Antoine’s visit to China was funded by the Beijing Normal University and other agencies. In addition to the launch of the Centre, he gave a keynote presentation at the ASEAN China/ Beijing Normal University International TVET Forum in Beijing, a presentation at the 3rd International Services Trade Summit (Chongqing) and convened a specialist VET workshop for VET officials and students from a number of African nations studying at the East China Normal University in Shanghai. All three additional activities were designed to promote Australia’s VET system and the support from TDA. 

TDA congratulates Antoine Barnaart on his appointment as Adjunct Professor with the Australian China VET Research Centre, and will be discussing TDA’s proposals for research collaboration with the new Chongqing-based VET research agency in coming months.  

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TDA invited to make keynote address to CEAIE China 2010 International Conference

TAFE Directors Australia was invited to deliver a Keynote Address to this year’s China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE) International Conference, held earlier last week in Beijing. 


TDA CEO, Martin Riordan delivering a keynote address at the CEAIE International Conference

Martin Riordan being interviewed by China CCT TV

Martin Riordan (CEO, TDA) spoke of how the collaboration, exchanges and mentoring between China’s polytechnics and TAFE Institutes, via the CEAIE exchange agency, has led to Australia being invited as a partner to the CEAIE’s executive leadership training project, the ‘VELT’ programme. A link to his presentation is available here.

The TDA presentation detailed recently released DEEWR-sponsored ‘I-Graduate’ research on international students studying in Australia, showing that China ranked among the most satisfied - along with Vietnamese students – in the key areas of learning and experiences.

Martin Riordan also attracted media coverage on the China CCT TV news, and in the China Daily metropolitan newspapers.

This morning’s Australian Financial Review featured a story on the links that China is building with Australian tertiary sector. Click here to view the article.

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New ‘Hardship Fund’ for rural and regional students

A Rural and Regional Taskforce has been set up by the Federal Government to provide additional support to students seeking a tertiary education.

The Taskforce will determine the eligibility criteria for the funds, which will be distributed from a $20 million Rural Tertiary Hardship Fund from January 2011.

TAFE is represented on the Taskforce by Elizabeth McGregor, Institute Director, North Coast Institute of TAFE.

Click here for more information.

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Bradley reforms will continue under Gillard Government

The Minister for Tertiary Education, Jobs, Skills and Workplace Relations, Senator, the Hon Chris Evans, has committed to continuing the Bradley reform, despite the Government being under pressure to return the budget to surplus, according to The Australian.     

Senator Evans assured the tertiary sector that initiatives such as the $2.1 billion to fund an undergraduate place for all accepted Australian students, and the $500 million university and TAFE regional priorities fund would be safe.

Read the article here.

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Tertiary union aims to build its ranks 

The National Tertiary Union is in search of new members to ramp up its lobbying power within the universities and VET sectors, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The Union is increasingly focusing on the VET sector, to reflect the growing number of TAFEs offering degree courses. It has previously opposed degree courses being offered through TAFE Institutes; however it now supports the move, but says that pay and conditions in TAFE will need to be aligned to universities to achieve similar quality.

Read the article here (page 1 and page 2).

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Huge potential for productivity by lifting basic skills

Raising the level of language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) skills across the population would make a substantial difference to labour force participation and wage rates according to the Productivity Commission’s latest paper.

Hourly wages could be increased by 25-30% by lifting the LLN skills of people who are currently below the minimum requirements needed to participate in the knowledge-economy.

Click here to view the paper.

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TAFE NSW partner with career website

TAFE NSW has partnered with online recruitment company, MyCareer, to add 75 online and distance learning coursesto the MyCareer Education Centre website.

The courses range from Certificate I to Graduate Diplomas. For more information click here.

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Forum to explore links between innovation, training and industry

Registrations are now open for the NCVER Research Forum – Fostering enterprise: The innovation and skills nexus.

The forum, to be held on 9 November in Sydney, will explore the relationship between innovation, the training system and industry.

To register click here or for further information email events@ncver.edu.au.

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New endorsements for Training Packages

The National Quality Council has recently endorsed a number of changes to Training Packages including:

  • FPI05 Forest and Forest Products Training Package- six new qualifications, nine new units of competency and the revision of 14 units of competency.
  • LMF02 Furnishing Training Package - the inclusion of two new units of competency (LMFAH4001A, LMFAH4002A) as electives in LMF40202 Certificate IV in Furnishing Technology, and for use in Skill Sets related to architectural hardware specifying.
  • BSB07 Business Services Training Package - addition of thirteen new units of competency, revision of three qualifications, and deletion of five qualifications.

For more information visit http://www.nqc.tvetaustralia.com.au/.

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Diary Dates

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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