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Newsletter | 10 August 2015

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In this edition  


ASQA considering tighter controls after alleged training fraud 

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has played a key role in a joint investigation by the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Border Force which has seen three people charged over alleged involvement in a large scale fraud.

Operation Aristotle centred on the directors of two Melbourne training providers who are alleged to have falsely enrolled international and domestic students, created fraudulent documents for students, and failed to provide appropriate education.

Police allege the international students were working as contractors for labour hire firms owned by the directors, while continuing to pay high tuition fees to maintain enrolment and student visas.

ASQA Chief Commissioner Chris Robinson said the authority cooperated with the AFP and state police forces when suspected criminal activity was detected in the training market.

“In this case ASQA will be considering additional regulatory action which flowed from and

complemented the AFP investigation,” he said

The charges include conspiracy to dishonestly obtain a gain from the Commonwealth of Australia, namely ASQA, and to dishonestly influence an officer of ASQA.

See more.

Contract comes to an end for TAFE NSW head, Pam Christie

TAFE NSW Managing Director Pam Christie has advised staff that her contract is shortly to expire and that the position will be advertised.

In an email to TAFE NSW staff last week, Ms Christie said that the process to appoint the managing director of TAFE NSW will commence shortly, coinciding with the end of her contract in September.

Ms Christie has been in the role for almost three years. Previously she served as Deputy Director-General of the NSW Department of Education and Training, and Director of the Sydney Institute of TAFE.

Federation College becomes the latest P-TECH site

Federation College at Ballarat has become the second pilot site for P-TECH – a school-industry partnership to help students enter the workforce job-ready.

The federal government is trialling the P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) model from 2016.

The Assistant Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham said that with support from IBM, the government welcomes the vital role industry can play in supporting schools, and creating pathways for students to skills and jobs.

“Most importantly, P-TECH will help address the pressing issue of preparing today’s students with the strong academic and practical skills they will need to step into tomorrow’s jobs and create a robust and growing knowledge economy here in Australia,” he said.

See more.

A depressing view of TAFE from Greg Craven

Australian Catholic University vice-chancellor Greg Craven has fired a broadside at the federal-state wrangle over responsibility for VET, and in the process, savaged TAFE management.

His op-ed in The Australian says a strong VET sector is vital, but that the states “have made about as big a mess of it as possible without the application of liquid pig ­manure.”

“It is underfunded. Its qualifications are inconsistent, confusing and inaccessible to students,” he says.

“Perhaps worst of all, the jewels in the crown of vocational ­education — the great public TAFEs — are languishing.

“Chronically underfunded by government and beset by cut-price under-cutters, they are incapable of making the critical contribution they should to the Australia economy.

“Going into a meeting of TAFE directors is like entering the depressives’ ward in a run-down hospital,” Craven says.

“We rely on TAFEs to run the courses that are long, expensive and vital, be it boiler-making or widget-working. No private provider will touch such economic suicide cases, so if the TAFEs go down, industry goes with them.”

TDA conference – great speakers - award winning MC! Tasmania! Why miss it?

TDA is delighted that award winning current affairs journalist Ellen Fanning has agreed to come back again this year to MC the TDA national conference, Hobart, 9-11 September.

At age 24, Ellen broke new ground, becoming the first woman to host one of ABC Radio’s national current affairs programs. Two years at the helm of PM were followed by several years anchoring AM on and serving as occasional host of ABC TV’s 7.30 Report.

Ellen also served as the ABC’s Washington correspondent and has reported from locations as diverse as Transylvania, the North Pole, under the Indian Ocean aboard an Australian Navy submarine and 30,000 feet over Serbia from a US Air Force refuelling jet.

Ellen has interviewed every Australian prime minister from John Howard to John Gorton and has met and interviewed world leaders from France, Britain, Ireland, Israel and the United States.

Most recently, Ellen has been a reporter for the Nine Network’s 60 Minutes and Sunday programs. She has also had extensive experience moderating political, business and community events in Australia.

To register go to tda.edu.au

Holden donates cars to help TAFE mechanic students

Holden has donated 11 cars to seven Victorian and NSW TAFEs as part of the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce’s (VACC’s) Automotive Industry Donation program.

The vehicles will be used for automotive skills training, to help expose apprentices to a range of systems beyond vehicle mechanics, including engine management, temperature control and electrical and diagnostic systems.

Brett Ambrosio, Commercial Manager for Automotive at GOTAFE, one of the receiving institutes, said the donation is the outcome of a successful relationship between VACC, Holden and GOTAFE.

“Holden and VACC are long term supporters of GOTAFE Automotive and they place strong emphasis on giving students the opportunity to get the most up-to-date and industry-relevant skills and knowledge, so that when they are in the workplace they contribute to the strong reputation of the industry in a positive way.”

Maria Peters, CEO of Chisholm Institute, said the donation is key to training young technicians of the future.

See more.

Community services and health training package workshops

The Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council (CS&HISC) is hosting a series of professional development workshops to assist stakeholders to implement the new CHC and HLT Training Packages. These 4-hour workshops over August and September will:

  • Present the HLT and CHC Training Packages in the 2012 Standards for Training Packages design model
  • Identify key areas of change in the new qualifications, units and assessment requirements
  • Discuss frequently asked questions

See here for details on dates and locations, and to reserve your place.

Construction firms build new career hub

Leading construction companies have launched an awareness initiative to attract and retain more young people in the industry.

The ‘Build Your Career’ campaign includes a targeted engagement program with state education departments, careers advisors and school associations and an interactive website on career opportunities.

Australian Constructors Association (ACA) President, David Saxelby, said it will be a one-stop-shop of information on career opportunities and pathways to access those careers.

The website will include videos of young people working in the industry and speaking about their day-to-day activities and experiences.

See buildyourcareer.com.au

Diary Dates

2015 ACODE Learning Technologies Leadership Institute
DATE: 17-21 August 2015
LOCATION: Mantra at Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast, Queensland
DETAILS: More information

TAFE Managers Association 2015
DATE: 21 August 2015
LOCATION: Luna Park, Sydney
DETAILS: More information coming soon.

National Skills Week
DATE: 24-30 August 2015
DETAILS: More information.

VET Development Centre
Teaching and Learning Conference

DATE: 3-4 September 2015
LOCATION: RACV Torquay Resort, Victoria
DETAILS: More information.

TDA National Conference
DATE: 9-11 September 2015
LOCATION: Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart
DETAILS: More information.

National VET Conference
Velg Training

DATE: 17-18 September 2015
LOCATION: Adelaide Convention Centre
DETAILS: More information.

Australian International Education Conference 2015
International education: global, responsible, sustainable

DATE: 6 – 9 October 2015
LOCATION: Adelaide Convention Centre
DETAILS: More information.

2015 Australasian Genomic Technologies Association (AGTA) Conference
DATE: 11 – 14 October 2015
LOCATION: Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, NSW.
DETAILS: More information.

2015 AUSTAFE National Conference
Bringing TAFE and VET to the Nation’s Capital

DATE: 28 – 30 October 2015
LOCATION: Canberra
DETAILS: Contact National President Jerome.DeRose@cit.edu.au

Corporate Affiliates