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Newsletter | 10 June 2014

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In this edition  


Red tape slashed for training packages

The Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane has taken the knife to regulation of training packages, making it easier to implement minor changes and removing fees for simple alterations.

From July 1, when a training package qualification is changed, but the vocational outcome remains the same, training providers will no longer need to apply to their regulator or pay a fee to update their registration.

The Minister described it as the “first in a series” of changes to reduce red tape in the vocational education and training (VET) sector.

“This is a common sense approach developed as a direct result of listening to industry and training providers and their ideas for reform,” the Minister said.

“Minor updates to training packages do not represent a significant risk to a training provider’s capacity to deliver. This is a practical example of the Government’s commitment to cut red tape and make it easier for Australian businesses to do business,” he said.

Minister Macfarlane welcomed the initiative from the national VET regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA).

See the Minister’s media release.

See the ASQA advisory.

See the VET reform website.


Parliamentary inquiry publishes TAFE quality findings

A survey of TAFE students commissioned as part of a federal government inquiry into TAFE has found a satisfaction rating of 80 per cent or above for key measures of the TAFE system.

The preliminary survey responses were published by the Standing Committee on Education and Employment. The survey has been online for over a month and has received more than 3600 responses.

The survey asks respondents to rate how they feel a TAFE qualification is valued in the workplace, the quality of the teaching at TAFE, and their satisfaction with TAFE resources. Results indicate an average of 80% or above satisfaction rating for all three questions.

A snapshot of the results can be found here.


NSW to link apprenticeships to infrastructure bids

Major infrastructure projects in NSW will be required to employ a minimum number of apprentices as part of a new bidding program that the government says will create at least 1,000 apprenticeships.

The initiative was announced by the Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Mike Baird as part of a plan to deliver the State’s $60 billion infrastructure program.

“Bidders will be assessed on a range of criteria, including the number of apprenticeships they are prepared to create during construction and through the partnerships they forge with local TAFE and other tertiary institutions,” the Premier said.

“The NSW Government will work with infrastructure contractors, registered training organisations and other stakeholders to facilitate the employment and training of apprentices”.

See the Premier’s media release.


New CEO for Box Hill Institute

The Board of Box Hill Institute has announced the appointment of Norman Gray AM (pictured) has as the new Chief Executive Officer of Box Hill Institute and the Centre for Adult Education. He will take up the position on 14 July.

Norman is currently the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director of Network Operations of Public Transport Victoria.

He joined Public Transport Victoria, after serving as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of defence contractor, Thales Australia, and prior to that a career in Defence, including as Air Vice Marshall in the RAAF,  Deputy CEO of the Defence Materiel Organisation and Head of the Airborne Surveillance and Control division.

The Chair of Box Hill Institute Board, Suzanne Ewart, said Norman’s exceptional skills and experience will provide leadership to further grow and develop successful outcomes for the Institute, students and learners, as well as industry customers and partners.


Students to rate the training system

Over the coming weeks approximately 150 000 Australian students will be asked about their recent experience at a TAFE institute, private training provider, or adult and community education provider as part of the annual Student Outcomes Survey, managed by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

The survey provides information on vocational education and training (VET) students’ employment outcomes and satisfaction with their training. This year for the first time, students will be surveyed at a course level.

The Managing Director of NCVER, Rod Camm said it was essential for students to have their say because this was the major survey for rating Australia’s training system, with the results used to improve the sector for future students.

Students who complete the survey will also get the chance to win a share of a $13 000 cash prize pool.

Results from the survey will be available in late 2014.

Find out more.


Is Australia headed for an American higher education system?

Do we need to re-conceptualise vocational and higher education? What will higher education in Australia and other countries look like in 2020?

You are invited to join Dr Charles A Goldman, Senior Economist, RAND Corporation specialising in the economics of education, strategic planning for education systems, and organization and performance of schools, universities, and systems.

He has studied policy and implementation of both K-12 and higher education in the US, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, South Korea, Singapore, India, and China.  He is currently leading two projects that examine how community colleges and state universities can meet workforce needs in career and technical fields in the state of Texas.

Dr Goldman will be a featured speaker at the TDA National Conference from September 1-2 at the Sheraton on the Park, Sydney.

To register or see the full list of speakers, please visit the conference website.

Earlybird registration closes on July 7 and the Welcome Reception on Sunday evening is included in all earlybird registrations (after July 7, the Welcome Reception will be an optional extra at $77 per ticket).

Excellent accommodation rates have also been negotiated at the Sheraton on the Park, starting from $270 per night including breakfast for one.


Spaces open in Australian pavilion at education expo

Education providers and businesses servicing the international student market are invited to be part of the Australia Pavilion at the OCSC International Education Expo 2014 in Thailand in November.

OCSC Expo 2014 is now in its tenth year, and is the largest international education exhibition in Thailand, hosted by the Office of the Civil Service Commission (OCSC).

Austrade is coordinating an Australian Pavilion which will promote Australian institutions across all education sectors, together with a series of activities arranged by Austrade and relevant government agencies.

A maximum of 28 institutions are invited to participate in the Pavilion.

See details on the Austrade website or the information brochure.


National consultation forums on direct client care

The Community Services & Health Industry Skills Council (CS&HISC) is looking at the changing requirements of Vocational Education and Trained (VET) workers in Aged Care, Home and Community Care, Allied Health Assistance, Disability, Leisure and Health, Mental Health and general Community Services and Management.

Collectively, the qualifications associated with these roles are referred to as the Direct Client Care sectors.

The aim of the project is to discuss and confirm new and emerging roles and tasks across these areas to support industry in its workforce development and service delivery through the ongoing development of the national Community Services and Health training packages.

This is a fast-tracked project funded by the Department of Social Services and will build on existing review work already undertaken.

Forums are being held around Australia to gather industry comment, and while registration is essential, these are free to attend.  However, attendees should have current experience in service delivery and/or training VET-qualified workers in these sectors.

For project details click here.

To register for a forum visit CS&HISCs events page.

The Sydney forum was held on 2 June.


Entries open to 2014 ‘Green Gown’ sustainability awards

Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS) has announced that entries are now open to the 2014 Green Gown Awards for sustainability best practice in tertiary education institutions in Australasia and the UK.

With more new categories in 2014, there is greater opportunity for institutions to get the recognition they deserve.

The winners will be announced in Hobart on 6 November, where the International Green Gown Awards will also be hosted in Australia for the first time. The deadline for entries is 5 August.

See more.


Diary Dates

Office for Learning and Teaching
National Conference

DATE: 10-11 June 2014
LOCATION: Dockside Pavilion, Darling Harbour, Sydney.
DETAILS: See more.

'No Frills' - 23rd National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference
DATE: 9-11 July 2014
LOCATION: Holmesglen, Moorabbin Campus, Melbourne, Victoria
DETAILS: Click here.

Victorian TAFE Association
2014 State Conference

DATE: 17-18 July 2014
LOCATION: Holmesglen, Moorabbin Campus, Melbourne, Victoria
DETAILS: Click here.

TDA National Conference 2014
TAFE Directors Australia

DATE: 1-2 September 2014
LOCATION: Sheraton on the Park, Sydney, NSW
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

National VET Conference
Velg Training

DATE: 11-12 September 2014
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Teaching & Learning Conference 2014
VET Development Centre

DATE: 4-5 September 2014
LOCATION: RACV Club Torquay, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

VETnetwork Australia 2014
Biennial National Conference

DATE: 17-19 September 2014
LOCATION: Darwin Convention Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Australian International Education Conference
Inventing the Future

DATE: 7-10 October 2014
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

2014 WorldSkills Australia National Competition
DATE: 18, 19 & 20 September 2014
LOCATION: Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Group Training Australia
2014 National Conference

DATE: 12-14 November 2014
LOCATION: Grand Chancellor Hotel, Hobart
DETAILS: Click here for more information.