TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 10 October 2011

Regional funding open - $500 million to boost regional education

The Federal Government’s $500 million Regional Priorities Round of the Education Investment Fund is now open.

The fund is designed to help regional higher education and VET Institutes to offer greater opportunities to students and meet the skills needs of their local areas.

The Regional Priorities Round will involve a two-stage application process. Initial Expressions of Interest close on 4 November. Applicants successful at the Expression of Interest stage will be invited to submit a full application in 2012.

Guidelines for the Regional Priorities Round can be found here. For the full announcement, see the Prime Minister’s media release here.

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Prime Minister announces $18m manufacturing training centre

The construction of an $18 million manufacturing training centre will begin this month at the University of Ballarat.

The Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, visited the site which she said will provide cutting-edge training in skills including robotics, mechatronics and manufacturing computer animation.

The Manufacturing Technology Training Centre will be funded through the Education Investment Fund.

For more information click here.

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Peter Garrett to deliver the Mick Young Oration in Canberra, Wednesday

The Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, the Hon Peter Garrett MP will deliver the 2011 Mick Young Oration on Wednesday night in Canberra.

The Oration will begin at Parliament House, and will be followed by a dinner at the National Press Club, held in conjunction AUSTAFE.

The Mick Young Scholarship Trust (MYST) gives financially disadvantaged students the chance to further or continue their studies through educational scholarships. The Oration is organised jointly by TDA and The Mick Young Scholarship Trust.

Bookings can still be made, click here for more information.

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Congratulations to WorldSkills competitors

Australia achieved great success at the 41st WorldSkills International Competition, winning one gold, four silver and five bronze medals.

Congratulations to all the competitors who travelled to London for the event. Australia ranked 7th in the world after the final medal tally.

See a list of medal winners here.

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School VET awards now open

Nominations for the nation’s top vocational education and skills award for schools were opened by the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs, and Workplace Relations, Senator the Hon Chris Evans, during National Skills Week.

The Australian Vocational Student Prize is open to Year 12 students who have undertaken a VET-in-Schools program or an Australian School-based Apprenticeship.

Up to 500 of the best VET students will be awarded the prize. Nominations close 2 December.  Click here for more information.

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Sustainability awards – TAFE Institutes shine

TAFE Institutes were rewarded for excellence in sustainability at the Australian Campuses for Sustainability’s 2011 Green Gown Awards Australasia held recently in Adelaide.

The awards, founded in the UK, are in their second year, and up to 27 Australian tertiary institutions submitted applications.

Congratulations to TAFE NSW – New England Institute, and RMIT University for winning their categories, and TAFE NSW Northern Sydney Institute, Victoria University, Swinburne University of Technology, and TAFE SA Regional Institute, which all received ‘Highly Commended’ awards. Charles Sturt also received an Award for Excellence.

Click here for more information about the winners and categories.

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TDA to join advisory committee for student visas

TDA has been invited to join the Federal Government’s Education Visa Advisory Committee which was formed in response to the Knight Review of student visas.

TDA’s Director, International Engagement, Peter Holden, will represent TDA on the Committee, which will bring together key stakeholders and the government to discuss concerns, and suggestions for improvements to the student visa program.

View the announcement of the committee here.

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Contestability to boost ‘glamorous’ courses

Giving students the power to determine the funding of TAFE courses could lead to an imbalance between courses seen as ‘glamorous’ and those that fulfil skills shortages according to Adrian Marron, Chief Executive of the Canberra Institute of Technology.

In a Canberra Times article, Mr Marron said he feared a shift to a contestable funding model would force TAFEs to ‘follow the dollar’, rather than balance the needs of the workforce and student demand.

Click here to view the entire article.

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Emerging leaders – blogs from the TDA Conference

Additional blogs from the participants of the TDA Conference Emerging Leaders program have been added to the TDA website.

The blogs include reflections from the group about their experiences and learnings from the Conference. Click here to view the blogs.

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‘OctoberVET’ seminar to challenge the skills crisis

The University of Technology Sydney is hosting the annual OctoberVET seminar on 28 October, titled ‘OctoberVET: Skills for whose prosperity? Critical research agendas for workplace learning’.

The seminar sessions will include:

  • 'Skills, training and decent work - Productivism and beyond' - Dr Mike Rafferty, Workplace Research Centre, University of Sydney
  • 'VET and low paid work in 2011: addressing or entrenching vulnerability?' - Dr Maree Keating, Victoria University
  • 'A literacy and numeracy crisis? Beginning a study of production workers' literacy and numeracy practices' - Dr Stephen Black, Dr Tony Brown and Dr Keiko Yasukawa, Centre for Research in Learning and Change, University of Technology Sydney

Details are available here

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Better health promotion needed for international students

Government funded international student health promotion programs are needed, including health education sessions during orientation periods, according to a new report into the health of female international students.

Educational institutions also need to assume responsibility for the implementation of these programs says the report.

The report, by the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health, is based on a successful health promotion initiative conducted between 2009-2011 which aimed to build the capacity of female international students to improve their health and wellbeing, with a focus on sexual and reproductive health.

The report says gender-specific mentoring programs, social events and recreational activities that foster interaction between international students, domestic students and the wider community, would ease international students’ isolation and loneliness.

Click here for more information.

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Casual workforce hindering skills development

The high rate of ‘casualisation’ in some industries is hindering workforce development according to a new paper by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research.

The paper says that workers in highly ‘casualised’ industries such as meat processing or childcare are reluctant to upskill past the required qualifications as there is little reward.

Click here to view the report.

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Diary Dates

2011 Conference
DATE: 11-14 October, 2011
LOCATION: Adelaide Convention Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information

AUSTAFE National Conference
2020 Vision
DATE: 12-14 October, 2011
LOCATION: Canberra
DETAILS: Click here for more information

ePortfolios Australia Conference 2011
DATE: 17-18 October, 2011
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Making a Difference... 2011: Breaking Through the Barriers
DATE: 19-20 October, 2011
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Looking ahead - Group Training National Conference
DATE: 19-21 October, 2011
LOCATION: Grand Hyatt, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Annual Conference
DATE: 28 October, 2011
LOCATION: Ascot House, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 9-10 November, 2011
LOCATION: William Angliss Conference Centre, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Australasian Association for Institutional Research Forum “Let the sunshine in”
DATE: 9-11 November, 2011
LOCATION: Sea World Resort, Gold Coast
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Grounds for Learning Workshop
DATE: 14-16 November, 2011
LOCATION: Monash University, Clayton Campus, VICTORIA
DETAILS: Click here for more information

‘For innovation’
DATE: 18 November, 2011
LOCATION: The Glasshouse, Port Macquarie
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 25 November, 2011
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, South Bank
DETAILS: Click here for more information

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