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Newsletter | 10 October 2016

In this edition


TDA announces new chair, deputy chair and board appointment

The Board of Directors of TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) is pleased to announce the election of Ms Mary Faraone (pictured top), Chief Executive of Holmesglen Institute, as the new Chair.

Ms Faraone was elected to the position following the expiry of the term of Mr Stephen Conway, CEO of TasTAFE.

The Board also welcomed two new Directors – Ms Jodi Schmidt, pictured bottom, Chief Executive Officer of TAFE Queensland, who was elected as Deputy Chair, and Mr Warren Tapp, Chair of TAFE Queensland and representative of a new Chairs' Council to be formed for TDA.

The Chief Executive Officer of TDA Mr Martin Riordan congratulated Ms Faraone, Ms Schmidt and Mr Tapp on their appointments.

“I know that I speak on behalf of the TAFE community in welcoming two outstanding women to leadership positions of Chair and Deputy Chair of the national TDA Board.

“I also welcome Mr Warren Tapp who brings extraordinary experience in governance, and knowledge of the TAFE sector after many years as Chair of TAFE Queensland, and a member of the Council of the Queensland University of Technology (QUT),” Mr Riordan said.

See the TDA media release

TDA convention attracts record numbers as the skills resurgence takes hold in Melbourne

A record 450 delegates enjoyed three days of learning, discussion and networking at the 2016 TDA Convention 'Skills Resurgence' in Melbourne last week.

An extraordinary range of speakers and presenters covered every facet of the TAFE sector, across skills, training quality, apprenticeships, international education and much more.

The proceedings kicked off with the Australia + China Aged care Roundtable, included numerous 'laneway' sessions, robust and informed presentations, an exhilarating gala dinner, and concluded with a visit to the  Worldskills Australia National Competition.

Thank you to all the delegates, presenters, guests and our fabulous TDA sponsors!

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Karen Andrews and TDA CEO Martin Riordan

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten

Outgoing TDA Chair Stephen Conway and MC Virginia Trioli

Victoria's Skills Commissioner Neil Coulson

Victorian Minister for Training, Skills and International Education Steve Herbert

Shadow Minister for TAFE and Vocational Education Kate Ellis

Chair of TAFE Queensland Board and Chair of TAFE Chairs Australia, Warren Tapp

Ai Group's Megan Lilly

TDA ready to support students impacted by VET FEE-HELP overhaul as government prepares to publish course hit list

TDA welcomed the federal government's planned overhaul of the troubled VET FEE- HELP student loan scheme, but said that the measures did not go far enough.

TDA CEO Martin Riordan said the changes announced by the Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham were welcome and many had been recommended by TDA.

“However, it still lacks a transparent framework, similar to that which the Commonwealth applies to universities and higher education,” he said.

TDA said the immediate priority needed to be the welfare of 140,000 students impacted by transitional arrangements and that TDA was ready to support these students in every way possible.

The Department of Education will today release the courses and the pricing caps that will apply under the new scheme.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that of the 800 courses currently eligible for government loans, only 347 will receive support.

Courses cut from the list include fitness coaching, fashion styling, art therapy, musical theatre, journalism, jewellery design, and mind body medicine.

The SMH also reports that courses such as landscape design, horticulture and engineering will be able to borrow up to $15,000 while those in nursing, early childhood education, building and construction, beauty therapy and IT will be eligible for loans of $10,000.

See TDA's media release.

Listen to ABC Radio National Breakfast interview with Martin Riordan

Skills minister Karen Andrews outlines reform plan to TDA convention

The Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Karen Andrews, pictured, told the TDA convention that the federal government was looking at reform to address the issue of assessments, as well as a possible new VET funding arrangement.

The minister said that she was examining the report of the Training and Assessment Working Group, which contains options to strengthen the skills of VET trainers and assessors.

"I'm carefully considering this report, in particular ideas to improve validation of assessment, including potential for greater industry involvement, and options for tougher regulatory interventions," Ms Andrews said.

Ms Andrews also said she was also holding talks about the future of VET funding, shared between the federal, state and territory governments.

"I am meeting with a range of key stakeholders to identify priorities for VET to see where, how and if they align with the Commonwealth’s - what our joint, collaborative approach might look like in the future."

See the minister's speech to the TDA convention.

Federal opposition promises to restore integrity to TAFE

Federal opposition Leader Bill Shorten told the TDA convention that restoring integrity to TAFE was a national priority in the wake of the student loan scandal.

"Last year alone, private training colleges received $2.9 billion in funding.

"I understand the pressures your institutions are under, the cuts you’ve endured, the way you have to stretch every dollar every day.

"It must be so galling to imagine so much money being wasted on a sham," he said.

The Shadow Minister for TAFE and Vocational Education Kate Ellis told the convention that the opposition had agreed to a government request to meet on the VET FEE-HELP changes, but she noted the lack of consultation with wider stakeholders.

"If it means anything, the government don’t talk to us either. It says an awful lot that after doing little for three years they want to push these changes through the parliament in three weeks," Ms Ellis said.

See the Opposition Leader's speech to the TDA convention.

See the Shadow Minister for TAFE and Vocational Education,Kate Ellis's speech to the TDA convention.

Training system needs more employers and fewer unions, says TAFE NSW head

TAFE NSW Managing Director Jon Black, pictured, told the TDA convention that progress on reform of training packages was too slow and that the views of employers needed to be better reflected.

Mr Black said that of the 77 training packages listed on the training.gov.au site, a total of 21 didn't have any enrolments.

The top 3% of qualifications had 53% of enrolments, while 90% of enrolments were concentrated in just 18% of qualifications, he said.

Mr Black said that reform of training packages was too slow, while the views of employers were not being given due recognition.

"My first impression with TAFE NSW was that we're putting a lot of emphasis on student feedback, making us feel good. Let's get the employers in there and actually tell us what's working and what's not," he said.

Trade unions, he said, had an excessive role in training through their positions on Skills Service Organisations.

"If we let them get into that space they will take it," he said.

"It's leaders and managers of organisations and employers (who are) responsible for the (training) outcome, not the unions," he said.

TAFE Western Sydney picks up TDA national marketing award

TAFE NSW Western Sydney was presented with the award for the ‘Best TAFE Promotional and Marketing Initiative’ at the TDA convention.

The award was for the institute's quirky 'Educating Rob' campaign - described as 'One man's journey in search of his career dream', featuring stand-up comic and actor, Rob Shehadie.

Accepting the award, TAFE Western Sydney's Craig McCallum, Director of  Strategic Marketing & Communications, said the campaign took some "risks" but achieved outstanding results in attracting students and highlighting TAFE.

Craig McCallum receives the award from convention MC Virginia Trioli

New higher education panel to have first meeting today

A new panel to advise the federal government on higher education will have its first meeting today.

Announcing the panel, the Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham said the group would work "hand in glove" with the government, considering more than 1,000 submissions to the recent discussion paper.

The panel’s members will be:

  • Dr Michele Allan – Director of CSIRO, Chair of Meat & Livestock Australia and Chancellor of Charles Sturt University,
  • Professor Peter Noonan – Mitchell Professorial Fellow at Victoria University and Member of the Bradley Review,
  • Andrew Norton – Grattan Institute Higher Education Program Director and co-author of the Review of the Demand Driven Funding System; and
  • Professor Sally Walker – Principal at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and former Vice-Chancellor of Deakin University

“In addition to their consultations, the panel will have access to data and analysis on the efficient cost of delivering higher education teaching and scholarship, ensuring Australia’s higher education system represents value for money," the minister said.

Diary Dates

Royal Australian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA) Conference  
12-15 October, 2016
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
More information
Australasian Genomic Technologies Association (AGTA) Conference
9 - 12 October, 2016
Pullman Hotel Auckland, New Zealand
More information

2016 AUSTAFE National Conference
12 - 14 October, 2016
Adelaide, South Australia
Contact: austafe2016@tafesa.edu.au
ACER National Adult Training and Assessment Conference
13 - 14 October, 2016
William Angliss Institute, Melbourne
More information

Innovation: What's Next For Community Education?
Community Colleges Australia Annual Conference
18 - 20 October, 2016
Park Royal, Darling Harbour, Sydney
More information

Australian International Education Conference (AIEC)
18 - 21 October, 2016
Melbourne, Victoria
More information

AVTERA conference
VET, trades & apprenticeships: voices from the shop floor
28 October, 2016
La Trobe University, Melbourne
More information

E-Oz and Skills Oz Conference
Assuring quality in the National VET system – Change, Challenge and Opportunity
8 - 9 November, 2016
Marriott Resort & Spa, Surfers Paradise, Queensland
More information

Australian Training Awards
17 November, 2016
Darwin, Northern Territory
More information

2016 National Conference on VET Teaching and VET Teacher Education
Australian Council of Deans of Education Vocational Education Group 
8 - 9 December, 2016
More information


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