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Newsletter | 11 June 2013

In this edition

Commonwealth and Queensland governments resolve impasse on training

The Queensland and Commonwealth governments have resolved the long-running  standoff over funding for the State’s vocational education and training system.

The Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research, the Hon Craig Emerson and the Queensland Minister for Education, Training and Employment, the Hon John-Paul Langbroek announced Friday an agreement under the Gillard Government’s $1.75 billion reform of the national training system.

Under the plan, the Federal Government will invest approximately $356 million in Queensland TAFEs and private training providers over the next five years.

In return, Queensland has given assurances that TAFE will continue to offer services that cannot be provided by the market, including for rural and remote and disadvantaged students.

Kaylene Harth, Deputy Chair of TDA welcomed the agreement, saying that TAFE Institutes in Queensland favoured the staged rollout of the national training entitlement which meant that both TAFE and private providers would compete in the marketplace around a small number of qualifications from 1 July 2013.

See the Minister’s joint media release.

Meanwhile, TDA presented  its submission to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Employment Inquiry into the role of TAFE in the economy and society on Friday.

See the presentation provided to the House of Representatives hearing.

Federal Opposition meets the VET sector

International Education Association of Australia (I EAA) Executive Director, Phil Honeywood and President Helen Zimmerman led a strong contingent of VET sector representatives to Canberra last week, culminating in a dinner with key Federal Opposition members at Parliament House.

Hosted by Senator Scott Ryan and Alan Tudge, dinner guests were joined at various stages by shadow ministers Christopher Pyne MHR, Scott Morrison MHR and Senator Brett Mason, as well as Alex Hawke MHR, Teresa Gambaro MHR, Kelly O'Dwyer MHR and Paul Fletcher MHR. Representing the TAFE sector were David Riordan, IEAA Board member and Institute Director for TAFE NSW Sydney Institute, Jenny Dodd, Acting CEO Canberra Institute of Technology and Peter Holden from TDA.  

The discussions were very open and all Opposition members confirmed the importance of international education and the vital role of vocational education and training providers. As expected, no financial commitments were made should the Coalition be successful in September; however there is a firm belief that many of the outstanding policy issues relating to the sector can be resolved quickly. These include extending streamlined visa processing to high quality providers, forming a Ministerial Council for International Education and responding to all recommendations in the Chaney Review.

Outsourcing of TAFE courses an option in Queensland

TAFE campuses in Queensland would remain publicly owned but courses could be outsourced to the private sector, according to Education Minister the Hon John-Paul Langbroek.

"In places where people are not choosing to use the TAFE as a TAFE, then we should encourage the private provider to come in, they pay us rent, they pay us an income, to provide courses that people want to do,” Mr Langbroek is reported as telling the Brisbane Times.

The Treasurer the Hon Tim Nicholls told a post-budget lunch that the TAFE sector was one of the main priority reform areas, and at the top of the government’s list of “contestability issues”.

He said the government was aware of various models for reform, and was at the start of a process that would see more news on the sector over coming months.

See an article in the Brisbane Times.

TDA conference speakers unveiled

Speakers for the 2013 TDA National Conference in Melbourne 2-3 September have been announced. They include:

  • The Hon John-Paul Langbroek MP, Minister for Education, Training & Employment, Queensland
  • Amarjit Basi, Principal and Chief Executive, New College Nottingham, UK
  • Rowan Callick, Asia Pacific Editor, The Australian; author of Party Time: Who runs China and how
  • Bruce Chellingworth, Manager-Service Training After Sales Operations, Toyota Motor Corporation
  • Pam Christie, Managing Director, TAFE NSW, Deputy Director-General TAFE & Community Education
  • The Hon John Dawkins AO, Chair, NSSC
  • George Megalogenis, author, The Australian Moment: How we were made for these times
  • Dr John Mitchell, John Mitchell & Associates
  • Chris Murphy, Director, Independent Economics
  • Chris Robinson, Chief Commissioner, ASQA
  • Dr Steve B Robbins, Director, Research Innovations, Academic and Workforce Readiness and Success, Educational Testing Service (ETS), Princeton, NJ, USA
  • Robin Shreeve, CEO, Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency
  • Sally Sinclair, CEO, National Employment Services Association
  • John Widdowson, Principal, New College Durham
  • Innes Willox, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Industry Group
  • Professor Glenn Withers, Crawford School, Australian National University

The conference, ‘TAFE Redefined’, will examine the implications for technical and further education in the new era of market competitiveness and in the Asian Century.

See the full conference program.

See the conference website.

National TAFE Day

The Federal Minister for Education, the Hon Peter Garrett launched National TAFE Day at a reception at Parliament House, Canberra under the theme, “Where would we be without TAFE?”

Pat Forward, Federal TAFE Secretary with the Australian Education Union said the day was a great opportunity to pay tribute to the outstanding role of TAFE institutes.

“We are all the beneficiaries of TAFE – whether we went to TAFE ourselves, or by relying on the skills and expertise of someone who did. TAFEs provide the crucial opportunity for further education, retraining and re-skilling throughout our lives.

“But this past year has seen governments put our great educational sector at risk -with savage cuts announced in New South Wales, Queensland, and Victoria,” Ms Forward said.

See the AEU media release.

Minister Peter Garrett

Briefings for Korea and Sri Lanka

At a recent Australia-Republic of Korea Joint Committee on Education, TDA presented an update on the establishment of a network of TVET providers in the East Asia Region. This initiative is in partnership with the Korean Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training, and the next phase of the project will be a conference in Seoul in October.

TDA also presented the interim results of a benchmark study of vocational education systems to a high level delegation from Sri Lanka, including the Monitoring MP for Education, Youth Affairs and Skills Development, Mohan Lal Grero. A Federal departmental delegation is currently in Sri Lanka with representatives from AusAID and the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.

Recent changes to Australian Education International representation

Members may wish to note Jen Tyrrel has moved from Beijing to take up a similar role in Bangkok. The Taiwan office is now closed and Sandy Chen and Nic McKay are no longer with AEI, although TDA maintains strong links with them both. We expect several new appointments in the Asian region to be made shortly.

Invitation to China VET showcase

TDA members have been issued an invitation to the 2013 National Vocational Students Skills Competition (NVSSC), which has been organised by the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China, the People’s Government of Tianjin Municipality and 31 other departments.

The main events will be held in June in the host city, Tianjin, followed by competitions in 15 other provinces and cities from 26-28 June.

The competition consists of 14 professional categories with 100 competition events, 45 of which will be held from June 26th to June 27th in Tianjin, including specialised subjects for Electronic Information, Processing and Manufacturing, New Energy, Petrochemical Processing, Civil Engineering, Information Technology, Arts, Finance and Economics, Commerce, Trade and Transportation.

For more information, see the website.

Student enrolments swing widely across Australia

There were over 1.9 million students enrolled in the public VET system in 2012, an increase of 3.3% since 2011, according to the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

The biggest increase in student numbers was in South Australia (15.5%), followed by Victoria (8.2%), the ACT (2.1%) and NSW (2.0%), while numbers fell in Tasmania (-9.4%), Queensland (-4.5%), the Northern Territory (-0.7%) and Western Australia (-0.3%).

Nationally, there was a 9.0% increase in both hours of delivery and full-year training equivalents (FYTEs).

See the NCVER data.

COAG approval for VET standards

The National Skills Standards Council (NSSC) has advised that the COAG Standing Council on Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (SCOTESE) has endorsed the NSSC’s Standards Policy Framework, Improving Vocational Education and Training: the Australian Vocational Qualification System as the basis for drafting standards for the regulation of VET.

Information regarding the Standards Policy Framework and other relevant outcomes of the SCOTESE meeting held 7 June is available in the latest NSSC Special Bulletin 05.

Queensland funding available for learners with a disability

The VET Disability Support Service, managed by the Queensland VET Development Centre is able to provide information about funding options for learners with a disability.

Training organisations funded by the Department of Education, Training and Employment can apply for specialised resources, including equipment, software, and personal support and services.

Since its inception, the VET Disability Support Service has helped over 1,000 Queensland based VET learners to achieve their training goals.  For some learners, this has meant borrowing assistive technology, such as magnification aids to read course texts.  For others, personal support has been given in the form of Auslan interpreting and specialist tutors. 

For more information, email VDSS.QVDC@dete.qld.gov.au or call (07) 3259 4090.

A range of inclusive learning resources and advice is also available from the QVDC website.

TDA corporate affiliates:

Diary Dates

Getting started in e-learning
Queensland VET Development Centre

DATE: 17 June – 26 August
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Australasian Adult and Community Education Conference
Adult Learning Australia & ACE Aotearoa in New Zealand

DATE: 18-20 June
LOCATION: Comfort and Quality Inn, Cuba St, Wellington, New Zealand
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

NCVER ‘No Frills’ Conference

DATE: 10-12 July
LOCATION: Sunshine Coast TAFE, Mooloolaba campus
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

TedX: This Way Up
Northern Sydney Institute

DATE: 28 August
LOCATION: Cameraygal Building, the Northern Sydney Institute, St Leonards Campus
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

TDA Annual Conference 2013 TDA Annual Conference 2013 - "TAFE Redefined"
TAFE Directors Australia

DATE: 2-3 September 2013
LOCATION: Sofitel, Brisbane
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Teaching & Learning Conference
VET Development Centre

DATE: 5-6 September
LOCATION: RACV Healesville Country Club
DETAILS: Click here for further information. 

2013 National VET Conference
Velg Training

DATE: 19-20 September, 2013
LOCATION: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Australian Council for Adult Literacy Conference
DATE: 30 September - 2 October
LOCATION: University of Technology, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Australian International Education Conference

DATE: 8-11 October
LOCATION: National Convention Centre, Canberra
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

2013 AUSTAFE National Conference

DATE: 9-11 October
LOCATION: Gold Coast Convention Centre, Queensland
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

conVerge13 - E-learning Conference

DATE: 21-22 November
LOCATION: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Australian Training Awards
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

DATE: 22 November
DETAILS: Click here for further information.