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Newsletter | 11 May 2015

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In this edition  


COAG agrees to review the national entitlement to skills

The National Partnership Agreement on Skills, including the student entitlement to training, is to be reviewed, following the COAG meeting of federal, state and territory skills ministers in Melbourne on Friday.

The ministers agreed to a “simpler, more responsive training system” under projects agreed by the meeting, according to the chair, Assistant Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham. The ministers agreed to:

  • Simplify the current 67 different training packages covering over 17,000 units of competency embedded in around 1,600 qualifications as well as 1,283 accredited courses;
  • Review the operation of the National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform in light of recent experiences by jurisdictions in delivery of student entitlement systems; and
  • Improve existing surveys and data collections to provide more information to students and potential students, as well as employers, about training, and to reduce the compliance burden on students and providers.

Senator Birmingham said he expected to see this work delivering changes, particularly relating to quality and relevance, in coming months.

See the COAG Industry and Skills Council Meeting Communiqué.

See the Minister’s media release.

Industry takes centre stage on new skills committee

The federal government has announced a new industry and skills committee to oversee vocational training, headed by the former CEO of Pacific Brands and Fosters, John Pollaers, pictured.

The Assistant Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham, announced the makeup of the Australian Industry and Skills Committee ahead of the COAG skills ministers’ meeting in Melbourne on Friday.

The committee will replace the work of the Industry Skills Councils in training package development and will oversee industry reference committees, to be supported by new skills service organisations.

“This Committee replaces a complex framework of 13 different committees and advisory bodies, simplifying governance of the vocational education sector and, importantly, putting industry at the centre of the system,” Senator Birmingham said.

Other members include Mick McMahon (Commonwealth), Tara Diamond (Commonwealth VET Advisory Board member), Patricia Neden (VIC), Brett Schimming (QLD), Adrian Smith (SA), Ian Hill (WA), Darren Mathewson (TAS), Andrew Bruyn AM (NT), Michelle Melbourne (ACT), and Jenny Lambert (Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry).

New South Wales will also nominate a member.

See biographies of members of the Australian Industry and Skills Committee. 

See the Minister’s media release.

Victorian budget delivers on TAFE promises

The Andrews government in Victoria has committed $350 million for the TAFE sector in its budget announced last week.

The budget shows the number of subsidised student contact hours of training by all providers will fall from 183 million in 2013-14 to 181 million in 2015-16.

The rate of successful training completion is projected to fall slightly, from 82.4 per cent to 81.5 per cent.

Trade apprentices will benefit from a 50 per cent discount on their vehicle registration, costing $8.8 million.

The Executive Director of the Victorian TAFE Association (VTA), Andrew Williamson, said the budget funding would provide an overdue injection of capital and output funds into the state’s public VET providers.

See VTA’s media release.

Education department webinar to preview VET FEE-HELP reforms

Approved VET FEE-HELP providers are invited to take part in a webinar this Wednesday 13 May, 10-11 am, on the federal government’s planned reforms to VET FEE-HELP.

The government is keen to hear the views of approved VET FEE-HELP providers about the reforms, and is hosting provider consultation forums around Australia, and several webinar sessions.  

The webinars will ensure that all providers, including those in regional areas, have the opportunity to attend the consultations. 

The consultation sessions will provide an opportunity for the department to present the proposed reforms and hear feedback.

The Assistant Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham, has made several recent changes to the guidelines, including measures to ban inducements to sign up to courses. 

Register for the webinar here.

See more on the VET FEE-HELP reforms.

TDA 2015 National Conference registration now open

Registration for the 2015 TDA National Conference is now open.

The conference will be held at the Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart, 10 and 11 September, with   pre-conference workshops on 9 September.

Under the theme, Inspire, the conference will attract senior executives and staff from the TAFE and training sector, as well as industry and government partners and international delegates.

It will explore topics, including fostering industry engagement, market approach to vocational education and training, quality and capability, higher education in TAFE-mission creep, ‘internationalising’ vocational education qualifications, vocational education and training pedagogy and servicing regional communities.

A highlight will be the Sino-Australian VET Forum, involving a delegation of 80-100 Chinese vocational education and training officials from Eastern China.

Excellent accommodation rates have been negotiated at the Hotel Grand Chancellor and other nearby hotels and apartments. Early bookings are recommended to ensure the accommodation of your choice.

Get more information or register here.

To download a conference flyer, please click here

Last chance to register for Mick Young Oration, Melbourne 21 May

There are still a few places left for the Mick Young Oration to be presented by Victoria’s Minister for Training and Skills, Steve Herbert, at the Automotive Centre for Excellence at Docklands at 5.15 pm, Thursday 21 May.

The Oration will be followed by refreshments.

RSVP is today! To register, please complete the form on the Invitation and send to foundation@tda.edu.au

Diary Dates

Mick Young Oration
TDA National Scholarships Foundation

DATE: 21 May 2015
LOCATION: Kangan Institute Automotive Centre of Excellence, Melbourne
DETAILS: See more.

Global Concepts Symposium
Centre for Excellence & LH Martin Institute

DATE: 27 May 2015
LOCATION: Perth, Western Australia
DETAILS: More information coming soon.

National Congress & Expo

DATE: 2 & 3 June 2015
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Navigating the new world: New challenges = New Opportunities

DATE: 4 June 2015
LOCATION: Sofitel Wentworth Hotel, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Western Sydney Careers Expo
DATE: 18-21 June 2015
LOCATION: Showground, Sydney Olympic Park
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

24th National VET Research Conference

DATE: 6-8 July 2015
LOCATION: University of Western Sydney
DETAILS: More information.

Victorian TAFE Association
2015 State Conference - Leading Transformational Change

DATE: 16-17 July 2015
LOCATION: RACV Club, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

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

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.