TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 12 December 2011

Call for responses to ‘National Charter’ discussion paper

TDA is calling for submissions in response to its recent discussion paper, ‘The Case for a National Charter for TAFE: its role in public sector provision in Australia’.

The paper makes the case that a National Charter for TAFE would bring consistency and greater certainty ahead of new Commonwealth state and territory funding for VET - available from 1 July 2012.

The TDA Case for a National Charter for TAFE suggested it was timely to:

  • affirm the significance of TAFE in delivering on the Government’s productivity and participation agenda
  • articulate the role, scope and responsibilities of TAFE
  • commit to administrative and funding arrangements that will enable TAFE providers to perform this role effectively

TDA is calling for submissions in response to the discussion paper – in particular whether members and stakeholders agree with the proposed five components of the Charter (page 14), or can provide any alternative suggestions. Submissions are due 19 December, and can be sent to pcaven@tda.edu.au.

See the discussion paper ‘The Case for a National Charter for TAFE’ here.

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Australian Apprenticeship Ambassadors

High profile Australians including Greater Western Sydney Giants coach Kevin Sheedy AM, chef and restaurateur Neil Perry, horticulturist and TV star Jody Rigby, former Geelong Captain Cameron Ling and former NRL great Andrew Ryan, will work with the Gillard Government and industry groups to promote Australian Apprenticeships.

The Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Senator the Hon Chris Evans, announced the new Ambassadors, along with a series of reforms for apprenticeships including national harmonisation, accelerated courses and a review of wages.

The announcement included :

  • national harmonisation of apprenticeship regulation, rules and pathways
  • streamlining support services – including reform for Australian Apprenticeships Support Services system.
  • simplifying the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program
  • reviewing the wages and conditions for Australian apprentices
  • accelerated apprenticeships

To view a summary of the reforms click here.

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Apprentice and trainee numbers show strong improvement

June quarter apprentice and trainee figures have shown improvement, up 5.2% from the previous year, according to the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

When comparing the year to 30 June 2011 with the year to 30 June 2010, the number of people commencing in trades occupations increased by 3.8%, and the number of people completing apprenticeships and traineeships increased by 5.1%.

Click here for more information.

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Tasmanian VET to undergo review

Tasmania will review the role and function of two key public vocational education and training providers, following an announcement by the Minister for Education and Skills, Nick McKim.

Both the Tasmanian Skills Institute and the Tasmanian Polytechnic will be part of the review to be undertaken by former TDA Board Member, Virginia Simmons AO, now director of Virsis Consulting.

Click here for more information.  Click here for a media article.

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Innovation Minister launches new high-tech research hub

Minister Carr at the launch

The new ATC Building

The Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research Senator Kim Carr, has launched Swinburne University of Technology’s Advanced Technologies Centre (ATC).

The innovative, ‘see-through’ building will facilitate research into manufacturing, high temperature processing, neurosciences, and robotics and mechatronics. 

Minister Carr said the centre would help build links between industry and research.

“Facilities like this play a critical role in developing and delivering cutting edge technologies and building a highly skilled workforce to keep Australian manufacturing industries the most competitive, innovative and capable in the world,” he said.

See the announcement here.




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Mobility and Exchange in the VET Sector

TDA reminds members that the 2012 VET Outbound Mobility Grants are open until 30 December 2011. The grants offer subsidies to institutions to support study tours, internships and global placements for VET students at Certificate IV and above.

Click here for more information.

Institutes can submit multiple programs to support up to 10 students to travel. Seed funding is also available to support new program development. 

The EU Australian VET Mobility Grants are also open again for 2012. Submissions are due in March 2012 click here for more information.

A new LinkedIn Group, Australian VET Mobility Network, has recently been formed to bring together VET practitioners with an interest in outbound mobility, to share ideas, funding options and program approaches. TDA members may be interested in joining here.   

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ASQA update

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has released its latest monthly update which includes information about a new fact sheet for delivery of elective units, a new self-assessment checklist for registrants, and new evidence requirements for ‘Change to scope’ applications.

Click here to view the latest ASQA update.

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Global opportunity for technology students to show their skills

Microsoft is offering technology students the chance to enter the Imagine Cup – a global competition where students combine inspiration with technology to solve some of the world’s toughest problems.

See a flyer here.

Students compete for cash and prizes, while meeting other inspirational young people and gaining knowledge and skills.

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Attrition in the trades

There is little difference in the amount of attrition between the tradespeople and professions according to a report by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

The report investigates attrition in the trades, the types of jobs that tradesmen and women move on to, as well as investigating if a trade is a good start to a professional career.

It says that studying electrotechnology and communications offers a solid start for a future career. It also shows that attrition in the trades is not such an issue, and that, in fact, inadequacies in labour supply should be the focus if skill shortages emerge.

Click here for more information.

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Diary Dates

Quality in the Making
DATE: 27-28 February, 2012
LOCATION: Sofitel Hotel, Brisbane
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 12-13 April 2012
LOCATION: Canberra
DETAILS: Click here to submit an extract.

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