TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter: 12 July 2010

 TAFE in the Year of the Tiger


Quality overhaul begins following announcement of new leadership

High-profile education leaders have been announced in key positions to help set up national quality assurance and regulation in the higher education and VET sectors.

The Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, the Hon Simon Crean MP announced the new roles for the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) and the National VET Regulator which include:

  • Interim Chair of TEQSA, Professor Denise Bradley AC
  • Interim CEO of TEQSA, Mr Ian Hawke
  • Interim Chair of the National VET Regulator, Ms Kaye Schofield
  • Interim CEO of the National VET Regulator, Mr John Smyth

TDA congratulates all four appointees on their new positions, and looks forward to working closely with them in the future.

Click here to view the announcement, as well as bios for each appointee.

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SA Government reviews VET sector

The South Australian Government is seeking input into a proposed ten-point plan to reform vocational education and training, which will include student loans, subsidies for employers, and strengthened pathways between schools, VET and universities.

The paper, ‘Skills for all: productivity and participation through skills”, recognises TAFE SA as a key player in the VET sector, particularly in meeting the needs of regions and specific target groups, and providing pathways between VET and higher education. However the paper suggests regulatory and funding changes may need to be made to allow TAFE SA to thrive in a fully-contestable environment.

To view the paper click here. Submissions are due 13 August.

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Leading UK educator confirmed for TDA National Conference

Dame Jackie Fisher DBE
Dame Jackie Fisher DBE

TDA is delighted that Dame Jackie Fisher DBE will deliver a keynote address  at the 2010 TDA National Conference in Melbourne in September.

Dame Jackie Fisher DBE is the Chief Executive of the Newcastle College Group - one of the largest educational, training organisations in the UK. She was made a Dame in June this year for her outstanding contribution to further education and training. Click here to read more about Dame Jackie Fisher.

The conference program has been updated, and can be viewed here.


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Industry survey outlines ‘extreme risk’ of skills shortages in 2010 

More than a third of businesses believe there is a high to extreme risk of skills shortages impacting on the operation of their business in 2010, according to new data from an Australian Industry Group/Deloitte survey.

The survey found that the list of the most prevalent skilled vacancies includes:

  • Metal fitters and machinists
  • Professional engineers
  • Business administration managers and accountants
  • Metal casting, forging and finishing

To view a media release about the survey click here.

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How effective are Industry Skills Councils?

In a recent TDA newsletter we informed members that the Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee is conducting an Inquiry into Industry Skills Councils(ISC).

TDA believes that it would be important for the Committee to have a TAFE perspective on the effectiveness of the ISCs in their advice to, and interaction with, providers.

Submissions to the Committee are due on 6 August. To contribute to a TDA submission, please send responses tomemberservices@tda.edu.auby Monday 26 July.

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New apprentice and trainee data: commencements down, but completions up

New data shows that although the number of apprentice and trainee commencements fell during 2009, there was an increase in completions, and less cancellations and withdrawals from the previous year.

Australian vocational education and training statistics – Apprentices and Trainees, released by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), also showed that although overall commencements fell, there was an increase of 13.4% in the commencements of ‘existing workers’.

Key findings include:

  • 12% of those in the trades are apprentices or trainees
  • Commencements fell 17% for trades, 1.2% for non-trades
  • Overall completions increased 3.5%
  • Cancellations and withdrawals fell 8.7%

The attrition rate for first year apprentices increased from 25.5% in 2001 to 33% in 2009.

Click here to view the full report.

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Update on the Federal Government’s VET broadband network 

In 2009, the Australian Government announced funding of $80 million for a high speed broadband network for the training sector which will support the development of online applications to make effective educational use of high‐speed broadband connections.

A representative Vocational Education Broadband Network (VEN)Stakeholder Advisory Group (VSAG) – including TDA representative, Kevin Harris, Director TAFE NSW, North Sydney Institute – provides advice to ensure that the VEN is designed and implemented in a way which is well informed by stakeholder circumstances and perspectives.

VSAG met on 7 July 2010 and was presented with an update on the procurement of the broadband connectivity between all states. This activity is expected to be finalised by the end of 2010 with the rollout of the network to follow in 2011. DEEWR has indicated that the network will connect existing state networks and not individual Institutes to a common backbone.

A draft implementation approach to the provision of online applications and services across the VEN was also considered. Such services will be available to all Institutes. The scope of these services will be informed by a research project to be undertaken by Charnwood Communications from this month, and will include interviews with Institute management and practitioners. The draft research report will be reviewed by VSAG at its October meeting.

Guidelines and assessment criteria of funding proposals under the VEN Initiative are being developed by DEEWR.

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Outbound mobility funding applications open

The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) has called for applications for the 2011 round of the Endeavour VET Outbound Mobility Program.

The program funds projects that involve students and staff to undertaking study or work placements in the Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Europe and the Americas.

For more information click here. Applications close 20 August.

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Excellent response to TDA survey on TAFE workforce

TDA was delighted to receive a strong response from members for its survey on the TAFE workforce that will contribute to the joint TDA/Victorian TAFE Association (VTA) and TAFE Development Centre (TDC) response to the Productivity Commission study into the VET workforce.

TDA, in collaboration with VTA will be responding to the study with its submission by 30 July. For more information click here.

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Business/Higher Education Round Table events

TDA has recently become a member of the Business/Higher Education Round Table, a not-for-profit organisation established in 1990 to strengthen the relationship between business and higher education.

The organisation runs regular events across the country including an upcoming speaker luncheon featuring the United States Ambassador to Australia, Jeffrey L Bleich, as well an forum on ‘Sustainability at Work’. Click here for more information about the events.

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Tertiary education policy seminars

The Centre for the Study of Higher Education and the LH Martin Institute are jointly presenting a series of policy seminars titled “2010 Tertiary Education Policy Seminars: Realising the national vision for tertiary education”.

The four seminars will be held at the University of Melbourne during July and August. For more information click here.

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Job vacancy – Gold Coast Institute of TAFE

The Gold Coast Institute of TAFE is currently advertising the following job vacancy:

Manager, Domestic Sales Operations
For more information click here.
Applications close 19 July.

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Diary Dates

Investing in VET = Succeeding in VET
DATE: 5-6 August 2010
LOCATION: Sydney Convention Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information


2010 National Conference: TAFE in the Year of the Tiger
DATE: 13-14 September 2010
LOCATION: Crown Promenade, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information


Work Integrated Learning (WIL): Responding to Challenges
DATE: 30 September - 1 October 2010
LOCATION: Curtin University of Technology, Perth
DETAILS: Click here for more information


Leadership, Innovationa and Workplace Culture
DATE: 14-15 October 2010
LOCATION: Citigate Central, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information


Has institutional research come of age in Australiasia?
DATE: 10-12 November 2010
LOCATION: Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Geelong
DETAILS: Click here for more information


2010 Australian Youth Mentoring Conference

DATE: 10-11 November 2010
LOCATION: Radisson Resort, Gold Coast
DETAILS: Click here for more information


World Innovation Summit for Education
DATE: 7-9 December 2010
LOCATION: Sheraton Resort, Doha, Qatar
DETAILS: Click here for more information


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