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Newsletter | 13 February 2017

In this edition


Defence sector skills to be the focus of Canberra forum

TAFE Directors Australia and the National Apprentice Employment Network will be hosting the ADF Skills and Apprenticeships Forum in Canberra, 21–22 March.

The two-day forum will explore the challenges and obstacles facing ex-ADF personnel transitioning into civilian life and look at how the defence industry and employers can utilise ADF skills in careers and apprenticeships.

The Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Karen Andrews will address the forum.

Day 1: Tuesday 21 March, 9 am to 4:30 pm, Canberra Institute of Technology, Reid.

6.30 pm Forum Dinner: Venue and guest speaker to be confirmed.

Day 2: Wednesday 22 March, 9 am to 1 pm, Parliament House

TDA member institutes, group training organisations, industry partners and policy makers are invited to attend.

For more information or to register, please contact: memberservices@tda.edu.au

Victoria's TAFEs united under a single brand

Victoria's TAFE institutes will be unified under a single brand in a new marketing drive announced by the Victorian government.

Under the banner of 'TAFE Victoria', the states 12 TAFEs and four dual-sector universities will remain individual institutions, but will gain a new, collective marketing voice.

The initiative will see a promotional campaign, 'TAFE will take you there' with successful chefs, media professionals and business leaders, as well as 22 TAFE Victoria ambassadors who will share their experience of a TAFE education.

The Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney said the united brand would position TAFEs as modern, contemporary institutions, each with their own unique expertise and specialisation.

The Executive Director of the Victorian TAFE Association Andrew Williamson said the new brand would help to further strengthen and promote Victoria’s 12 independent TAFEs and four dual-sector universities.

See the new TAFE Victoria website.

Study examines links between VET teacher qualifications and quality

A major national project led by Professor Erica Smith at Federation University has been investigating whether there is evidence of a link between VET teachers’ qualification levels and the quality of teaching, and of VET more generally.

The project, funded by the Australian Research Council, with contributions from partner organisations, takes into account all qualifications of VET teachers and trainers, not just VET teaching qualifications.

The project has been underway since April 2015 and is drawing to its final stages. So far 62 RTOs including 12 TAFE Institutes have been involved as active participants. More than 900 teachers and trainers have responded to two national surveys, one on teaching and training approaches, and one on professional development engagement. The latter was administered with the assistance of three major providers of professional development.

The qualitative phases involved interviews, focus groups and site visits to 13 RTOs including seven TAFE institutes. Analysis of the data shows a general agreement from all stakeholder groups and most individual interviewees that higher level qualifications among VET teachers make not only for better teaching, but also for improved organisational contribution and better career paths for teachers.

The research team is currently analysing the survey data to provide quantitative evidence for differences among teachers by qualification levels. They will then seek validation and feedback via a ‘Delphi’ process of national and international experts, who will advise on the implementation implications.

The research has involved all of the major peak bodies and stakeholder groups in VET as partner organisations or members of the project’s reference group.

Details of the project can be found here.

European lessons for vocational training

The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP) recently published the latest edition of Skillset and match, its magazine dedicated to the promotion of learning for work.

The magazine includes a number of features, including a piece on validation, focusing on the recognition of lifelong learning and the recognition of prior learning, a 'chicken and egg' discussion about whether tools made our ancestors smarter, or smarter ancestors made better tools, and tips for bringing together theory and practice in VET.

It also includes an inspiring case study of a mature learner who entered VET at 50 to follow her dream to become a teacher.

With Australia facing many of the same challenges as Europe, the magazine provides an opportunity to learn from shared experiences.

International study finds spending on apprenticeships benefits employers

A commentary published by the IZA World of Labor argues that apprentices provide significant productivity benefits to the organisations that employ them, and largely offset the cost of training.

In addition to productivity gains, employers benefit from reduced hiring and training costs, reduced turnover costs, and improved matches between job roles and skilled workers.

In a study of over 3,200 companies in Germany and Switzerland, apprentice productivity rises from 37 per cent of a skilled worker level in the first year to 75 per cent in the third. Employers see economic gains through the lower wages paid to apprentices. In the United States, an analysis found 40-50 per cent rates of return on apprentices.

Literacy and numeracy online assessment tool

Literacy and numeracy are vital skills that can determine whether an individual succeeds in a particular area of training or industry.

The VETASSESS Test supports RTOs with an external and independently verified assessment tool. This tool provides reliable and valid performance reports, mapped to the Australian Core Skills Framework, covering ACSF levels 1-4.    

The platform used provides instant, in-depth reporting for the individual, identifying areas requiring further improvement, as well as group results and analytical reporting across cohorts. This can provide valuable insights, for both for the user and RTO, on the support an individual may need to succeed.

Having recently been approved by the Australian Government for VET Student Loans, this learning tool is a quality and cost-effective solution for RTOs.

The VETASSESS Test features include 24/7 access, user-guides, training sessions and a dedicated customer service desk.

VETASSESS are currently conducting onsite demonstrations and can tailor test requirements for pre-course entry and selection. For further information and consultation contact testenquiries@vetassess.com.au or call Matt Miller on +61 3 9655 4754.

Have your say on NCVER’s future direction

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) is developing a new Strategic Plan for 2017-2019 and is seeking  feedback via a short survey.

Don't miss the opportunity to have your say. Your feedback will be independently assessed and used to inform the Strategic Plan.

The survey closes on Monday 20 February 2017. Complete the survey now.

IBSA announces learning academy

IBSA, the Skills Service Organisation for the manufacturing industry, has established the IBSA Academy.

Chief Executive Officer Patricia Neden said the academy would address the need for professional development that is self-paced and accessible.

There are currently ten courses available with plans for more in coming months. The non-accredited courses are 60 minutes long and designed to give VET practitioners valuable skills that are transferable across multiple environments.

Deadline extended for Australia-China business awards

The deadline for entry to the AustCham Westpac Australia-China Business Awards (ACBA) has been extended to COB, Friday 17 February.

Entry is easy through a new online form with just four short questions and should take 10 to 15 minutes.

Winners of the AustCham Westpac ACBAs are announced at a gala dinner in rotating cities across Greater China each year. AustCham Beijing will host the ACBAs Award Night on Thursday 18 May 2017, with media coverage in China and Australia to highlight the achievements made in Australia-China business over the past year.

This year, in recognition of the changing nature of the Australia-China business relationship, there are several new award categories.

See more.

Diary Dates

20th Annual AVETRA 2017 Conference
18 - 20 April 2017
William Angliss Institute, Melbourne
More information

Group Training Association of NSW & ACT
2017 Skills Conference
14 June 2017
Dockside Darling Harbour
More information coming soon

26th National VET Research Conference 'No Frills' 
5 - 7 July 2017
More information.

2017 TDA Convention - Network TAFE
7 - 8 September 2017
More information coming soon

2017 VDC Teaching & Learning Conference
7 - 8 September 2017
RACV Torquay Resort
More information coming soon

National Skills Week 2017
28 August – 3 September 2017
Nation wide
More information

National Apprentice Employment Network
National Conference
2 - 3 November 2017
Radisson Hotel, Sydney
More information coming soon


Corporate Affiliates