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Newsletter | 14 April 2014

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In this edition  

Report into demand driven university funding system positive for TAFE

TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) has welcomed the findings of the Kemp-Norton Review to overhaul Australia’s demand-driven university funding system and create more choice for students.

The review recommended the full extension of Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) funding to all non-university higher education providers including TAFEs. Higher education courses are now offered across 23 TAFEs, with 103 courses including three Masters programs.

TDA CEO, Martin Riordan, said the recommendations were overwhelmingly positive, and he sought an early consideration of the report in light of the upcoming May Budget. The recommendations are consistent with the position TDA argued in its submission to the review.

“However, the Review finding on high attritions flowing from low ATAR university admissions is a key issue. Review data released has confirmed low ATAR students have no better than a 50-50 chance of completing their university enrolled course,” Riordan said.

Education Minister Chris Pyne said the government will release a response to the review in due course.

See TDA’s media release.

See the Report of the Review of the Demand Driven Funding System.

See Education Minister Chris Pyne’s media release.

See TDA’s Submission to the Review of the Demand Driven Funding Model.

TDA seals historic skills partnership between Australia and China

TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) and the Central Institute for Vocational and Technical Education (CIVTE) have signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish an Australia China Centre for Skills Excellence.

The Centre will seek partnerships with Chinese and Australian industry to research skills training and innovation in technical and vocational education in China.

The MoU was signed by the Chair of the TDA Board of Directors, Mr Stephen Conway and the Vice Director-General of CIVTE Ms Gao Ying in Shanghai on Friday.

The signing took place during the Australian Week in China Mission, with TDA invited to deliver research on offshore models adopted by TAFE Institutes, with a special focus on China, during the visit of the Australian education sector to Chengdu. The signing was witnessed by the Minister for Trade & Investment, Andrew Robb and the Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson.

The Centre will focus on research with strategic industries to identify and meet skills shortages, enhance the quality of provision, expand the use of technology to support English language acquisition, and ensure teaching and assessment practices are aligned to occupational standards.

CIVTE is the national pre-eminent research institute on vocational and technical education in China and a significant amount of its work is directed through the China Ministry of Education.

See the TDA media release.

Martin Riordan, TDA, Dr Ho Sum Chan, Kangan Institute and Stephen Conway, Chair TDA.

(Back) Minister for Trade & Investment, Andrew Robb and Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson. (Front) TDA Chair Stephen Conway and Director-General CIVTE Mdm Gao Ying.

(Left to right) Professor Liu Yufeng; Sean Starmer, Education Counsellor, Australian Embassy; Mdm Gao Ying, Vice Director-General, CIVTE; Stephen Conway, Chair TDA; Liu Jiantong, Vice Director-General, Vocational & Adult Education, Ministry of Education; and Martin Riordan, CEO TDA.

Martin Riordan (TDA) joined Ralph Saubern (ACER) and Dr Ho Sum Chan (Kangan Institute) to host one of the VET tables at the Australia Week in China visit for education leaders to Chengdu, with local college executives.

TDA argues for quality, funding and equity in parliamentary TAFE inquiry

TAFE Directors Australia has argued for an overhaul of the regulation and funding of vocational education and training (VET) to overcome quality and operational issues associated with poor quality providers.

In a response to the House of Representatives inquiry into the role of TAFE and its operations, TDA argues for:

  • A risk framework for VET that recognises high quality, ‘low risk’ TAFE and registered training organisations (RTOs) to address concerns about poor and sometimes unethical conduct in parts of the VET  sector - as identified by ASQA including marketing ‘rorts’ - and also the issue of visa streamlining for TAFE impacting on international students enrolments;
  • New rules that allocate Australia’s $9 billion a year VET tertiary funding to accredited ‘low risk’ providers only, including TAFE;
  • Providing access to Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) funding for higher education students in TAFE Institutes and other non-university providers registered as higher education providers.

See the TDA response to the House of Representatives inquiry.

World Federation sets strategic plan for next five years

The World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) Board of Directors met in Washington DC in the first week of April.

Representatives attended from the national associations of colleges, institutes and polytechnics of Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The day-long meeting included a Board meeting followed by a retreat where Directors defined WFCP’s strategic plan for the next five years. The Board also continued to plan the upcoming WFCP World Congress to be held from in Beijing, October 24–26.

TDA’s representative Peter Holden also held meetings with the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, the latter providing additional financial and logistical support for a series of workshops in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico commencing next week. The workshops are part of TDA’s COALAR project funded through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

See more on the WFCP Board meeting.

See more on the WFCP World Congress 2014.

(Left to Right): Yannick Cabassu (WFCP), Zong Wa (CEAIE), Li Yang (CEAIE), Denio Rebello Arantes (CONIF), Denise Amyot (WFCP Chair), Paul Brennan (ACCC), Claudia Schiedeck (CONIF), Alice Blayne-Allard (AACC), Michael Chipps (AACC), Whayne Wheeler (AACC), Armando Pires (CCISP), Peter Holden (TAFE Directors Australia), Bernard Lachance (ACCC), Joaquim Mourato (CCISP), Veronica Rangel Barreto (CONIF)

Workplace productivity agency abolished

The Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA) will be terminated and its functions transferred to the Department of Industry.

In a statement, the Chair of AWPA, Philip Bullock said that the move was in line with the Government’s plan to streamline its advisory processes.

“We respect and accept that the Government has the right to establish these new arrangements and as such we will work to ensure a smooth transition.”

Mr Bullock said AWPA and the former Skills Australia team had worked hard to build a solid body of work over the last six years.

“Our national strategies, sectoral reports, economic modelling, as well as our policy and research documents, have been used by industry and governments at all levels to inform their policies and practices.

“In terms of future arrangements, we are pleased that the Minister has decided that many of the functions of AWPA will transfer and be incorporated into the Department of Industry,” Mr Bullock said.

See the AWPA Chair’s statement.

Higher level skills needed for manufacturing sector

Higher level graduates from the vocational education and training (VET) sector will be needed for a revitalised manufacturing sector according to the latest report from the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA).

In one of its last major reports before being absorbed into the Department of Industry (see story above) AWPA says that while manufacturing employment is in long term decline, Australia has a solid future in advanced manufacturing.

“The future lies in us shifting from heavy industrial manufacturing to higher value added, technologically advanced production. This transition is well underway with products such as Australian pharmaceuticals, medical instruments and scientific equipment already making their mark,” the report says.

“Currently, manufacturing employs fewer university graduates than many other Australian industries and while the skills of VET graduates will continue to be in demand, the industry will require more people with higher education skills to provide the technical and leadership capacity that will drive the sector’s transition,” the report says.

See the AWPA Manufacturing Workforce Study.

Transport and logistics industry honours leaders

Leaders in workforce development and industry promotion were honoured at the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC) Awards for Excellence in Melbourne last week.

The awards coincided with the latest annual TLISC Environmental Scan (E-Scan) which provides an outlook for industry and workforce development.

Winners of the 2014 Innovation and Excellence in Workforce Development Award in each sector were Veolia Environmental Services (Road Transport), Toll Customised Solutions (Logistics and Warehousing), Regional Express (Aviation), John Holland Rail (Rail), Maritime Employees Training Ltd (Maritime), and Qube Ports & Bulk (Ports).

John Holland Rail won the 2014 Return on Investment in Skills Award. The Australian Maritime College earned the 2014 Excellence in Industry Promotion Award. Tasmanian-based De Bruyn’s Transport earned the 2014 Chairman’s Award.

See all the award winners.

See the 2014 Transport and Logistics E-Scan.

Diary Dates

VET Development Centre – The VET BLOG
For relevant news and articles about the VET sector
DETAILS: Click here.

AVETRA 17th Annual Conference
Informing Changes in VET Policy and Practice: The Central Role of Research

DATE: 22-24 April 2014
LOCATION: Outrigger, Surfers Paradise, Queensland
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Thought Leaders
VET Development Centre and TAFE Directors Australia

DATE: 28 April (Sydney) and 29 April (Melbourne) 2014
LOCATION: Novotel Sydney Central & Rydges Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

VET Summit
Velg Training


29 April 2014 – Hilton Hotel in Brisbane

5 May 2014 - Hilton on the Park in Melbourne

12 May 2014 – Sheraton on the Park in Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Australian Council for Educational Research
National Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Assessment Conference 2014

DATE: 1-2 May 2014
LOCATION: Rendezvous Grand Hotel, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here.

National Congress and Expo

DATE: 3-5 June 2014
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for information.

Office for Learning and Teaching
National Conference

DATE: 10-11 June 2014
LOCATION: Dockside Pavilion, Darling Harbour, Sydney.
DETAILS: See more.

'No Frills' - 23rd National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference
DATE: 9-11 July 2014
LOCATION: Holmesglen, Moorabbin Campus, Melbourne, Victoria
DETAILS: Coming soon.

Victorian TAFE Association
2014 State Conference

DATE: 17-18 July 2014
LOCATION: Holmesglen, Moorabbin Campus, Melbourne, Victoria
DETAILS: Coming soon.

TDA National Conference 2014
TAFE Directors Australia

DATE: 1-2 September 2014
LOCATION: Sheraton on the Park, Sydney, NSW
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

National VET Conference
Velg Training

DATE: 11-12 September 2014
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Teaching & Learning Conference 2014
VET Development Centre

DATE: 4-5 September 2014
LOCATION: RACV Club Torquay, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

VETnetwork Australia 2014
Biennial National Conference

DATE: 17-19 September 2014
LOCATION: Darwin Convention Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Australian International Education Conference
Inventing the Future

DATE: 7-10 October 2014
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

2014 WorldSkills Australia National Competition
DATE: 18, 19 & 20 September 2014
LOCATION: Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Group Training Australia
2014 National Conference

DATE: 12-14 November 2014
LOCATION: Grand Chancellor Hotel, Hobart
DETAILS: Click here for more information.