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Newsletter | 14 June 2016

In this edition

Federal election 2016 - what it means for VET and TAFE

...the rest of the week's news


Federal election 2016 - what it means for VET and TAFE

Over the remaining weeks of the 2016 federal election campaign, the TDA newsletter will place an added focus on the policies and the promises from the main political parties for the VET sector, TAFE and higher education.

Starting this week, we look at what the Coalition and Labor parties have promised so far to address issues such as skills, training, apprenticeships and higher education reform.

For much of the past year, the debate about VET has been dominated by the behaviour of unscrupulous private training providers and the abuse of VET FEE-HELP.

However, the election campaign should shine a light on a broader set of priorities, in particular, the need for an education and training system that will drive Australia's competitiveness and prosperity.

TAFE is a central part of this. Recent state elections have demonstrated the widespread community support for TAFE, and the depth of concern when it is diminished.

We look forward to examining the policies that have been offered to date, and those that will be outlined as the election campaign unfolds.

What's been promised so far

Liberal-National Coalition

Youth Jobs PaTH Programme
A $752 million program that aims to help young job seekers gain skills and internships, leading to jobs including apprenticeships.

Redesign of VET FEE-HELP
A discussion paper has proposed a range of options to take effect in 2017, supported by a $10 million education campaign.

Extension of P-TECH 
$4.6 million has been promised for 12 new pilot P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) sites to promote STEM skills.

Higher education 
Reforms including fee deregulation and improved equity for TAFE higher education students have been put on hold pending an expert committee that will make recommendations later this year.


Guaranteed TAFE funding 
A National Priority Plan that defines the unique role of TAFE, rebalances contestable funding, and works with states and territories to provide "ongoing guaranteed TAFE funding".

VET sector review
A promised review of the VET sector that, Labor says, will be the first since the Kangan review in 1974.

An $8,000 per year cap on all VET FEE-HELP student loans, with exemptions for some high cost courses such as nursing and engineering.

Apprentice quota
One in ten jobs on priority federally-funded infrastructure projects to be apprentices, creating 2,600 new apprenticeships.

'Apprentice Ready' is a 20-week,pre-apprenticeship course for trades on the National Skills Needs List, delivered through TAFEs that Labor says will offer 10,000 apprenticeships,

Mature age apprenticeships
A pilot of a National Skills Recognition Entitlement program with 5,000 places to help mature-aged, retrenched workers fast-track into apprenticeships.

Apprentice advocate & portal
An apprentice advocate to address quality and training issues, and a portal, Apprenticeships Connect, that will link apprentices to employers.

Higher education 
The demand driven system to continue and Labor to create the Higher Education Productivity and Performance Commission to promote university efficiency.

...the rest of the week's news

David Riordan to step down from Sydney TAFE

Sydney TAFE Institute Director and TDA Board Member David Riordan is to step down from the institute he has led for the past six years.

Mr Riordan will leave the post in early July to become Director of City Operations with the City of Sydney.

In a note to colleagues, he advised of his departure "with a heavy heart and a sense of sadness".

"Leading this Institute for the last six years has been one of the most exciting opportunities I have ever had," he said.

Mr Riordan was appointed Director of Sydney TAFE in 2010.

TDA extends its congratulations to David on his appointment and appreciation for his outstanding work at Sydney TAFE and for his contribution as a TDA Director.

TDA convention workshop for managers of international education

The first of four TDA pre-convention workshops will be of vital interest to all those engaged in international education.

The workshop, 'Growing International Education' will take place on 4 October in Melbourne, ahead of the Convention itself, which runs 4 - 6 October at the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins.

It will address issues including priorities and strategies of government agencies, policies of ASEAN, and opportunities for collaboration.

The panel will include:

  • Kelly Ralston, General Manager International Education at Austrade 
  • Amanda Pickrell, Acting Director of International Education with Victoria's Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources 
  • Madelinka Sulic, Associate Director of Business Strategy and Services at Sydney Institute 
  • Associate Professor Numyoot Songthanapitak, President of Rajamangala Universities of Technology Network, Thailand; President of Regional Association for Vocational Teacher Education.

See details.

ABC's Costa Georgiadis teaching TAFE students sustainability

The host of ABC TV's Gardening Australia and sustainability expert, Costa Georgiadis, has become part of the commercial cookery program at Sydney TAFE.

Following a suggestion from leading restaurateur Luke Mangan about the need for hospitality students to learn more about sustainability, Head Teacher of Hospitality and Commercial Cookery, Fiona McLean, contacted ABC to enlist the help and advice of "Costa".

He designed a sustainable garden, organised planter boxes and soil and went to work. The result is a special garden built in a unique space where students can grow their own produce.

Costa is now delivering two presentations to commercial cookery students on fresh produce, sustainability, wastage and how to plant in the garden.

Costa filmed a story for Gardening Australia which will be broadcast next Saturday.

Costa Georgiadis speaks with commercial cookery students at Sydney TAFE.

TasTAFE to help improve workforce literacy and numeracy

TasTAFE has been awarded a number of projects to help improve adult numeracy and literacy under a 10-year program announced by the state government.

The Minister for Education and Training, Jeremy Rockliff, announced 13 organisations that have been awarded almost $600,000 under the plan, known as 26TEN Tasmania.

It will support organisations to provide literacy and numeracy and improve the use of plain English in the workplace. TasTAFE is involved in four of the 13 projects.

See more.

WorldSkills Australia appoints new CEO

WorldSkills Australia has appointed Brett Judd, pictured, as its new chief executive.

Mr Judd brings over 20 years of executive sales and marketing, operational, technology and general management experience in Australia and overseas.

He has delivered more than 250 events including major international sporting events, live theatre and concerts, including the Good Food & Wine Show, the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

WorldSkills Australia Chair Brian Wexham said “Brett brings a wealth of commercial experience and business acumen that will ensure WorldSkills Australia continues to provide leadership to drive the skills and vocational education agenda in Australia."

Fulbright VET scholarship open for application

The Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Vocational Education and Training was established in 2005 and is for employees within the sector or training leaders in business and industry.

The scholarship is sponsored by the Department of Education and Training, and involves undertaking an educational program concerning VET policy or practice, such as a short course and/or research.

Examples of those who may apply include employees, teachers, managers, and administrators of private and public training organisations, people who are leading VET in business, and staff within universities that teach in the training/skills sector.

See more.

Diary Dates

2016 Skills Conference
Group Training Association of NSW & ACT
15 June, 2016
More information

25th National VET Research Conference ‘No Frills’
4 – 6 July 2016
Rockhampton, Queensland
More information

VETnetwork Australia
Biennial National Conference
27- 28 July, 2016
Gold Coast
More information

Victorian TAFE Association State Conference
18 - 19 August, 2016
More information

NSW TAFE Managers Association
26 August, 2016
Taronga Zoo, Sydney
More information coming soon.

National Skills Week 2016
29 August – 4 September, 2016
More Information

VET Development Centre Teaching & Learning Conference
1 - 2 September, 2016
RACV Torquay Resort, Victoria
More information

National VET Conference 
Velg Training
14 – 16 September, 2016
Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre
More information

TDA 2016 Convention – Skills Resurgence
4 - 6 October, 2016
Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, Melbourne, Victoria
More information

Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Conference
4-7 October, 2016
Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart  
More information

2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition
6 - 8 October, 2016
Melbourne Showgrounds
More information
Royal Australian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA) Conference  
12-15 October, 2016
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
More information
Australasian Genomic Technologies Association (AGTA) Conference
9-12 October, 2016
Pullman Hotel Auckland, New Zealand
More information

ACER National Adult Training and Assessment Conference
13-14 October, 2016
William Angliss Institute, Melbourne
More information

Australian Training Awards
17 November, 2016
Darwin, Northern Territory
More information


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