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Newsletter | 14 March 2016

In this edition


Mitchell Institute urges rethink on Commonwealth VET funding plan

A new paper by the Mitchell Institute argues for the Commonwealth to dump its current plan for a takeover of VET and, instead, look at a redesign of tertiary funding across VET and higher education.

The paper by Mitchell Professorial Fellow, Peter Noonan, says the current Commonwealth proposal for control of VET fails to address key underlying problems, including declining overall investment in VET (with the exception of VET FEE‐HELP) and increasingly uneven investment across the states and territories.

The paper, VET funding in Australia: Background,trends and future options, is to be released tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the  Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Senator Scott Ryan, has poured cold water on the idea of a federal takeover of VET.

"It's a matter for COAG and that is in essence above my pay grade - it's a matter for the prime minister and premiers and chief ministers - but my personal inclination has not usually been that a federal takeover ensures better outcomes," he told Fairfax Media.

"My prediction would be we won't be heading down that path."

Dr Michele Bruniges appointed head of Department of Education and Training

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced the appointment of Dr Michele Bruniges as Secretary of the Department of Education and Training.

Dr Bruniges is currently the Secretary of the NSW Department of Education.

"She is a leading educationalist in Australia with a distinguished career in Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments," Mr Turnbull said.

"She brings to the position a wealth of experience and expertise both as an administrator and a teacher."

The five-year appointment commence on 4 April.

New website to support VET at secondary school

The federal government has unveiled a new website designed to improve the quality of vocational education and training (VET) for secondary school students.

The Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Senator Scott Ryan, announced the 'Preparing Secondary Students for Work' website and online assessment tool.

“The Preparing Secondary Students for Work website contains important information that will assist schools and employers to more effectively work together, directly benefiting students both in the short and long term,” Minister Ryan said.

It is designed to help principals, teachers and trainers provide high quality, industry relevant courses for students studying VET at secondary school.

See the website.

Commonwealth announces FTA training provider grants

TAFE NSW New England Institute and Victoria's South West Institute are among 14 organisations to receive grants worth a total of $1.4 million under the federal government's Free Trade Agreement Training Provider Grants program.

The recipients will provide training to help small and medium businesses access Australia’s new free trade agreements with China, Japan and Korea.

The training covers a broad range of sectors including food and fibre, agribusiness and agriculture, professional services, education services,infrastructure, advanced manufacturing and manufactured goods, marine, mining, health and aged.

A second round of funding will open mid-2016.

See more.

Latin American delegation visits Victoria's TAFEs

The Victorian government has hosted a visit from 14 senior education experts from Latin America who are visiting the state's TAFE network.

The delegates from Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Mexico are visiting as part of the Victoria Invitation Program, a major inbound trade mission running from March 7- 20.

The Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert said the aim of the visit is to strengthen partnerships in technical and vocational education and training between Victoria and Latin America, building on an  education mission to Latin America last year.

"The delegates will discuss mutual challenges and explore new opportunities for collaboration in the sector, and they’ll also have the opportunity to visit some of Victoria’s best TAFEs," Mr Herbert said.

Australia-Pacific Technical College recruiting for senior executive

The Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) is seeking a person to fill the position of Executive Director, Corporate & Commercial Operations, based in Suva, Fiji.

The role is responsible for financial management and performance, legal and commercial operations.

The position provides leadership, line management, direction and operational support to the Finance, ICT, Property and Facilities, Commercial Development and Human Resources teams.

See more.

New funding available for VET research

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) has announced the latest round of funding for three three research projects in the areas of:

  • Meeting skill demand for the future
  • New delivery and assessment modes (emerging technology)
  • Future-proofing the VET workforce.

The funding is managed by NCVER on behalf of the Commonwealth, state and territory governments. Proposals are due by 13 April.

Further information 

Diary Dates

Group Training National Conference
‘Skilling for Growth’
7 – 8 April, 2016
More information

AVETRA 19th Annual Conference 
20 – 22 April 2016
More information

WAVE National Conference
Women: Education, Empowerment, Equality. A New Agenda?
20 April 2016
Northern Sydney Institute, TAFE NSW
More information

EduTECH 2016
30 - 31 May, 2016
More information

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 coming soon.

NSW TAFE Managers Association
19 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 Convention
4 - 6 October, 2016
More information coming soon

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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