TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 14 November 2011

Workers with minimum qualifications increase, but not on track for COAG targets

The number of Australians with a Certificate III or higher qualification increased slightly between 2008 and 2010, but the improvements fall short of the COAG skills target that 75% of post-school and workforce aged people should hold minimum qualifications by 2020.

A new report by the COAG Reform Council titled Skills and Workforce Development 2010: Comparing Performance across Australia, shows that 56.6% of Australians hold a minimum qualification. Importantly, the rise occurred in the most disadvantaged socio-economic areas.

Government-funded VET course enrolments were 14% higher in 2010, and pleasingly, enrolments of Indigenous students in higher-level VET courses were 37% higher than enrolments in 2005-2006.

View the full report here.

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Draft tertiary regulation requirements available for comment

The Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Senator the Hon Chris Evans has released for comment the final draft Threshold Standards – the requirements that all education providers must meet to be registered by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).

See the cover letter here, and the Threshold Standards here.

Feedback is due 25 November. The final Standards will be registered by Senator Evans with the Federal Register for Legislative Instruments by 9 December.

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Student visas - key implementation dates and entrant criteria released

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) last week released a summary of key issues impacting on student visas over the next twelve months.

The summary provides details of implementation dates for a number of recommendations arising from the Knight Review, which had discriminated significantly against TAFE and the VET sector.  

DIAC has also released a fact sheet on Genuine Temporary Entrant Criteria.  From 5 November, all applicants for student visas will be subject to an assessment of what DIAC has termed their ‘genuineness’.

The new criteria will apply to all student visa categories and assessment levels and place significant responsibility on DIAC officers to apply the criteria equitably and transparently.

While DIAC indicates the criteria will not make it harder for genuine students to obtain a visa, TDA is keen to hear from members of any specific examples where the use of the criteria raises concerns. Contact Peter Holden, TDA’s Director, International Engagement & Business Development to contribute examples.

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120th anniversary for Sydney Institute of TAFE NSW

The NSW Minister for Education, the Hon. Adrian Picolli MP, was special guest at the 120th anniversary celebrations of TAFE NSW – Sydney Institute, at the Sydney Town Hall last week.

The up-beat Sydney Town Hall Gala Dinner was accompanied by a spectacle of fashion and design from Sydney institute students, and included past alumni, the Zimmermann’s, showcasing bikini and high fashions at a charity auction.

Link to YouTube for the fashion parades.



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Apprenticeship numbers improve

Trade apprenticeship commencements increased in the September quarter, following three consecutive quarters of falling numbers.

New research by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), titled Apprentices and trainees 2011 – early trend estimates, September quarter, shows that 23,000 people started a trade apprenticeship in the September 2011 quarter, up from 22,900 in the previous quarter.

See more from the research here.

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Opportunity to register for the Australian Civilian Corps

Members are encouraged to apply for inclusion on the AusAID Australian Civilian Corps register - a list of civilian specialists approved and ready for deployment to countries experiencing, or emerging from, natural disaster or conflict.

The Corps aims to establish a register of up to 500 specialists who can be rapidly deployed to countries in crisis. These specialists include education experts with experience and capability in restoring national and local education services including vocational education, trades and training.

TDA strongly supports this initiative and encourages members to apply for inclusion on the register. More information about the Australian Civilian Corps can be found here.

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Quality assurance graduates program available

The LH Martin Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Management is running a year-long online academic program for the training and professional development of quality assurance professionals.

The Graduate Certificate in Quality Assurance (GCQA) will be delivered next year – the third year of the program.

Online applications close 5 December. For more information click here. To apply click here.

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Diary Dates

Grounds for Learning Workshop
DATE: 14-16 November, 2011
LOCATION: Monash University, Clayton Campus, VICTORIA
DETAILS: Click here for more information

‘For innovation’
DATE: 18 November, 2011
LOCATION: The Glasshouse, Port Macquarie
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 25 November, 2011
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, South Bank
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Quality in the Making
DATE: 27-28 February, 2012
LOCATION: Sofitel Hotel, Brisbane
DETAILS: Click here for more information

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