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Newsletter | 14 October 2013

In this edition

TAFE in the reform spotlight

The challenges facing the TAFE sector were spelled out in a number of presentations to the AUSTAFE national conference in Queensland last week.

TDA Director of Policy and Stakeholder Engagement, Pam Caven presented a paper detailing the multiple stages of reform across jurisdictions as they progress toward a contestable, market-driven model of vocational education and training.

The paper argues that few areas of public policy have experienced the scale of change that has been experienced by the TAFE sector in recent years.

A panel session comprising a number of TDA directors, Dianne Murray, Trevor Schwenke, John Hassed, and Kevin Harris, explored the way that TAFE Institutes are going about meeting the financial and operational challenges presented by the new reform agenda.

See Pam Caven’s paper.

Financial data on public vocational education and training

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) has released 2012 financial information on the operating revenues and expenditures for the public vocational education and training (VET) system.

Operating revenues for the public VET system in 2012 were $8.429 billion, an increase of $473.6 million (6%) compared to 2011. Over the same period:

• State and Territory Government revenues increased by $361.4 million (9.1%)
• Australian Government revenues increased by $27.8 million (1.2%)
• Fee-for-service revenue increased by $64.9 million (6%)
• Operating expenditures were $8.303 billion, an increase of $399.3 million (5.1%).

The data also include trends for operating revenues and expenditures, operating expenditures by activities, assets and liabilities. State and territory breakdowns are also included.

Read more.

TDA support for new industry training drive in Taiwan

An initiative for a new framework of industry competency training in Taiwan has been supported with advice from TAFE Directors Australia.

Meetings have been held with the leadership of Taiwan's BVET agency, under the Council of Labour Affairs, with input from TDA consultant Anthony Tyrrell. Sandy Chen, formerly a senior AEI executive, supported the project under a new appointment with the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI). 

Martin Riordan, Chief Executive of TDA, visited Taiwan to review progress with BVET Director-General San-Quei Lin, and Deputy Director-General, Lin-Wen Huang. 

Meetings were also held with the Australian government Representative for Taiwan, Kevin Magee, and Deputy Director Economic and Policy, Robert O'Donnell.

TDA wishes to acknowledge the in-market work by Anthony Tyrrel and Sandy Chen, for Phase I of the competency framework advice. 

Martin Riordan, Kevin Magee, Anthony Tyrrel, Sandy Chen and Robert O'Donnell.


Charlene Lai, Deputy Project Director ITRI, Mr Yu, BVET Taiwan,  Director-General San-Quei Lin, Martin Riordan, Deputy Director-General, Lin-Wen, Anthony Tyrrel (rear).

Sandy Chen and Anthony Tyrrel in Taipei. 


China Ministry of Education invites wider collaboration on international VET

Wider international education linkages and partnerships have been urged for China technical and vocational colleges, with greater emphasis on quality for technical and vocational education delivery.

The strategy may include a new international network across China TVET Colleges for college international executives.

Mdme Li Min, Martin Riordan and Professor Lu Hong.

Discussions on further international strategies for China colleges were part of a peak China international policy and research education conference, held in Chongqing in central China over the weekend.

China Ministry of Education official Mdme Xi Ru, spoke to delegates, saying it was essential that TVET in China further undergo internationalisation.

She encouraged China colleges to deepen their international strategies, and emphasised quality measures to improve curriculum, teacher and professional development, and also urged reviews of delivery and assessment.

The proposed network was an outcome of a joint technical and vocational national conference led by the Chongqing College of Electronics and Engineering, and the Beijing-based China Association of TVET, at a conference for more than 120 senior international executives.  

TDA's Chief Executive, Martin Riordan, was invited to make a keynote presentation on the experience of TAFE's collaboration in China, and areas for further development to enhance student career pathways.

The conference was led by Professor Lu Hong, Director of International Cooperation & Vocational Education Research, Chongqing College of Electronic Engineering. Attending the Chongqing conference was Mdme Li Min, one of the original members of the Chongqing "C-TAFE" capacity building project from 2003-07.

TDA National Scholarships Foundation underway

It is an exciting time for the Foundation as a framework is put in place to develop a truly national set of TAFE scholarships in partnership with TAFE Institutes.

As a donor to the Foundation recently noted: “There are many scholarships for university students, but many young people do not want, or cannot go to university.  They still need a specialised education to be able to get a job and they too deserve support”

There has never been a greater need for a scholarship program within the TAFE sector as more students are, and will in the future, be required to meet course fees and commit to loans.

The TDA National Scholarships Foundation has three aims:

  • Assisting and supporting students studying at TAFE Institutes around the nation
  • Encouraging and growing the level of philanthropy in the VET sector
  • Providing a mechanism for fundraising and scholarship awards to be available to all TDA member TAFE Institutes

Already a small number of scholarships for motivated students experiencing financial hardship, known as Mick Young Scholarships, will be funded this year.  This program will broaden in 2014 along with the introduction of other TAFE scholarship categories.

The other side of the coin is that the Foundation needs to raise funds. Recently Southbank Institute held a ‘Pop Up Cake Shop’ raising $2,500 for the Foundation in two hours.  This is a really good example of staff and students working together to make sure others are able to gain the great benefits that TAFE delivers.

Updates will be provided over the next few months as scholarship programs are developed. In the meantime we welcome your ideas about how the Foundation can work with your Institute and how we can support your fundraising initiatives. 

For more information on the TDA National Scholarships Foundation please contact Gretchel Trost or Malcolm White at Foundation@tda.edu.au or 02 9280 0113.

2013 Australian Training Awards: Book your seat now!

The Australian Training Awards presentation dinner event will be held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday 22 November  from 7.00 pm.

This year, the Australian Training Awards will mark 20 years of rewarding outstanding excellence in vocational education and training (VET).

The majority of the 18 awards, which recognise individuals, business and registered training organisations, are the culmination of the state and territory awards programs with winners from each state and territory eligible to compete at the national level in aligned categories. The remaining award categories are available by entering directly to the Australian Training Awards Program.

The 2013 finalists can be viewed on the Winners and Finalists page of the Australian Training Awards website. Some business and registered training organisation nominations are undergoing a short listing process and finalists for these categories will be announced on 17 October 2013.

To secure a ticket to this year’s Australian Training Awards presentation dinner event, download a registration form from The Event page of the Australian Training Awards website.

For further enquiries about the Australian Training Awards, visit www.australiantrainingawards.gov.au, email australiantrainingawards@innovation.gov.au or phone 02 6102 8647.

Follow the Australian Training Awards on Twitter @AusTrainAwards.

Apprenticeship Ambassadors program on social media

The Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors Program now has a presence on Facebook and Twitter.

It showcases the positive stories of individuals who have found career success through Australian Apprenticeships. It aims to raise the status of Australian Apprenticeships and encourage employers to take on apprentices. 

TDA members are invited to ‘like’ the Facebook page and ‘follow’ the Twitter account.

See the Facebook page

See @AusApprentice twitter

See the website.

New  articles from Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation

The Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE) in the NSW Office of Education was established in August 2012 and has undertaken numerous pieces of analysis aimed at improving teaching quality, student engagement and education outcomes.

The Centre’s masthead publication, Learning Curve, outlines findings from analyses and evaluations that signal what is working well and what needs to improve.

Issues 3, 4 and 5 are now available for download from the CESE website.

Learning Curve 3: Turning aspirations into reality: How teachers can support students’ transition to university and vocational education and training.

Learning Curve 4: Assessing English language proficiency.

Learning Curve 5: Getting the funding right: Using the Family Occupation and Education Index (FOEI) to identify disadvantage in NSW government schools.

Further publications, reports, statistical bulletins and news updates can be found on the CESE website.

Diary Dates

AWPA Business Breakfast
Building next generation Asian connections

DATE: 18 October, 7.30 am
LOCATION: Sheraton on the Park, 161 Elizabeth St, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Knowledge management – use it or lose it
Queensland VET Development Centre

DATE: 23 October
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

2013 Webinar series
Queensland VET Development Centre

DATE: August - November
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

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

5th National Student Engagement Forum: Creating an engaged student experience
LH Martin Institute and the Australian Council for Educational Research

DATE: 21, 23 & 25 October
LOCATION: Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane.
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

EYEQ2013 Conference
Queensland VET Development Centre

DATE: 24-25 October
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Queensland.
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2013 AAIR National Forum
Australasian Association for Institutional Research

DATE: 13-15 November
LOCATION: Perth, Western Australia
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Risk Management for Tertiary Education Sector
Australian Institute of Company Directors and Association for Tertiary Education Management

DATE: 15 November
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

conVerge13 - E-learning Conference

DATE: 21-22 November
LOCATION: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Australian Training Awards
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

DATE: 22 November
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

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.

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