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Newsletter | 15 August 2016

In this edition


Federal skills minister Karen Andrews and and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to address TDA convention

TDA is delighted to advise that the Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Karen Andrews, pictured top, and the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, centre, have agreed to deliver key addresses at the the TDA Convention, Skills Resurgence, in Melbourne, 4 - 6 October 2016.

The high level representation points to the place of TAFE and the vocational education and training sector as key policy challenges in the election aftermath.

With Walkley award winning ABC journalist, Virginia Trioli, as MC, the convention will focus on critical issues including quality in training,TAFE in higher education, the digital landscape, international education, and funding and policy change, including the clean up of VET FEE-HELP.

The Convention will coincide with the 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition, 6–8 October, at Melbourne Showgrounds, with more than 500 top apprentices, trainees and students.

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Government report recommends independent assessment of training quality

A federal government report has recommended that independent assessors be engaged to give a tick of approval to the skills delivered by training providers.

The report of the Apprenticeships Reform Advisory Group was handed down by the Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Karen Andrews.

Among its 22 recommendations, the report urges that "The Australian Government, through the national VET assessment and training product development agendas, make the case for independent assessment of training outcomes."

The notion of independent assessment is contentious in the VET sector.

The group was chaired by the Assistant Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Craig Laundy and comprised industry representatives.

It also recommends a new approach to funding employer incentives for apprenticeships as well as alternative approaches to apprenticeships.

Victoria cancels funding to 18 private colleges

The Victorian government has cut funding to 18 private training colleges and is seeking to recover $41 million after an investigation into training quality.

The Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert said the crackdown had targeted 62 colleges that had been funded under the Victorian Training Guarantee scheme and that an additional $9 million in payments was being withheld while the investigation continues.

Since late 2014, a total of 32 colleges have had their funding contracts terminated, with the government aiming to recover some $80 million.

Approximately 4000 students have been forced to change courses following the investigation.

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Queensland to probe security industry training

The Queensland government has directed the state's training ombudsman to examine the quality of training in the security industry.

The decision comes after the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) cancelled the accreditation of Queensland-based training provider Peacemakers Security Pty Ltd.

The Minister for Training and Skills Yvette D’Ath said the review would have a focus on any systemic issues or areas for improvement.

“In relation to Peacemakers, the Office of Fair Trading is working with ASQA in relation to course participants past and present – those who already received the qualifications and licence, and those who are seeking to gain a licence," Ms D'ath said.

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TAFE South Australia program to enable job and business opportunities

The South Australian government has launched an initiative, based on a TAFE SA program, that will create employment and business opportunities for mature age workers.

The Minister for Communities and Social Inclusion, Zoe Bettison announced the Mature Aged Business Syndicates project in association with TAFE SA, which aims to create up to 20 start up businesses with up to 80 mature age people each year.

Ms Bettison said participants will develop and update business and technical skills to provide new career paths.

The Chief Executive of TAFE SA, Robin Murt said the organisation would have a major role in identifying skills gaps and ensuring the training was tailored to support new business and job opportunities.

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Training packages in meat, forest and paper products open for feedback

Skills Impact, the Service Skills Organisation (SSO) for grown and renewable resources industries has issued draft work plans for training packages in the areas of Meat ProcessingForest and Wood Products, and Pulp and Paper Manufacturing.

On behalf of the relevant Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) Skills impact will be collecting feedback until 31 August.

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Diary Dates

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

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

NSW Training Awards
8 September, 2016
Four Points by Sheraton, Darling Harbour
More information

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

LH Martin Institute
Innovation Eco-systems: Study Mission to Italy and the Netherlands
21 - 30 September 2016
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
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ACER National Adult Training and Assessment Conference
13 - 14 October, 2016
William Angliss Institute, Melbourne
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Innovation: What's Next For Community Education?
Community Colleges Australia Annual Conference
18 - 20 October, 2016
Park Royal, Darling Harbour, Sydney
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Australian International Education Conference (AIEC)
18 - 21 October, 2016
Melbourne, Victoria
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E-Oz and Skills Oz Conference
Assuring quality in the National VET system – Change, Challenge and Opportunity
8 - 9 November, 2016
Marriott Resort & Spa, Surfers Paradise, Queensland
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Australian Training Awards
17 November, 2016
Darwin, Northern Territory
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2016 National Conference on VET Teaching and VET Teacher Education
Australian Council of Deans of Education Vocational Education Group 
8 - 9 December, 2016
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