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Newsletter | 16 December 2013

In this edition


National TAFE inquiry gets go ahead

The Senate’s Education and Employment References Committee will hold a wide-ranging inquiry into TAFE, following a motion moved by Greens Senator, Lee Rhiannon.

It follows a similar inquiry initiated by the House of Representatives which was cut short when the Parliament was dissolved ahead of the September federal election.

The inquiry will hold sittings in all capital cities and in regional centres and will report by May.

It will probe issues including funding, affordability, accessibility, and linkages to secondary and higher education.

The inquiry was welcomed by the Shadow Minister for Vocational Training, Sharon Bird, who said it would help to will help to “highlight the importance of our world-class TAFE system.”


ASQA says audits working well

The national VET regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) rejected almost 10% of applications from existing training providers to re-register, and almost 20% of applications from new providers, according to its latest report.

The report, Regulatory Activity & Key Issues: 1 July 2011 – 30 September 2013, shows that ASQA received 15,370 applications from training providers and completed 2,406 audits since its inception in 2011.

ASQA also released results of responses to its latest round of audits which, it says, show “ongoing satisfaction” with the audit process.

“Contrary to some of the commentary about ASQA’s site audits, the overwhelming majority of survey respondents have indicated their audit experience was a positive one,” ASQA says.

See the ASQA report.

See ASQA’s media release on the results of its site audits.

Further news on a review of VET Standards, under the National Skills Standards Council, may be released as early as today in Canberra, by Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane.


NSW releases list of publicly funded qualifications

The NSW Minister for Education, Hon Adrian Piccoli, has issued the Skills List and the Quality Framework for vocational education and training, as part of the Government’s Smart and Skilled reforms.

The Skills List defines the qualifications, recommended by the independent NSW Skills Board, that are eligible for NSW Government funding in 2014.

The Minister said the list includes qualifications that 95 per cent of government-funded students have chosen to study in the last four years.

“This means that 100 per cent of government funds will go to 95 per cent of the courses that students want to study,” the Minister said.

The NSW Skills Board will review the list in 2014, and then annually.

See more.


Education Minister planning Commonwealth takeover of universities - report

A report in today’s Australian Financial Review says Education Minister Chris Pyne is planning to end the historical role of state governments in operating universities.

The report says he is in talks with the NSW government about assuming governance of the State’s 10 universities and that this may be a forerunner to a national takeover of the sector.

It says that the Minister regards the current arrangement as an anachronism and that there is a need for a new structure that simplifies the current system of role sharing across the sector.

In a separate move, the Minister has also moved to reduce and simplify the reporting requirements of universities.

The government has accepted all 27 recommendations of the 2012 PhillipsKPA Review of Reporting Requirements for Universities.

See the Minister’s media release.


Skills shift occurring in resources sector

Australia’s resources sector will see a major shift in skills demand from construction to operations, requiring a new industry response to avoid skills bottlenecks, according to the latest report from the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA).

The report, Resources sector skills needs 2013, examines the changing skills and employment outlook in the resources sector in the years to 2018.

It says that the resources sector construction workforce will decline from 83,324 workers in 2014 to 7,708 in 2018.

Mining operations is likely to see a modest increase, but oil and gas operations sees an expected 57 percent increase in employment from 38,943 workers in 2013 to 61,212 in 2018. 

“As our Resources Sector transitions to an operations phase and we embark on major liquefied natural gas and coal seam gas projects, resources companies will face challenges in recruiting and retaining workers with the required specialist operational skills and experience, ’ AWPA Chair Philip Bullock said.

See Resources sector skills needs 2013.


‘Group of Five’ Victorian HE symposium

Victoria’s William Angliss Institute hosted the 2012 Prime Minister's Australian University Teacher of the Year Award winner, Professor James Arvanitakis, PhD as keynote speaker at the 2013 Group of Five (Go5) Mixed Sector Symposium last Wednesday.

The Go5 – the five Victorian TAFE Institutions delivering degree programs - William Angliss Institute, Box Hill Institute, Chisholm, Holmesglen and NMIT, held their second Symposium titled, 'New Approaches to Higher Education', to continue peer-to-peer dialogue around vocational degrees.

For more information visit www.angliss.edu.au

Left to right:  Nicholas Hunt, CEO of William Angliss Institute, Dr Andy Giddy, CEO of NMIT, Maria Peters, CEO of Chisholm, Mary Faraone, CEO of Holmesglen,, and Jennifer Oliver, Deputy CEO, Teaching and Learning, Box Hill Institute.


China leadership program completed

TDA and its China partner, the China Education Association for International Exchange, have successfully completed the seventh leadership program for China college directors.

Since 2010, over 180 principals, vice principals and presidents from China’s tertiary vocational colleges have participated in the four-week program. This latest program featured excellent presentations by Melissa McEwen from the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Commissioner Michael Lavarch from ASQA, and Nick Proud from the Construction & Property Services ISC.

Eight TAFE institutes played a key role in delivering the program. Bendigo TAFE, TAFE NSW South Western Sydney Institute, and three metropolitan TAFEs in Brisbane hosted the delegates for a comprehensive two week mentoring program. Sydney TAFE, Northern Sydney Institute and Western Sydney Institute all provided lectures and site tours.

TDA is one of five approved providers of this program, financed through the China Ministry of Education, with the UK, USA, Germany and Canada as the other approved destinations.


‘Asiabound’ workshops delivered in three states; New Colombo Plan update

TDA has now delivered workshops on the Asiabound scholarship program and other outbound mobility programs in Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth. Workshops in Adelaide and Sydney will be scheduled for mid February followed by a webinar for all providers. The final schedule for these events will be confirmed early next year.

The Asia VET and HE student scholarships were undersubscribed in Round I for VET, and TDA seeks support from TDA member Institutes to ensure maximum availability for students can be achieved for Round II, in Q2 2014.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government launched the first stage of the New Colombo Plan.

Although limited to university students in the first phase of the plan, TDA continues to seek an extension of the program to include scholarships for students undertaking advanced technical skill programs in TAFE institutes.


Extension of TVET Framework

Since 2012, TDA has been working with the Commonwealth Secretariat in London to develop a framework for analysing and comparing TVET systems at a country or provincial level.

The framework has undergone significant review with input from wide range of stakeholders including the ILO, UNESCO, UKAID, the UK Association of Colleges, and five Commonwealth countries. TDA has now been commissioned to refine the model and develop a web-based self-assessment tool.

The original framework can be found here.

TDA welcomes input from members and other interested parties as we carry out this work. Please contact either Peter Holden or Jessica Davis at TDA.


TAFE SA signs training agreement with India

TAFE SA will work with Amity University and Heraud Education in India to develop a training program that will deliver vocational education.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the three organisations will see courses developed to provide the skills needed in the rapidly growing Indian economy.

Heraud Education and Training, Amity University and the Automotive Skill Development Council in India have agreed to partner in the first courses in automotive commencing in February.

It is anticipated that other courses will follow in retail, building and construction, banking and accounting and healthcare.

TAFE SA CEO, Jeff Gunningham, said it could see more than 1,000 students annually train in automotive courses in Australia, from Certificate I through to Diploma level.

See more.


International Director position on the Sunshine Coast

TAFE Queensland is seeking a Director of International Development to be based on the Sunshine Coast.

Applications close 18 December.

See details of the position.


Endeavour Scholarships for international students

The Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne has announced the recipients of the Government’s Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships for 2014.

The Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships are internationally competitive scholarships which promote knowledge, education links and ties between Australia and its neighbours.

They will provide 476 international recipients with an opportunity to study in Australia and around 150 Australians to study overseas.

See the Minister’s media release.

See the full list of recipients.


Green skills news update

The latest news about skills and sustainability is contained in the most recent edition of the International Green Skills Network’s E-News.

It contains a message from the Director, Linda Condon, news from COP 19 in Poland, latest research, teaching and learning resources, and a personal story on Annie Nolan, Project Officer for Corporate Sustainability at the Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE.

See the E-News.


Service Skills conference ‘early bird’ closing Friday

Service Skills Australia’s 2014 Conference will be held 3–4 March at the Sheraton on the Park, Sydney. Early bird registrations close this Friday.

The conference MC will be journalist and Seven Network news presenter John Mangos.  The two day program will include keynote presentations from the likes of the inspiring leadership expert Peter Baines.

The panel will be facilitated by leading business journalists, Janine Perrett, host of Sky Business News’ The Perrett Report.

There will be presentations from a range of VET industry leaders, as well as the Service Skills Australia Excellence Awards. Sponsorship and exhibition opportunities are also available.

See here for information and to register.


Diary Dates

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

Members Lunch Box Webinar
The Australian Apprenticeships & Traineeships Information Service

DATE: 20 January 2014
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Universities Australia
Higher Education Conference: Stirred not shaken

DATE: 26-28 February 2014
LOCATION: National Convention Centre, Canberra
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Engage, Empower, Excel – Connecting skills and workforce
Service Skills Australia 2014 Conference

DATE: 3-4 March 2014
LOCATION: Sheraton on the Park, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Future Schools
EduTECH

DATE: 12-14 March 2014
LOCATION: Australian Technology Park, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

NCVER Research Forum
Realising our potential: widening participation through education and training

DATE: 3 April 2014
LOCATION: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
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.

VET Summit
Velg Training

DATE: 29 April 2014 – Brisbane, 5 May 2014 – Melbourne, 12 May 2014 – Sydney
LOCATION: Outrigger, Surfers Paradise, Queensland
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Edu TECH
National Congress and Expo

DATE: 3-5 June 2014
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for 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.

National VET Conference
Velg Training

DATE: 11-12 September 2014
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

2014 WorldSkills Australia National Competition
DATE: 18, 19 & 20 September 2014
LOCATION: Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Group Training Australia
2014 National Conference

DATE: 12-14 November 2014
LOCATION: Grand Chancellor Hotel, Hobart
DETAILS: Coming soon.