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Newsletter | 16 March 2015

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In this edition  


Crackdown begins on dodgy training providers and brokers

Training providers and brokers will be banned from offering students sign-up inducements such as cash, meals, prizes or laptops, under the federal government’s latest crackdown.

The new measures, outlined by Assistant Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham will also:

  • Make it impossible for providers to levy all fees in a single transaction up front
  • Ban miraculously short diploma or advanced diploma courses
  • Protect vulnerable students by requiring providers to assess minimum prerequisites
  • Stop agents and brokers ‘freelancing’ to sign up as many students as possible
  • Give students clear information about VET FEE-HELP loans

In its response, TDA Chief Executive Officer Malcolm White said the measures would help to stop the abuse of the training system by a small group of unscrupulous colleges.

Read more.

See TDA’s media release.

ACPET unveils code of practice

A new code of practice governing the use of agents and brokers in the private education and training sector has been announced by the Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET).

The code of practice, as well as strengthened code of ethics was launched in Melbourne on Friday by the Assistant Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham.

The CEO of ACPET, Rod Camm said the codes set out the high standards expected of members and third parties.

“The standards set out in the codes are binding for our members so that the community can trust that if they study with an ACPET member, they are studying with a high quality and accountable provider,” he said.

A committee headed by the former chairman of the Queensland Training and Employment Recognition Council, Barry Nutter, will oversee the codes.

See more.

Crunch week for higher education reform

The Senate will this week vote on the federal government’s higher education deregulation reforms, but the signs are that the legislation will be rejected in its current form.

Education Minister Christopher Pyne says he is open to negotiation on elements of the package which is expected to be decided on Wednesday.

The Australian says the government faces an almost impossible task of locking in the six crossbenchers it needs, while Mr Pyne has linked the fate of the legislation to the future funding of some 1,700 scientists at 27 research facilities.

See a report in The Australian.

Apprentice support becomes a NSW election issue

The issue of trade training has entered the NSW election, with the Labor Opposition promising financial assistance for new apprentices ahead of the March 28 election.

Opposition Leader Luke Foley has promised a $500 ‘Tools for Your Trade’ program, a halving of the cost of car registration for apprentices and a quota target of 15% of apprentices on government construction projects.

Also, the NSW Greens are pressing for an inquiry into the funding of VET, going back well before the 2012 opening of training markets, with a particular focus on the issue of  competency-based training and training packages.

Jan Owen: ‘No Frills’ dinner speaker

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) has announced that Jan Owen AM Hon DLitt, the CEO of the Foundation for Young Australians will be the dinner speaker at the 'No Frills' conference on 7 July.

No Frills is co-hosted with the University of Western Sydney and TAFE NSW's Western Sydney and South Western Sydney Institutes.

See more.

Diary Dates

Engineering Excellence Project Information Sessions
Australian Industry Group

DATE: February & March 2015
LOCATION: Various locations around Australia
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Australian Workplace Practitioners’ Network
Foundation Skills at Work

DATE: 18-20 March 2015
LOCATION: Melbourne, Victoria
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

WAVE National Conference
Leaders, teachers, learners, leavers: Women in the Australian VET market

DATE: 8 April 2015
LOCATION: Melbourne, Victoria
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

18th Annual Conference

DATE: 8-10 April 2015
LOCATION: The Rendezvous Grand, Melbourne
DETAILS: More information.

Group Training Association of NSW & ACT
The future of work: Rethinking employment, training and skills in NSW and ACT

DATE: 7 May 2015
LOCATION: Amora Hotel, Sydney
DETAILS: More information.

National Congress & Expo

DATE: 2 & 3 June 2015
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Navigating the new world: New challenges = New Opportunities

DATE: 4 June 2015
LOCATION: Sofitel Wentworth Hotel, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Western Sydney Careers Expo
DATE: 18-21 June 2015
LOCATION: Showground, Sydney Olympic Park
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

‘No Frills’ conference

DATE: 6-8 July 2015
LOCATION: University of Western Sydney
DETAILS: More information.

Victorian TAFE Association
2015 State Conference - Leading Transformational Change

DATE: 16-17 July 2015
LOCATION: RACV Club, Melbourne
DETAILS: More information coming soon.

VET Development Centre
Teaching and Learning Conference

DATE: 3-4 September 2015
LOCATION: RACV Torquay Resort, Victoria
DETAILS: More information.

National VET Conference
Velg Training

DATE: 17-18 September 2015
LOCATION: Adelaide Convention Centre
DETAILS: More information.