TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 16 May 2011




Earlybird registrations end 6 July. Click here for more information.

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Budget response – TDA cautions $1.73 billion ‘carrot and stick’ strategy in Federal Budget

TDA has cautioned that efforts to address current skill shortages may be frustrated by Canberra relying too heavily on its proposed $1.73 billion strategy to hold back any boost to TAFE and VET pending ‘better value” from the next triennial agreement with states and territories.

The 2011 Budget contained measures to shelve a series of funding measures for skills including: the Quality Skills Incentive to the top 100 TAFE and private RTOs, the National VET Broadband Network, delaying the roll-out of Trade Training Centres in Schools, and cutting Group Training support for apprentices. Only minimal funding was also allocated to pre-apprentices.

Last week, Treasurer Wayne Swan also announced a large expansion of ‘enterprise visas’ for large resource industry mining projects.

However, TDA welcomed a $101 million mentoring scheme for apprentices, along with $100 million allocated to enable apprenticeship fast-tracking.

Click here to view the measures welcomed by TDA.

The Opposition has criticised the Government over a freeze on the Trades Training Centres program to 2014/15 – a saving of $102.8 million over four years. Click here to view a response from the Opposition.

View the full list of education and skills measures here. View a list of announcements from Senator Chris Evans here.

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Prime Minister promotes Budget measures at Canberra Institute of Technology

The Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, visited the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) -- on consecutive days - to promote the Government’s Budget skills measures. The visits were featured in national TV and press media, with students discussing their skills career choice.

The Prime Minister was joined by Treasurer, the Hon Wayne Swan MP, and Minister for Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Senator Chris Evans. The group visited the CIT Fyshwick Trade Skills Centre and the CIT Reid Campus’ Hospitality building to meet with students.

Click here to read more about the PMs visit to CIT.


Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, Treasurer, Wayne Swan, and Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Chris Evans at the Fyshwick Trade Skills Centre.
Photo by: Alex Ellinghausen/Fairfax Media


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Response to Income Support review – Roundtable with members Thursday 26 May

TDA has submitted its response to a review of student income support which focuses on the capacity of rural and regional students to access higher education.

The review is being undertaken by Professor Kwong Lee Dow, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne.

Click here to view TDA’s response. Click here for more information about the review.

TDA will host a Members Roundtable with Professor Kwong Lee Dow immediately following next week’s TDA AGM, from 12.00noon to 1.30pm on 26 May, at William Angliss Institute of TAFE, Melbourne.

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Response to disabilities review

TDA has submitted its response to the Review of Disability Standards for Education 2005 Discussion Paper.

The TDA response cautions that while the Standards have achieved the primary objective to make rights and responsibilities in education and training easier to understand,  there remain  issues of direction and implementation that require clarification.

View the TDA response here.

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Telstra Business Women’s Awards open for nominations

The 2011 Telstra Business Women’s Awards are now open for nominations. Since 1995 the Awards have uncovered many hundreds of successful business women who have inspired others through their achievements.

Recent winners include scientists, mining, engineering and retail industry leaders, and owners of a range of innovative online businesses.

Click here for more information or to nominate.

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Trade commencements fall 6 per cent in March quarter

Trade apprenticeship commencements have fallen from previous record numbers, but remain above levels recorded before the global financial crisis, according to new data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

NCVER data shows that 23,200 people started a trade apprenticeship in the March quarter 2011, down 6% from the previous quarter.

For further information, click here.

In other NCVER News...

New estimates show that apprentice completion rates may be higher than previously recorded, because of ‘employer swapping’.

A new report says that up to one quarter of apprentices recommence their training with a new employer during their apprenticeship, which can have an impact on completion rates

Dr Tom Karmel, Managing Director, NCVER said: “Based on the recommencement data that is available, we have calculated new estimates that show that completion rates for individuals are considerably higher than the rates calculated for contracts. They also show that employer churn is an issue, particularly for hairdressing and the food trades.”

Click here for more information.

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English language testing – information session in Melbourne, Wednesday

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Australia invites TDA members to an information session, to be held at the Sofitel Melbourne, on 18 May.

The session is designed for organisations that use and rely on IELTS including education providers, assessing authorities, professional associations and employers.

For more information click here.

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Policy in the Pub tackles basic skills debate

The next TVET Policy in the Pub events in Sydney and Melbourne will focus on Language, Literacy and Numeracy.

‘No More Excuses: Why are Australia’s LLN skills so low?’, will discuss findings from an Industry Skills Council paper that claimed that ‘insufficient’ LLN skills are held by millions of Australian workers. Register here.

Featured speakers will be Robert Paton, Chief Executive Officer, Manufacturing Skills Australia, and Lindsay McGarity, Director, Social Inclusion and Vocational Access Skills Unit, TAFE NSW Training and Education Support.


Melbourne - Monday, 23 May 2011, 4.30pm-6.00pm, Honey Bar, South Melbourne

Sydney - Monday, 20 June 2011, 4.30-6.00pm. Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel

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Diary Dates

Industry E-learning Showcase and Exhibition
DATE: 25 May, 2011
LOCATION: Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

20th National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference (No Frills)
DATE: 13-15 July, 2011
LOCATION: North Coast TAFE, Coffs Harbour
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Higher Education on the Edge
DATE: 4-7 July, 2011
LOCATION: Radisson Resort, Gold Coast
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Inaugural Regional Higher Education Forum
DATE: 2-3 August, 2011
LOCATION: Coffs Harbour
DETAILS: More information soon

2011 National VET Conference
DATE: 4-5 August, 2011
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2011 National Conference
DATE: 10 August, 2011
LOCATION: Four Season’s Hotel, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2011 National Conference
DATE: 5-6 September, 2011
LOCATION: Sheraton on the Park Hotel, Sydney
DETAILS: More information here

2011 Conference
DATE: 11-14 October, 2011
LOCATION: Adelaide Convention Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information

AUSTAFE National Conference
2020 Vision
DATE: 12-14 October, 2011
LOCATION: Canberra
DETAILS: Click here for more information

ePortfolios Australia Conference 2011
DATE: 17-18 October, 2011
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Looking ahead - Group Training National Conference
DATE: 19-21 October, 2011
LOCATION: Grand Hyatt, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

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