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Newsletter | 16 May 2016

In this edition


TAFE funding emerges as key issue in leaders' debate

Federal opposition leader Bill Shorten used the first leaders' debate in Sydney on Friday evening to commit to "restoring public TAFE", signalling that TAFE funding is likely become an election issue.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Mr Shorten addressed a wide range of issues including health and school education, but TAFE and the role of private training colleges was specifically raised by Mr Shorten.

"Do you believe that in life if you just look after the top 1% with tax cuts of $17,000 if you earn a million dollars in the budget, or do you actually say that if you look after apprentices if you keep TAFEs strong, if you don't have such large private funding or private operators in vocational education that you'll actually start restoring community?" Mr shorten asked.

The Prime Minister did not address the TAFE issue.

The 100-strong audience at Windsor RSL judged Mr Shorten the winner -  42 to 29, with another 29 undecided.

See the leaders' debate transcript.

TAFE alumni and apprentices loom in Xenophon party team

A number of candidates with a TAFE and vocational training background have been selected by Senator Nick Xenophon as part of his team which will contest 18 House of Representatives seats as well as Senate spots.

The Nick Xenophon team comprises:

  • Michael Slatery, a TAFE alumni with a contracting business who nominated for the electorate of Port Adelaide
  • Daniel Kirk, a former TAFE executive who is contesting the South Australian electorate of Hindmarsh
  • Luke Bolton, a Senate candidate in Western Australia and a former chef who began his career as an apprentice.

See more.

Victorian training market report shows student enrolments down 

The number of Victorian students in government-funded training continued to fall last year, according to official state government figures.

The Training Market Report 2015 shows a 17% fall in the number of students in government subsidised training - down from 443,687 in 2014 to 377,831 in 2015.

The report also shows a slight fall in the TAFE market share, down from 31% in 2014 to 30% in 2015.

There was a 5% rise in new apprenticeship course commencements to 15,285  – the highest number in three years.

The government says it recovered $40 million from training providers who had their contracts terminated, and that this accounted for half of the decline in student enrolments.

West Australian budget cuts TAFE funding

The West Australian government has tightened the funding for TAFE courses in the state budget announced last Friday.

The government has reduced the cost per student curriculum hour across a range of course types.

The portfolio budget papers say the decrease reflects a change in the government subsidy under Future Skills WA.

Opposition Leader Mark McGowan accused the government of cutting $54 million from the training budget over four years, with the bulk of the cuts coming from TAFE.

In February, the government announced the consolidation of the TAFE sector into five colleges.

Victorian training minister a guest at Holmesglen 2016 awards

The Victorian Minister for Training and Skills, Steve Herbert, was a guest at the Holmesglen Awards 2016, held in Melbourne.

The Chair of Holmesglen, Peter Lewinsky, delivered a welcome, and Minister Herbert congratulated outstanding students across segments for VCAL, apprenticeships, certificate, diploma and higher education. Awards were also made for outstanding international student, and an encouragement award.

Mary Faraone, CEO of Holmesglen, congratulated staff and industry partners for their work with Holmesglen, and outlined the progress in re-establishing TAFE's focus on quality leadership in Victoria's tertiary sector.

See the 2016 award winners.

Craig Robertson, Deputy Secretary, Victorian Department of Education and Training; Minister Steve Herbert; Mary Faraone, Holmesglen CEO and TDA director for Victoria; and Martin Riordan, TDA CEO.

TAFE NSW announces ambassadors' awards

TAFE NSW has announced a new series of awards named in honour of its Ambassadors.

Valued at $1,500 each, the prizes will be awarded to 30 meritorious students.

The Ambassadors include Matt Moran, Lisa Mcguigan, Ed Halmagyi and Kyle Loades. Others include Jim Sell who runs a building business in the Southern Highlands; Frank Newah-Jefroi, who's gone from refugee to community services worker in the Riverina, and Carmen-Lee Campbell, a shearer and wool classer out west.

The winning students will be selected by the TAFE NSW Institutes via a nomination process, from the same course area that the Ambassador studied or an equally meritorious student from another discipline.

International education awards nominations open

Nominations are open for the International Education Asociation of Australia's Excellence Awards which recognise outstanding contributions by individuals or teams to international education in Australia.

“It’s a wonderful recognition that we have made an impact,” says Diana Crvenkovic from the Study Melbourne Student Centre, which was recognised last year for Best Practice in International Education.

Nominations are open in a number of categories: Distinguished Contribution, Excellence in Leadership, Best Practice, Innovation, Excellence in Professional Commentary, and Outstanding Postgraduate Thesis.

Nominations are open until 10 July and winners will be announced at the Australian International Education Conference (AIEC) in October.

See more.

Diary Dates

EduTECH 2016
30 - 31 May, 2016

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2016 Skills Conference
Group Training Association of NSW & ACT
15 June, 2016
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25th National VET Research Conference ‘No Frills’
4 – 6 July 2016
Rockhampton, Queensland

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2016 Executive Leadership Symposium: Building a Resilient TAFE
ACU Executive Education and the LH Martin Institute

4 – 6 July 2016
Sheraton Mirage, Gold Coast
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VETnetwork Australia
Biennial National Conference
27- 28 July, 2016
Gold Coast
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Victorian TAFE Association State Conference
18 - 19 August, 2016
More information coming soon.

NSW TAFE Managers Association
19 August, 2016
Taronga Zoo, Sydney
More information coming soon.

National Skills Week 2016
29 August – 4 September, 2016
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VET Development Centre Teaching & Learning Conference
1 - 2 September, 2016
RACV Torquay Resort, Victoria
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National VET Conference 
Velg Training
14 – 16 September, 2016
Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre
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TDA 2016 Convention – Skills Resurgence
4 - 6 October, 2016
Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, Melbourne, Victoria
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Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Conference
4-7 October, 2016
Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart  
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2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition
6 - 8 October, 2016
Melbourne Showgrounds
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Royal Australian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA) Conference  
12-15 October, 2016
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
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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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Australian Training Awards
17 November, 2016
Darwin, Northern Territory
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