Having trouble viewing this email? Click here to view online.

Newsletter | 17 August 2015

<See previous Newsletters

In this edition  


Three Silver and two Bronze for Australia at WorldSkills

Australia’s Skillaroos have won three Silver medals and two Bronze at the 43rd WorldSkills Competition in São Paulo, Brazil.

The results, announced this morning, follow a spectacular closing ceremony, after six days of intense competition for Australia’s 26 competitors.

The results for Australia are:


Joseph Pauley - Industrial Mechanics Millwright

Region: Perth South
Employer: Albany Engineering
Training Institute: Polytechnic West, Midland Campus

Harlan Wilton – Web Design

Region: Sydney West
Employer: Superior IT Technologies
Training Institute: TAFE NSW Western Sydney Institute, Wentworth Falls Campus

Jyothi Forman – Jewellery

Region: Melbourne
Employer: Georgies Fine Jewellery
Training Institute: Melbourne Polytechnic, Fairfield Campus

Skillaroo Principal Category Partner: Melbourne Polytechnic


Dylan Di Martino – Plumbing & Heating

Region: Melbourne
Employer: Paul’s Plumbing Service
Training Institute: Victoria University, Sunshine Campus

Skillaroo Principal Category Partner: Reece

Sam Spong – Bricklaying

Region: Illawarra
Employer: L&M McMahon Bricklaying
Training Institute: TAFE NSW Illawarra Institute, Wollongong Campus

Held every two years, WorldSkills is the biggest vocational education and skills showcase in the world, with 1,200 competitors representing over 60 countries in 23 skill categories.

TDA wishes to congratulate all the competitors, their employers and training institutions on a fantastic effort.

Chief scientist to address TDA national conference

TDA is delighted that Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb, will be speaking at the TDA National Conference in Hobart in just four weeks’ time. 

Professor Chubb will address delegates on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics: Australia’s Future.

Professor Chubb was appointed as Chief Scientist in April 2011.  He was formerly Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University, Vice-Chancellor of Flinders University and Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Monash University. 

It’s not too late to register for the conference. There are now more than 330 delegates attending, including over 40 from China as part of the Sino Australian VET Forum. 

The Chinese guests are senior officials of vocational training organisations, education departments and industry from the eastern seaboard of China, with delegates from Shanghai as well as Anhui, Jaingxi, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces.

To register, please visit the conference website.  We recommend booking now as accommodation is limited.

See the latest conference program.

Martin Riordan to return to TDA CEO role: A reflection from Acting CEO, Malcolm White

Next week Martin Riordan will return to his role of CEO of TDA and I will conclude ten busy and enjoyable months as Acting CEO.

An important and rewarding part of my role was speaking with all our TDA Director members by phone early this year and gaining their view on where the priorities for TDA sit.  This information formed the basis for much of my work and two engaging and interesting days with the TDA Board when we met recently to set the objectives for the next strategic plan.

I have been pleased with the ready access I have been given to Ministers, their staff and senior departmental officers in Canberra.  TDA and its advice are held in high regard and equally I have been impressed with the genuine commitment and energy of all those I have met and worked with. It is important that government policy areas have access to people with strong VET backgrounds.

TAFE in Australia has benefited over the last year from much higher levels of political capital, the support of noted industry leaders and in standing tall in the quality stakes in the face of questionable behavior from some non-TAFE providers.  We need to capitalise on this and calls for a binary system similar to Table A universities should not be out of the question.

There have been some light hearted moments such as when Professor Greg Craven suggested that a meeting of TAFE Directors was like entering a depressive’s ward.  How wrong he was.  In fact we are merely anxious about the low ATAR scores in some universities, knowing as we do that a TAFE pathway to Higher Education leads to better student outcomes and lower attrition rates.

As to the future, there can be few more important roles than skilling the nation’s workforce, and TAFE will continue and grow as the engine room of the national, state and local economies and vital to the communities it serves. 

Thank you to all I have worked with for your support and best wishes to TAFE colleagues around Australia.


From Martin Riordan: It has been a privilege to be able to undertake a Prime Minister’s Postgraduate Asia Scholarship in Shanghai over the past ten months.

I would like o extend my sincere appreciation to Malcolm White for the outstanding job he has done in taking on the Acting CEO’s role over that time.

 I look forward to resuming next week and catching up with all my colleagues and friends across the TAFE network.

Bookings open for Australian training awards

Registrations are now open for the 2015 Australian Training Awards to be presented 19 November at the Princes Wharf 1, Hobart.

The awards are the peak national awards for the vocational education and training (VET) sector, recognising individuals, businesses and registered training organisations for their contribution to skilling Australia.

Up to 1,000 representatives from the national VET sector are expected to attend.

Entries for 2015 state and territory training awards have closed, with finalists being announced across most states and territories. Direct entry category finalists will be announced at the end of August.

To book a ticket, register at The Event page of the Australian Training Awards website.

$3,000 bursaries available to young carers

Young carers will have the chance to apply for a $3,000 grant under the Young Carer Bursary Programme which opens tomorrow.

The programme provides financial assistance to help support young carers to complete or return to education while continuing their caring role. 

It is available to carers aged 25 and under who are studying an approved course either full-time or part-time at a secondary school, in vocational education and training such as apprenticeships or TAFE, an undergraduate course at university, or who will enrol in a course if granted the bursary.

A total of 333 bursaries worth $3,000 each will be available in 2016 and 2017. 

Applications will be open for six weeks, closing 28 September.

See more.

Email: ycbursaries@carersaustralia.com.au

Phone: 1800 756 238

WA government sets apprentice targets for construction contracts

The West Australian government has introduced a new policy for the building and construction sector that will require contractors bidding for government work to have at least 11.5 per cent of apprentices and trainees in their trade workforce.

It will apply to contractors undertaking state government projects with a labour value more than $2 million and will apply to construction projects including schools, hospitals, police stations and public housing.

Training and Workforce Development Minister Liza Harvey said the policy would ensure that successful companies have a demonstrated commitment to training across all their projects, not just government contracts.

"It will also ensure an adequate supply of skilled workers in the building and construction industry, which plays a key role in the WA economy,” Ms Harvey said.

Tasmania gives a boost to transport and logistics jobs

The Tasmanian government has announced a Transport and Logistics Industry Workforce Plan, which sets out priorities for the next four years.

The Minister for State Growth Matthew Groom said the industry faces a number of challenges, including increased parcel postage as a result of online retail activity, and an ageing workforce.

“Through Skills Tasmania, the Tasmanian Government has actively supported the sector to upskill its workforce to develop and pilot innovative ways of delivering pre-employment programs to better meet industry needs,” Mr Groom said.

Around 12,800 people work in the state’s transport and logistics industry across rail, road, aviation and maritime sectors, with the industry contributing around $1.5 billion or 1.6% to gross state product.

NESA national conference reminder

Some of the most influential figures in the employment and related services industry will gather at the NESA (National Employment Services Association) national conference, 27– 29 September, Surfers Paradise. Key sessions include:

  • Working with jobactive providers - What RTO’s should know presented by Annette Gill, Policy & Research Manager Karingal
  • The Micro Revolution in E-Learning with Natalie Scopelliti, Director etrainu YomStar
  • The Future of HR: Building a Smarter Workforce – a workshop for Organisational Leaders by Glenn Dittrich, IBM Singapore
  • Building a Bulletproof Personal Brand with Andrew Griffiths
  • 2015 Australian of the Year Rosie Batty

See the conference flyer or view the full program.

For more information or to register, visit the NESA website.

Diary Dates

2015 ACODE Learning Technologies Leadership Institute
DATE: 17-21 August 2015
LOCATION: Mantra at Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast, Queensland
DETAILS: More information

TAFE Managers Association 2015
DATE: 21 August 2015
LOCATION: Luna Park, Sydney
DETAILS: More information coming soon.

National Skills Week
DATE: 24-30 August 2015
DETAILS: More information.

VET Development Centre
Teaching and Learning Conference

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

TDA National Conference
DATE: 9-11 September 2015
LOCATION: Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart
DETAILS: More information.

National VET Conference
Velg Training

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

NESA National Conference
The Spirit of Collaboration

DATE: 27-29 September 2015
LOCATION: The Marriott Resort Surfers Paradise
DETAILS: More information.

Australian International Education Conference 2015
International education: global, responsible, sustainable

DATE: 6 – 9 October 2015
LOCATION: Adelaide Convention Centre
DETAILS: More information.

2015 Australasian Genomic Technologies Association (AGTA) Conference
DATE: 11 – 14 October 2015
LOCATION: Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, NSW.
DETAILS: More information.

2015 AUSTAFE National Conference
Bringing TAFE and VET to the Nation’s Capital

DATE: 28 – 30 October 2015
LOCATION: Canberra
DETAILS: Contact National President Jerome.DeRose@cit.edu.au

Corporate Affiliates