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Newsletter | 17 February 2014

In this edition

Industry Minister Macfarlane says skills and training system needs urgent repair

The Minister for Industry, Ian Macfarlane says that skills and training needs significant reform and better targeted spending to fix serious structural problems.

Speaking on ABC Radio National Breakfast last week, the Minister described the skills and training system as a “convoluted mess” left by the former government.

Planned reforms were needed “so that we are actually producing skilled people who are literate and numerate” and able to make a productive contribution to the workforce.

The Minister hosed down any suggestion that the upcoming budget would see increased funds for areas such as training, TAFE or apprenticeships, saying there will be “efficient use of the money that’s there”.

“I can guarantee that the skills training that will be offered will be of a higher calibre and will present workers that are better ready, better work-ready, than we have seen in the past,” the Minister said.

“The reality is that we have inherited a system in the skills and training area which is so close to broken, that we have regular meetings now with people who say, ‘for God’s sake just fix this – it is so complicated, it is so heavily regulated, it is so over-audited we’re not getting the results that we need to get’.”

Hear the Minister’s interview.

TAFE scholarships dinner with Minister Sussan Ley, Canberra 5th March

TDA is hosting a special dinner with the Assistant Minister for Education, Sussan Ley, at The Lobby restaurant in Canberra, Wednesday March 5 for the launch of the TAFE National Achievement Scholarships, including a dedicated category for ‘VET in Schools’ graduates.

This is an opportunity for educators and industry leaders to hear the minister speak on the topic of VET in schools.  It’s also a chance to support the TAFE National Scholarships Foundation that will recognise outstanding achievement in the TAFE sector. Minister Ley has flagged stronger support for pre-apprenticeships for VET in School students.

See here for more information or to reserve a place.

Australian Training Awards open

The Australian Training 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.

Applicants may have the opportunity to reach the national stage in November this year and gain Australia-wide recognition for the work they do. Australian Training Awards direct entry categories include:

For individuals:

For businesses:

For registered training organisations:

Applications close on Friday 30 May 2013. For more information, visit www.australiantraininagwards.gov.au or phone 13 38 73.

$3.4 million for workforce training in South Australia

The South Australian Government is partnering with 18 businesses to provide targeted training in the manufacturing sector to improve worker productivity and diversify worker's skills.

Skills Minister Grace Portolesi said the organisations have set out a plan detailing the skills they think their workers need for the future of their industry.

"This funding means over 500 workers will be trained in areas identified by their employers as being of strategic importance," she said.

The funding will target the advanced manufacturing sector including construction, mining, defence and food industries.

Seethe Minister’s media release.

$12,500 scholarship to study manufacturing

Manufacturing Skills Australia and the International Specialised Skills Institute are offering an International Innovation Fellowship to the value of $12,500.

The Fellowship award will provide an opportunity to gather international intelligence on skills and technologies not available in Australia that will benefit the manufacturing industry and support workforce skills improvement.

The successful applicant will spend three to four weeks involved in a study program and/or visits to industry and/or educational training institutions outside of Australia.

Applications close 24th March.

Click here for more information.

‘Elephant in the room’ aged care conference

The Community Services & Health Industry Skills Council (CS&HISC) is holding its inaugural ‘Elephant in the Room’ Aged Care Conference on the NSW Central Coast, 29-30 April.

The conference will explore solutions and ideas in innovation in key residential and community care delivery, including consumer-directed care, onset of reform, workforce growth, leadership & management, and training quality.

It will bring regional and metropolitan providers together to face these looming but ‘not-discussed’ issues, and create the opportunity to develop an agreed action plan.

Find more.

Diary Dates

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

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.

Annual Industry Development Conference - Innovate and Collaborate for Development
ForestWorks Industry Skills Council

DATE: 4 March 2014
LOCATION: Hyatt Hotel, Canberra
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Future Schools

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.

Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council Awards for Excellence
DATE: 10 April 2014
LOCATION: The Langham Hotel, Melbourne
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


29 April 2014 – Hilton Hotel in Brisbane

5 May 2014 - Hilton on the Park in Melbourne

12 May 2014 – Sheraton on the Park in Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

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.

Victorian TAFE Association
2014 State Conference

DATE: 17-18 July 2014
LOCATION: Holmesglen, Moorabbin Campus, Melbourne, Victoria
DETAILS: Coming soon.

TDA National Conference 2014
TAFE Directors Australia

DATE: 1-2 September 2014
LOCATION: Sheraton on the Park, Sydney, NSW
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.

Teaching & Learning Conference 2014
VET Development Centre

DATE: 4-5 September 2014
LOCATION: RACV Club Torquay, Melbourne
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.