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Newsletter | 17 November 2014

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In this edition  

 

TAFE and private college higher education students meet Senate crossbenchers at Parliament House

TAFE higher education students will join with students from partner colleges from the Council of Private Higher Education (COPHE), and be hosted in Parliament House, Canberra today.

The special public-private higher education student event will introduce students to Senate crossbenchers, being forced to consider Education Minister Pyne’s legislation on the deregulation of higher education, and extension of Commonwealth funding for TAFE and private college students.

The Chair of the Senate Committee on Education and Employment, Senator Bridget McKenzie, will host the student event, and Senators have been invited to attend and meet the TAFE and private college students.

See the joint TDA/COPHE media statement.


Apprentice commencements edge higher

Apprentice commencements turned up slightly during the September quarter, according to early trend estimates from the National Centre for Vocational Research (NCVER).

Trade commencements increased from 20,900 in the June quarter 2014 to 21,500 in the September quarter 2014, following three consecutive quarters of decline from the September quarter 2013.

Non-trade commencements increased from 27,400 in the June quarter 2014 to 28,800 in the September quarter 2014. This follows a period of decline in the preceding four quarters.

“It is reassuring to see some growth in apprentice and trainee numbers following a downward trend over the past year or so,” said Sue Fergusson, General Manager Statistics, NCVER.


Apprentices flock to loans program

A total of 9,500 apprentices have taken up loans over the past three months under the federal government’s new Trade Support Loans program.

Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said the number was further proof that the government’s VET reform was making an impact.

The Trade Support Loans program commenced in August and replaced the Tools for Your Trade program.

It provides a loan of up to $20,000 over the course of an apprenticeship, which is discounted by 20 per cent on completion and is repayable when an apprentice starts earning above $50,000.


TDA supports Minister Macfarlane’s skills delegation to India

TDA Chair, Stephen Conway, led a TAFE mission to India last week to support Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane’s largest-ever skills delegation to the sub-continent, to encourage greater collaboration between the two countries.

Over 100 representatives from across the Australian industry and training sector made up the delegation which attended the third India Australia Skills Conference – Skills for Better Business in Mumbai.

“Australia wants to further enhance our global partnerships on skills and training and this delegation has the experience and expertise to help achieve this goal,” Minister Macfarlane said.

On behalf of TDA, Mr Conway signed formal agreements (MoUs) with three key institutions, highlighting TDA’s commitment and support for India’s skills development agenda. These signing ceremonies were witnessed by Minister Macfarlane and Mr Bandaru Dattatreya, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, India.

MoUs were signed with The National Skills Development Corporation, the principal agency charged with creating a solid VET infrastructure and supporting public- private partnerships; The Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd., a major infrastructure company with a strong commitment to skills training; and Amity university, a prominent Indian private university consortia.

The VET landscape in India is changing dramatically. The new Modi Government has raised the profile of skills training by appointing a new Minister for Skills. The two day conference in Mumbai highlighted challenges, but also celebrated initiatives already underway, including the work of some TAFE members.

Stephen Conway with Mr R.C.M. Reddy, MD for IL@FS Skills signing the MoU in Mumbai


TDA/AVETRA 2015 Innovation Scholarship now open

TDA and AVETRA are pleased to announce the second round of the joint ‘Innovation Scholarship’.

The Scholarship, which commenced in 2014, aims to enhance innovation and applied research capability in TAFE. It provides $6,000 for an individual or group of practitioners to research innovative ways to work with industry or community to meet skill needs.

The Scholarship supports TDA’s strategic objective to position TAFE in a competitive training market, and AVETRA’s strong commitment to the development of research in VET nationally.

Closing date for applications is the 27 February, 2015. Applications which contain co-sponsorship contributions by industry are strongly encouraged.

For more information, and the scholarship guidelines and application form, visit TDA and AVETRA websites or call Melinda Waters on 02 9217 4951.


China Free Trade Agreement opens wider opportunities for services

Today’s expected signing of the Australia-China Free Trade Agreement includes reported provisions for wider access for education services in China.

It is being speculated that the experiences of tertiary education providers with multiple regulations that restrict educational collaborations may be eased.

TDA was commissioned last year to complete a detailed offshore partnership survey of TAFEs. This found that for Australian TAFEs, some 91 education agreements were active, and new forms of services were in demand.

TDA will circulate detailed briefings to members on the China FTA Agreement, following the signing.


National consultations on skilled migration and temporary activity visa programs

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection will be holding consultation meetings around Australia on the deregulation of the skilled migration and temporary activity visa programs.

The purpose of this phase of consultations is to provide stakeholders with a proposed visa framework, which has been shaped after the department held a number of initial forums introducing the review and responses from the discussion paper, Reviewing the Skilled Migration and 400 Series Visa Programmes

TDA strongly encourages your representation at these forums.

If you are able to attend, please RSVP to smdt@immi.gov.au by COB TODAY.

Consultations will be held on the following dates:

 

Capital City

Dates

Location

Times

Sydney

Mon 1 December

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Level 5 Patyegarang Conference Rooms

Elizabeth Street, Sydney City

 

10.00 – 11.30am

 

2.30 – 4.00pm

Sydney

Tues 2 December

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Level 5 Patyegarang Conference Rooms

Elizabeth Street, Sydney City

 

10.00 – 11.30am

 

2.30 – 4.00pm

Brisbane

Wed 3 December

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Level 3 No. 3 Training Room

 

10.00 – 11.30am

 

2.30 - 4.00pm

 

Canberra

Thurs 4 December

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

5 Chan Street, Orange Building, Belconnen

Level 2 Entry Foyer

Rooms 203.15 and 203.16

 

9.30 – 11.00am

 

Canberra

Fri 5 December

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

5 Chan Street, Orange Building, Belconnen

Level 2 Entry Foyer

Rooms 203.15 and 203.16

 

9.30 – 11.00am

 

2.30 – 4.00pm

Melbourne

Mon 8 December

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Casselden Place, Level 25, No.1 Conference Room, Melbourne City

 

2.30 – 4.00pm

Melbourne

Tues 9 December

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Casselden Place, Level 25, No.1 Conference Room, Melbourne City

 

9.30 – 11.00

 

2.30 – 4.00pm

Adelaide

Wed 10 December

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

70 Franklin Street, Adelaide

L5.20 Training Room 1

 

10.00 – 11.30am

 

Perth

Thurs 11 December

Department of Immigration and Border Protection

836 Wellington Street, West Perth

Level 6 Training Room 1

10.00 – 11.30am


Diary Dates

Government Skills Australia
2014 National Conference

DATE: 17-18 November 2014
LOCATION: Adelaide Oval
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

2014 B/HERT Awards
Business Higher Education Round Table

DATE: 20 November 2014
LOCATION: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Australian Training Awards
DATE: 21 November 2014
LOCATION: Adelaide convention Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Victoria University
Financial Sustainability in VET

DATE: 25-26 February 2015
LOCATION: Victoria University City Convention Centre, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

EduTECH
National Congress & Expo

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