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VET FEE-HELP – federal ombudsman announced as TDA outlines concerns on course cuts and governance
The federal government has agreed to the idea of a VET FEE-HELP ombudsman as part of the negotiations with Labor and the Greens over the reform of the student loan program.
The move comes despite the government's resistance to an ombudsman when it was put up by Labor in its VET policy platform before the July federal election.
Greens education spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young took credit for securing the agreement, saying that it was an important win that would help to protect vulnerable students from exploitation in the future.
Meanwhile, TDA has expressed concern that some of the diploma courses axed from the planned overhaul of VET FEE-HELP course list by the Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham, have been identified by TDA members as particularly important to industry and communities in regional Australia.
TDA is making a detailed submission on courses and pricing as part of consultations ahead of the VET FEE-HELP redesign legislation.
Martin Riordan, Chief Executive of TDA, also signalled the need for improved governance around student loans management, including the need for threshold standards for providers, as applies in higher education.
See 'TAFE Directors in push for threshold standards in VET' in The Australian.
Victorian delegation out to attract students from Latin America
The Victorian government has embarked on a seven day sales pitch to attract students from Mexico and Chile.
The Minister for International Education Steve Herbert will take a delegation of government, business and academic representatives to showcase what Victoria has to offer to students in Latin America.
The trip will include meetings with senior government representatives including the Mexican Secretariat of Public Education, the Chilean Vice Minister for Education and key education agents in Mexico and Chile.
Pacific Islands recruiting vocational trainers
The Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) is seeking Vocational Trainers to deliver Australian qualifications in the Pacific Islands.
The trainers are sought in Applied Fashion Design and Technology, Carpentry, Community Services, Education Support, Early Childhood, Electrotechnology Electrician, Hospitality and Youth Work.
APTC has campuses in five countries – Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
Applications close 30 October, 2016.
$3 million in grants under Tasmanian career start program
The Tasmanian government is making grants worth $3 million to training organisations under the latest round of the annual Career Start program.
The program supports training opportunities that lead to a Certificate III qualification.
Applications close Tuesday, 1 November. Further information, including grant guidelines and application forms is available from Skills Tasmania on 03 6165 6012 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Skills Oz and E-Oz collaborate to host ‘THE industry led’ Conference 8-9 November
Skills Oz and E-Oz are hosting their first joint conference in Queensland's Surfers Paradise, 8 - 9 November, 2016 focussing on 'Assuring quality in the National VET system – Change, Challenge and Opportunity'.
Skills Oz is the new entity formed from the Construction and Property Services Industry Skills Council, and its conference with E-Oz will update delegates of vocational education and training developments and concerns that directly relate to these industries, along with the electrocomms and energy utilities sectors.
Conference MC is Professor Rodney Maddock, Vice Chancellor's Fellow with Victoria University. Key speakers and workshop facilitators include David Garner, GM of Regulatory Operations at ASQA, Brett Schimming, CEO of Construction Skills Queensland and a member of the Australian Industry and Skills Committee, Peter Tighe, CEO of the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency, and Associate Professor Nicole Lee, workshopping alcohol, drugs and health in the workplace. See the full list of speakers.
A special discount rate for Skills Resurgence TDA Convention 2016 delegates is available, saving $600. Discount registration for $1200 (usually $1800) includes conference attendance (8 & 9 November), conference dinner and pre-dinner drinks (Tuesday 8 November), accommodation at the Marriot Hotel, Surfers Paradise on Tuesday 8 November (with buffet breakfast). To find out more and to register at this special rate quote ‘TDASO’ and click here, or contact email@example.com for more info.
Royal Australian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA) Conference
12-15 October, 2016
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
Innovation: What's Next For Community Education?
Community Colleges Australia Annual Conference
18 - 20 October, 2016
Park Royal, Darling Harbour, Sydney
Australian International Education Conference (AIEC)
18 - 21 October, 2016
VET, trades & apprenticeships: voices from the shop floor
28 October, 2016
La Trobe University, Melbourne
E-Oz and Skills Oz Conference
Assuring quality in the National VET system – Change, Challenge and Opportunity
8 - 9 November, 2016
Marriott Resort & Spa, Surfers Paradise, Queensland
Australian Training Awards
17 November, 2016
Darwin, Northern Territory
2016 National Conference on VET Teaching and VET Teacher Education
Australian Council of Deans of Education Vocational Education Group
8 - 9 December, 2016