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Newsletter | 18 February 2013    

In this edition


TDA National Scholarships Foundation

Mick’s Big Night Out -
Friday 1st March

Newly appointed Minister Chris Bowen, and Shadow Minister Sussan Ley, meet TDA Chair and CEO

Newly appointed Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills, the Hon Chris Bowen, met with TAFE Directors Australia in Parliament House, Canberra, during his first week of duties in the portfolio.

Minister Bowen, formerly the Immigration and Citizenship Minister and Member for the electorate of McMahon in Sydney’s south west, included TDA among other peak bodies and senior education portfolio stakeholders for initial meetings.

Minister Bowen said he was keen to listen to the issues of Australia’s 61 TAFE Institutes, and outlined his continued concern about lack of detail and funding support for TAFEs in Victoria, NSW and Queensland. This related to the impasse continuing between the federal government and the eastern states over the National Partnership Agreement on Skills, and the federal Minister withholding reward payments for the three states.

Queensland Minister for Education, Training and Employment, the Hon John-Paul Langbroek, speaking in an AFR interview, today expressed continued dismay that Queensland remains in the funding deadlock, and called on Mr Bowen to immediately release the reward NPA payments.

TDA was also assured by Minister Bowen that outstanding Educational Investment Fund (EIF) grants to rural TAFEs, which had undergone consideration and apparent approval by DIISRTE, would be investigated as a priority. This included the other delayed grant - under the Structural Adjustment Fund - to proceed with Central Queensland University’s merger with Central Queensland TAFE to form the first dual-sector institution in the region.

Martin Riordan, Minister Bowen, and Stephen Conway

Earlier, the Chair and CEO met with Sussan Ley MP, Shadow Minister for Employment Participation. Ms Ley, who has spoken at the past two TDA National Conferences, said she was concerned about small and medium business concerns about the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency, and also about quality provision in selections of training providers. To date, TAFE has been allocated approximately 20% of training funding, under the Workforce Development Fund totalling $700 million over four years.

Ms Ley also said she was keen to continue her scrutiny of apprenticeships and traineeships for the industry, and especially the downturn in completions.

Shadow Minister Sussan Ley with Stephen Conway

TDA's newest member has visit from Foreign Minister Carr

The Kiribati Institute of Technology (KIT) was delighted to receive a visit from the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Bob Carr, as part of the Minister's visit to the Pacific. Driving improvements at KIT is a key component of the AusAID-funded TVET Sector Strengthening Program (TVETSSP), a five year, $20 million program that will conclude in June 2016.

Senator Carr had an opportunity to see significant developments at KIT and meet KIT staff and students as well as I-Kiribati alumni from the Australia-Pacific Technical College. In his keynote address, Senator Carr announced a $25 million package of assistance to the Ministry of Education for Phase II of the Kiribati Education Improvement Program which is focussing on improving the quality of basic education in this small island nation.

TVETSSP Team Leader and former Principal of KIT, Antoine Barnaart said, "It was a good opportunity for the Australian Foreign Minister to see, first hand, the results of Australia's support for TVET and school education in Kiribati.

“KIT is now well-connected with the Australian TAFE network with an auspice agreement with TAFE South Australia and a partnership agreement with the Australia-Pacific Technical College."

TDA welcomes KIT as a new Associate Member of TDA and congratulates the institute on hosting such a successful event.

Senator Carr upon arriving at KIT

Expressions of interest for National Skills Standards Council panel

The National Skills Standards Council (NSSC) is seeking expressions of interest for membership to the Training Package Quality Assurance Panel.

The panel is a list of approved consultants responsible for providing a source of quality assurance expertise in Training Package development and undertaking mandatory Quality Reports as required by Industry Skills Councils.

Individuals who wish to apply for membership are invited to read the Expression of Interest (EOI) and submit an application addressing the selection criteria.

Further information on the Panel and Standards for Training Packages can be found here, or contact Ms Karee Gurtman, Assistant Director, Office of the NSSC via phone on 02 9246 0569.

Special invite from IEAA to attend English language symposium

There are still a number of places available for TAFE representatives to attend IEAA’s English language Symposium on Monday, 25 February in Melbourne.

The symposium, titled Five Years On: English Language Competence of International Students, will draw on current research evidence including three newly-commissioned papers.

The focus will be on how we ensure international students have the English language skills to succeed in their tertiary studies, and how can we effectively prepare them to transition into the workforce.

You will need to register today. Details of the event can be found here.

Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council qualifications update

A second round of qualifications and competency standards drafted by the Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council (CS&HISC) is open for public review.

After gathering feedback from the first draft, via face-to-face consultation workshops and formal submissions, the CS&HISC is looking for further feedback on the following qualification drafts:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers
  • Children's Services
  • Education Support
  • Child, Youth and Family (including Youth Work, Youth Justice and Child, Youth & Family Intervention
  • First Aid

The draft documents will be available online until March 8, except for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker qualifications which close on 4 March.

To view the proposed changes and provide your feedback, click here.

Queensland VET Development Centre webinar series

The Queensland VET Development Centre (QVDC) is running a webinar series that offers new information and advice from experts in the VET sector.

Designed for VET managers and trainers, the webinars aim to support skills and knowledge development reflective of the Queensland VET Continuous Professional Learning Strategy: 2012-2015. They will build awareness and allow participants to engage in professional conversations on a range of contemporary VET topics.

The 2013 Webinar Series Program will be run twice a month, from 12.00pm-1.00pm (QLD time).

Click here to view the 2013 Webinar Series Program for details of each of the sessions, or here for further information about the series.

Financial help for Asia-bound students

The federal government will provide greater financial assistance to undergraduate students wanting to study in Asia, under the newly introduced Higher Education Support Amendment (Asian Century) Bill 2013.

Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills, the Hon Chris Bowen, said the legislation would deliver on changes to the OS-HELP loan scheme announced in late 2012 as part of the Government's response to the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper.

Students studying higher education qualifications at TAFEs will be eligible for the subsidies.

Click here to read the minister’s media release.

Diary Dates

AQF Workshops

DATE: 14 February-1 March
LOCATION: Australian capital cities
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

CCID Annual Conference
DATE: February 22-25, 2013
LOCATION: Atlanta, Georgia USA
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Mick's Big Night Out
TDA and Mick Young Scholarships Trust

DATE: Friday, March 1 2013
LOCATION: Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

The College Completion Agenda: Changes and Challenges Facing US Community Colleges
LH Martin Institute

DATE: 5:30-8pm, Wednesday, 6 March
LOCATION: Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

The Evolution of Applied and Community College Baccalaureates in the US
LH Martin Institute

DATE: 5:30-8pm, Wednesday 13 March
LOCATION: LH Martin Institute, Level 1, 715 Swanston St Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Inside the Box – Innovator Recognition Program workshops
Hargraves Institute and IBSA

DATE: 15 March
LOCATION: MLC Centre, Martin Place, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for further information

RC-2020 Spring Roundtable and Forum
TAFE NSW - Sydney Institute

DATE: 21 March
LOCATION: MLC Centre, Martin Place, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

AVETRA Conference 2013

DATE: 3-5 April, 2013
LOCATION: Fremantle, WA
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

LSAY National Research Forum

DATE: 11 April
LOCATION: Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for further information. Email events@ncver.com.au to register.

Group Training National Conference 2013 – Group Training Works
Group Training Australia

DATE: 17-19 April, 2013
LOCATION: Sofitel, Brisbane Central
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

TLISC Awards for Excellence
Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council

DATE: 18 April, 2013
LOCATION: Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

NCVER ‘No Frills’ Conference

DATE: 10-12 July
LOCATION: Sunshine Coast TAFE, Mooloolaba campus
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

TDA Annual Conference 2013
TAFE Directors Australia

DATE: 2-3 September 2013
LOCATION: Sofitel, Brisbane
DETAILS: Watch this space for further details shortly.

2013 National VET Conference
Velg Training

DATE: 19-20 September, 2013
LOCATION: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Australian International Education Conference

DATE: 8-11 October
LOCATION: National Convention Centre, Canberra
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

2013 AUSTAFE National Conference

DATE: 9-11 October
LOCATION: Gold Coast Convention Centre, Queensland
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

TDA corporate affiliates: