TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 1 August 2011

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WA Training and Workforce Development Minister meets TDA Board 

The National Board of TAFE Directors Australia held a board meeting last week in Perth, which included a special meeting with the WA Minister for Training and Workforce Development, the Hon Peter Collier MLC. The meeting was hosted by West Coast Institute of TAFE (WA), and attended by WA directors of TAFE Institutes.

Sue Slavin, Deputy Chair of TDA and Managing Director of West Coast Institute of Training, organised a dinner for the Minister and directors at the WCIT Pavilion Restaurant.

Mr. Collier, who is also Minister for Energy and Indigenous Affairs, had recently returned from a WA Industry Mission to the UK and had received wide media interest in its promotion of skilled work opportunities in Western Australia.

TDA acknowledges the generous reception by Sue Slavin and her WCIT executive team, and student support during the Perth meetings.


(L to R) Sue Slavin, TDA Deputy Chair, Managing Director West Coast Institute of Training, Hon Peter Collier Minister for Training and Workforce Development, Dianne Murray, TDA Deputy Chair, Martin Riordan, CEO TDA

(L to R) John Scott Managing Director of C Y O’Connor Institute, Paul Murphy, General Manager, Tasmania Polytechnic, and Adrian Marron, CEO, Canberra Institute of Technology

Patrick O’Brien, Executive Director West Coast Academy of Hospitality Tourism and Trades with Neil Fernandes Managing Director Central Institute of Technology

Melissa Teede Managing Director Vocational Training and Education Centre, Kalgoorlie with Peter Holden, TDA

Kaylene Harth, TDA Board member with Lyn Farrell WA Managing Director, Pilbara TAFE

Pam Caven, TDA, with Nicholas Hunt, CEO, William Angliss Institute


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Thérèse Rein guest speaker for the TDA Conference Dinner - Sydney Opera House

The 2011 TDA National Conference will feature guest speaker, Thérèse Rein, Managing Director and Founder of Ingeus Limited, who will address the Conference Dinner, to be held at the Sydney Opera House.

Ms. Rein leads Ingeus, which has emerged as an international employment services company with extensive UK and overseas interests.

TAFE Directors Australia invites members, conference participants and industry stakeholders to book early to secure a table or make reservations for this year’s TDA Conference Gala Dinner, to be held on 5 September commencing at 7pm in the Opera Point Marquee.



Guests will be treated to a three-course dinner, designed by one of Australia’s best Chefs, Matt Moran, from Aria Restaurant in Sydney.

Click here to view a flyer about the Gala Dinner, and to book. Spaces are limited so don’t miss your place.

The TDA National Conference program of speakers can be viewed here. For further information about the conference click here.

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Offshore VET student visa applications tumble

Overall student visa applications have continued to stabilise in the June quarter, however yearly figures show a serious decline in offshore VET applications, according to new figures from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).

The Student Visa Program Quarterly Report, says there were 25 468 onshore lodgements in the June 2011 quarter. This represents the highest number of onshore lodgements in a June quarter for the past five program years.

However the Students Visa Program Trends report, also released, shows that between 2009-10 and 2010-11, Student visa application numbers declined by 5.1%.

VET sector data indicates a serious decline in offshore applications and visa grants. Offshore visa grants show an overall decline of 45% compared with the 2009-2010 period, with China down 64%, India down 91%, and South Korea down 20.5%. This rapid decline is somewhat masked by onshore applications and grants, where there is an overall decline in visa grants of 6.4%.

These trends indicate a strong tendency for current VET students to move to higher education, up by 60%, whereas ELICOS students moving to VET are down by 20%, and school students moving to VET are down by 53%.

See both reports here.

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Navigating completion rates

Approximately 55% of all apprentices and trainees are likely to finish their training, according to the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

Following debate about the accuracy of solely measuring contract completion rates, NCVER has brought together, in one report, data based on both contracts and individuals.

Individual completion rates for trade apprentices are 57.4% for those who started training in 2005 and 56.4% for those who started in 2006. For trainees who started training in 2005 and 2006, the individual completion rate was 54.1% and 54.3% respectively.

Click here to view the full report.

The NCVER also released its annual statistics on apprentices and trainees, which showed that overall commencements increased from 2009 to 2010 by 15.7%, with trade commencements up 21.9%.  Click here to view the full report.

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New data on post-school education pathways

Some 18% of people aged 25-64 who have a higher education qualification first attained a vocational qualification according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The report, based on 2009 figures, says the main reason people undergo further study is to upgrade existing qualifications – particularly in areas of health and education.

Approximately a third of those who had attained a non-school qualification cited their first qualification as a Certificate III/IV, a similar percentage cited a bachelor degree.

For more information click here.

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Untangling the current VET landscape

New regulatory arrangements in the vocational education and training sector have not reduced the number of confusing advisory and regulatory bodies according to The Australian.

Journalist John Ross takes an in-depth look into the VET regulatory landscape to help map-out the various committees, councils, advisory bodies and regulators. Click here to read the article.

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Job applicants not meeting standards

Both the number of job vacancies, and the number of suitable applicants for each job vacancy, dropped in the period 2010-2011 compared with 2009-2010, according to a report by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).

Engineering professionals, resources professionals and automotive tradesman were the hardest employees to place. The Northern Territory, ACT and Western Australia recorded the lowest levels of filled vacancies.

Click here to view the full report.

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New twitter accounts for Ministers

The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations has advised that Ministerial media releases can now be accessed via individual Ministers’ twitter accounts.

The accounts include:

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Institutional research conference

The Australian Association for Institutional Research (AAIR) has released the program for its national conference to be held at Sea World Resort on the Gold Coast, 8-11 November.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Professor Sandra Harding, Vice Chancellor and President, James Cook University
  • Dr Pamela Kinnear, Director of Policy, Universities Australia

To view the program, click here.

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Diary Dates

Inaugural Regional Higher Education Forum
DATE: 2-3 August, 2011
LOCATION: Coffs Harbour
DETAILS: More information soon

2011 National VET Conference
DATE: 4-5 August, 2011
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2011 National Conference
DATE: 10 August, 2011
LOCATION: Four Season’s Hotel, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2011 Conference
DATE: 26 August, 2011
LOCATION: Menzies Hotel Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2011 National Conference
DATE: 5-6 September, 2011
LOCATION: Sheraton on the Park Hotel, Sydney
DETAILS: More information here

2011 Conference
DATE: 11-14 October, 2011
LOCATION: Adelaide Convention Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information

AUSTAFE National Conference
2020 Vision
DATE: 12-14 October, 2011
LOCATION: Canberra
DETAILS: Click here for more information

ePortfolios Australia Conference 2011
DATE: 17-18 October, 2011
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Making a Difference... 2011: Breaking Through the Barriers
DATE: 19-20 October, 2011
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Looking ahead - Group Training National Conference
DATE: 19-21 October, 2011
LOCATION: Grand Hyatt, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Australasian Association for Institutional Research Forum “Let the sunshine in”
DATE: 9-11 November, 2011
LOCATION: Sea World Resort, Gold Coast
DETAILS: Click here for more information

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