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Newsletter | 1 August 2016

In this edition


TDA calls for TAFE and not-for-profit applied learning to be a priority in integrated tertiary sector

TAFE Directors Australia has signalled that greater recognition of applied learning by TAFE and not-for-profit higher education providers is essential for Australia’s national innovation and science agenda. 

TDA’s submission to the Commonwealth includes a commissioned review benchmarking six OECD countries in higher education. A key feature in all competitor countries is greater support by governments for tertiary institutions that deliver degrees, with special applied learning, industry research and internship models.

Martin Riordan, Chief Executive of TDA, said the benchmark review illustrates the reasons for the Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham, to review the current higher education system.

"The open demand-led uncapped places higher education model introduced under former Prime Minister Gillard has become unsustainable. This uncapped policy is harming student choice for school-leavers, and mature-age learners."

"Applied learning degree colleges in Canada, polytechnics in New Zealand and Hong Kong, and more recently moves by China to covert 600 of their 2,000 universities to become applied technology or polytechnic universities can’t be ignored."

The TDA submission will be a feature of the TDA 2016 Convention (Melbourne, 4-6 October).

Group of Eight calls for a rethink of demand-led degree places at universities

The Chief Executive of the Group of Eight universities, Vicki Thompson, has warned that the system of uncapped university entries has harmed the economy, diminished the value of higher education, and needlessly discouraged TAFE.

The comments, reported in today's Sydney Morning Herald, are to be delivered in a speech to the Graduate Employability and Industry Partnerships Forum in Sydney.

“We should be encouraging vocational study, not allowing it to be seen as a consolation prize," Ms Thompson said.

"I doubt it was ever intended that the demand-driven system would set up a society to consider the lack of a degree as a failure, but that is what is occurring.

"This is a real issue that requires correcting as quickly as possible," Ms Thompson said.

NSW government to overhaul apprenticeship system

The NSW government has issued a consultation paper to steer a planned review of apprenticeships and traineeships in the state.

"It is time to re-think how the apprenticeship and traineeship system operates in NSW to ensure its suitability for industry and the community," the paper says.

The review will examine whether change is needed to improve the level of completion of apprenticeship and traineeship qualifications.

Issues to be examined include alternative models for apprenticeships, the nature of the training contract, ways of increasing flexibility, and the role of group training organisations.

Public consultations will be held in coming weeks in metropolitan and regional areas to discuss the review.

Submissions are open until 19 September.

See more.

ASQA protocol with Victoria to target poor quality training

The national VET regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has signed a protocol to strengthen information sharing with the Victorian government.

ASQA presides over the national arrangements for vocational education and training, with the exception of in Victoria and Western Australia.

The protocol was signed by the-then Commonwealth Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Senator Scott Ryan, and the Victorian Minister for Training and Skills, Steve Herbert.

“Effectively sharing information, at the earliest opportunity, enables swift and appropriate action to be taken, by both ASQA and the funding body," ASQA Chief Commissioner Chris Robinson said.

See more.

VET participation helps reduce crime

The crime rate, especially drug crime, decreases significantly when more 16-44 year olds have access to affordable vocational education and training, according to a new University of Melbourne report.

Drug crime rate decreased 13% when more people had access to a publicly-funded place in VET. The research also recorded a 5% and 11% decrease in personal and property crime respectively, including assault, theft and burglary.

Report author, Dr Cain Polidano from the Melbourne Institute said: “We found that for every extra dollar spent on VET, the community saved 18 cents in avoided crime costs, such as lost productivity, health and rehabilitation costs,” said Dr Polidano.

The report, Vocational Education and Training: A Pathway to the Straight and Narrow, also found that increased VET participation reduces crime by more among mature-age groups (26-44) than among young people (16-25).

Northern Territory names training commission members

The Deputy Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Peter Styles has announced the nine members of the new NT Training Commission, which will oversee vocational education and training.

The Commission members are:

  • Andrew Bruyn (Chair), General Manager of Channel Nine Darwin
  • Annette Gillanders (Deputy Chair), Program Director, BizNorth
  • Peter Barclay, Director, Barclay Builders
  • Greg Bicknell, CEO, NT Chamber of Commerce
  • Wayne Kraft, hospitality sector and NTETA Advisory Board member
  • Neilia Ginnane, Executive Director, Housing Industry Association, NT
  • Pamela Jape, Operations Director, Jape Group Australia and International
  • Stephen Schwer, CEO, Tourism Central Australia
  • Neil Hallagan, CEO, Civil Contractors Federation NT.

See more.

TDA Convention - are you registered yet?

Don’t miss the following session at the TAFE Directors Australia Convention, Skills Resurgence, being held from 4-6 October 2016 in Melbourne.

Wednesday 5 October, 11.15- 12.35pm

What does the Australian Government’s Innovation Nation and Ideas Boom mean for ‘skills resurgence’?

Gearing up for changes heading our way - implications for a skills-global context

  • What policy changes are required?
  • How can industry assist?
  • How are the skills challenges facing South Asian governments in a period of accelerating technological change and transnational mobility congruent with Australian challenges?


  • Innes Willox, Chief Executive, Australian Industry Group
  • Catherine Caruana-McManus, Founder and Director, Giant Ideas P/L.
  • Dr Amanda Day, Counsellor (Education and Research), Australian High Commission, New Delhi
  • Facilitator: Virginia Trioli, Walkley Award winning journalist

To find out more about the TDA convention sessions, click here.

Research, policy and teaching conference alert

The Australian Council of Deans of Education Vocational Education Group (ACDEVEG) in partnership with the School of Education, University of Technology Sydney and Sydney TAFE is holding the 2016 National Conference, 8 - 9 Dec 2016.

The conference theme is 'Research, Policy & Teaching Practice: building connections'.

The program is an important forum for VET practitioners, teacher educators, researchers and policy makers to share knowledge and to work collaboratively in the VET sector.

The first part of the conference will be held on 8 December, 2 - 5pm at the Sydney TAFE campus. The second part will be held at the University of Sydney Technology on the 9 December, 9am - 4pm.

Registrations are now open.

See a call for Paper presentations and Roundtable presentations. Please complete this template and email it as a Word attachment to ACDEVEG2016@uts.edu.au by Friday 26 August, 2016.

For information please see the attached flyer and visit the conference website.

Diary Dates

Victorian TAFE Association State Conference
18 - 19 August, 2016
More information

NSW TAFE Managers Association
26 August, 2016
Taronga Zoo, Sydney
More information coming soon.

National Skills Week 2016
29 August – 4 September, 2016
More Information

VET Development Centre Teaching & Learning Conference
1 - 2 September, 2016
RACV Torquay Resort, Victoria
More information

NSW Training Awards
8 September, 2016
Four Points by Sheraton, Darling Harbour
More information

National VET Conference 
Velg Training
14 – 16 September, 2016
Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre
More information

LH Martin Institute
Innovation Eco-systems: Study Mission to Italy and the Netherlands
21 - 30 September 2016
More information

TDA 2016 Convention – Skills Resurgence
4 - 6 October, 2016
Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, Melbourne, Victoria
More information

Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Conference
4-7 October, 2016
Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart  
More information

2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition
6 - 8 October, 2016
Melbourne Showgrounds
More information
Royal Australian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA) Conference  
12-15 October, 2016
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
More information
Australasian Genomic Technologies Association (AGTA) Conference
9 - 12 October, 2016
Pullman Hotel Auckland, New Zealand
More information

ACER National Adult Training and Assessment Conference
13 - 14 October, 2016
William Angliss Institute, Melbourne
More information

Australian International Education Conference (AIEC)
18 - 21 October, 2016
Melbourne, Victoria
More information

Australian Training Awards
17 November, 2016
Darwin, Northern Territory
More information

2016 National Conference on VET Teaching and VET Teacher Education
Australian Council of Deans of Education Vocational Education Group 
8 - 9 December, 2016
More information


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