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Newsletter | 1 February 2016

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In this edition  


Save the date: Minister Hartsuyker to launch Innovation and Applied Research Roundtable, Canberra, 2 March 2016

The Minister for Vocational Education and Training, Luke Hartsuyker (pictured), will launch an Innovation and Applied Research Roundtable, designed to promote opportunities for industry working with TAFEs and dual sector universities, under the government's recently announced $1.1 billion Innovation and Science Agenda.

The joint initiative by TAFE Directors Australia and LH Martin Institute, University of Melbourne, will be hosted at Canberra Institute of Technology, Canberra, on Wednesday 2nd March 2016. The aim of this TAFE-Industry Roundtable is to stimulate debate about TAFE's role in innovation in traditional and higher level skilled occupations, and industry involvement in applied research partnerships.

The Roundtable will feature guest speakers from Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, who will present applied research models in their colleges and polytechnics. The Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham has been invited to speak at an Outcomes Dinner following the Roundtable,

More information and registration details will be available on the TDA and LH Martin websites later this week.

Federal government unveils the winners in training package shake-up

The Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Luke Hartsuyker, has announced the five groups chosen as Skills Service Organisations to take on the work of the former Industry Skills Councils (ISCs).

The successful SSOs are Artibus Innovation, Australian Industry Standards Limited, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Skills Impact Limited and SkillsIQ.

They will support the new Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) in overseeing training packages.

Several of the former ISCs have survived the shake-up in various forms.

In the agricultural sector, Skills Impact has been formed by the National Farmers' Federation and ForestWorks.

Australian Industry Standards Limited is the new name for the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council.

Community Services and Health and Service Skills Australia are part of SkillsIQ.

The government is planning to select new SSOs for the mining and drilling, manufacturing and automotive sectors. In the meantime, they will be supported by their former ISCs - SkillsDMC, Manufacturing Skills Australia and Auto Skills Australia.

See more.

Student assessment under the spotlight in new discussion paper

A government discussion paper has raised the prospect of independent or external validation as a means of addressing quality issues around student assessment.

The paper, Quality of assessment in vocational education and training, was prepared following the November meeting of the COAG Industry and Skills Council.

It cautions against a 'one-size-fits-all' approach to independent assessment, and raises a number of questions for discussion: "What role should industry, for example, employers and industry organisations, play in validation of assessment?"

The paper also canvasses the concept of a national association for VET professionals that could be responsible for developing teacher standards and raising assessment skills.

Submissions to the discussion paper close Friday 11 March.

Security industry training needs overhaul, ASQA says

Eighty per cent of registered training organisations (RTOs) audited by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) as part of its review of the security industry were found non compliant.

ASQA has recommended an overhaul of the sector to address what it says are "longstanding and persistent issues"  in training for the security industry.

ASQA Chief Commissioner Chris Robinson said inconsistent licensing arrangements across states and territories and poor quality training and assessment were posing challenges to ensuring licensed security personnel were equipped to safely carry out their duties.

“A key driver of ASQA’s review was concerns raised in successive reports by Coroners investigating the deaths of patrons during or as a result of restraint or intervention by security personnel in the course of incident control, particularly around licensed premises,” Mr Robinson said.

The report says the area of non-compliance ranged from relatively minor issues to very serious shortcomings.

"The highest rates of non-compliance were with the standard relating to training delivery and assessment, which is core business for an RTO," the report says.

See the report, Training in security programs in Australia. 

UK law to end 'outdated snobbery' towards apprenticeships

Schools in the UK will be required to give equal time to non-academic career choices, under a government plan to end the ‘second class’ perception of technical and professional education.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan announced that schools will need to give equal access to careers advice about apprenticeships.

He said some schools were unwilling to recommend apprenticeships or other technical and professional routes to any but the lowest-achieving pupils - effectively creating a two-tiered system of careers advice.

"That’s why I’m determined to tackle the minority of schools that perpetuate an outdated snobbery towards apprenticeships by requiring those schools to give young people the chance to hear about the fantastic opportunities apprenticeships and technical education offer," he said.

See more.

New CEO for Canberra Institute of Technology

The ACT Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research, Meegan Fitzharris, has congratulated Leanne Cover (pictured) on her appointment as the new CEO of Canberra Institute of Technology.

Ms Cover, a TDA board member, was previously acting in the role.

"Ms Cover brings a wealth of experience to the role. She has an extensive background in education and training and has been a leader in the service delivery of education and training in Canberra," Ms Fitzharris said.

"The new $10.7 million CIT campus to be established in Tuggeranong will be a huge boost for the region and ensure more Canberrans are training for the jobs of the future."

TDA extends its congratulations to Leanne on her appointment. 

Scholarships for STEM oriented VET study on offer in NSW

Scholarships worth a total of $25 million will be available to students in NSW undertaking vocational training in technology-based growth industries,

The scholarships are part of the 'Jobs for Tomorrow' program. Almost 70 qualifications at Certificate IV and above are eligible for the scholarships.

Current industry partners include the NSW Business Chamber, the Association of Consulting Surveyors, the Australian Computer Society Foundation and the Australian Industry Group.

Students training in science, technology, engineering or maths-related courses through Smart and Skilled are eligible for a $1,000 scholarship.

See more.

TDA/AVETRA Innovation Scholarship closes 11 March 2016

A reminder to all VET researchers - the ‘TDA/AVETRA Innovation Scholarship’ for 2016 is still open but is due to close in approximately six weeks.

There is still time to apply for a $6,000 grant to fund a research project that investigates innovative ways to work with industry or community to meet skill needs. 

There have been two winners of the Scholarship to date:

  1. David McLean from RMIT (2014) who explored training models to support micro-business start-ups in the Community Services and Health Industries. His report entitled ‘Meeting client demand for health service providers: a service design approach’ is available on TDA website. 
  2. Peter Hurley from Bendigo Kangan TAFE (2015) who is investigating how unemployment rates might be improved through innovative labour market programs in TAFE.

Applications from new researchers and those that contain co-sponsorship contributions by TAFE institutions or by industry are strongly encouraged.

For more information, and to obtain the scholarship guidelines and application form, visit TDA and AVETRA websites or contact Melinda Waters at TDA on 02 9217 4951 mwaters@tda.edu.au

Diary Dates

Innovation and Applied Research Roundtable
TAFE Directors Australia and LH Martin Institute
2 March 2016
Canberra Institute of Technology, Canberra
More information coming soon.

Group Training National Conference
‘Skilling for Growth’
7 – 8 April 2016
More information

AVETRA 19th Annual Conference 
20 – 22 April 2016
More information

WAVE National Conference
Women: Education, Empowerment, Equality. A New Agenda?
20 April 2016
Northern Sydney Institute, TAFE NSW
More information

EduTECH 2016
30 - 31 May 2016
More information

25th National VET Research Conference ‘No Frills’
4 – 6 July 2016
Rockhampton, Queensland
More information

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

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

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

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

Corporate Affiliates