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Newsletter | 1 July 2013

In this edition

Prime Minister Rudd announces new Tertiary Education and Skills Ministry in Cabinet line-up

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has unveiled a new frontbench team, including new ministers overseeing the education, skills and training agenda.

Former Immigration Minister, Brendan O’Connor will become the new Minister for Employment, Skills and Training. Minister O’Connor was originally Employment Participation Minister in the first Rudd ministry.

Former Industrial Relations Minister, Bill Shorten will become Minister for School Education, also with responsibility for driving productivity.

Senator Kim Carr, who moved to the backbench under former Prime Minister Gillard returns as Minister for Industry, Innovation and Higher Education.

Tony Burke will become Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.

Mark Butler, who previously had responsibility for mental health will become Minister for Climate Change, Environment, Water and Heritage.

Read more

New Managing Director for NCVER

Mr Rod Camm has been announced as the new Managing Director of the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), replacing Dr Tom Karmel who will retire on 16 August.

Mr Camm has had a distinguished career in the vocational education and training (VET) and was most recently CEO of Skills Queensland. Previously, he was Associate Director-General of the Queensland Department of Education and Training, and CEO of Construction Skills Queensland.

The Chair of NCVER, Professor Peter Shergold, paid tribute to Dr Karmel, who has led NCVER since 2002 as a superb leader who brought extraordinary intellectual leadership and professionalism to the organisation.

TDA congratulates Rodd Camm on this strategic appointment to NCVER, and wishes to thank Tom Karmel, for an outstanding period of service.

See the NCVER media release.

TAFE enrolments down in Victoria

TAFE enrolments in Victoria have fallen by 21,000 government-funded places in the first quarter of 2013.

The number of apprentice and trainee enrolments fell by 16 per cent.

Victoria’s Higher Education and Skills Minister Peter Hall said the number of government-subsidised enrolments related to ''specialised or in-shortage occupations'' rose 4 per cent to 84,600

Read more

Early bird registration for TDA national conference closes this Friday!

The conference program for 2013 TDA National Conference has a stellar line up of local and international speakers who will inform, provoke and delight delegates.

The TDA National Conference will be in Brisbane, 2-3 September. The deadline for early bird registration is Friday 5 July.

Speakers from the Australia, UK, US, Hong Kong and India will explore the Economics of Skills; Australia in the Asian Century.

Topics will include: Redefining learning approaches; MOOCs, NBN; the ‘quality proposition’ – what is it?; tertiary connectedness; Indigenous workers and learners and international standards and benchmarks…… and in an election period, we will meet the press.

See the latest conference program.

Register here.

Learn the lessons from UK higher education reforms – Joint TDA / LH Martin Lecture 28th August

TAFE Directors Australia and the LH Martin Institute are sponsoring  an upcoming seminar with two further education college leaders from the UK under the title: Open Higher Education Markets in the UK: an Opportunity or Threat for Further Education Colleges?

Speakers will be John Widdowson CBE, Principal and Chief Executive of New College Durham, and Amarjit Basi, Principal and Chief Executive of New College Nottingham.

The seminar will take place 6-8pm, Wednesday 28 August at the LH Martin Institute, Level 1, 715 Swanston St, Melbourne.

John and Amarjit will also be keynote speakers at the TDA National Conference in Brisbane, September 2-3.

For the seminar, register here.

For more information, email Connie Yuen: martin-institute@unimelb.edu.au or call  03 8344 0756

Industry calls for sweeping reform of apprenticeships, Government hosts Industry Roundtable

Ai Group has called for an overhaul of the apprenticeship system, including a new commission to oversee reform and amalgamate it across all jurisdictions.

It also released a report, ‘Apprenticeships: Achieving Excellence’ which details problems including falling apprenticeship numbers, problems with transition from school, literacy and numeracy, and lack of uniform national standards. See the AiG media release

See the report

The outgoing Tertiary Education and Skills Minister, Dr Craig Emerson, had the Federal department host a roundtable in Canberra last Tuesday on the worsening apprenticeship commencements and completions.

TDA was represented by Martin Riordan, CEO. The meeting sought to focus on stimulus measures for industry for encouraging apprenticeship enrolments. Many of these measures had been cut dramatically last year under the former Minister, Senator Chris Evans.

Asian Century business grants announced

A total of 27 member-based business organisations have been awarded grants to help them expand their networks in Asia under the Australian Government’s inaugural Asian Century Business Engagement plan.

Organisations from Australia and Asia submitted 95 applications for funding under the Austrade-administered engagement plan.  The four-year, $6 million program was announced last year under the Government’s White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century.

TAFE Directors Australia was awarded a grant to undertake a comprehensive analysis of different offshore business models on what factors assist or inhibit the success of particular models in Asia, with particular relevance to India and China. The outcomes will provide guidance to education exporters on how to respond to market opportunities and suitable market entry strategies.

Read more

Standards for training packages - NSSC review

The National Skills Standards Council (NSSC) has published details regarding the coding and titling requirements as part of a review of the Standards for Training Packages.

Work to identify any ongoing issues in relation to Training Package coding/titling, equivalency and publication processes will be undertaken as a matter of priority and will inform further NSSC consideration.

Read more

Assessment issues in VET

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) has examined some of the key issues associated with assessment in vocational education and training (VET) in three industry areas where concerns have been raised about quality.

The report looks at issues and possible solutions in childcare and aged care services and the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAE).

Large groups of existing workers in the childcare and aged care services industries have been required to attain or upgrade qualifications to keep abreast of regulatory changes.

“Courses of short duration, coupled with insufficient training, are felt to increase the risk of poor skills acquisition and rigour in assessment, including for entry-level teachers and trainers,” the report says.

“The Certificate IV in Training and Assessment may require more explicit content in relation to assessment if it is to provide teachers and trainers with the levels of underpinning knowledge and practice sufficient for undertaking quality assessments.”

Read more.

New video explains national skills funding

The Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA) has released a new video regarding the National Workforce Development Fund.

The video is available at AWPA website and AWPA's YouTube channel.

Community Services and Health qualifications go live

The externally funded qualifications of the Community Services and Health ISC qualification review have been endorsed and will be available on Training.gov.au (TGA) today. These include:

  • Children’s Services qualifications
  • Education Support qualifications
  • Youth Services qualifications
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health qualifications
  • First Aid Units
  • Work, Health and Safety Units.

See details here.

See the latest report from the Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council, Industry Reference Groups TDA Representatives.

New perspectives on learning

The Queensland VET Development Centre will hold three webinars on new ways to engage learners.

Dr David Rumsey will present the ‘New perspectives in learning’ series to discuss how learners learn, what works well in vocational education and training (VET), how skills and knowledge in the classroom can be transferred to the workplace, and how to encourage continuous vocational learning.

More information

Diary Dates

NCVER ‘No Frills’ Conference

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

Getting started in e-learning
Queensland VET Development Centre

DATE: 22 July-26 August
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Australasian Association for Institutional Research Special Interest Groups

DATE: 21-23 August
LOCATION: Fairmont Resort, Blue Mountains
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Open Higher Education Markets in the UK - Seminar
TDA & LH Martin Institute

DATE: 28 August
LOCATION: LH Martin Institute, 715 Swanston St, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

TedX: This Way Up
Northern Sydney Institute

DATE: 28 August
LOCATION: Cameraygal Building, the Northern Sydney Institute, St Leonards Campus
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

TDA Annual Conference 2013 TDA Annual Conference 2013 - "TAFE Redefined"
TAFE Directors Australia

DATE: 2-3 September 2013
LOCATION: Sofitel, Brisbane
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Teaching & Learning Conference
VET Development Centre

DATE: 5-6 September
LOCATION: RACV Healesville Country Club
DETAILS: Click here for further information. 

2013 National VET Conference
Velg Training

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

Australian Council for Adult Literacy Conference
DATE: 30 September - 2 October
LOCATION: University of Technology, Sydney
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.

conVerge13 - E-learning Conference

DATE: 21-22 November
LOCATION: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Australian Training Awards
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

DATE: 22 November
DETAILS: Click here for further information.