TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998



Newsletter: 5 May 2008


TDA URGES RETHINK ON ROLE OF TAFE IN SKILLS AND INNOVATION

TAFE Directors Australia has lodged submissions to two of the Australian Government's key inquiries examining skills development and innovation.

TDA advocated that the 450,000 new training places should not be delayed or reliant on final agreement for states and industry co-investment, and detailed wider issues with the progress on skills reform in response to 'Skilling Australia for the Future', the Rudd Government's new training roadmap policy.

In its submission, TDA refutes any suggestion that part of the responsibility for Australia's skills shortage rests with 'unresponsive training providers'. It urges that the new approach to skills development be built in parallel with the next generation of VET reform, building on the successes achieved since 1992.

To read the TDA submission to 'Skilling Australia for the Future', click here

In its second major submission, TDA says that TAFE institutes across Australia have the capacity to play a greater role in developing innovative solutions, which can improve efficiency and accelerate technological transfer.

The Review of the National Innovation System was recently announced by the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator the Hon Kim Carr.

TDA's submission says that the capacity to tap into TAFE innovation is under-utilised and that this is largely a consequence of the 'teaching-only' basis of TAFE funding. In Australia, R&D and innovation have largely been quarantined to higher education, research institutions and agencies.

The review, being chaired by Dr Terry Cutler, was provided with a copy of the interim report prepared for the recent OECD mission, which catalogues outstanding examples of innovation by TAFE institutes across Australia.

To see the submission to the innovation review, click here

To see the Interim Report on TAFE innovation click here.

To see the Media Release on the submissions, click here.

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$200 MILLION IN FUNDING OPEN TO TRAINING PROVIDERS

Applications are invited from higher education institutions to apply for funds under the Commonwealth Government's Diversity and Structural Adjustment Fund, which promotes structural reform by eligible providers.

Run by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, the fund will allow providers to undertake reform to specialise in key growth areas and respond to labour market needs. Some $200 million is earmarked over the four years to 2011.

For more information click here. The program coordinator can be contacted on 02 6219 3563 or 02 6219 3478 or email dsa@deewr.gov.au

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SENATOR URSULA STEPHENS MEETING

TDA's Martin Riordan and Pam Caven held a very fruitful meeting with Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens, Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector, on Wednesday 30 April. The discussion ranged over the many 'social inclusion' issues that fall within the Senator's portfolio and to which TAFE institutes already make a significant contribution.

The Senator particularly acknowledged the expertise of a number of TAFE institutes that are currently training volunteers both within Australia and in international markets. She indicated that the next step that she sees in building the capacity of volunteers and voluntary organizations would be the development of a national volunteering policy framework and welcomed the TAFE sector contributing to the framework.

The Senator also welcomed TDA's proposal to lead a series of national community workshops on skills development for volunteers, especially working with Industry Skills Councils and NGOs (clients of TAFE, and potentially Volunteering Australia) on how people may become engaged in volunteering? These workshops might also have a cross-over application with and for indigenous communities.

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VICTORIAN BLUEPRINT FOR FURTHER VET REFORM

The Victorian Minister for Skills and Workforce Participation, the Hon Jacinta Allan MP has issued a new roadmap for VET reform, 'Securing our Future Economic Prosperity: Discussion Paper on Skills Reform".

Suggested reforms include raising TAFE course fees by level of qualification and a HECS- style payment system as ways of addressing a foreshadowed shortfall of more than 100,000 skilled workers in Victoria.

To see the paper click here.

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WELFARE-TO-WORK REPORT URGES MORE FOCUS ON EDUCATION

The difficulty of the journey from welfare-to-work has been highlighted in two new reports from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)

The reports say that welfare-to-work requires more than just a willing worker. Many long-term welfare recipients need basic educational skills before they can embark on more job-orientated training and finally move on to paid work.

According to the research, VET is the one education sector ideally placed to assist welfare recipients into work.

The first report, 'The role of vocational education and training in welfare to work' is available here.

The second report, 'Complex not simple: The vocational education and training pathway from' is available here.

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GOOD PRACTICE WORKSHOPS ON ESOS NATIONAL CODE

Australian Education International is running a series of half-day good practice workshops in capital cities during May and June covering the National Code for Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS).

The workshops will help providers understand Standards 8, 10 and 11, and assist in developing models that incorporate good teaching.

ESOS providers will workshop policies and procedures that apply from the time a student is identified as 'at risk' of being reported through to when their authority might be cancelled. 

The workshops begin in Adelaide 15 May and conclude 20 June in Sydney. 

See the AEI website for more information or to register for workshops. 

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MERGER OF RURAL TRAINING PACKAGES 

The Agri-Food Industry Skills Council is seeking comments from a broad base of industry stakeholders on the draft qualifications for three training packages that are being merged into a single, larger rural industry training package. An earlier feasibility study has been endorsed by the AFISC Board to combine:

  • the Rural Production Training Package RTE03 
  • Conservation and Land Management Training Package RTD02 
  • Amenity Horticulture Training Package RTF03 

The council is seeking to achieve broad industry consensus on the draft qualifications being developed for this merged training package. Comments are sought to ensure the new package reflects industry and training organisation views. 

For further information, click here.

To provide comment on any of the Council's other training packages, click here

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NEW RESEARCH INTO E-LEARNING 

New research into the uptake of e-learning by small business reveals insights into sector attitudes and opportunities for the growth of e-learning.

The report is published by the national training system's e-learning strategy, the Australian Flexible Learning Framework and titled: 'An investigation of the enablers and barriers to industry uptake of e-learning: Small business'.

It examines e-learning in small business, the barriers and opportunities for the increased uptake of e-learning solutions. It draws on findings from existing research, featuring surveys with more than 300 small businesses, and in-depth interviews with small business owners or managers about their training practices and perceptions of e-learning.

To read the report, click here.

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DIARY DATES

VICTORIAN TAFE ASSOCIATION STATE CONFERENCE 2008 
'Sustainable Futures for TAFE'
DATE: 8 - 9 May 2008
LOCATION: Gordon Institute of TAFE
DETAILS: For further information visit: http://www.vta.vic.edu.au


AUSTRALIAN INFORMATION INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION
iAwards: Australia's ICT Industry Awards
DATE: 28 May 2008
LOCATION: The Palladium, Crown casino, Melbourne
DETAILS: For further information visit: www.aiia.com.au/pages/iawards.aspx
LOCATION: 28 May 2008
DETAILS: For further information visit: www.aiia.com.au/pages/iawards.aspx


WESTERN AUSTRALIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING 
'Training Forum 2008: Revolution or Evolution' 
DATE: 5 - 6 May 2008
LOCATION: Burswood Entertainment Complex, Perth
DETAILS: For further information visit: www.vetinfonet.det.wa.edu.au


MANUFACTURING SKILLS AUSTRALIA
Workplace Assessment workshops for NSW, Vic, SA, Tas, NT 
DATE: 5 - 6 May 2008
LOCATION: For dates click here.
DETAILS: For more information click here.

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