TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998



Newsletter: 7 July 2008


COAG MEETING:
- NATIONAL LICENSING OF TRADESPEOPLE
- PRODUCTIVITY PLACES PROGRAM - TDA CALL FOR REVIEW

LICENSING -- The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed to the development of a national trade licensing system at its meeting in Sydney last week. The national licensing was supported by COAG, arguing that the system would facilitate standard licensing and compliance practices across the states and territories.

The system would initially apply to a selection of trades including air conditioning and refrigeration, building, electrical, land transport, maritime, and plumbing.

COAG also received advice from Skills Australia on the possible allocation of up to 50,000 additional VET places over three years for priority health occupations under the Productivity Places Program.

PRODUCTIVITY PLACES -- It was agreed that all governments immediately rollout the first 4,500 places with detailed arrangements to be agreed between jurisdictions by 31 July.

TAFE Directors Australia followed-up with an early meeting with the Office of the Deputy PM, the Hon. Julia Gillard MP, last Friday, to signal problems with Phase I tender pricing outcomes of PP, caused by interpretations of the PP Guidelines. An urgent review was offered with DEEWR officers.

To read the COAG Communiqué, click here.

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PHASE II -- 22,000 TRAINING ADDITIONAL TRAINING PLACES RELEASED

Acting Minister for Employment and Minister for Employment Participation, the Hon. Brendan O'Connor MP has announced the start of Phase II of the Federal Government's Productivity Places Program.

DEEWR has announced nearly 14,000 job seekers were enrolled in the "fast-tracked" places made available in Phase I of the Program. Phase II plans to seek placements for an extra 22,000 positions, rolled out for courses from Certificate II to Diploma levels.

Minister O'Connor argued that the Phase I 'PP Program' had focused on Job Seekers. To read Minister O'Connor's media release, click here.

However DEEWR data revealed that a large proportion of Phase I tender outcomes had gone to non-TAFE and smaller private RTO providers, largely in skill areas of lower priority. As reported in the COAG newsletter item, these results prompted the TDA Executive meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister's Office, to seek a review of PP Places Guidelines.

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TAFE FEATURED IN NATIONAL FORUM ON APPRENTICESHIPS

The challenge of maintaining a skilled workforce is the focus of a major National Forum on Apprenticeships and Traineeships, to be hosted by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

NCVER Managing Director, Tom Karmel said the August event would showcase recent research on apprenticeships and traineeships and provoke debate on skills training in Australia. One case study will include new approaches to apprenticeship training led by Swan TAFE, WA, in collaboration with SkillsTech Australia (Qld) and a NZ Institute.

The conference, "Apprenticeships: Sustaining Australia's Skills Base", will take place at Telstra Dome, Melbourne, August 15. The National Forum will also feature a lunch address by the inaugural Chair of Skills Australia, Philip Bullock.

For bookings, or further information, click here.

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CHINA FTA UPDATE: TDA WELCOMES NEW MINISTER COUNSELLOR FOR EDUCATION

TDA provided a briefing to the new Minister Counsellor for Education, the Hon. Wang Yongda, from the Embassy of the People's Republic of China, at the National Secretariat in Canberra, on 27 June. Minister Wang comes to the Australian post with significant experience in the national ministry and in a range of international postings including most recently in London.

Martin Riordan, TDA CEO and Rebecca Biazos, TDA International Engagement Director provided an overview of Australian TAFE's involvement in China and the importance that TDA and its members place on the bilateral relationship.

Outcomes of the meeting include joint preparation of new proposals for consideration from the Chinese and Australian governments, industry and providers on new models of engagement.

To read the update from Alison Burrows, lead negotiator on the China FTA regarding services, click here.

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TDA AT THE TABLE FOR FREE TRADE AGREEMENT UPDATES

TDA was invited as a key education stakeholder as part of an Australian industry briefing from the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade's lead negotiators, across current and pending FTAs. The briefing provided an opportunity to consider issues and opportunities in the implementation and final stage of negotiation.

Members operating in Chile will be pleased to note that the Australia Chile FTA Negotiations have now concluded, with signing scheduled on 30 July 2008, and will be ratified in the coming months.

DFAT is still open to comment from members of the Australian training sector on issues to be considered as part of FTAs under consideration (India, Korea, and Indonesia).

To read TDA's submission on the India FTA study, click here.

For a full list of Australia's FTAs in progress, click here.

For further contributions or comments please contact Rebecca Biazos on 0407 550 180 or email.

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NEW MIGRATION ASSESSMENT POLICY FOR TRADES RECOGNITION AUSTRALIA

Trades Recognition Australia released, July 2, its revised Migration Assessment Policy (MAP) which replaces the Uniform Assessment Criteria (UAC).

The MAP sets out TRA's assessment standards and procedures, outlines TRA's policy for dealing with feedback reviews, and appeals and provides information on: TRA's fees and processing times; types of evidence TRA requires of applicants, and; range of tools used by TRA to make its assessment decisions.

For more information, click here.

TDA welcomes member's views on the new policy and its potential impacts. For comments please contact Rebecca Biazos on 0407 550 180 or email.

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EMPLOYERS URGED TO HELP ADDRESS SKILLED LABOUR SHORTAGE

The Minister for Employment Participation, the Hon. Brendan O'Connor, has urged employers to step up their work with the Government to address the shortage of skilled labour.

Addressing the Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry's (VECCI) Australian Labour Force Challenge panel discussion in Melbourne, the Minister said greater engagement with employers and their representative bodies would help the Government to target skills shortages and lift productivity.

He added: "I believe they (Industry) are well placed to work cooperatively with training providers, employment service providers and other organisations to help broker employment for job seekers as well as help to address labour and skill shortages."

To read Minister O'Connor's media release, click here.

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CONGRATULATIONS! GOLD COAST TAFE BECOMES A STATUTORY INSTITUTE

Congratulations goes to Gold Coast Institute of TAFE, which embarked on a new era from July, becoming an independent statutory authority in Queensland's TAFE Institute network.

Queensland Education and Training Minister, the Hon. Rod Welford MP said the move represented another step under the $1B Queensland Skills Plan.

"The Institute has taken advantage of reforms made in 2007 to the Vocational Education, Training and Employment Act 2000 so that it can become a statutory institute.

"Statutory TAFE institutes will be better equipped to be more responsive to individual and industry needs," Mr Welford said. To read the media release, click here.

The Chair of TDA, Deb Daly, is Institute Director of Gold Coast Institute of TAFE, Qld.

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SOUTH AUSTRALIAN 'KEATING REPORT' TO FAST-TRACK APPRENTICES AND TRAINEES

South Australia's apprenticeships and traineeships will be fast-tracked under a new plan to tackle looming skills shortages.

A South Australian State Government report, produced by the Economic Development Board, says set timeframes for completing training have to be abandoned in favour of determining individual skills and abilities of workers.

The report, prepared by Dr Michael Keating, who is also a member of Skills Australia, and Chair of iPART NSW, has been endorsed by the SA Cabinet, with SA Minister for Employment, Training and Further Education, the Hon. Paul Caica MP, welcoming its findings.

To read more, click here.

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ALSO IN SA... SHOPFRONT SUPPORT SERVICES OPEN FOR SKILLS AND TRAINING

The South Australian Government has opened two new shopfront premises for services designed to help people move into skilled jobs.

The adjoining shops - for a Skills Recognition Service and the Office of the Training Advocate - were officially opened June 27 by Employment, Training and Further Education Minister, the Hon. Paul Caica MP.

"These services help people negotiate the training system or have their existing skills formally recognised, so they can win skilled jobs and help build the State's skilled workforce," said Mr Caica.

"With a skilled workforce being in high demand, it's vital that people can readily access support to work their way through the myriad of options available to them in securing training and qualifications."

To read Minister Caica's media release, click here.

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NSW MINISTER SUPPORTS EDUCATION AND TRAINING FOR THE HOME BUILDING INDUSTRY

NSW Minister for Fair Trading, the Hon. Linda Burney MP announced $160,000 annual funding to support dedicated education and training projects in the home building industry.

Ms Burney said six organisations across NSW would be awarded funding for under the Office of Fair Trading's Home Building Grants Program.

"Funding will go to training courses on home building contracts, programs to encourage industry best practice and innovation and support for the training of electro-technology apprentices," Ms Burney said.

To read Minister Burney's statement, click here.

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DEVELOPMENT OF UNITS OF COMPETENCY FOR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Innovation and Business Skills Australia (IBSA), one of Australia's 11 Industry Skills Councils, announced that Precision Consultancy would be retained, to undertake a project on behalf of Intellectual Property Australia (IPA), to develop national units of competency for intellectual property.

The units will be included in the BSB07 Business Services Training Package but will also be available for inclusion in qualifications from other training packages.

For further details please email Rosalie Flynn.

To register for the project, email Chris Harrigan, or phone (03) 96060118.

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MAKING A DIFFERENCE CONFERENCE 2008

The Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council 2008 Conference, Making a Difference, will bring together community services and health industry sectors within an innovative and collaborative environment.

There will be a pre-conference gourmet dinner 'Welcome to SA Gourmet Tasting Event' for conference participants. Early bird registration closes 29 August.

For the registration form, click here.

For more information on the conference and Welcome to SA Gourmet Tasting Event, contact the Business Development Team on (02) 9270 6625 or click here to visit the website.

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DIARY DATES

NCVER & TAFE TASMANIA
17th National Vocational Education and Training Research 'No Frills' Conference
DATE: 9-11 July 2008
LOCATION: University of Tasmania, Newham Campus, Launceston
DETAILS: For more information click here

 

MINISTRY FOR NATIONAL EDUCATION, REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA & TT-TVET EU-ASIA-LINK PROJECT PARTNERS
First World Congress on teacher education for TVET
DATE: 21-23 July 2008
LOCATION: Bandung, Indonesia
DETAILS: For more information click here

 

NCVER
Apprenticeships: Sustaining Australia's skills - NCVER Research Forum
DATE: 15 August 2008
LOCATION: Telstra Dome, Melbourne
DETAILS: For more information click here

 

SKILLS DMC
National Skills Development Conference
DATE: 20 August 2008
LOCATION: Four Seasons Hotel, George Street, Sydney
DETAILS: For more information and to register, click here

 

VETNETWORK
VETNetwork National Conference
DATE: 1-3 October 2008
LOCATION: Sydney Convention Centre, Darling Harbour
DETAILS: For more information click here

 

COMMUNITY SERVICES AND HEALTH INDUSTRY SKILLS COUNCIL
Making a Difference Conference 2008
DATE: 15-16 October 2008
LOCATION: Hilton Hotel, Adelaide
DETAILS: For more information and Early Bird registration, click here

 

GROUP TRAINING AUSTRALIA
2008 Group Training National Conference
DATE: 15-17 October 2008
LOCATION: Cairns, QLD
DETAILS: For more information click here

 

DEPARTMENT OF FURTHER EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
5th Biennial Australian Learning Communities Network Conference
DATE: 25-28 October 2008
LOCATION: Hyatt Regency, Adelaide
DETAILS: For more information email Sharon Smith

 

ADULT LEARNING AUSTRALIA
48TH Annual National Conference
DATE: 30 October - 1 November 2008
LOCATION: The Esplanade Hotel
DETAILS: For more information click here

 

REFRAMING THE FUTURE
Engaging VET Practitioners
DATE: 17-18 November 2008
LOCATION: Crown Promenade, Melbourne
DETAILS: For more information click here

 

THE ASSOCIATION FOR ACTIVE EDUCATIONAL RESEARCHERS (AARE)
AARE 2008 International Education Conference
DATE: 30 November - 4 December 2008
LOCATION: Brisbane
DETAILS: For more information click here

 

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