TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter: 2 March 2009

TAFE meeting with Productivity Commission - 2009 review on 'red tape' regulation to include VET

A stakeholder consultation session for TAFE Directors Australia with the Productivity Commission in Canberra on Friday, has led to an invitation for TAFE Institutes to submit to TDA areas of red tape and regulation.

TDA COE, Martin Riordan, was accompanied to the meeting by Craig Sherrin (Director, Southbank Institute of Technology) who was also visiting Canberra as Chair of the Australian TAFE International Network, which met with TDA last week. Universities and some school groups have also met with the Commission.

TAFE Directors and associates are asked to send costed examples of 'red tape' - for example the Institute-wide cost of student attendance rolls for an accredited qualification, as compared with the self regulation standards of universities.

Submissions are due by Monday 16 March to be sent directly to Martin Riordan (martin.riordan@tda.edu.au).

The Productivity Commission review will release a draft report on red tape in June, and final report in August 2009.

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NSW Jobs Summit - on-campus housing and skills for sustainability

The NSW Government held a two-day Jobs Summit in Sydney last week. Key issues raised at the Summit included:

DAY 1 - Student on-campus housing

The student housing issue was raised as a key concern. The model adopted by the University of NSW property trust has successfully built modernised infrastructure and created several thousand student places on-campus.

In the Education Workshop for the Summit, chaired by Professor Fred Hilmer AO, Vice Chancellor of University of New South Wales, campus housing for students was flagged as a key issue holding back further expansion of Australia's $15.5 billion export industry in education, and a big opportunity across NSW higher and vocational education campuses.

On-campus housing remained the major outcome of the Austrade Education Roundtable in 2008, and remains a key issue for TAFE Institutes, which seek better infrastructure management - identified at the TDA National Conference (Melbourne, 2007).

University of NSW and Macquarie University have moved to property trusts, with UNSW now including extensive student housing schemes.

DAY 2 - Skills for Sustainability

The NSW Board of Vocational Education and Training (BVET) released the 2009 Skills for Sustainability report on day two of the Summit. See the agenda here.

NSW Premier, Nathan Rees, chaired the NSW Jobs Summit on both days, and for Day 2, TAFE NSW showcased the role of TAFE in delivering the skills necessary for a greener economy.

To view the NSW Skills for Sustainability report click here.

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Victorian TAFE Association supports students affected by bushfires

The Victorian TAFE Association (VTA) has set up a $100,000 scholarship and financial support fund to help those students affected by the devastating Black Saturday Victorian bushfires.

Existing and potential students in government funded TAFE programs will be eligible to use the funds for requirements including tuition fees, equipment and books. Students can access information about the funds at their local TAFE institute.

The VTA expects the fund to grow further as a number of individual TAFE Institutes have offered further support.

To view the media release, click here.

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GFC stimulus response - government boosts support for retrenched workers

The Federal Government has detailed support for retrenched workers with an announcement of a funding packaged focused on employment assistance and further training.

The Prime Minister the Hon. Kevin Rudd MP, pledged $300 million to boost the services available to retrenched workers through the Job Network. Of the total package, $75 million was allocated to increase the Productivity Places Program by 10,000 places in an effort to provide better access to training for retrenched workers.

To view the media release click here.

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State election News - QLD Premier pledges payroll tax cuts for employers of apprentices

Apprentices and trainees have featured prominently in the Queensland State Election, with Premier Anna Bligh announcing that employers with apprentices on their payroll will get a 25 per cent payroll tax discount.

The Premier promised that businesses with 20 or more staff, including five or more apprentices, would forego payroll tax on any staff.

The announcement is aimed at helping to keep apprentices and trainees employed during the global financial crisis.

To view an article from The Australian click here.

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Welcome to Sydney - World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics

TAFE Directors Australia welcomes the board of the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics to Australia.

Sydney Institute of TAFE NSW (Ultimo) will host the special board meeting of WFCP today in Sydney, ahead of the BIG SKILLS 2009 Conference at Darling Harbour.

Martin Riordan (CEO, TDA), Deputy Chair of WFCP also welcomes the NSW Minister for Education and Training, the Hon. Verity Firth MP who will join TAFE executives and VET stakeholders at NSW Parliament House for a review of the impact of the global financial crisis on skills.

To learn more about the Federation, see the website www.wfcp.org.

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TAFE response to the Cutler Inquiry on Innovation

TAFE Directors Australia has made a detailed submission to the Cutler Inquiry on Innovation, established by Senator the Hon. Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

TDA has recommended establishment of an Australian Vocational Innovation Fund, which would allow public and private investment in applied learning and research in TAFE Institutes.

For a copy of TDA's letter to the Inquiry click here. For a copy of the submission, click here.

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TDA contributes to Australia-Korea Free Trade Agreement considerations

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has invited input from TAFE Directors Australia on the expected economic, cultural and regulatory impacts of a possible free trade agreement with Korea.

TDA outlined the importance of this relationship our members and its willingness to contribute to the ongoing negotiations (see attached).

Members are welcome to contribute further ideas, comments and specific examples of possible impacts to Rebecca Biazos, Director, International Engagement.

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New quality reporting requirements

The Australian Quality Training Framework's 'Quality Indicators' will be implemented during 2009. This will entail specific requirements to be met by registered training organisations including:

  • RTOs are required to report 2008 Competency Completion activity by 1 July 2009
  • On 1 July 2009 it is optional for RTOs to report on the learner Engagement and Employer Satisfaction Quality Indicators
  • RTOs will be required to report 2009 activity for all three Quality Indicators on 1 July 2010.

A reminder: Workshops to assist RTOs to understand these requirements are now in progress. Click here for more information.

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Working together: grants supporting bilateral relations

TDA is seeking ideas from members who wish to contribute to education and training partnerships with some of Australia's key trading partners. The funding is available for China, India, Japan, Malaysia and the Council for Australian-Arab Relations.

TDA is considering applications specific to each market and welcomes members input on project ideas that could benefit members and grow education and training partnerships with our bilateral partners. For more information visit www.dfat.gov.au or contact Rebecca Biazos with any comments and ideas rebeccabiazos@bigpond.com.

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Job opportunities - Sydney Institute of TAFE NSW

The Sydney Institute of TAFE is advertising two employment positions:

Applications for both positions close 20 March, for more information click on the above links.

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Opportunity for registered training organisations - Department of Health and Ageing

The Department of Health and Ageing is seeking applications from experienced organisations to provide workforce support services and/or training for social and emotional wellbeing and mental health staff that provide services to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

To view the advertisement click here.

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Call for papers - 'Cities in Transition' conference

The International Cities, Towns and Communities Society (ICTC) has called for papers for its 2009 Conference and Exhibition to be held at Deakin University Waterfront Campus, Geelong, Victoria from 27 October - 30 October.

The theme of the event is 'Cities in Transition' and sponsorship and exhibition opportunities are now available. Please contact Rob Henshaw on 07 5520 4288 for further details.

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Diary Dates

Lunch discussion
DATE: 2 March
LOCATION: NSW Parliament House, Sydney
DETAILS: Lunch with TDA and the Board of the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics. Click here for more information or to book.
New CHC08 Training Package Implementation Forums
DATE: February - March
LOCATION: Canberra, Melbourne, Hobart, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane
DETAILS: A series of one-day forums will be facilitated around the country to support the implementation of the new Community Services Training Package. For information on each forum, click here.
BIG Skills Conference
DATE: 2-5 March 2009
LOCATION: Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour
DETAILS: For more information click here.
Inaugural Higher Education Conference 2009
DATE: 4-6 March 2009
LOCATION: Hotel Realm, Canberra
DETAILS: For more information click here.
National Career Conference
DATE: 15-17 April 2009
LOCATION: Grand Hyatt, Melbourne
DETAILS: For more information click here.
State Conference 2009, 'Delivering Success in a Contestable Future'
DATE: 7-8 May 2009
LOCATION: Victoria University Convention Centre
DETAILS: More information will be available early March 2009
DATE: 18-19 July 2009
LOCATION: RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane
DETAILS: For more information click here.

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