TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter: 9 March 2009

'Three Pillars' key to tertiary education - Deputy Prime Minister discusses tertiary vision for Australia

TDA has welcomed endorsement by the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, of a 'Three Pillars' foundation to a tertiary vision, with the articulation of student qualifications identified as a key outcome to raise participation rates in post-school education.

Speaking at the BIG Skills 2009 Conference, the Deputy Prime Minister said TAFE Institutes are already the "engine room" of Australia's economy and would be critical to achieving the 40% degree target set by the Government for 2025 by offering specialist skill courses, including higher level qualifications.

In her speech to delegates, Ms Gillard said:

"To build these vitally needed pathways between universities and VET, I announce today that the Government will commission the Australian Qualifications Framework Council to improve the articulation and connectivity between the university and VET sectors to enable competency-based and merit-based systems to become more student-focused.

Today I am also announcing that the ambit of Skills Australia will expand to encompass the full scope of Australia's labour market needs, to give advice to the Commonwealth about the effectiveness of both the university and VET systems in meeting the broad range of Australia's skill needs".

TDA distributed a media release welcoming the announcements, and earlier, had submitted its detailed "Three Pillars" proposal that outlined better alignment for higher and vocational education in Australia.

To view the report click here. View an attachment to the submission here.

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Colleges our first line of defence against GFC

Hon Verity Firth MP WFCP board visiting Sydney TDA Chair, Deb Daly and Prof. Debra
Rowe, US Partnership for Education
for Sustainable Action

More than 60 delegates took part in the TDA and World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics networking lunch last Monday at NSW Parliament.

NSW Minister for Education and Training and Minister for Women, the Hon. Verity Firth MP, delivered a welcome address, and outlined the NSW Government's focus on 'green skills' across the State's TAFE Institute network in response to the GFC.

Board delegates from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the Pacific - representing some 2,500 Institutes across five continents - discussed the outlook for their respective countries. Members took the opportunity to share both policy and provider responses to the Global Financial Crisis. The overall consensus was that TAFE Institutes, community colleges and polytechnics have been on the policy front line in supporting individuals, industry and communities in responding to the economic crisis.

To view photos from the event click here. For more information on the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics visit www.wfcp.org.

To learn more about the members who took part in the program see the below links:

  • American Association of Community Colleges - website
  • Association of Canadian Community Colleges - website
  • Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics New Zealand - website
  • Association of Colleges (UK) - website
  • Pacific Association of Technical and Vocational Education and Training - website

Other members of WFCP are from EU, Africa, Middle East and Asia.

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Federal Government extends pre-vocational assistance

The Australian Apprenticeships Access Program will expand by 3,650 places following a $30 million funding boost from the Federal Government.

The Program ensures disadvantaged jobseekers receive pre-vocational education and support to prepare them for an apprenticeship or traineeship. Click here to view the announcement.

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Phase two of $2.1 billion Trade Training Centres announced

Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP has announced that $335 million will be allocated to 336 secondary schools in the second phase of the Trades Training Centres in Schools program.

To view the announcement click here. Further information is available here.

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Proposed Job Ready Certificate receives opposition

In December 2008 DEEWR released a discussion paper proposing the introduction of a Job Ready Certificate. The purpose of the Certificate was to report at the end of Year 12 on the job readiness of senior secondary students who had undertaken vocational education programs.

DEEWR convened a stakeholder meeting to discuss the Certificate, and TDA was pleased to be represented by Kaye O'Hara, Deputy Chief Executive, Canberra Institute of Technology. Our thanks to Kaye for once again representing TDA in youth and skills policy areas.

Kaye reported that there was strong and consistent opposition to the introduction of the Certificate. The reasons included:

  • employability skills are already being developed and assessed through vocational education programs
  • Year 10 and Year 12 certificates should attest to job readiness
  • restricting it only to year 12 VET students was limiting and illogical

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Unravelling the VET system - new research paper

Helping outside observers comprehend the complexities of the VET system was the aim of a new report by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

Originally prepared for the research team undertaking OECD reviews, the report, 'An overview of vocational education and training in Australia and its links to the labour market', outlines the VET system in Australia and its relationship to broader set of education and learning options that are available to Australians.

Click here to view the report.

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Professional development - international education

Professional development courses will be conducted by the International Education Association of Australia throughout 2009.

Course streams will include: Introduction to International Education, Leadership and Management, Transnational Education, Marketing, Internationalisation of the Curriculum, Business Skills, Intercultural communication and Enhancing the Student Experience.

Click here for more information.

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Community Industry Skills Council forum to address generational differences

The Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council is holding a forum to explore the workforce challenges posed by the different generations, and discuss solutions to improve workforce planning.

The forum, 'Mind the Gen Gap... Working Together to Meet Workforce Challenges' will be held in Sydney, 2 June. For more information click here.

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Professional development opportunities for VET leaders

Registrations are open for the LH Martin Institute's Executive Education Programs.

The programs provide relevant and practical professional development solutions for academic and administrative leaders working in higher education, VET and private institutions, as well as members of these institutions' boards and governing councils.

For more information on the programs please visit the LH Martin website, or contact Anna Steer on +61 3 8344 3157 or asteer@unimelb.edu.au.

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Diary Dates

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.
The importance of skilling Australians during the a global economic downturn
DATE: 1-3 April 2009
LOCATION: Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: For more information click here.
National Career Conference
DATE: 15-17 April 2009
LOCATION: Grand Hyatt, Melbourne
DETAILS: For more information click here.
12th Annual Conference
DATE: 16-17 April 2009
LOCATION: Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach Hotel, Sydney
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: For more information click here
DATE: 18-19 July 2009
LOCATION: RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane
DETAILS: For more information click here.

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