TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter: 6 April 2009

Government pledges extra $150 million to $1 billion plan to help unemployed

The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd and Deputy PM, Julia Gillard, announced further extensions of the Productivity Places Program (PPP), and commitments to retrain those being retrenched as a result of the economic downturn.

Media reports, including today's Australian Financial Review, suggest $150 million of the announcement is a new component to the PPP program. This now comprises some $1 billion committed to retrenchment strategies.

Martin Riordan, TDA CEO, was quoted in the AFR, welcoming the announcement, but flagging that to date, the pricing and structure to the PPP program has constrained skilled trades areas being included. He also said the re-structuring of the PPP program should be a priority for the Government in the May Budget.

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TAFE has mixed fortunes in jobs services tender

There has been a mixed reaction amongst TAFE Institutes to the outcome of the Federal Government's employment services tender for the new Job Services Australia. From early reports, at least one major TAFE employment service provider in Melbourne will be forced to close.

A number of TAFE Institutes have been selected on the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme Panel which will provide a range of services to assist eligible employed people in establishing and running a small business.

To view the announcement by Minister for Employment Participation, the Hon Brendan O'Connor click here. To view a list of suppliers click here.

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Victorian higher education plan builds links to VET

The Victorian Government's plan to overhaul the higher education sector was announced at the 7th Annual Higher Education Summit in Melbourne.

Skills and Workforce Participation Minister, the Hon. Jacinta Allan MP, said the plan will expand the Victorian higher education sector in line with the Commonwealth Government's proposed higher education reforms.

The plan will focus on:

  • Industry needs for higher education graduates into the future
  • The needs of regional and outer urban communities
  • Innovation and research needs
  • The links between higher education, vocational education and training and schools

To view the entire media release click here.

Minister Allan, Professor Jack Keating (Lifelong Learning, University of Melbourne) and Martin Riordan (TDA) will join a panel at the AFR Skilling Australia Conference in Sydney this week, speaking on skills challenges and relationships with industry.

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Changes to skilled migration visas

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship has announced changes to the 457 Visa program. Seven new measures are announced as part of the changes, click here to view.

Key changes for TDA members include:

  • An increase of the minimum language requirement from 4.5 (on the International English Language Testing System scale) to 5 for applicants in trade occupations and chefs
  • The progressive introduction of formal skills assessment from 1 July 2009 for 457 visa applicants from high risk immigration countries in trade occupations and chefs

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New market focus begins for TAFEWA

Detailed guidelines have been issued which will steer the West Australian Government's new reforms to the TAFE sector.

Western Australian Training Minister, the Hon Peter Collier, has released two documents outlining the requirements for TAFE Institutes to comply with the new Training Legislation Amendment and Repeal Act 2008.

A key requirement is the development of strategic and business plans in each TAFE Institute that reflect the needs of the local community. To view the media release click here.

Reports continue, however, about the WA Government's drive to achieve 3% productivity "efficiencies" from departments, which may impact TAFE Institutes in WA.

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Study to examine management qualifications

Innovation and Business Skills Australia (IBSA), one of seven Industry Skills Councils, is conducting a study of management and innovation qualifications.

One part of the project will investigate IBSA management qualifications, and establish a qualification framework that may consolidate management qualifications across IBSA Training Packages. This will also include a review of the Certificate III in Frontline Management.

Another part of the project will explore the possible development of qualifications, skill sets and units of competency on innovation, to be incorporated into the BSB07 Business Services Training Package.

IBSA is seeking feedback on the three discussion papers attached above. Responses to the papers are due 17 April. For further information about the project, contact Emma Nicholson at IBSA emma@ibsa.org.au.

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Does generation matter?

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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Diary Dates

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
Australia India Business Conference
DATE: 20 May 2009
LOCATION: Sofitel Sydney Wentworth
DETAILS: For more information click here
Skills Recognition Conference
DATE: 25-26 May 2009
LOCATION: Australian Technology Park, Sydney
DETAILS: For more information click here
Mind the Gen Gap - Working together to meet workforce challenges
DATE: 2 June 2009
LOCATION: Dockside Convention Centre, Darling Harbour Sydney
DETAILS: For more information click here.
DATE: 18-19 July 2009
LOCATION: RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane
DETAILS: For more information click here.
A National Summit - Hosted by TDA
DATE: 3-4 September 2009
LOCATION: Holiday Inn, Gold Coast
DETAILS: More information will be available soon.

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