TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter: 22 February 2010

Pam Christie to become Deputy Director-General of DET NSW

Director of the Sydney Institute of TAFE NSW and TDA Board Member, Pam Christie, has been announced as the new Deputy Director-General of the NSW Department of Education and Training (DET).

Pam was selected from a field of national and international candidates and will begin her new position on 8 March. TDA congratulates Pam on her new role, and thanks her for her extensive contribution to the TDA Board.

According to the Director-General of NSW DET, Michael Coutts-Trotter, one of Pam’s first duties will be to select and appoint new Institute directors for the South Western Sydney Institute, Sydney Institute and Western NSW Institute.

To view the announcement click here.

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Migration reform – government perspective

TDA was recently contacted by Mark Cully, Chief Economist, Department of Immigration and Citizenship to discuss the recently announced skilled migration reforms to begin in April.

Mr Cully offered the Department’s perspective on the changes, and addressed some of the concerns raised in TDA’s response to the reform.

Mr Cullly acknowledged there is a two month hiatus between the abolition of the Migration Occupations in Demand List and the release of the new, more targeted, Skilled Occupations List (SOL).

He said that the Government is not seeking to stop overseas students from seeking residency, rather it has made clear to potential migrants and the Australian community that undertaking a particular course does not automatically guarantee permanent residency.

To view a full summary of Mr Cully’s points click here.

On other migration news...

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship has released a discussion paper on the Review of the General Skilled Migration Points Test with submissions due by 12 March. TDA will be responding to the paper, and encourages members to submit their views to Peter Holden for inclusion in the response.

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Kickstart continues to encourage apprentice employment

The Federal Government’s Apprentice Kickstart bonus has continued to encourage more employers to sign-up apprentices over the summer recruitment period according to the latest figures.

Over the past two weeks, more than 4,000 apprentices have been employed under the bonus, and approximately 14,000 over the period of the scheme.

The bonus ends 28 February. For more information click here.

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TDA represented on higher education focus group

The new regulatory arrangements for higher education will be at the centre of a focus group being organised by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).

The group will provide discussion and feedback about the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) and standards framework.

The TEQSA will oversee the development of strengthened quality assurance arrangements and protect the overall quality of the Australian higher education system. It will accredit providers, evaluate the performance of institutions and programs, encourage best practice, review regulatory arrangements and provide greater national consistency.

Representing TDA at the first meeting of the focus group on 25 February will be Craig Sherrin, Institute Director and CEO, Southbank Institute of Technology, and Dr Anne Jones, DeputyVice Chancellor and Director TAFE, Victoria University.

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Skills Australia considers shift in VET funding allocations

Skills Australia is reportedly considering setting aside a proportion of VET funding to enterprises rather than individuals according to Campus Review (16 Feb).

Skills Australia CEO, Robin Shreeve said the shift could create more targeted training for those studying for existing jobs, as more than 60% of VET students don’t end up working in the occupations they studied. However, he said objections may arise from using public funds to pay companies to train their own staff.

Acting CEO of TDA, Pam Caven, is quoted as saying that while TDA did not have access of the detail of the proposal, TAFE already has strong relationships with private enterprise. “Funding for TAFE is already extremely constrained and we would be concerned if any of the currently available funds were to be diverted to enterprises”.

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TDA members’ successful bids for 2010 Mobility Program

The recently announced Endeavour VET Outbound Mobility Program for 2010 has seen 14 of the 17 projects awarded to TDA members. TDA congratulates the nine public TAFE

Institutes from three different states, and the Swinburne University of Technology, on its successful bids. A summary of the projects can be read here.

A free forum on the program is scheduled for 6 May in Melbourne. Details of the forum can be found here.

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Study in Australia expo in Latin America

Austrade has extended the deadline for organisations wishing to participate in this year’s Study in Australia expo in Latin America. Applications will now be accepted up until 12 March.

The expo runs from 18 to 27 May and travels to Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil. For more details and to register for this important event please click here.

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NSW Premier announces new council for international education

Following a review of international education in NSW by a Ministerial Taskforce, the NSW Premier, the Hon Kristina Keneally MP, has announced a number of initiatives aimed at ensuring high quality education in a safe environment for international students.

These initiatives include the establishment of a Premier’s Council on International Education and a new website for international students. The Premier’s announcement can be read here.

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New initiative on student safety

Australia Network, the international television service of the ABC, has joined with the Victoria Police and ISANA - the International Education Association - to seek funding for the creation of animated safety messages.

The messages will be sent to students via mobile phones and social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube. For more information please contact Larry Anderson.

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VET improves employability for the disabled

New research suggests vocational education and training (VET) greatly improves employment outcomes for people with a disability who don’t have a job.

Released by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), the report found that for an average person who is out of work and has a disability, completing VET increases the likelihood of getting a job from 9% to 29% in their first year after completion.

For more information click here.

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Skilled Vacancy List shows increases in trade-related ads

The number of skilled job advertisements rose slightly (1.6%) in February according to the latest Skilled Vacancy Index figures released by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

The skilled Vacancy Index is based on a count of advertisements in major metropolitan newspapers for selected occupations and is seasonally adjusted and trended each month.

Trades vacancies rose 4% over the month of February. Across all occupations, the largest increases included advertising professionals, metal trades, electrical trades and construction trades.

To view the full report click here.

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Researchers question the real value of education exports

The value of Australia’s export industry is over-exaggerated according to a new report by Bob Birrell and T Fred Smith from the Centre for Population and Urban Research, Monash University.

The report estimates the value of education exports as $7.9 billion, compared with official government figures which place the value at $13.7 billion. The estimate would drop education from the third-largest industry to the sixth-largest industry.

To view an article in The Australia click here. To view the report click here.

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Diary Dates

DATE: 25-26 February 2010
LOCATION: Hilton on the Park, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

National Conference
DATE: 1-2 March 2010
LOCATION: Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 10-12 March 2010
LOCATION: Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 10-12 March 2010
LOCATION: Conference and Events Centre, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 16-17 March 2010
LOCATION: Dockside, Cockle Bay Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Study in Australia VET Showcase
DATE: 26-28 March 2010
LOCATION: Philippines
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2010 Conference

DATE: 8-9 April 2010
LOCATION: Holiday Inn, Surfers Paradise
DETAILS: Click here for more information

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