TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998



Newsletter 1 March 2010


Skills taskforce suggests more use of non-accredited training

A new federal government resources industry taskforce has raised the prospect of using more non-accredited and on-the-job trades training to build future skills needed in the mining and energy sectors.

The National Resources Sector Employment Taskforce discussion paper, Resourcing the Future, says the possible reforms are part of an overall approach aimed at delivering a better qualified, more mobile workforce with common skills standards.

It poses the questions: What are the appropriate models of trade training which could be utilised in the resources sector? What are the alternative models of trade training that might be trialled in the resources sector?

The report notes that 70% of mining employers have used unaccredited training in their enterprise and asks what more could be done to increase the number of school leavers employed in the industry, including under Australian Apprenticeship arrangements?

“How can the resources sector make the best use of the accredited and non-accredited (qualifications versus skills) training system (including Australian Apprenticeships) to prepare for its future skills needs? What more can be done to recognise the skills that resources sector employees acquire ‘on the job’ and through unaccredited training?

TDA is a member of the Skills Reference Group within the Taskforce. Any members who wish to respond to the paper are encouraged to send their submissions to Acting CEO of TDA, Pam Caven by 22 March.

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Strengthened rules for international education providers

Strengthened international education rules will require all providers to re-register following amendments to the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act recently passed by the Senate.

All existing international education providers are required to re-register on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) by 31 December 2010. Read the announcement of the changes here.

Only those who have met the strengthened entry requirements will remain on the register from 1 January 2011.

The Federal Government also announced a funding boost of $1.5 million to the ESOS Assurance Fund which covers the loss of course fees for international students studying at a college that is forced to close.

As at 31 January 2010, the ESOS Assurance Fund had a positive cash balance in excess of $3.35million. Click here for more information.

A recent report in The Australian, suggests that the number of registered private providers is still growing despite college closures. Click here to view the article.

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Agreement links TAFE Institutes with American Community CollegesMartin Riordan, TDA and Dr George Boggs, President of AACC

TAFE Directors Australia has signed an historic Memorandum of Understanding with the American Association of Community Colleges Association (AACC), to create a higher level ofcooperation between the peak bodies, and bring closer contact betweenTAFE Institutes and the US College system.

Martin Riordan signed the MoUon behalf of TDA with Dr George Boggs, President of AACC, while at an executive’s meeting for the Community Colleges for International Development (CCID) in Houston, Texas.

The MoU provides for strategic linkages between TDA and AACC,the peak body covering 1,200 Community Colleges through the United States. At an operations level, the MoU will encourage a new outreach for teacher exchanges and student mobility.

During the meeting, the Under Secretary of the Department of Education, Dr. Martha Kantor, delivereda Keynote Address to the CCID Annual Conference in Texas. She pledged the Obama Administration would supportan increase in US funding for Colleges to facilitate a "new era of globalisation and motivate exchanges for College educators".

And in answer to a question from Martin Riordan, visiting on a Fulbright Scholarship and on studyleave from TDA, Dr. Kantorrecommended to College Presidents they consider more teacher placements forAustralian vocational educators, and note expanded funding.

Earlier Dr. Kantor spoke in Washington DC at the Association of International Education Administrators Conference, with a full transcript now available here.

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My School future plans could include universities and VET providers

The Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, has left open the possibility of extending the My School website to include universities and VET providers.

Ms Gillard said the Government would like to increase the transparency of the two sectors through measures similar to the My School initiative. She said this would likely be administered through the new Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Authority.

Ms Gillard was speaking at the National Press Club last week, where she also rejected claims that the roll-out of the Trades Training Centre program has been delayed.

Click here to view a transcript of the address and the question and answer session.

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TDA offers VET reform perspectives

Issues surrounding VET reform have featured prominently amongst TDA members and representatives at major conferences and forums in 2010.

The recent TAFE Governance and Regulation Forum in Melbourne saw TDA members feature prominently as keynote speakers and panellists.

TDA Board Member and Chisholm Institute of TAFE Director and Chief Executive Officer, Virginia Simmons delivered a keynote address on the complexities of VET regulation architecture. To view Virginia’s presentation click here 

TDA Deputy Chair and CEO of Polytechnic West, Wayne Collyer, delivered a case study on the rebranding of the former Swan TAFE Institute in an effort to capture new markets. To view Wayne’s presentation click here

The conference also included a panel session titled ‘Competition Contestability – the good, the bad and the ugly’. Panellists included TDA members Ray Griffiths, CEO, Kangan Institute of TAFE, Stephen Conway, Executive Director, TAFE SA Adelaide South and Pam Caven, Acting CEO, TDA. To view Pam Caven’s speaking notes click here

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2009 international student figures released

VET commencements grew strongly in 2009, however figures still remain far behind 2008 according to Australian Education International 2009 international student enrolment and commencements figures.

The data for December indicated a slight dip compared to the November figures, but showed an overall increase in VET commencements in 2009 of 25%. While not as dramatic as the 46% increase during 2008, VET continues to outperform the international student market which saw an overall increase in commencements of 13%. Click here to view the full report.

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Inquiry into the impact of government policies on regional skills

The suitability of government employment policies in addressing regional skills shortages will be assessed by the House of Representatives Employment Committee Chaired by Ms Sharryn Jackson MP.

The Committee has been tasked by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations to make recommendations on how to improve the relocation of unemployed workers to regions that offer more employment.

The Committee has invited written submissions by 16 April, to be followed by a series of public hearings. Further details, including how to respond, are available here.

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Future directions of Australian Education International

Representatives from a wide range of stakeholders will gather in Canberra this Friday to discuss the future directions of Australian Education International (AEI).

Further consultations around the country are planned in March with ‘A Discussion Starter’ now posted on the AEI website.

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Study shows ageing VET workforce

VET professionals are increasingly older, while the TAFE workforce is older than the Australian labour force in general, a new report by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) finds.

The study also found that the proportions of male and female VET staff are roughly equal, and the lengths of service in the TAFE workforce are high.

Despite the findings, the report outlined that there are still work to be done to standardise VET workforce statistics.

Click here to view the report.

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School curriculum changes – draft paper to be released today

Members may be interested to read about the recent changes to the K-10 Australian Curriculum which will be outlined in a draft paper to be released today.

The Curriculum changes will cover English, mathematics, science and history. A national consultation process will be undertaken until 23 May.

Click here to read a notification about the Curriculum. To view the draft papers go to www.australiancurriculum.edu.au.

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Diary Dates

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

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

IDEA10 – LEARNING FUTURES: TECHNOLOGY CHALLENGES
DATE: 10-12 March 2010
LOCATION: Conference and Events Centre, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

TERTIARY & HIGHER EDUCATION CONFERENCE 2010
DATE: 16-17 March 2010
LOCATION: Dockside, Cockle Bay Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

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

AVETRA
2010 Conference

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

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