TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998



Newsletter 8 March 2010


Skills report urges more funding for tertiary sector

A $660 million funding boost each year to 2025 will be needed to provide the future workforce needs through tertiary education according a new Skills Australia report.

Australian Workforce Futures – A National Workforce Development Strategy says that the additional funding which is currently being met by recent government programs, will need to be maintained until at least 2020 to provide a 3% per annum growth in enrolments in both higher education and VET. Although the proposed distribution of the funding between the two sectors is not yet clear.

The report also warns of the dangers of declining VET funding.

“This decline in funding per student contact hour raises concerns about quality and the ability of the sector to innovate and attract an even more diverse body of learners…”

The report recommends an investment of $40 million per annum over the next six years to develop and implement a workforce development strategy for the tertiary sector.

It also recommends that existing government programs that target language, literacy and numeracy be expanded by 50% to lift workforce participation and productivity.

The report was launched in Sydney by the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP. To view Ms Gillard’s speech click here.

To view the entire report click here. A summary table of the strategy can be viewed on page 8 of the report.

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TDA raises concerns about the Productivity Places Program

TDA has provided a response to the Mid Term Review of the Productivity Places Program (PPP), raising concerns including the adequacy of the price structure and the nature of the training courses funded under the program.

In the response, TDA points to the different approaches between the states in pricing and allocation of places as being a key challenge for TAFE Institutes.

It also raises the low pricing base of the places which has forced TAFE Institutes to commit significant additional resources to ensure quality is met and exceeded.

A serious shortfall of the program is the lack of provision for bridging access, numeracy and literacy programs to the major cohort of potential entry level workers, especially migrants, unemployed and underemployed people.

View the response here.

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Chinese leadership program ‘exceeds expectations’

College directors from 47 of the top 100 vocational colleges in China have just completed the first week of a four week leadership program in Australia, and in the words of one of the delegation leaders, the program so far has exceeded their expectations.

Sponsored by the China Education Association for International Exchange and hosted by TAFE Directors Australia, the first week’s program featured workshops and presentations on the Australian vocational education and training system. It also included keynote speakers from Austrade, NSW VET Accreditation Board, TAFE NSW, Department of Education and Training International and the NSW Department of Education and Training.

TAFE NSW’s Sydney Institute hosted the first week and included site visits to seven colleges where staff and students gave practical demonstrations of their course work.

The delegates will now split into eight groups and head to Brisbane North Institute of TAFE, Southbank Institute, South Western Sydney Institute of TAFE, Northern Sydney Institute of TAFE, Box Hill Institute, Chisholm Institute of TAFE, Ballarat University’s TAFE Division and Central Institute of Technology in Perth.

After two weeks of intensive study and engagement with senior managers and local industry, the group will reconvene in Melbourne, Canberra and then Sydney to share their experiences. TDA thanks all those who have contributed to such a successful start to the program.

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My University website to go ahead

The Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, has announced that following the launch of the My School website, a quality and performance website will also be established for the university sector.

In a speech to the Universities Australia Annual Higher Education Conference in Canberra, Ms Gillard said the website will be established by January 2012.

To view a press release about the announcement click here.

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Green skills group hatches implementation plan

TDA’s representative on the Federal Government’s Green Skills Agreement Implementation Group, Dr Garry McDonald, Manager National Centre for Sustainability, Swinburne University, has reported on the recent meeting of the group.

The meeting set the groundwork to develop a plan to implement green skills into qualifications and into teaching, learning and assessment in vocational education and training. The Group was asked to assist in the development, completion and delivery of the plan to the Ministerial Council for Tertiary Education and Employment in June 2010. The plan is being developed for implementation over a four year timeframe. TDA members will be informed of progress.

In his report, Dr McDonald outlines some of the concerns raised by the Group including the availability of qualified teachers to implement the new green skills qualifications and the effective integration of green skills into teaching, learning and assessment practice.

Read his report here.

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TDA urges better access to regional education

TDA has recommended greater collaboration between TAFE and universities to improve tertiary education in regional and rural Australia, in a response to the Review of Regional Loading – Issues for Regional Provision.

There is a growing concern that the current policy focus on higher education will mask the longer term and more diverse contribution of regional TAFE institutes. To address this, TDA has established a Regional TAFE Advisory Group (RTAG) as a standing committee of the TDA Board.

TDA provides seven recommendations to the DEEWR Review including a national study of TAFE and university partnerships in the provision of tertiary education, scaling the provision of higher education according to the level of remoteness, and weighting funding to those universities that include direct contact through the collaborative use of facilities and staff with regional TAFE Institutes.

To read TDA’s full response to the paper click here. To view the paper click here.

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TDA establishes working group for resource industry skills review

TDA has set up a working group to develop a response to the National Resources Sector Employment Taskforce (NRSET) consultative paper. Click here to view the paper.

Members of the working group include: Dr Barry McKnight, Pro Vice Chancellor (VET), Charles Darwin University; Pam Caven, Acting CEO TDA; Wayne Collyer, Managing Director, Polytechnic West; Denise Janek, Managing Director, TAFE SA Regional; Kay Giles, Acting Managing Director, Skills Tech Australia; Bert Beevers, Managing Director, Durack Institute of Technology; and Christine Warrington, Associate Director Hunter Institute.

TDA members are urged to respond to the education and training ‘Questions for Consultation’ which can be found on page 49 of the report.

Members are encouraged to respond to either Pam Caven, or a member of the working group by 22 March. To view contact details for each of the working group members click here.

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TDA Conference – 13-14 September, Melbourne

TDA Members, local and international VET stakeholders, government and VET peak bodies are advised that the 2010 TDA Conference will be held in Melbourne, 13-14 September.

More information on the Conference will be included in upcoming TDA Newsletters.

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VET funding behind other sectors says report

Government spending on technical and further education declined nearly 7% between 2003-04 and 2006-07 according to the Productivity Commission 15th ‘Report on government services’.

According to the report, the technical and further education sector was the only sector to experience a decrease in funding during the period. Spending on the sector improved during 2007-2008, however it was still well behind universities and schools.

To view an article on the report from the Campus Review click here.

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TDA invited to address by Indonesian President

TDA was delighted to be invited to the address by the Indonesian President, His Excellency Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, at a Parliamentary Luncheon to be held in Canberra, this Wednesday.

Peter Kowald, Acting CEO Canberra Institute of Technology will represent TDA at the event.

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Strengthening the AQF: online survey to launch this week

The Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Council has commissioned research to help validate and fine tune the strengthened Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

An on-line survey will be launched this Wednesday, and will take around 20 minutes to complete.

People who use the AQF or have responsibility for developing, accrediting, delivering or assessing Australian senior secondary, vocational education and training or higher education qualifications are encouraged to take part. Around 700 survey responses are needed.

To participate please go to www.aqf.edu.au. For more information see the AQF website www.aqf.edu.au or contact Suzy McKenna, Principal Project Officer on 08 8226 3473 or Suzy.McKenna@sa.gov.au

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$100,000 of funding available to trail new technologies

Registered Training Organisations can apply for a share of $100,000 to trial new technologies which have the potential to deliver benefits to the national training system.

The Australian Flexible Learning Framework will fund up to six emerging technology trials in 2010 to help vocational education and training practitioners adopt and use new technologies effectively.

For more information click here.

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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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