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Newsletter | 20 January 2014

In this edition

New training policy in Queensland

The Queensland Government has announced a new training policy for apprentices and trainees to take effect from 1 July.

Education, Training and Employment Minister John-Paul Langbroek said the government’s crackdown on red tape would see two existing policies rolled into one under the Building and Construction Training Policy.

“This amalgamation will streamline compliance and reporting requirements and supports the Newman Government’s pledge to create 10,000 additional apprenticeships over six years,” Mr Langbroek said.

“Our new policy regulating work on government construction projects provides opportunities for new apprentices and trainees, while also supporting skills acquisition for those already employed in the construction industry.”

See the Minister’s media release.

Social media campaign targets international students

A Department of Immigration and Border Protection social media campaign is underway to educate overseas students in Australia about visa conditions and the possible impacts of changing courses.

Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator Michaelia Cash said she is concerned about a perception in the international student community that it is acceptable to change or downgrade courses from one that is eligible for streamlined visa processing [SVP] to one that is not eligible, soon after arrival in Australia.

“Students who engage in this type of behaviour are likely to be in breach of their visa conditions and may, as a result, be subject to visa cancellation,” Minister Cash said.

“This education campaign will include regular updates on the migration blog, FAQs and will present a range of relevant scenarios so students can evaluate the correct action to take for their circumstances,” the Minister said.

See the Minister’s media release.

‘Competencies’ cause confusion

The way that vocational education and training (VET) practitioners understand and use units of competency in course design and delivery has come into question in a new study from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

The study found that VET practitioners have little faith in the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and feel somewhat ill-equipped to interpret competency standards when developing curriculum.

“The research presented here indicates that VET practitioners indeed experience difficulties interpreting competencies. Most participants reported that they found the language of competencies difficult to decipher,” the study said.

“They cited the prevalence of 'jargon' and unclear language, and complained that the competency texts are not well written. Most participants also described limited strategies of interpretation.”

See the NCVER study - Interpreting competencies in Australian vocational education and training; practices and issues.

Construction and property E-Scan seeks input

The Construction and Property Services Industry Skills Council (CPSISC) is encouraging industry stakeholders to help inform the development of the 2014-15 Environmental Scan (E-Scan).

It is vital that the issues of the construction and property services industries are heard at this point in time and stakeholder s are encouraged to undertake a survey to help develop the latest report.

CPSISC is holding a draw to give away three prizes to people who complete the full survey. You can win the choice of a Cookoo Smart Watch, a Kobo Glo E-reader or a Go-Pro Hero 3 action camera.

The survey closes 5 February.

View the E-Scan survey here.

Automotive industry needs female apprentices

Auto Skils Australia (ASA) has launched a campaign to attract more females to the automotive industry and address critical skills shortages.

Geoff Gwilym, CEO of ASA says to address these shortages, it is imperative the industry attracts more females, who currently make up only around 4-5% of trade apprenticeships in areas such as mechanics, panel beaters, spray painters and auto electricians.

Read the ASA media release.

Applications open for Churchill Fellowships

TDA has been asked to remind its readers that applications are closing soon for the 2014 round of Churchill Fellowships.

These fellowships are administered by The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, and can assist Australian citizens who are undertaking an overseas research project that will be of benefit to their community.

Applications close 19 February.

Visit the website for more information.

Diary Dates

VET Development Centre – The VET BLOG
For relevant news and articles about the VET sector
DETAILS: Click here.

Members Lunch Box Webinar
The Australian Apprenticeships & Traineeships Information Service

DATE: 20 January 2014
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Universities Australia
Higher Education Conference: Stirred not shaken

DATE: 26-28 February 2014
LOCATION: National Convention Centre, Canberra
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Engage, Empower, Excel – Connecting skills and workforce
Service Skills Australia 2014 Conference

DATE: 3-4 March 2014
LOCATION: Sheraton on the Park, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Annual Industry Development Conference - Innovate and Collaborate for Development
ForestWorks Industry Skills Council

DATE: 4 March 2014
LOCATION: Hyatt Hotel, Canberra
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Future Schools

DATE: 12-14 March 2014
LOCATION: Australian Technology Park, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

NCVER Research Forum
Realising our potential: widening participation through education and training

DATE: 3 April 2014
LOCATION: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council Awards for Excellence
DATE: 10 April 2014
LOCATION: The Langham Hotel, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

AVETRA 17th Annual Conference
Informing Changes in VET Policy and Practice: The Central Role of Research

DATE: 22-24 April 2014
LOCATION: Outrigger, Surfers Paradise, Queensland
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

VET Summit
Velg Training

DATE: 29 April 2014 – Brisbane, 5 May 2014 – Melbourne, 12 May 2014 – Sydney
LOCATION: Outrigger, Surfers Paradise, Queensland
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

National Congress and Expo

DATE: 3-5 June 2014
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for information.

'No Frills' - 23rd National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference
DATE: 9-11 July 2014
LOCATION: Holmesglen, Moorabbin Campus, Melbourne, Victoria
DETAILS: Coming soon.

National VET Conference
Velg Training

DATE: 11-12 September 2014
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Teaching & Learning Conference 2014
VET Development Centre

DATE: 4-5 September 2014
LOCATION: RACV Club Torquay, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

2014 WorldSkills Australia National Competition
DATE: 18, 19 & 20 September 2014
LOCATION: Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Group Training Australia
2014 National Conference

DATE: 12-14 November 2014
LOCATION: Grand Chancellor Hotel, Hobart
DETAILS: Coming soon.