TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 21 February 2011


Minister Chris Evans meet TDA to discuss skills shortages, and National VET Regulator

Managing Director of Polytechnic West, Wayne Collyer, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Senator the Hon Chris Evans, Managing Director, West Coast Institute of Training, Sue Slavin, and CEO of TDA, Martin Riordan.


Senator the Hon Chris Evans, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, met with TDA executives in Perth late last week, to discuss TAFE proposals for the upcoming Federal Budget 2011.  

The proposals include widening the Quality Skills Incentive Fund with co-investment, not only from industry, but also from states and territories, and creating a dedicated TAFE Structural Adjustment Fund. This would position TAFE to provide investment in required new governance and infrastructure, and asset management - necessary as TAFE moves increasingly into competitive VET funding.

Minister Evans welcomed the submission, and spoke of the critical skills needs facing industry, and his interest in seeing TAFE more widely engage those individuals currently outside the Australian workforce.

TDA Board members, Sue Slavin (Managing Director, West Coast Institute of Training) and Wayne Collyer (Managing Director, Polytechnic West) joined Martin Riordan (CEO, TDA), to discuss TDA’s Budget 2011 submission.

TDA also discussed withSenator Evans concerns from TAFE Institutes about the process of the National VET Regulator (NVR). The NVR has to date not released details of its proposed risk management framework. TDA believes this has created a lack of transparency, while also creating differing timetables to the process agreed for TEQSA and regulation for universities – a key strategy of the Bradley Review of Higher Education.

TDA requested Minister Evans intervene ahead of the referral of the NVR Bill to the Senate Legislation Committee. Minister Evans undertook to review the issues on risk management disclosure. Submissions to the Senate Committee close 1 March 2011.

Earlier, The Australian newspaper published an interview with Martin Riordan, and LH Martin Associate Professor Leesa Wheelahan, on the impasse. View the article in The Australian here.

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'National Custodian’ needed for the apprenticeship system, says expert panel

The establishment of a ‘National Custodian’ to oversee the consistency, relevance and results of the apprenticeship system has been strongly recommended in an independent report released today by the Minister for Jobs and Skills, Senator the Hon Chris Evans.

The report, ‘A shared responsibility – Apprenticeships for the 21stCentury’, says the system is too complex and has no single body governing the whole system. The report also supports COAG’s objective to align the eight jurisdictions which currently oversee the apprenticeship system.

The report was produced by an expert panel, Chaired by Jim McDowell, Chief Executive of BAE Systems. It contains 14 recommendations to improve the effectiveness and responsiveness of the system.

The recommendations for reform are consistent with submissions from TDA, during the inquiry. 

Minister Evans said he is ‘broadly supportive’ of the recommendations of the panel, however he has ruled out introducing an employer levy to help fund training.

In other recommendations, the panel supported a competency-based culture, a review of workplace and wage conditions, a formal accreditation process for pre-qualification, reduced red tape, incentives for structured support services, and improving the implementation of Recognition of Prior Learning.

See the announcement of the report here. See TDA’s response here. The full report will be available on the Australian Apprenticeship website soon. See an article in the Daily Telegraph here. Listen to an interview on ABC’s AM program this morning with Minister Evans here.                                                                

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Federal Minister opens upgraded auto facilities at Polytechnic West

A $6.3 million facelift to the Polytechnic West automotive training workshop was opened in Perth last week by Senator the Hon Chris Evans, Minister for Tertiary Education, Jobs, Skills and Workplace Relations.

Toyota Australia took part in the opening, and donated a high technology vehicle as part of their contribution to the ‘green workshop’, located at the Carlisle Campus of Polytechnic West.

The facility includes six new classrooms, equipment upgrades at the automotive workshop, and ICT equipment integrated to meet the latest industry auto mechanical and electrical standards.

Wayne Collyer, Managing Director of Polytechnic West, led a tour of the facility, and Minister Evans spoke of his pride in seeing a major source of skills delivery being upgraded, under the Government’s $500 million Teaching and Learning Capital Fund for VET.

To view a media release from the Minister click here. To visit Polytechnic West’s website click here.


Chair Polytechnic West Governing Council, Keith Vuleta, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Senator the Hon Chris Evans, Managing Director of Polytechnic West, Wayne Collyer, and CEO of TDA, Martin Riordan.



Minister Evans, with final year Automotive Apprentices James Reid, Phil Gigncono and Chris Pope (L to R )


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NCVER data - Traineeship commencements reach all-time high

The number of people commencing a trade apprenticeship has reached pre-economic downturn levels and stabilised, while commencements of traineeships have reached an all-time high, according to new data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

New figures from the December quarter show there were 57,000 new trainees, continuing the strong gains throughout 2010. There were 24,000 new trade apprentices in the December quarter, equal to the previous quarter.

The matching data on apprentices and trainees not completing was not part of the publication, and TDA will follow-up seeking to assist members with this important information.

To view the data click here.

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TDA meets with head of National Review of Student Visas

TDA will meet this week with the Hon Michael Knight AO, head of the National Review into the Student Visa program.   

Mr Knight, a former NSW Labor Minister in the Carr Government, was appointed to the role in December by the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, the Hon Chris Bowen MP, and the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, jobs and Workplace Relations, the Hon Chris Evans MP.

Submissions to the review are due in April, with Mr Knight’s recommendations due mid-year.

Click here for more information.

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Seeking participants for survey on Training Package user guide

Consultants, Marlene Johnson and Anita Roberts have been commissioned to develop a user guide for the Certificate IV Training and Assessment package on behalf of Innovation & Business Skills Australia, and are seeking participants for a short survey.

The user guide will help both practitioners and registered training organisations (RTOs) in preparing for, and executing, high-quality delivery and assessment processes.

The consultants are seeking ideas and opinions about the structure and intended content of the emerging user guide, and what sort of ongoing development of non-endorsed components is necessary to support good practice in the implementation of Training Packages.

Please respond to the attached survey by 15 March. For more information contact Marlene Johnson:marlene@mjjohnsonassociates.com.au  or 0408 514 099.

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Online network for VET leaders

VET leaders are being encouraged to join the ‘Australian VET Leaders LinkedIn group’ which aims to bring together a network of innovative and energetic people to share knowledge and provide resources to improve the VET workforce.

Read more here.

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Diary Dates

TAFE Governance and Regulations Forum
DATE: 28 February – 1 March, 2011
LOCATION: Rendezvous Hotel, Melbourne 
DETAILS: Click here for more information

TAFE Governance and Regulations Forum
DATE: 27-28 April, 2011
LOCATION: Rutherford House, Wellington
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Gaining the Edge – Outcomes, Equity and Innovation
DATE: 3-4 May, 2011
LOCATION: Hilton on the Park, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2011 Queensland VET Symposium
DATE: 12-13 May, 2011
LOCATION: Hilton, Brisbane
DETAILS: Click here for more information

No Frills
DATE: 13-15 July, 2011
LOCATION: North Coast TAFE, Coffs Harbour
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Nominations closing date
DATE: 25 March, 2011
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Interconnected Tertiary Education - Stronger pathways across Higher Education & VET for increased participation
DATE: 30-31 March, 2011|
LOCATION: Mercure, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

The 9th Annual Higher Education Summit
DATE: 27-29 April, 2011
LOCATION:Sofitel, Brisbane  
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Research in VET: Janus – Reflecting Back, Projecting Forward
DATE: 28-29 April, 2011
LOCATION: Rendezvous Hotel, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2011 National VET Conference
DATE: 4-5 August, 2011
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2011 National Conference
DATE: 17 August, 2011
LOCATION:Four Season’s Hotel, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2011 Conference
DATE: 11-14 October, 2011
LOCATION: Adelaide Convention Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information

ePortfolios Australia Conference 2011
DATE: 17-18 October, 2011
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Looking ahead - Group Training National Conference
DATE: 19-21 October, 2011
LOCATION: Grand Hyatt, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

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