TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 21 March 2011


Round one open for Critical Skills Investment Fund

Round one of the $200 million Critical Skills Investment Fund is now open.

Applications are due by 8 April. The application form can be accessed online, as well as application and funding guidelines. The industry co-investment model is designed to require employers to lead with funding bids, in collaboration with training RTOs. Details are available here.

The Critical Skills Investment Fund was a $200 million Australian Government initiative from 2010 Federal Budget, designed to up-skill existing workers and to train job seekers who seek to work in critical industry sectors. The fund will initially target the resources, construction, renewable energy and infrastructure sectors. It may also be used to address skills gaps in other sectors impacted by a loss of workers, and some $66 million will be used for rural and regional projects.

When announcing the opening of the Critical Skills Investment Fund, Minister Chris Evans also announced his acceptance of the National Resources Sector Employment Taskforce (NRSET) recommendations, made in its final reportlast year. Click here to view the announcement.

Click here to view a speech given by the Minister at the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy about industry and government partnerships.

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Review of student income for higher education

The Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, has announced that Professor Kwong Lee Dow AM will chair a review into the impact of the Australian Government’s student income support reforms.

The review will have a particular focus on the capacity of rural and regional students to access higher education.

For more information, click here.

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Virginia Simmons AO – Victorian Honour Roll of Women

Virginia Simmons AO, our immediate past TDA representative on the National Quality Council, and former CEO of Chisholm Institute of TAFE, was one of 20 new recipients inducted on the Honour Roll of Women at the National Gallery of Victoria as a part of International Women’s Day activities.

The Minister for Women's Affairs, the Hon Mary Wooldridge MP, congratulated Ms. Simmons and the other inductees who came from across Victoria.

“The Victorian Honour Roll of Women is so important as it acknowledges and celebrates the achievements of inspirational women in Victoria and ensures that the legacy of these women is recorded and passed on to future generations,” Ms Wooldridge said.

Virginia Simmons was nominated as an inspirational leader and innovator in vocational and tertiary education, and the first female Director of a TAFE Institution in Victoria, and longest serving female TAFE CEO and Director in Victoria.

TDA congratulates Virginia Simmons on this nomination. She has recently been supporting TDA by consulting on tertiary policy, and recently joined TDA CEO, Martin Riordan, to give evidence to the Senate Legislation Committee on its review of the National VET Regulator Bill. 

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National ALTC teaching body scrapped

The Board of the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) has expressed disappointment over the Federal Government’s decision to discontinue its funding.

The national teaching and learning body will cease operations by the end of this year. To view a letter from the ALTC’s Board, click here.

TDA CEO, Martin Riordan, has joined sector concerns about the closure – especially the potential implications for the focus on professional development mid-way through the Productivity Commission’s review of Vocational Education and the Training Workforce.

Martin Riordan said: “TDA is concerned about this measure, and the confusing signals, as it may require that some or all of the funding may be diverted to DEEWR in a new Branch to manage ALTC functions.”

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Tertiary regulator Bill to be introduced to Parliament

This week will see the introduction of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) Bill to the Federal Parliament.

The Bill will also be referred to the Senate Committee on Education, Employment and Workplace Relations for an inquiry. For the latest update on the progress of TEQSA click here.

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Opportunity to represent TDA in health qualification review

TDA has been invited to participate in an Industry Reference Group to review health supervision and management competencies within the HLT07 Health Training Package. See the invitation here.

The reference group will run by the Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council (CS&HISC). View a background document here. To nominate to represent TDA for the reference group please contact Pam Caven, TDA by this Friday, 25 March.

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Changes to data reporting

Members are advised that changes to protocols in the reporting of VET statistics, endorsed by the Ministerial Council for Education and Employment (MCTEE), will be implemented in the next report released by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

The changes will allow NCVER to provide some information at the training organisation level. Click here for further information about the changes. The first release to include the data will be ‘Australian vocational education and training statistics: Students and courses 2009 – Training providers’, available 29 March.

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TAFE NSW takes out international student award

TAFE NSW student, Hayley Ward, has been awarded the inaugural 2011 NSW Premier’s International Student Award in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) category.

Four other TAFE NSW students were finalists in the VET category and one TAFE NSW student was a finalist in the ELICOS category.


Hayley Ward with her certificate and award

TAFE NSW VET finalists


For more information click here.

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Latest higher education update from ACER

The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) has distributed its latest higher education update. Click here to view the publication.

Two articles that may be of particular interest to members are:

  • TAFE loses post-school ground(page 16), which says that fewer Victorian school leavers are choosing TAFE, however there is a renewed take-up by early school leavers ; and
  • Engaging students with internationalism(page 18), which outlines student engagement trends.

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Life matters getting in the way of training completions

The non-completion of training courses by trainees and apprentices is often not related to the quality of training or poor perceptions of training outcomes, but to life circumstances, according to a report from Service Skills Australia.

The findings of the report Evaluation Frameworks of VET were presented at a breakfast event in Sydney. They contrast to other completion data available including data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research, which suggests that only 73% of students complete their course.

Service Skills Australia’s research found a 90% completion rate among the 1,600 trainees and apprentices surveyed. Of those who did not complete (159 students), almost all of non-completers gave a reason other than the quality of training for discontinuing their training.

The most common reasons were related to work or family/home/relationship issues.

View a media release here.  

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Latest Australasian research newsletter

The latest newsletter for the Australasian Association for Institutional Research (AAIR) has been circulated. Click here to view the March edition.

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Diary Dates

Closing date for nominations
DATE: 25 March, 2011
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Closing date for nominations
DATE: 1 April, 2011
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: 10 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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