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Newsletter | 21 May 2012    

In this edition

  • A National Charter for TAFE
  • Ten million international students within a decade
  • Victorian Budget TAFE cuts – anger growing
  • Nine out of ten for Kenyan TVET workshop
  • TAFE SA Statutory Authority Bill passes
  • Apprentice and trainee commencements  down
  • WorldSkills medal winner killed in road accident
  • Productivity Commission urges more effort on VET reforms
  • Nominations open for ATEM Awards
  • Austrade events and opportunities
  • Commonwealth higher education leaders’ forum
  • Sponsorship for TDA 2012 Conference selling fast!

Feature story

REMINDER – Entries for Australian Training Awards close in 10 days!

Direct entry categories of the Australian Training Awards recognising individuals, training providers, community organisations and businesses for their contribution to skilling Australia close on 31 May 2012.

For further information, entry requirements and award criteria click here.


A National Charter for TAFE

TAFE Directors Australia has issued a National Charter for TAFE, to provide a framework on how the Commonwealth, States and Territories will manage “implementation strategies” proposed by the COAG Agreement, for TAFEs to operate in a more competitive environment.

The Charter has been forwarded to the Prime Minister, Education and Training Ministers on the Standing Council on Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (SCOTESE), and other officials.

The Charter is based on four principles for the TAFE network:

  • Funding maintains the viability and responsiveness of public providers
  • Quality criteria are substantially enhanced
  • Governance enables flexibility and responsiveness
  • Recognition of the innovation and leadership roles of TAFE, including its pivotal position in rural and regional Australia

Skills Australia last year recommended the role of the public provider (TAFE) in Australia be more clearly defined, and TDA met with the Industry Forum of the SCOTESE Ministerial Council to exchange views, and prepared a discussion paper, The Case for a National Charter for TAFE - released in November last year. Later the TDA met with the Board of Skills Australia.

Click here to view the National Charter for TAFE.

Click here to view the Special Bulletin announcing the Charter, and here for the media release.

Ten million international students within a decade

The Federal Coalition has predicted that Australia could attract 10 million international students within a decade.

Speaking at the Victorian TAFE Association Conference in Melbourne, Shadow Finance Minister, Hon. Andrew Robb, said TAFEs and universities would benefit from Asia’s rising middle class and could attract significant students to online learning, as well as onshore studies.

The prediction compares with total international student numbers of about 700,000 last year.

To read an article in The Australian, click here.

To read an article on the conference from TDA, click here.

Victorian Budget TAFE cuts – anger growing

More than two weeks after the Victorian Budget, the fallout from the cuts to the State’s TAFE system continues to reverberate.

The Federal Government is increasing pressure on Victoria to explain how the cuts are consistent with a Commonwealth $434 million funding deal under the National Partnership Agreement. TDA’s CEO Martin Riordan told The Age, that the Victorian Government needed to review its announcements, including clarity on redundancy costs so far not included in Budget estimates.

Melbourne media has carried continued news on the uproar resulting, reporting on job losses and cutbacks to courses. Holmesglen Chief Executive, Bruce Mackenzie, is the latest to warn of the dire consequences of the budget, predicting it could strip $25 million from the bottom line, which may mean doubling fees and cutting courses. See an article in The Age.

VET activities in schools are also under threat as The Australian reports.

Prime Minister the Hon Julia Gillard expressed her concern “...as we continue to invest and invest more money, at the same time we are seeing Premier Baillieu and his government walk away from that kind of investment in education.”

Nine out of Ten for Kenyan TVET workshop

Participant evaluations from the TDA led workshop on TVET systems in five Commonwealth countries indicated a resounding success for all involved.

Held in Mombasa, Kenya, over three days and with support from the Commonwealth Secretariat, the workshop brought together senior TVET leaders from Bangladesh, Jamaica, Kenya, The Gambia and PNG.

As well as sharing current policy and program initiatives in each of the five countries, the delegates identified key challenges, issues and priorities for their respective countries.

 A draft report has been submitted to the Commonwealth Secretariat and will contribute to briefings and reports submitted to the Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers in August.

Back Row (L to R):  Mr Ousman Nyang, Director General, National Training Authority, The Gambia; Mr Nasir Kazmi, Education Adviser, Commonwealth Secretariat;  Mr Peter Holden, TAFE Directors Australia; Mr Luz Johnson, Chief Information Officer, HEART/NTA, Jamaica.

Front Row (L to R): Prof Dr Idris Ali, Principal Bangladesh College of Leather Technology, Bangladesh; Mr Uke Wikai-Kombra, First Assistant Secretary TVET, Department of Education Papua New Guinea; Mr Ndungu Gakungu, Director, Directorate of Technical Accreditation and Quality Assurance, Ministry of Higher Education, Science & Technology, Kenya; Ms Peris A Matioli, Senior Assistant Director of Technical Education, Kenya; Mr Samuel Wanyonyi, Acting Deputy Director of Technical Education, Kenya;  Mr Owate Wambayi, Director Technical Education, Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology, Kenya

TAFE SA Statutory Authority Bill Passes

South Australia has passed legislation establishing TAFE SA as a single statutory authority, under the new Skills for All VET reforms.
TAFE SA will be given more autonomy and greater independence from government through a Board of Directors.
The policy will allow students studying at Diploma level and above to access to income contingent loans. Certificates I, II and other designated priority courses will be fee-free.
To read a press release from SA Employment, Higher Education and Skills Minister, the Hon. Tom Kenyon, click here.

To view the legislation, click here.

Apprentice and trainee commencements down

The number of people starting apprenticeships and traineeships decreased in the March 2012 quarter.

Released by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), Apprentices and trainees 2012—early trend estimates, March quarter, provides seasonally adjusted data at the national level for apprentice and trainee commencements.

The decrease in trainee commencements ended the upward trend that began in the March 2009 quarter.

For further information, please see the media release.

To download a copy of Apprentices and trainees 2012—early trend estimates, March quarter, click here.

WorldSkills medal winner killed in road accident

TDA is deeply saddened by news of the death of 21-year-old WorldSkills Australia silver medal winner, Matthew Zambrowski.
Matthew was a talented refrigeration mechanic from Kurri Kurri, and was the Hunter Region representative at the recent National Refrigeration Competition.
TDA extends its sympathies to Matthew’s friends and family.

Click here to read an article in The Maitland Mercury.

Productivity Commission urges more effort on VET reforms

The Productivity Commission has highlighted the challenges that lay ahead in achieving the targets set by the Commonwealth, states and territories for VET reform.

In its final report, Impacts of COAG Reforms: Business Regulation and VET, the Commission assesses progress to-date in attaining the COAG targets set for the period 2010-2020.

The Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Senator the Hon. Chris Evans, has welcomed the publication of the Productivity Commission's report.

The report confirms that VET qualifications at Certificate lll level and above yield significant benefits to individuals and estimates that the COAG targets have the potential to generate a 2% increase in GDP, although it warns that greater government effort will be required to achieve this

To read TDA’s response to the report, click here.

See the Productivity Commission report here.

To see the media release from the Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills, Senator, the Hon Chris Evans, click here.

Nominations open for ATEM Awards

The Association of Tertiary Education Management (ATEM) is encouraging all managers and professional staff at TAFE to enter the inaugural ATEM/Campus Review Best Practice Awards in Tertiary Education Management.

ATEM was started by TAFE managers more than 36 years ago and has become Australia's leading professional association for tertiary education managers encompassing the universities, TAFEs and private providers.

All applications need to be in by the 30th June. To view the award categories and place make your nominations, click here.
The awards will be presented at a ceremony in Adelaide as part of the TEMC conference and all winners will feature in Campus Review.
For more information call ATEM on 9351 9719

Austrade Events and Opportunities

As part of the Latin America Down Under conference in Sydney this week, Austrade is holding a breakfast briefing on human resource development for the mining industry.

The event commences at 7.15am on Wednesday 23 May, at the Sheraton on the Park hotel.

RSVPs should go to Melissa.Carter@austrade.gov.au  
Strategic Engagement in Latin America is the focus of an Austrade webinar on Thursday 24 May from 2pm to 3pm (AET). Click here for more details.

Austrade is also promoting the creation of a Mining Education and Training Capability Directory.
This comprehensive guide to Australian education and training courses for the mining and resources sector offers free listings to education providers.
To register your interest by 31 May, please visit the Austrade website.

Commonwealth higher education leaders’ forum

The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) is taking the lead in organising one of the four concurrent conferences which will run alongside the (18th) Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers (18CCEM).
The conference is a platform for those involved at every level, from Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to higher education.

The conference theme is ‘Meeting the demand for post-secondary education:  practical solutions to difficult questions’ and will be held at the University of Mauritius from 27 to 30 August 2012.

Click here  for more details.

Sponsorship for TDA 2012 Conference selling fast!

TDA is pleased to welcome Echo360 as a sponsor and exhibitor at the National Conference in Perth on 6-7 September.  They have kindly funded our conference barista, so pop along and join them for a coffee!

As a global leader in blended learning and lecture capture products, Echo360 helps institutions keep pace with modern learning needs through products that digitally record and publish instructional content. Via Echo360 students are able to view teaching sessions and learning objects online, as posted by their instructors.

From its roots at the University of Western Australia, Echo360 works exclusively within the higher education sector, with almost 30 institutions using their platform throughout Australia and New Zealand, and 500 customers worldwide.

The TDA conference, East Meets West, will be held in Perth on 6-7 September. It will explore issues of skills development between Australia and Asia, and also the changing relationship between our western and eastern states.

To register now or for more information visit the TDA conference website.

For information regarding sponsorship and exhibition opportunities for the 2012 National conference, we encourage you to read our Sponsor Invitation.

Confirmed 2012 Sponsors include: Fuji Xerox, West Coast Institute of Training, Group Training Australia, Echo360, ETS, MEGT and Victorian TAFE Association

Diary Dates

Skills for NSW: high quality apprenticeships & traineeships
DATE: 31 May, 2012
LOCATION: SMC Conference Centre, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

AUSTAFE 2012 Study Tour to the European Union Date
DATE: 6 June 2012
DETAILS: For more information contact Louise Godwin at louise.godwin@tafensw.edu.au

DATE: 8 June, 2012
LOCATION: Waterview Convention Centre at Bi Centennial Park Homebush
DETAILS: Click here for an invitation. Click here for a registration form.

CISA – Council of International Students Australia
International Student Conference
DATE: 9-11 July, 2012
LOCATION: Queensland University of Technology, Gardens Point Campus, Brisbane
DETAILS: For more information see the draft program.

21st National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference ‘No Frills’
DATE: 11-13 July 2012
LOCATION: Adelaide
DETAILS: Come celebrate, collaborate and connect at ‘No Frills’

Intelligence Squared Australia (IQ2) – Live Debate
DATE: 11 July 2012
LOCATION: Adelaide Town Hall
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Leadership Development Program for Facilities Management
DATE: 15 - 18 July, 2012
LOCATION: HC Coombs Centre, Kirribilli, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Cross Sectoral Partnerships Symposium
DATE: 9 August 2012
LOCATION: Sydney – venue TBA
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 27 August – 2 September
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 6 - 7 September 2012
LOCATION: Perth, Western Australia
DETAILS: Click here for more information

AUSTAFE 2012 NATIONAL Conference
DATE: 3-5 October 2012
LOCATION: Alice Springs NT, Kirribilli, Sydney
DETAILS: More information contact Lyle Mellors at lyle.mellors@cdu.edu.au

DATE: 17-19 October 2012
LOCATION: National Convention Centre, Canberra
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 16 November 2012
LOCATION: Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information.