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Newsletter | 21 November 2016

In this edition


TAFE institutes, students and ambassadors excel at Australian Training Awards

TAFE providers, as well as teachers, apprentices and trainees from the TAFE sector featured prominently among the winners and finalists at the Australian Training Awards in Darwin last Thursday.

Among the award winners were:

Large Training Provider of the Year Award - Box Hill Institute Group
Box Hill Institute has earned an outstanding reputation as an innovative education provider, now ensured with the launch of its Lilydale Lakeside Campus, as well as a  significant commercial partnership in the $40 million agreement with Corrections Victoria. to provide training to Victoria’s prisoners. Finalists in this category were TAFE Queensland and Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education.

Australian Apprentice of the Year Award - Shane Dealy
The Canberra Institute of Technology carpentry apprentice experienced the construction industry through his father’s business, Algoa Holdings.  He studied engineering at university but after 18 months was not convinced this was his career path. Since commencing his apprenticeship, Shane has been involved in a range of projects from new homes through to extensions and landscaping.

Australian Apprentice (Trainee) of the Year Award - Ben Nedwich
The Queensland Certificate III in Business Administration student is completing his traineeship with Bundaberg Regional Council, and received Sunrise Rotary's TAFE Queensland East Coast Trainee/Apprentice or the Year and Overall Student of the Year awards in 2015 and a full sponsorship to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Camp.

Lifetime Achievement Award - Douglas Wright AM
Mr Wright has been a keen advocate and leader in the VET system including a board member of the NSW TAFE Commission and a member of the TAFE NSW Higher Education Governing Council.

Industry Collaboration Award - The Skills Exchange - Barangaroo and Darling Harbour
The Skills Exchanges were developed as a collaboration between TAFE NSW - Western Sydney Institute, Lendlease - Barangaroo South and Lendlease - Darling Harbour to meet the skills needs of one of Australia's largest urban redevelopment projects close to the Sydney CBD.

National Achievement Award - Denise Stevens
Denise has had a distinguished career in the Victorian VET sector including a senior role at Holmesglen Institute and William Angliss Institute and more recently at the VET Development Centre.

Australian Apprenticeships - Employer Award - WPC Group Ltd
WPC Group and the Nissan Motor Co. (Australia) collaborated to create a unique Mentored Apprenticeship Program known and also an accelerated apprenticeship qualification delivered in conjunction with the Nissan Learning Academy and TAFE.

Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award - Isabel Osuna-Gatty, Batchelor Institute
Isabel Osuna-Gatty’s wide-ranging career began in South America and continued in Australia as an adult Language Literacy Numeracy/ ESL teacher at community colleges before joining Batchelor Institute where she is Literacy, Numeracy and Life Skills Senior Lecturer and also tailors and delivers LLN programs.

VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year Award - Donna Colombini, Sydney TAFE
Throughout her sixteen years of teaching hairdressing, Donna Colombini has encouraged students to gain both core salon skills and an understanding of current trends and techniques. Her own hairdressing experience provides a solid platform for her teaching, strong connections with local employers and industry and a commitment to improving the quality of training and promoting best practice. Runner up was TAFE WA North Regional's Tegan Mossop who teaches language, literacy, numeracy and a range of employability and leadership skills to students in WA's Pilbara region. 

See all the winners and finalists.

Future direction of apprenticeships open for discussion in Queensland

A wide-rangeing discussion paper on the future  of apprenticeships and traineeships in Queensland has been publicly released.

The paper, 'Positive Futures: Apprenticeships and Traineeships in Queensland' has been issued by Jobs Queensland.

Chair of Jobs Queensland Ms Rachel Hunter said the paper is part of a broader project that will result in strategic advice to the minister.

"Jobs Queensland would like to discover what is working well within the system for employers, apprentices and trainees, industry and the broader community. How are different industries attracting apprentices and trainees? How are employers assisting their apprentices and trainees acquire the necessary skills and knowledge for success?"

The report says that while the proportion of adult apprentices in 2015 exceeded that of young people, apprenticeships and traineeships remain an important pathway to employment for young Queenslanders.

Emphasising this point, the chart below from the report shows the relationship between youth unemployment and the numbers of young people commencing apprenticeships and traineeships in the state.

See the discussion paper

NSW skills minister becomes deputy premier

The NSW Minister for Regional Development, Skills and Small Business John Barilaro has been elected as leader of the Nationals and elevated to deputy premier following the resignation of Troy Grant after the party's poor result in the Orange byelection.

The Queanbeyan-based MP who ran a family building company before entering parliament has been the architect of a reshaped 'Smart and Skilled' program and a restructuring of TAFE.

Education minister Adrian Piccoli also lost his position as deputy Nationals leader to Niall Blair.

Premier Mike Baird has foreshadowed what is likely to be an extensive ministerial reshuffle early next year where the skills and education portfolios could shift.

TAFE NSW success at Shanghai international nursing competition

Diploma of Nursing students from TAFE NSW Northern Sydney Institute were awarded second place at the 6th annual Shanghai International Nursing Skills Contest.

Held at the Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Sciences in November, Louise Wadey and Lucy Ferreira, pictured, were one of seventeen nursing teams representing international institutions including teams from the US, Canada, Britain, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands.

Louise and Lucy graduated from TAFE as enrolled nurses in September 2016 and have already  been placed in graduate programs at the Sydney Adventist Hospital (SAN) and at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney.  They competed against university trained Registered Nurse teams and were the only VET team in the competition.

The judges were from the Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Sciences, and teams were scored on their methods of evaluation, communication, practical skill, teamwork, flexibility and their overall clinical nursing abilities.

The competition aims to build a platform for international co-operation and collaboration between hospitals, international nursing colleges and medical institutions.

Congratulations to Louise and Lucy for their tremendous achievement, along with Glenys Wensor, Head Teacher of Nursing, their inspiring coach and mentor. 

"I will always cherish this empowering experience working with wonderful professional nurses from around the globe and knowing that our TAFE skills can compete on the international stage," Ms Wensor said.

"We were all so very proud to represent Australia and the TAFE VET sector."

ACCI president urges greater support for apprenticeships at PM's leaders' dinner

The President of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Terry Wetherall, made a plea for greater support for apprenticeships and skills training, during his introduction and welcome to the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, ahead of his adders at last week's Leaders' Dinner in Canberra.

Mr Wetherall said skils shortages had become critical, and greater attention would be essential.

The Prime Minister responded by agreeing that  innovation, education and training would be critical to promote greater ‘jobs and growth’

The PM attended shortly after the election of US-President-elect Donald Trump, and his now-famous telephone call courtesy of the phone contact from Australian golfing great Greg Norman.

Primrose Riordan, Australian Financial Review; Chris Robinson, ASQA; Jenny Lambert, ACCI; and Martin Riordan, TDA. 

Russia's VET system in crisis

Young people’s interest in vocational education is dropping significantly in Russia, according to a report by Russia’s Higher School of Economics.

In 2000, roughly 115 out of every 10,000 students were undertaking  clerical courses, yet in 2013, this figure dropped to 50. Similarly, in other middle-level qualifications the numbers dropped from 161 in 10,000 students to 144 between the years of 2000 and 2015.

"The status of vocational education in Russia has fallen irreversibly in the past 20 years," said Sergey Yenikolopov, head of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Sociology of Education laboratory.

"There’s an enormous gap between status and reality… if a system loses it’s status, even pouring cash into the sector won’t put things right."

The reputation of VET in Russia began to decline in the 1980s when factories began closing and money was not available to train a highly skilled workforce. 

The report says the government has renounced responsibility, and colleges are left to attract students, thus leaving many in a dire financial position.

See more.

Diary Dates

Pathways13 Conference: Changes, Challenges and Choice – embracing the future
Disability practitioners from TAFEs and universities around Australia
30 November - 2 December, 2016
Canberra, Australia
More information

2016 National Conference on VET Teaching and VET Teacher Education
Australian Council of Deans of Education Vocational Education Group 
8 - 9 December, 2016
More information


Corporate Affiliates