TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 22 August 2011

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COAG continues push for VET reform

Commonwealth, State and Territory leaders have recognised and supported the key role of TAFE as the public provider in a competitive training market. However, a proposed framework of objectives and principles to guide VET reform will continue to seek greater contestability of funding and greater competition between providers.

COAG also endorsed a range of directions for the VET sector, including the promotion and take-up of higher level qualifications and strengthened pathways between education sectors.

Specific initiatives include the implementation of the My Skills website, the introduction of a Unique Student Identifier, enhanced VET data collection, and stronger quality measures for VET providers.

See the COAG Communiqué here.

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Three-year working visas flagged for international students

States and Territories have given their support for a Queensland proposal to introduce three year working visas for international student graduates who complete a university or higher level vocational qualification where a skills shortage exists.

COAG will consider measures to address the visa status of students who commenced their courses ahead of recent visa changes.

COAG has also recognised the importance of international education, and foreshadowed a Commonwealth, State and Territory response to the Knight Review.

Further details can be read here

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TDA 2011 Conference, don’t miss out - topical panel sessions and high-profile speakers

It’s just two weeks until the TDA National Conference gets underway, with an exciting line-up of local and international speakers, along with plenty of opportunities to network with industry colleagues.

More than 300 delegates are registered to attend this year’s conference to be held at the Sheraton on the Park, Sydney from 4 to 6 September.

Full registrations and day registrations are still available, as well as limited tickets to the Gala Dinner at Opera Point Marquee, Sydney Opera House. Register now at www.tda.edu.au

This year’s conference will feature a number of topical panels with high-profile speakers. The panel include:

  • A balancing act... – introducing some of the big issues faced by the VET sector in the next three years.
  • Wealth of resources – or patchwork economy? – about meeting the skills needs in a rapidly expanding resources industry
  • US-Australia: Sustainability, engagement and ‘green’ skills training – featuring green skills experts from the United States
  • Early morning news – how the media conveys issues of skills and training – featuring high-profile journalists
  • Higher education outside of universities – looking at degrees being offered in colleges in the UK, Canada and the US
  • Internationalisation and a Big Australia: debates on migration, education, and population
  • High performing institutions: competitors and collaborators

A full program and list of speaker bios is available here.

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US and Canadian experts to lead higher education forum

A free seminar will look at the challenges and issues faced by the US and Canadian college sectors, to be held in Melbourne, 8 September, and hosted by the LH Martin Institute.

The forum will feature international speakers including Dr Malcolm Grothe, Dean Professional Technical Education, Seattle, USA, and Dr David Ross, President and CEO, Langara College, Vancouver, Canada – both of whom are in Australia for the TDA 2011 National Conference, 4-6 September.

For more information, or to register click here.

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NCVER data - Apprentice numbers continue to rise, completions improve, starting age rises !  

The number of apprentices and trainees in-training has increased to 458,900 in the March quarter, up 5.3% from the same period last year.

Trades training commencements increased 9.2%, from 93,900 to 95,200, and trades training completions were up 4.8%, from 42,500 to 44,000 in the March quarter, compared with the same period in 2010.

The latest NCVER apprenticeship and trainee data shows that completions has gradually imrpoved, however those leaving mid-stream also has risen.

The average age of students undertaking apprenticeships and traineeships has also continued to rise, with some 50% now aged 25 or older.

Click here for more information.

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Professional development opportunities

The International Education Association of Australia is organising a series of upcoming professional development opportunities.

  • Introduction to International Education - Perth, 1 September
  • Teaching International Students: the Interactive Elements - Perth, 22 September, and Melbourne, 26 October 
  • Teaching International Students without Killing Yourself - Perth, 22 September, and Adelaide, 5 October 
  • Business Intelligence in HE and VET: Forecasting, Trend Analysis and Reporting - Melbourne, 28 September

Click here for more information or to book.

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Concerns raised over growth of Victorian private providers

LH Martin Institute expert, Leesa Wheelahan, along with Pat Forward from the Australian Education Union, has voiced concerns about the growth of the Victorian private provider industry, and the capacity for regulators to keep pace.

Victorian Higher Education and Skills Minister, the Hon Peter Hall MP, has rejected concerns and confirmed his confidence in the sector. Click here to view an article in The Australian.

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South Australian VET-higher education pathways strengthened

TAFESA and the major South Australian universities have signed agreements to improve pathways to higher education for VET students.

The universities involved in the signing include Flinders University, the University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia, and Charles Darwin University.

The agreements will deliver improved integration of vocational and higher education in South Australia, creating a more connected tertiary sector.  Click here for more information.

(L-R) University of South Australia Acting Vice Chancellor - Professor Joanne Wright; University of Adelaide  Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic)- Professor Pascale Quester; Flinders University Vice Chancellor - Professor Michael Barber; Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology Chief Executive Raymond Garrand; TAFE SA Regional, Managing Director Denise Janek; TAFE SA Adelaide South Managing Director Stephen Conway; Office of TAFE Chief Executive Elaine Bensted, Charles Darwin University Deputy Vice Chancellor – Academic Professor Gary Davis


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New study questions quality outcomes from wide VET delivery of Cert IV qualification

A new study on the current baseline qualification for VET teaching, the Certificate IV in Training and Education, has questioned providers currently being allowed to teach the qualification, especially related to quality.

According to a new report was led by Hugh Guthrie, National Centre for Vocational Education Research, with Consultant, Alicen McNaughton, and NCVER’s Tracy Gamlin.

The report found: “The poor quality of delivery of the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment is a particular issue. Improving its quality may require a more stringent examination of the providers that offer it; furthermore, the minimum levels of qualification and experience of the staff teaching the program should also be increased. A point for consideration is that no-one should be able to undertake the program without having the associated practical experience to ground what they are learning in the realities of their work role.”

The study into the types of initial training for new teachers confirmed that the Certificate IV Training and Education is the dominant method of training, and while it provides a solid foundation, it should be supported with other qualifications.

Click here for more.

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Diary Dates

Conference – Productivity and participation, addressing the balance
DATE: 24 August, 2011
LOCATION: Grand Hyatt Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2011 Conference
DATE: 26 August, 2011
LOCATION: Menzies Hotel Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 1 September, 2011
LOCATION: Woodward Conference Centre, Carlton, Victoria
DETAILS: More information here

2011 National Conference
DATE: 5-6 September, 2011
LOCATION: Sheraton on the Park Hotel, Sydney
DETAILS: More information here

Annual Industry Development Conference - Productivity & Competitiveness
DATE: 13-15 September, 2011
LOCATION: Hyatt Hotel and Parliament House, Canberra
DETAILS: More information here

Presentation Event
DATE: 15 September, 2011 – 6pm
LOCATION: The Ballroom, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour
DETAILS: Tickets available here

EyeQ 2011
‘eyecons of e-learning’ conference
DATE: 16 September, 2011
LOCATION: Brisbane
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2011 National Conference
DATE: 22 September, 2011
LOCATION: Brisbane
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

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

AUSTAFE National Conference
2020 Vision
DATE: 12-14 October, 2011
LOCATION: Canberra
DETAILS: Click here for more information

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

Making a Difference... 2011: Breaking Through the Barriers
DATE: 19-20 October, 2011
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
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

Australasian Association for Institutional Research Forum “Let the sunshine in”
DATE: 9-11 November, 2011
LOCATION: Sea World Resort, Gold Coast
DETAILS: Click here for more information

‘For innovation’
DATE: 18 November, 2011
LOCATION: The Glasshouse, Port Macquarie
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 25 November, 2011
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, South Bank
DETAILS: Click here for more information

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