Having trouble viewing this email? Click here to view online.

Newsletter | 22 August 2016

In this edition


Federal skills minister Karen Andrews hosts roundtable with VET peak bodies - restoring sector's reputation a key challenge

The new Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Karen Andrews, hosted TDA and VET peak organisations at Parliament House last week for a vocational education roundtable.

Minister Andrews was recently appointed Assistant Minister after the federal election.

A major feature of the roundtable was a genuine desire to restore community confidence in the sector following the damaging VET FE-HELP scandals, where student loans were abused by a large number of private training providers.

Minister Andrews said a key priority for portfolio Minister Senator Simon Birmingham was a redesign of VET FEE-HELP. The Coalition had a priority on ensuring a VET education as an effective pathways to employment, especially in skill gap areas, and noted that it would continue to link and engage with industry.

Minister Andrews noted her interest in engaging with industry on apprenticeship and discussed the recently released Apprenticeships Reform Advisory Group Recommendation Report.

TDA board member, Mary Faraone, CEO of Holmesglen, represented TDA at the roundtable, and said there was genuine interest in renewal, the role of new technologies, and a priority on jobs and employability skills.

Later, Mary Faraone attended a meeting with the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science to further discuss how VET would be included in the $1.2 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda.

See the 2016 TDA Convention program!

The detailed program for the 2016 TDA Convention, 'Skills Resurgence' is now available.

The Convention is the major annual event which brings together the board members, CEOs and senior staff of TAFE institutes across all states and territories.

The event also attracts industry and government partners and international delegates. It is a significant opportunity to understand the vocational education landscape and to learn from national and international experts.

It is the largest annual gathering of leaders, executives and senior managers from our public providers and provides significant networking opportunities.

Register now for a pre-convention workshop and the convention.

Apprenticeships more resistant to funding cuts than traineeships, research shows

The former Gillard government's 2012 cuts to employer incentives for apprenticeships had a big impact on traineeships, where there is a short term focus on costs, but hardly any impact on trade apprenticeships, where the emphasis is more on investment, according to new research.

The paper by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), which takes a comparative view against the German VET system, shows the impact of the 2012 decision to withdraw employer incentives for trades not included on the National Skills Needs List (NSNL).

While enrolments in non-trades collapsed, enrolments in trade occupations hardly moved, and actually increased in the non-NSNL category immediately after the cut.

"For firms focused on the short-term costs and benefits of training, the withdrawal of some national government incentive payments in Australia has led to a weaker commitment to training, most evident in non-trade trainee places being offered," NCVER says.

"By contrast, firms training in trade occupations appear to be more investment-oriented and are more inclined to continue training, or employ an apprentice after training, even with the withdrawal of incentives," it said.

See 'Firms’ motivation for training apprentices: an Australian–German comparison' by Harald Pfeifer.

See Sydney Morning Herald article, 'Apprenticeships more than a trade, they boost life skills:study'.

ASQA and TEQSA to work more closely

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) and the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) will share information and work cooperatively under a new formal agreement.

The two regulators have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to align oversight of the vocational education and higher education sectors.

It will see the two agencies share comparable evidence, enable CRICOS applications to be submitted via one central point, share provider risk assessments and  recognise each other’s regulatory decisions and assessments. 

MOU signing. Left to right back: ASQA commissioner Mark Paterson, TEQSA commissioner Linley Martin, ASQA commissioner Michael Lavarch, TEQSA Commissioner Professor Nick Saunders, Emeritus Professor Cliff Walsh. Left to right front: TEQSA CEO Anthony McClaran, ASQA Commisioner and CEO Chris Robinson

National apprentice employment network announces senior executive appointment

Australia’s national apprentice employment network, Group Training Australia (GTA), has announced the appointment of Ms Lauren Tiltman, pictured, as National Executive Officer.

The Chair of GTA Mr Stuart Diepeveen said Ms Tiltman’s extensive background and knowledge of the group training sector, together with her management experience, made her ideally suited to the organisation’s leadership role.

“Her rise through the ranks of group training, starting as a trainee, running a state office and moving to this national executive position is a testament to her ability and her standing across the network,” Mr Diepeveen said.

Ms Tiltman Lauren was previously the Executive Officer of Group Training Australia (South Australia).

See more.

Racing industry training package open for feedback

The draft four year work plan for the Racing Industry is now available for feedback.

On behalf of the Racing Industry Reference Committee (IRC), the Service Skills Organisation, Skills Impact, will be collecting feedback until Friday 9 September.

Draft four year work plans for the following training packages are also available:

Diary Dates

NSW TAFE Managers Association
26 August, 2016
Taronga Zoo, Sydney
More information coming soon.

National Skills Week 2016
29 August – 4 September, 2016
More Information

VDC 2016 Teaching & Learning Conference
1 - 2 September, 2016
RACV Torquay Resort, Victoria
More information

NSW Training Awards
8 September, 2016
Four Points by Sheraton, Darling Harbour
More information

National VET Conference 
Velg Training
14 – 16 September, 2016
Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre
More information

LH Martin Institute
Innovation Eco-systems: Study Mission to Italy and the Netherlands
21 - 30 September 2016
More information

TDA 2016 Convention – Skills Resurgence
4 - 6 October, 2016
Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, Melbourne, Victoria
More information

Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Conference
4-7 October, 2016
Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart  
More information

2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition
6 - 8 October, 2016
Melbourne Showgrounds
More information
Royal Australian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA) Conference  
12-15 October, 2016
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
More information
Australasian Genomic Technologies Association (AGTA) Conference
9 - 12 October, 2016
Pullman Hotel Auckland, New Zealand
More information

ACER National Adult Training and Assessment Conference
13 - 14 October, 2016
William Angliss Institute, Melbourne
More information

Innovation: What's Next For Community Education?
Community Colleges Australia Annual Conference
18 - 20 October, 2016
Park Royal, Darling Harbour, Sydney
More information

Australian International Education Conference (AIEC)
18 - 21 October, 2016
Melbourne, Victoria
More information

E-Oz and Skills Oz Conference
Assuring quality in the National VET system – Change, Challenge and Opportunity
8 - 9 November, 2016
Marriott Resort & Spa, Surfers Paradise, Queensland
More information

Australian Training Awards
17 November, 2016
Darwin, Northern Territory
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