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Newsletter | 22 May 2017

In this edition


Research finds employers losing faith in apprenticeship system

The big drop in apprenticeships over recent years may have more to do with employers losing faith in the system, rather than a lack of interest from prospective apprentices, according to new research.

The study, by the Fair Work Commission, says that while supply-side factors are important in providing a pipeline of apprentices and trainees, they are far outweighed by demand-side factors, centreing on the need for apprentices and trainees by employers.

The report, co-authored by Dr Tom Karmel, asserts that "if  more places were offered by employers, more people would be engaged in apprenticeships and traineeships."

The report examines changes in apprentice numbers over recent years across various occupations, taking into account employment conditions in the industry, as well as a ‘propensity’ factor, reflecting an employers' willingness to recruit.

"On the face of the evidence since 2012, it seems that the (training) model is not universally highly valued by employers, and employer support seems to be on the decline in many occupations," it says.

It warns that "employers are becoming increasingly less enamoured with the apprenticeship and traineeship model, independent of government policy changes."

See 'Factors affecting apprenticeships and traineeships' 

ASQA cancels, suspends more training colleges

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has banned and suspended a number of training providers.

ASQA has cancelled registrations of:

  • Aus-Com Training Services 
  • Australian College of Management & Technology
  • Nailtech Training Pty Ltd 
  • Project Management Partners Pty Ltd 

ASQA has suspended the registration of Co-ordinated Training Solutions, and rejected an application for re-registration by Smith & Georg Pty Ltd.

"ASQA contends that each provider has not operated consistently with the applicable requirements of the VET Quality Framework, which is a condition of registration," the regulator said.

TDA affirms TAFE quality at China conference

TDA's Director of Quality Services André Diez de Aux addressed a UNESCO conference attended by Chinese VET leaders in Tianjin last week.

The theme of the conference was 'Quality, Innovation and Sustainable Development'.

The address provided an opportunity for TDA to affirm the quality of the work done by TAFE institutes, and to provide an overview of its national quality initiative.

Attendees expressed considerable interest in the employer and student engagement model that this initiative uses, as well as the emphasis that it places on ensuring students gain the sector-specific skills that employers most need.

The conference also provided an excellent opportunity for TDA to share and disseminate exemplary practices in Australian VET as part of a broader commitment under its UNESCO-UNEVOC membership.

Delegates at the VET international conference in Tianjin, China

TAFE to play key role in naval shipbuilding plan

TAFE SA has welcomed the Naval Shipbuilding Plan, launched by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Adelaide.

It will see  some $1.3 billion in infrastructure funding to construct the next generation of naval vessels in Australia.

TAFE SA Chief Executive, Robin Murt said TAFE SA was consulting with its nationwide network of TAFE institutes and universities on a national approach to developing the skilled workforce needed to support the plan.

“TAFE SA has extensive experience working in partnership with the defence industry and has the capacity and capability to accommodate the increased demand for training and education to support new shipbuilding skills across a wide range of jobs," Mr Murt said.

A new naval training college, announced in March, will commence in Adelaide early next year, working with TAFE and university partners to skill more than 5,000 workers for the $90 billion naval acquisition program.

TasTAFE's Drysdale to become hospitality centre of excellence

TasTAFE's Drysdale campus in the Hobart CBD is to become a centre of excellence for the hospitality industry.

Tasmania's Premier and Minister for Tourism, Hospitality and Events Will Hodgman announced that $3.2 million would be provided to help transform the centre and cater to the needs of the state's booming tourism and hospitality sector.

"As well as being a premium training facility, the Centre of Excellence will open its doors to industry with the creation of infrastructure, including a training kitchen, for industry and other training providers to use," Mr Hodgman said.

State of the art video conferencing technology will also allow Drysdale to take hospitality training to people in regional and remote areas.

Only 10 days left to submit your proposal for the 2017 TDA Convention Market Place session

The Market Place will be a key part of this year’s TDA Convention, to be held in Adelaide on 7 & 8 September.

Delegates will be able to select from more than 20 topics that reflect the impact and involvement of “Networked TAFE”. It is intended that market place presenter-delegates are primarily current TAFE practitioners or from industry.

To encourage and support the Market Place, TDA is offering a registration for the successful presenter-delegates at 60% of the normal fee.

The Market Place sessions provide TAFE institutes with an opportunity to showcase innovative approaches and receive feedback from peers. The sessions can also be seen as professional development opportunities for staff, especially emerging leaders.

Click here for further information about the Market Place.

Proposals should be submitted to pcaven@tda.edu.au by 1 June.

Don’t forget that the fantastic TDA member group bundle registration discounts close on 31 May.

Click here to visit the convention website or click here to download a PDF flyer.

Only 10 days left to submit your proposal for the 2017 TDA Convention Market Place session

Cisco and Optus gold sponsors again at this year’s TDA Convention in Adelaide

TDA is pleased to advise that Cisco and Optus are, once again, gold sponsors of this year’s TDA Convention in Adelaide.

Cisco and Optus each play a valuable role in Australia’s education sector, helping organisations and educational institutions to manage the disruption caused by the advent of digital technologies.

It’s not commonly known that the education industry is ranked sixth fastest amongst those experiencing digital disruption.

As technology and thought leaders in the region, Optus and Cisco, are witness to the impact and opportunities that digital connectivity and technology can have for the VET sector – across campuses, classrooms and the workforce.

TDA is delighted to have Optus and Cisco as key sponsors for the TDA Convention, and looks forward to working with them to help the sector unlock the training opportunities from digital transformation.
Cisco and Optus gold sponsors again at this year’s TDA Convention in Adelaide

Skills centres and a 'right' to training feature in UK election

Britain's prime minister Theresa May has unveiled an election manifesto that includes a promise to create a national network of technology institutes delivering degrees and higher level apprenticeships.

Promising "world class technical education", the election blueprint includes a radical shake-up of funding and teaching hours, an overhaul of qualifications, and training provided by industry professionals and linked to work placement.

"We will establish new institutes of technology, backed by leading employers and linked to leading universities, in every major city in England," May said.

Currently the clear favourite to win the June 8 poll, the Conservatives also promised to introduce a new employee right to request leave for training to develop job skills.

Funding grants for women's leadership development

Women & Leadership Australia (WLA) is administering a national initiative to support the development of female leaders across Australia’s education sector.

The initiative is providing women with grants of between $3,000 and $8,000 to enable participation in a range of leadership development programs.

The leadership development programs are part-time and delivered nationally via WLA’s blended learning model. Scholarship funding is strictly limited and has to be allocated prior to the end of this financial year.

Find out more and register your interest by completing the Expression of Interest form here prior to June 16.

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Payment plans for students: An easier way to pay

There’s no doubt that education costs.  And when you’re a student, anything that can help you keep on top of these costs and make life easier between study, work and having a life is worth considering right?

That’s why flexible payment options work for many students. Tailored payment plans means payments can be spread across any day and any frequency.  And with no finance company involvement, this option is increasingly appealing for many students – here’s why:

Flexibility - Providing flexible payment options helps with staying on top of fees, allowing students to choose a manageable payment plan that suits their individual financial situation.  For example, it may suit to make a payment towards fees on a particular day of the week or month.

Security - The security of personal information is upmost in many people’s minds, particularly given today’s increasingly online nature. As an Authorised Representative under the Australian Financial Services Licensing Regime, Debitsuccess is compliant with anti-money laundering legislation.  We’re also an externally audited Level 1 compliant company under the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) – the highest level.  This means all data and credit card information is protected – an important aspect when it comes to payments.

Frequency - The more frequent the payment, the smaller the amount will be. Weekly payments tend to be the most popular with students.  Clearly, paying a smaller amount – be it weekly or fortnightly – is more achievable.

Support - Paying for courses by recurring payments means greater flexibility and helps with budgeting.  It means students don’t have to queue to pay tuition fees or stress about paying on time, providing there are sufficient funds available in the selected account on the due date.

What’s more, questions regarding payment plans can be easily addressed via email or phone. So when it comes to education costs, a tailored payment plan may suit, ultimately saving time and money so the focus can be on what’s really important – education.

Leading payment solution provider Debitsuccess can provide a complimentary one-on-one consultation with its Education Payments Specialist, David Christiansen.

Debitsuccess is the only full service payment processor in Australasia, incorporating billing, call centre customer management and credit control.  The organisation helps hundreds of education providers around the country to offer their courses to students through payment plans.

For more information contact David on 0434 536 619 or email david.c@debitsuccess.com


2017 Australian training awards applications close 31 May

The Australian Training Awards are the peak, national awards for the vocational education and training (VET) sector, recognising individuals businesses and registered training organisations for their contribution to skilling Australia.

The direct entry categories of the 2017 Australian Training Awards are open for application and include:


 Registered Training Organisation

How to apply
Enter directly to the Australian Training Awards by completing the nomination from the website. Applications close Wednesday 31 May 2017.
For more information
Visit our website at Australian Training Awards.gov.au  or email australiantrainingawards@education.gov.au
This year the Australian Training Awards will be held in Canberra on Thursday 23 November. For real time updates you can find the Australian Training Awards on social media:  

Diary Dates

Latin America Infrastructure Forum
23 May 2017
More information

Group Training Association of NSW & ACT 2017 Skills Conference
Moving Apprenticeships and Traineeships Forward
14 June 2017
Dockside Darling Harbour
More information

Vocational and Professional Education and Training
International Conference 2017
16 - 17 June 2017
Hong Kong
More information

26th National VET Research Conference 'No Frills' 
5 - 7 July 2017
More information.

2017 VTA State Conference
TAFE: Advancing Victorian Prosperity
20 – 21 July 2017
Rydges, Exhibition Street, Melbourne
More information

Queensland Training Awards
Department of Education and Training, Queensland
July 2017
More information

Community Colleges Australia Annual Conference 2017
25 - 27 July 2017
Citadines on Bourke, Melbourne, Victoria
More information
TDA Convention 2017 - Networked TAFE
7 - 8 September 2017 (Welcome Reception 6 September at Adelaide Oval)
Adelaide Hilton, South Australia
More information

2017 VDC Teaching & Learning Conference
7 - 8 September 2017
RACV Torquay Resort, Victoria
More information

National Skills Week 2017
28 August – 3 September 2017
Nation wide
More information

National VET Conference
13 - 15 September 2017
International Convention Centre, Sydney
More information

Australian International Education Conference (AIEC)
10 - 13 October 2017
Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart, Tasmania
More information

AUSTAFE National Conference
Turning Together for Success
11 - 13 October 2017
TAFE Queensland, Brisbane
More information

Chinese Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE)
Annual Conference
19 - 22 October 2017
Beijing, China
More information

National Apprentice Employment Network
National Conference
2 - 3 November 2017
Radisson Hotel, Sydney
More information coming soon

Australian Training Awards
23 November 2017
National Convention Centre, Canberra
More information


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