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Newsletter | 23 April 2012    

In this edition

  • Minister defends COAG - States have free choice in training market
  • International student conference
  • ASQA information sessions
  • Skills Australia case studies support skills utilisation
  • Training neglect gives rise to skills shortages
  • REAL.ed at Hunter TAFE
  • TDC ‘Thought Leaders’ event
  • HTN chef competition
  • TDA Conference

Feature story

TDA Conference – save the date

The 2012 TDA Conference will be held in Perth, from 6-7 September.

Keep an eye out for further information. See story below.


Minister defends COAG - States have free choice in training market

The Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills, Senator the Hon Chris Evans, has defended the latest COAG agreement between the Commonwealth and states, amid claims that it may see the training market opened up to unscrupulous private operators.

Under the agreement, the government will offer a subsidised training entitlement up to Certificate III, which must be “accessible through any registered training organisation, public or private, which meets state-based criteria for access”.

The government had previously indicated that its main priority was results, and that it was not planning on mandating a form of delivery for the training entitlement.

The Minister’s office reaffirmed during the week that the COAG agreement did not breach these commitments, and that it would be up to the states to decide whether they funded, public providers, private providers, or both.

Read an article in The Australian.

International student conference

The Council for International Students Australia has set the date and released a provisional program for its national conference.
The conference is to be held in July at the Queensland University of Technology’s Gardens Point campus, in Brisbane.

Over three days, the conference will cover all the current news and regulations affecting international students, as well as how to help international students get the most out of their visit to Australia.
Click here to view the provisional program. For more information visit the CISA website and see the diary dates section of this newsletter.

ASQA information sessions

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) is continuing its national information sessions, with the next session in Adelaide on May 1.
Over 1,000 training providers, course owners and interested stakeholders have so far attended the sessions, which focus on providing an overview of ASQA’s regulatory approach, essential ASQA processes and transition arrangements. The sessions include an opportunity for attendees to ask the Commissioners a question. Attendees have provided feedback noting that they found the sessions provided useful information on ASQA’s risk assessment and audit processes.

Next sessions:

Adelaide, Tuesday 1 May

  • Session 1: 10:00 am – 11:30 am
  • Session 2: 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

 Sydney, Tuesday 15 May

  • Session 1: 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Melbourne, Thursday 17 May

  • Session 1: 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

For more information, visit the ASQA website.

Skills Australia - case studies support skills utilisation

In its latest publication, Better use of skills, better outcomes: Australian case studies, Skills Australia showcases the initiatives of 11 organisations that benefit both employer and employee alike.

The report aims to explain how skills utilisation is a practical way to raise Australia’s economic productivity.

Skills Australia says that all 11 featured organisations reported improved productivity and/or profits, and reduced operating costs. Most also found ways to combat specific chronic skills shortages and save costs due to decreased staff turnover and decreased work-related injuries.  
To read the full report click here.

Training neglect gives rise to skills shortages

Former Deputy Prime Minister Brian Howe has warned of continued under-funding of the VET sector that has exacerbated Australia’s skills shortage.

Mr Howe, who is chairing an ACTU inquiry into insecure work, spoke at the National Press Club, saying that skills shortages and skilled migration were merely the results of a chronic failure by government and industry to invest in training.

To read more about the speech, including comments from TDA, click here for an article in The Australian.

REAL.ed at Hunter TAFE

TAFE NSW Hunter Institute is conducting an e-learning project to help disadvantaged youth gain basic literacy, numeracy and employability skills. 

The REAL.ed program will use blogs, e-portfolios, digital storytelling and toolboxes to assist trainers to better engage young people who have had limited access to technology.

The project received funding from the National VET E-learning Strategy and hopes to reduce economic barriers preventing students from completing higher level studies and gaining employment.
To learn more about the program, click here.

TDC ‘Thought Leaders’ event

Leading VET workforce development agency, TDC, is hosting a forum for leaders and managers in the VET/TAFE sector.
The free event on May 1 will feature three guest speakers, each addressing the issues surrounding industry from their different perspectives.

Guest speakers include:

Prof Erica Smith – Program Coordinator - Associate Degree Training & Assessment, University of Ballarat

John Churchill – Executive Officer, Enterprise Registered Training Organisation Australia (ERTOA)

Geoff Gwilym – CEO, Auto Skills Australia

After the presentations there will be an opportunity for the audience to discuss and debate the topic with the speakers, enabling a lively and constructive discussion.
Click here for more information, or view the ‘diary dates’ section of this newsletter.

HTN chef competition

HTN, a non-profit, group training organisation, is holding its annual Apprentice Chef Culinary Competition – Australia's largest professional cooking competition for budding chefs.

The competition is an ideal opportunity for apprentices and trainees to enhance and exhibit their skills and passion for the culinary art.
The competition will have 11 regional heats, held across NSW, VIC and ACT.

You’re invited to watch the next heat, taking place at 9.00am Tuesday, 24 April at the Hamilton Campus of TAFE NSW Hunter Institute.
To view more details about the event and upcoming heats, click here.

East meets West: TDA National Conference

We invite VET leaders, CEOs, business managers, international business managers, senior executives, industry partners in Industry Skills Councils, peak bodies, enterprises, and universities to join us in September for the TDA National Conference, which will discuss some of the most critical issues facing the VET sector.

Delegates will be challenged to explore issues of skills development that not only reflect the developing relationship between Australia and Asia but also the changing relationships between our western and eastern states.

The TDA conference will explore topics, including the challenges facing VET providers; improving training and employment outcomes for Indigenous Australians; the question of whether Australia has a sustainable competitive advantage in skills development; how federal VET policy is impacting productivity; and best practice in TAFE organisation and governance.   

For more information visit the TDA conference website.

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

Diary Dates

DATE: 26-27 April
LOCATION: Park Hyatt Melbourne, 1 Parliament Square (off Parliament Place), Melbourne
DETAILS: More information available here.

Thought Leaders: What is Industry Currency?
DATE: May 1, 2012
LOCATION: LH Martin Institute, University of Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here to view event invitation

TAFE - Leading Skills Enrichment
DATE: 14-15 May, 2012
LOCATION: Burswood Entertainment Complex, Perth
DETAILS: More information available here.

TAFE - Leading Skills Enrichment
DATE: 17-18 May, 2012
LOCATION: Hilton on the Park, 196 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne 3002
DETAILS: More information available here.

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.

2012 VET Summit
An event for RTO Managers
DATE: 9 July, 2012
LOCATION: Kedron Wavell Services Club
DETAILS: Click here for more information

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

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