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Newsletter | 23 June 2014

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In this edition  


Unleash the potential of TAFE and make VET a national priority – Business Council CEO delivers 2014 Chancellor’s Lecture at Swinburne University of Technology

Reform of the vocational education and training (VET) system needs to be far-reaching, with greater Commonwealth involvement and closer links to industry, the Business Council of Australia (BCA) says.

Delivering the Swinburne University 2014 Chancellor’s Lecture, BCA Chief Executive, Jennifer Westacott, said while higher education is not short of people with opinions, “VET on the other hand, needs more powerful friends”.

“No matter what successive governments have said, future-proofing VET has not been a national priority and this has to change.”

Ms Westacott said TAFEs needed to be freer to operate as distinct businesses on a commercial basis, as other government enterprises do.

The CEO of BCA singled out Training Packages for criticism, saying the narrow focus caused industry to perceive skill miss-match, worsened by continued rigidity in the apprenticeship system. She said the worsening of state finances were clearly eroding VET funding, and this needed to be corrected.

See Ms Westacott’s address.

See TDA’s media release.


WA Review into State Training Providers issues Final Report – recommends clarity on independence for TAFEs

The West Australian Government has released a Final Report of the ‘Independent Review of the Vocational Education and Training Sector in Western Australia’, headed by Emeritus Professor Margaret Seares.

The report makes 40 detailed recommendations, including the need for widespread reform focused on improved governance for State Training Providers (STPs), as well as measures to address unnecessary or duplicated reporting and governance requirements.

Professor Seares praised the quality of STPs, noting their role in regional delivery of skills and qualifications, their role in VET in Schools, and new models of special industry delivery.  

The report details the need for greater clarity for Chairs of STP Boards, especially across industrial relations and the application of state awards, marketing, reporting to the Department and Minister, asset management and tendering.

Professor Seares noted that STPs have experienced increased difficulty competing in the new entitlement ‘voucher’ open training market with restrictions and costs not applying to private registered training organisations.

The report notes increased expectations of STPs to manage the demands of international education, and cost issues arising from Commonwealth reform to expand to non-universities higher education qualifications and degrees.

See the report.


Labor seeks to amend Budget 2014 apprentice loans scheme

The Federal Opposition will seek to amend the Government’s planned Trade Support Loan scheme by ‘grandfathering’ existing cash payments for current apprentices, and giving an option of lump sum loan payments, rather than installments.

The Shadow Minister for Vocational Education, Sharon Bird, said Labor will not oppose the Trade Support Loans Bill 2014, but will move amendments to provide fair transition arrangements for current apprentices, measures to protect privacy, and the option of a lump sum payment to buy expensive items.

“What the Prime Minister failed to tell apprentices was that he would axe the Tools for Your Trade program, taking $1 billion from the pockets of apprentices,” Ms Bird told the House of Representatives.

“Apprentices now will have no choice except to sign up for the loan, even school-based apprentices who are under 18 years of age,” she said.


TDA National Conference – one week left to register before end of financial year

The 2014 TDA National Conference will be held in Sydney at the Sheraton on the Park from August 31-September 2.

Earlybird and group registration discounts close on July 7, so why not register before the end of the financial year and save. The Welcome Reception on Sunday evening is only included in earlybird registrations (after July 7, the registration fees increase and the Welcome Reception will be an optional extra at $77 per ticket).

If you do not know delegate names yet, just register them as Name TBA1, 2 etc. If you would prefer not to pay online by credit card, just select the EFT payment option and after you have completed the online registration you will automatically be emailed a tax invoice with EFT details.

Excellent accommodation rates have also been negotiated at the Sheraton on the Park, starting from just $270 per night including breakfast for one. Early bookings are recommended.

To register, or for the full list of speakers, please see the Conference website.


World Bank AusAID Indonesian Skills Symposium

Future skills policy in Indonesia was a key theme of a World Bank-AusAID DFAT symposium this month in Surabaya.

The World Bank Office in Indonesia hosted the symposium with the Ministry of Education and Culture, with keynote speakers, Martin Riordan, CEO of TDA and Deputy Chair, World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics, and Dr Rick Hopper, a former World Bank economist who last year took up an appointment as President of Kennebec Valley Community College in Maine, USA.

Martin Riordan presented findings from a TDA-Austrade commissioned survey of Indonesia Australia Business Council (IABC) and KADIN (Chamber of Commerce) industry leaders on skills shortages, and ways industry in Indonesia is seeking to support vocational education training. 

Indonesian delegates included senior Ministry for Education and Culture leaders, polytechnic presidents, and several companies including leading tyre manufacturer Multistrada, which presented on setting up its enterprise tyre manufacturing community college, and outlined critical support from the Sydney Institute of TAFE, NSW.

Several international firms operating in Indonesia have also partnered with Australian TAFEs, to seek solutions to ongoing skill shortages. TDA will host Indonesian polytechnic leaders at its TDA 2014 National Conference in September, before being hosted to TAFEs under a bilateral VELT leadership training program.

Siwage Dharma Negara, World Bank Indonesia Education office; Martin Riordan, CEO TDA and Deputy Chair WFCP; and Bagyo Y. Moeliodihardjo, consultant to World Bank.

Pak Mustain, Head of Sidoarjo District Education Office, Surabaya; and Agus Riyanto, lecture, Surabay's community college Poltek Jember.

Wayah Wiroto, Director of Multistrada Community College, Maya Komariah, Deputy for College Operation.

Dr Richard Hopper, Kennebec Valley Community College (Maine US); and Gedsin Suhartono, World Bank Indonesia Education Communications.


UNESCO-UNEVOC Regional Forum in Sydney announced

TDA is pleased to confirm that prior to the annual Conference, on Sunday 31 August, TDA and NCVER will be co-hosting a UNESCO-UNEVOC Regional Forum, which will bring together delegates from around the world for a one-day forum centred around TVET research and Return on Investment in TVET.

The forum will feature presentations by Mr Shyamal Majumdar, Head of UNESCO-UNEVOC, Mr Rod Camm, Managing Director of NCVER, Mr Martin Riordan, CEO of TAFE Directors Australia and invited representatives from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the World Bank and the Asia Development Bank.

TDA strongly encourages your Institute’s participation at this event, particularly senior managers with a focus on international engagement.

For more information please see the Conference website.


Challenger Institute strengthens university partnership

Liz Harris and Professor Selma Alliex

Challenger Institute of Technology and The University of Notre Dame Australia, both based in Fremantle, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that provides seamless pathways from vocational education and training into university.

Challenger Institute CEO Liz Harris said the two organisations were committed to supporting higher education options for both local and international students. Ms Harris signed the MOU with Notre Dame Pro Vice Chancellor, Professor Selma Alliex.

Ms Harris said the MOU strengthened Challenger Institute’s existing articulation arrangements with the tertiary sector, which included pathways to study at Murdoch University and Curtin University.

Challenger Institute also announced it is offering its world class automotive training in Western Australia to international students for the first time.

Thirteen students from nine countries have taken up the opportunity, enrolling in the Certificate III in Light Automotive Mechanical Technology course at Challenger Institute’s state-of-the-art Kwinana campus, south of Perth.

See more.


Tertiary education management awards

TAFE professionals encouraged to enter the 3rd annual ATEM/Campus Review Best Practice awards in Tertiary Education Management.

The prestigious awards recognise the work being done in tertiary education institutions across Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. TAFE professionals have had considerable success in the awards to date with the Western Sydney Institute picking up two awards and Otago polytechnic picking up two.

The NEW closing date for applications is Monday, 30 June at 11.59pm.  Award categories are:

The LH Martin Institute Award for Excellence in Leadership
The UniSuper Award for Excellence in Innovation
The Research Master Award for Excellence in Research Management
The Higher Education Services Award for Excellence in Financial Management
The Co-Op Award for Excellence in Student Administration and Customer Service
The Campus Living Villages Award for Excellence by a New Entrant in Tertiary Education Management
The UniJobs Award for Excellence in Human Resource Management
The NTEU Award for Best Practice in Community Engagement
The Knowledge Partnership Award for Best Practice in Marketing, Communication and Public Relations
The UniPromo Award for Best Practice in Information Technology Management.

See here to enter and for more information.


Update on planned higher education standards

The Higher Education Standards Panel has released details of stakeholder discussions on the planned new standards framework.

The communiqué reports on the stakeholder information session held on 14 May in Melbourne, following the release of Call for Comment in April on the proposed Higher Education Standards Framework.

Approximately 200 participants attended the information session. The closing date for comments is Friday 27 June.

See the Communiqué.


Diary Dates

'No Frills' - 23rd National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference
DATE: 9-11 July 2014
LOCATION: Holmesglen, Moorabbin Campus, Melbourne, Victoria
DETAILS: Click here.

Work Smarter Webinar Series
Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment

DATE: 10 July-14 August 2014
LOCATION: Online
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Victorian TAFE Association
2014 State Conference

DATE: 17-18 July 2014
LOCATION: Holmesglen, Moorabbin Campus, Melbourne, Victoria
DETAILS: Click here.

Vision 2020 – TDA National Conference 2014
TAFE Directors Australia

DATE: 1-2 September 2014
LOCATION: Sheraton on the Park, Sydney, NSW
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Teaching & Learning Conference 2014
VET Development Centre

DATE: 4-5 September 2014
LOCATION: RACV Club Torquay, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

VETnetwork Australia 2014
Biennial National Conference

DATE: 17-19 September 2014
LOCATION: Darwin Convention Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

2014 WorldSkills Australia National Competition
DATE: 18, 19 & 20 September 2014
LOCATION: Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Australian International Education Conference
Inventing the Future

DATE: 7-10 October 2014
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Group Training Australia
2014 National Conference

DATE: 12-14 November 2014
LOCATION: Grand Chancellor Hotel, Hobart
DETAILS: Click here for more information.