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Newsletter | 24 April 2017

In this edition


Skills fund to be announced in May budget

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says that the federal budget on May 9 will see the unveiling of a new training fund to provide financial assistance to develop the skills most needed by industry.

The training fund will be part of the revamped skilled visa program which will replace the 457 visa arrangements.

Mr Turnbull told ABC AM that the training fund would focus on developing skills in need.

"(What) we want to make sure is that where there are long and enduring skill shortages in Australia, that Australians are being trained to do that work," Mr Turnbull said.

The ABC reported that the fund would be worth $300 million.

Mr Turnbull said that companies hiring foreign workers under the new scheme would pay around $1200 for a two-year visa term and $2400 for four years.

See the PM"s interview

TDA wins Austrade grant

TAFE Directors Australia has been successful in securing a Free Trade Provider Training Provider Grant, designed to help small business and training providers to tap into export markets and take advantage of opportunities offered by Australia’s free trade agreements.

TDA’s project, Opportunity Calls: Building Business Knowledge and Understanding of FTAs, will provide SMEs with information aligned to the top five industry sectors operating in China and Korea including tourism, cookery and hospitality, e-commerce and ICT marketing, business and marketing, and pharmaceuticals.

Specific technical information and training will be provided to SMEs and their partner TAFEs and RTOs to increase understanding of opportunities and maximise utilisation of ChAFTA and KAFTA.

The project will be delivered by a series of workshops across capital cities and some regional locations, starting in the second half of 2017.

See a media release from the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steve Ciobo.

To learn more about the project, or register your early interest in attending workshops, please contact Jen Bahen: jbahen@tda.edu.au

Message from Craig Robertson, CEO, TAFE Directors Australia

Craig Robertson I am writing to draw your attention to, and encourage your attendance at, the TAFE Directors Australia Convention to be held in Adelaide on 7 and 8 September. This year the overarching theme of the annual TDA Convention is “Networked TAFE”.

Speakers and delegates will explore topics including, Working in the 21st century, Learning experiences and outcomes, Matters of Leadership, Energy roadmaps, What we can learn from other countries. These topics are but a part of “Networked TAFE”. The MC will be Leigh Sales, Walkley award winning journalist. You can click here to see a list of confirmed speakers.

Market Place
A key component of this year’s TDA Convention is the Market Place. Here, delegates will be able to select from 20 + topics that reflect the impact and involvement of “Networked TAFE”. It is intended that market place presenter- delegates are primarily current TAFE practitioners and industry.

To both encourage and support the Market Place we are offering a registration fee for the successful presenter-delegates at 60% of the normal registration fee.

The Market Place sessions provide TAFE institutes with an opportunity to showcase innovative approaches and to receive feedback from peers. The market place sessions can also be seen as professional development opportunity 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 2017.

AVETRA conference tackles training system flaws

AVETRA held its 20th annual conference at Melbourne's William Angliss Institute of TAFE last week.

The theme, Renovate or Rebuild: Exploring the architecture of VET, inspired presenters to look the complex shape of Australia's VET system from multiple perspectives, and propose a range of options.

There was significant discussion around the capabilities that VET practitioners need to be successful, supporting not only learner success, but also their own and their institution's growth.

Peter Noonan, from Victoria University's Mitchell Institute, spoke about a need to reconceptualise funding of the VET system. Overall, his recommendations could go on to inform new funding arrangements for the system.

John Polesel, from the University of Melbourne, suggested that, in the current model, TAFEs are forced to compete directly with universities for the same students. To address this, he proposed they differentiate by positioning themselves as equal and viable alternative pathway into careers.

Tim Rawlings, from PwC's Skills for Australia, asked attendees to consider a VET system that allows stronger linkages between learners and employers.

Among the concurrent sessions, as well as during the practitioner-focused sessions chaired by Linda Simon and Melinda Waters, there were numerous proposals for improving practitioner capability.

This would focus both on a greater ability, where necessary, to undertake scholarly activities, as well as to better ensure that learners have the knowledge, skills and capabilities necessary to undertake the jobs of the future.

Improved scholarship would also support institutes to undertake more innovation and applied research.

Cadetship program opens doors for disadvantaged students

An initial group of up to 50 vocational and university students from disadvantaged backgrounds will be placed into cadetships under a new program by the Business Council of Australia (BCA) and the Smith Family.

The Cadetship to Career program will provide an eight-week, full-time paid cadetship with a BCA member company for each year of studies.

Students will also receive financial support to assist with living and educational expenses, ongoing support to ease their transition from school to tertiary study, and training in skills needed by the employers.

BCA chief executive Jennifer Westacott said: “These cadetships are about opening doors for students who don’t have the same head-start in life that other students might."

See more

26th National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference ‘No Frills’

Register now for the 26th National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference ‘No Frills’, to be held 5 – 7 July 2017, at TasTAFE Drysdale Campus in Hobart, Tasmania.

'No Frills' is a well-known annual national conference where researchers and those engaged in the VET industry come together to discuss key issues, and network in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

The engaging program features over 50 presentation and poster sessions, highlighting work across three research themes:

  • Explore: gaining a better understanding of education, training and employment, the people involved and interactions between these systems.
  • Translate: applying knowledge about education and training to improve practice, quality and outcomes.
  • Evolve: addressing the opportunities and challenges ahead to transform the sector to better meet future skill needs.

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) is delighted to co-host this year’s conference with TasTAFE.

For more information, including the program and registration visit the conference website.

Annual CEAIE Conference: International Education Empowers Global Sustainable Development

TDA’s chief partner in China, the Chinese Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE) will hold its annual conference from 19 to 22 October 2017 in Beijing.

The theme is International Education Empowers Global Sustainable Development.

CEAIE will shortly put out a call for proposals for presentations, and is encouraging Australian institutions to apply.

The conference is accompanied by an Education B2B platform and expo, where colleges and institutes from different countries can discuss cooperation with Chinese institutions.

Australian TAFEs are encouraged to consider attending these events, which are well attended by institutions and government.  TDA is currently working with the CEAIE to add roundtables and workshops for Australian VET institutions to connect with Chinese partners on topics such as applied research, higher education in a VET setting and higher apprenticeships.

For further information please contact Jen Bahen: jbahen@tda.edu.au and visit the conference website.

Diary Dates

Latin America Downunder
Australia-Latin America Business Council
17 - 18 May 2017
Pac Pacific, Perth
More information

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
20 – 21 July 2017
Rydges Melbourne
189 Exhibition Street, Melbourne
More information coming soon

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

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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