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Newsletter | 24 August 2015

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In this edition  


Private college completion rates, high student debt revealed in official data

The Assistant Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham has described as “appalling” the low completion rates at some private colleges revealed in the latest official data.

The Department of Education and Training statistics show that only a small proportion of students at two of the largest private colleges graduated with qualifications, while many have ended up with huge debts.

The figures, provided to a Senate committee, show that the average VET FEE-HELP loan in several leading private colleges was almost double the average.

The Australian reported Senator Birmingham had expressed concerns about low completion rates, which were “completely unacceptable”.

“In relation to completion rates the Australian Government has introduced a series of reforms that will ensure students are not signing up to courses for the wrong reasons,” he said.

TDA backs crackdown on child care training providers

TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) has welcomed the federal government’s decision to impose more rigorous oversight of child care training providers.

It follows a report, Training for Early Childhood Education and Care in Australia, prepared by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA).

The Assistant Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham announced more widespread audits of child care training organisations, more on-the-job training, greater use of penalties and infringement notices, and a ‘preferred provider’ scheme.

See the Minister’s media release.

See TDA’s media release.

International education – TDA announcement  

TDA’s Director of International Engagement & Business Development, Peter Holden, has resigned from the position and moved on from TDA.

International education matters at the TDA secretariat will be referred to CEO, Martin Riordan, who returns today after 10 month’s sabbatical in China.

International delegations and Canberra visa policy will remain under Jessica Davis, Manager, International Education.

Top apprentices learn from political leaders

Australia’s top group training apprentices and trainees had the chance to exchange ideas with political leaders at the annual Today’s Skills: Tomorrow’s Leaders program in Canberra last week.

Governor-General, and Group Training Australia Patron, Sir Peter Cosgrove launched the program at Government House.

The 21 participants, identified as future leaders, spent a day at Parliament House meeting parliamentarians, including the Assistant Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham, and Shadow Minister for Vocational Education, Sharon Bird.

They are engaged in industries including, business, electrical, mining, engineering, automotive, plumbing, hospitality, maritime, construction, community services and event management.

See more.

National Skills Week kicks off today

Today marks the start of National Skills Week, which celebrates the contribution of apprentices and trainees to the economy and the community.

Now in its fifth year, National Skills Week will commence with a national launch at the NSW Parliament, followed by activities across Australia showcasing vocational skills in schools, colleges and communities.

See more.

TAFE NSW students at forefront of Barangaroo tourism

A group of indigenous students from TAFE NSW will be given key roles in assisting visitors to Sydney’s Barangaroo development.

The NSW Minister for Skills John Barilaro announced the training initiative between TAFE NSW, the Yulang Unit and Foundation Studies Eora, Tourism Ultimo and the Barangaroo Delivery Authority.

“Five of the students will be given the opportunity to be employed as Visitor Services Guides, with the remaining participants supported and mentored into other positions,” Mr Barilaro said.

Sydney TAFE conducted research into the role of tour guides and used the findings to design a customised three-week preparation program. TAFE will work on a case management basis to support maximum job outcomes.

Deadline extended for innovation challenge

The deadline for entry in The Australian Innovation Challenge, honouring excellence in fields from minerals and energy to community services and education, has been extended until September 7.

The awards, now in the fifth year, will offer prizes worth $65,000 for innovation across a wide range of disciplines and applications.

It attracts entries from researchers in laboratories and start-up companies, from people making a difference in lecture theatres, schools and the community, and from backyard heroes inventing in their spare time.

There is now a Young Innovators category open to students aged 21 years or under.

See more.

Consultation open on midwifery accreditation standard

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) is progressing to a second stage review of the Re-entry to the Register Midwife Accreditation Standards and is seeking input.

There is an opportunity to attend a consultation forum in Brisbane, 29 September.

The standard for revision will be used to assess and accredit Re-entry to the Register Midwifery Programs of study.  The standards are available here.

You can register for the forum by emailing standardsreview@anmac.org.au at least two weeks before the forum date, including name or name of delegate, position and organisation, referring organisation where relevant, contact phone and email, and any dietary or other requirements.

For further information please contact standardsreview@anmac.org.au or phone 02 6274 9121.

Diary Dates

National Skills Week
DATE: 24-30 August 2015
DETAILS: More information.

6th Annual INAP Conference
Architectures for apprenticeship: Achieving economic and social goals

DATE: 1-2 September 2015
LOCATION: Ballarat, Victoria
DETAILS: More information.

VET Development Centre
Teaching and Learning Conference

DATE: 3-4 September 2015
LOCATION: RACV Torquay Resort, Victoria
DETAILS: More information.

TDA National Conference
DATE: 9-11 September 2015
LOCATION: Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart
DETAILS: More information.

National VET Conference
Velg Training

DATE: 17-18 September 2015
LOCATION: Adelaide Convention Centre
DETAILS: More information.

NESA National Conference
The Spirit of Collaboration

DATE: 27-29 September 2015
LOCATION: The Marriott Resort Surfers Paradise
DETAILS: More information.

Australian International Education Conference 2015
International education: global, responsible, sustainable

DATE: 6 – 9 October 2015
LOCATION: Adelaide Convention Centre
DETAILS: More information.

2015 Australasian Genomic Technologies Association (AGTA) Conference
DATE: 11 – 14 October 2015
LOCATION: Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, NSW.
DETAILS: More information.

2015 AUSTAFE National Conference
Bringing TAFE and VET to the Nation’s Capital

DATE: 28 – 30 October 2015
LOCATION: Canberra
DETAILS: Contact National President Jerome.DeRose@cit.edu.au

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