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Newsletter | 24 February 2014

In this edition

TAFE facilities under examination in skills review

TAFE Institutes could be required to share their facilities with industry under proposals reportedly being considered by Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane.

In an interview in The Australian, the Minister said there was a need to look at ways of better utilising the capital resources of TAFEs.

“If industry wants to run training programs and there’s an asset sitting there not being fully utilised, let’s fully utilise it. That will require some agreement between the states and the private sector, but if TAFEs sit idle at night and weekends, that’s a massive asset going to waste,” he said.

The Minister said he was looking at a program to be outlined in July that would include an element of self-regulation for some training providers that don’t receive government funding.

The Shadow Minister, Sharron Bird said she was concerned about plans to water down the role of the regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority.

See the article in The Australian.

See a media release from Shadow Minister, Sharron Bird.

Apprentice commencements decline in December quarter

The number of apprentice and trainee commencements declined during the December quarter, according to early trend estimates from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

Trade apprentice commencements fell from 27,500 in the September quarter to 26,400 in the December quarter.

Non-trade commencements decreased from 41,200 to 38,800 over the same period.

See a statement from Ai Group.

See the NCVER report.

TAFE scholarships dinner with Minister Sussan Ley, Canberra 5th March

There are a few spaces left for the TDA dinner with the Assistant Minister for Education, Sussan Ley, at The Lobby restaurant in Canberra, Wednesday 5th March.

The Minister will be launching the TAFE National Achievement Scholarships, including a dedicated category for ‘VET in Schools’ graduates.

It’s an opportunity for educators and industry leaders to hear the minister speak on the topic of VET in schools.  It’s also a chance to support the TAFE National Scholarships Foundation that will recognise outstanding achievement in the TAFE sector.

See here for more information or to reserve a place.

VET in Schools roundtable discusses reform options

The Assistant Education Minister Sussan Ley has flagged a review of VET in schools that will give industry a greater say in the courses that are on offer.

In an article in the Australian Financial Review, the Minister said that she wants to see the VET in schools courses being determined by workforce demand and skills needs.

The Minister hosted a stakeholder roundtable in Melbourne last Thursday to discuss a range of issues with the VET in Schools program and possible options for reform.

“Australia is currently crying out for high-quality tradespeople in a number of new and traditional skilled trades and we need to make sure our current vocational education system is keeping up with demand,” Ms Ley said.

Streamlined visa processing update

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has released the latest list of providers approved for streamlined visa processing (SVP). The list now includes 19 non-university higher education providers and their nominated business partners where applicable.

TDA congratulates Canberra Institute of Technology, Holmesglen Institute, TAFE NSW Higher Education, TAFE SA and Angliss Institute on gaining this approval.

However TDA is concerned that three TAFE higher education providers in Victoria were not offered SVP and continue to question the methodology used to assess risk.

All universities were initially offered SVP regardless of their visa compliance ratings and TDA argues the same approach should have been taken with our state government owned TAFEs.

Genuine Temporary Entrant review

To the great surprise of all peak bodies representing the international education sector, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) released a review of the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) criteria without any consultation with key stakeholders.

A joint peak body letter has been sent to the responsible Minister requesting the review document be treated as a discussion paper for further consultation.

TDA has serious questions around the positive conclusions made in the document, particularly given the impact of the GTE on key markets in the VET sector. A paper presented last October at the AIEC highlights some of these concerns.

Diary Dates

VET Development Centre – The VET BLOG
For relevant news and articles about the VET sector
DETAILS: Click here.

Universities Australia
Higher Education Conference: Stirred not shaken

DATE: 26-28 February 2014
LOCATION: National Convention Centre, Canberra
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Engage, Empower, Excel – Connecting skills and workforce
Service Skills Australia 2014 Conference

DATE: 3-4 March 2014
LOCATION: Sheraton on the Park, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Annual Industry Development Conference - Innovate and Collaborate for Development
ForestWorks Industry Skills Council

DATE: 4 March 2014
LOCATION: Hyatt Hotel, Canberra
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Future Schools

DATE: 12-14 March 2014
LOCATION: Australian Technology Park, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

NCVER Research Forum
Realising our potential: widening participation through education and training

DATE: 3 April 2014
LOCATION: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council Awards for Excellence
DATE: 10 April 2014
LOCATION: The Langham Hotel, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

AVETRA 17th Annual Conference
Informing Changes in VET Policy and Practice: The Central Role of Research

DATE: 22-24 April 2014
LOCATION: Outrigger, Surfers Paradise, Queensland
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

VET Summit
Velg Training


29 April 2014 – Hilton Hotel in Brisbane

5 May 2014 - Hilton on the Park in Melbourne

12 May 2014 – Sheraton on the Park in Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

National Congress and Expo

DATE: 3-5 June 2014
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for information.

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

Victorian TAFE Association
2014 State Conference

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

TDA National Conference 2014
TAFE Directors Australia

DATE: 1-2 September 2014
LOCATION: Sheraton on the Park, Sydney, NSW
DETAILS: Coming soon.

National VET Conference
Velg Training

DATE: 11-12 September 2014
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
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.

2014 WorldSkills Australia National Competition
DATE: 18, 19 & 20 September 2014
LOCATION: Perth 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: Coming soon.