TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 24 October 2011

Federal Coalition to review Knight findings

The Federal Coalition has announced it is committed to reviewing the findings from the Knight review on student visas.

The Shadow Minister for Employment Participation, the Hon Sussan Ley MP told the Group Training National Conference in Melbourne on Friday that the Knight review had treated the VET sector harshly, and it needed to be re-examined.

“I’m disappointed that the Knight review appears to have completely ignored VET students as a stream to grant post-study work rights. At the very least we should be debating this further. I’m concerned that it sends a message that we have a two-tiered system,” Ms Ley said.

“The type of response from the Knight review may make others view us as having a sub-standard VET sector.

“I’m preparing a paper to go to my colleagues in the shadow ministry arguing that we need to do something about actually addressing those that have been left out from the Knight review,” she said.

Ms Ley said that one option may be to allow anyone who is eligible for VET FEE HELP to be given the appropriate approval, consistent with the treatment for universities.

The conference also heard from the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, The Hon Bill Shorten MP. His address is available here.

[Return to top]

Deep funding cuts to Victorian TAFEs

Funding for Victorian TAFEs will be severely cut following an announcement by the Higher Education and Skills Minister, the Hon Peter Hall MLC.

Funding will be reduced for courses in seven areas including: business and clerical studies, finance, hospitality, property services, tourism, wholesale, and retail and recreation. Eighteen large TAFEs will have their additional hourly funding cut by 25%.

It is estimated student fees will rise between $100-$200.

The cuts in funding and increased student fees are designed to curb significant costs rises in the system, estimated to be $1.3 billion in 2012, up some $500 million from 2009.

Click here to view the announcement by Minister Hall.

David Williams, Executive Director of the Victorian TAFE Association, spoke to media following the announcement. Media articles about the announcement include:

The Age TAFE fees set to rise

The AustralianVictorian TAFEs ‘shocked’ at cuts

The Financial Review - Victorian Government cuts TAFE funding                                

[Return to top]

Trade Training Centre funding – DEEWR round 4 opens

The Trade Training Centre funding for VET in school facilities has been resumed, following delays imposed from the Budget 2011.

Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, the Hon Peter Garrett AM MP, announced round 4 is open, with around $150 million for trade training facilities.  

Following an Australian Audit Office report, and adverse findings accepted by DEEWR on assessment quality controls and procedures, priority setting, and issues on confidentiality, TTC criteria has been refined. The new criteria seek to create priority for suburbs and regions requiring special employment assistance, and include priority for cluster of facilities, and more initial contact for state and territory educational authorities to approve proposed TTC project plans.

The closing date for round 4 TTC applications is 11 November. Click here for further information.                                

[Return to top]

Opinion article: “Vocational education has a vital role to play in flexing young minds”

The Sydney Morning Herald today included an opinion column on VET-in-school curriculum by Ken Boston, a former Director-General of the NSW Department of Education.

Dr Ken Boston AO, has long been an advocate for wider recognition of vocational education within school curriculum. He was also a former Chair of the Curriculum Corporation.

Click here to view today’s SMH article.                                

[Return to top]

TOEFL test score equivalencies for student visas announced

Following the approval of the TOEFL test for student visas, the Minister for Immigration, the Hon Chris Bowen MP, has announced the test score equivalencies to the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

The new scores will come into effect on 5 November. Click here to view the approved scores.                                          

[Return to top]

New Education Minister for South Australia

The Hon Tom Kenyon MP, has been announced as the South Australian Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills, Minister for Science and Information Economy, and Minister for Recreation and Sport.

New Premier, the Hon Jay Weatherill, announced his new Cabinet including two new Ministers and a number of portfolios changes.

The changes follow the stepping-down of former Premier, the Hon Mike Rann, after ten years.

Click here to view a press release.

[Return to top]

Work opportunities in the Pacific

The Australia Pacific Training College (APTC) is calling for applications for a range of training positions in the Pacific region.

Commencing in January 2012, these positions are for 12 months with a possible extension. The APTC is an AusAID initiative managed by Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE and Box Hill Institute.

Click here for more information.

[Return to top]

E-learning funding grants

Applications are sought from business, community and individual registered training organisations (RTOs) for funding for delivery of e-learning training programs under the National Vocational Education and Training E-learning Strategy in 2012.

Click here for more information.

Applications should be submitted by 5pm AEDT, Thursday 10 November, for program delivery to be complete by June 2012. 

[Return to top]

Leadership conference – Port Macquarie

The Strategic Regional Leadership Conference, 'for innovation', will be held in Port Macquarie, 17-18 November.

This conference will examine leadership for innovation and will seek to identify the catalysts for change. It is the second conference organised by the Regional Development Australia – Mid North Coast, and will feature speakers including:

  • The Hon Simon Crean MP, Minister for Regional Development and Minister for the Arts
  • The Hon Andrew Stoner MP, Deputy Premier, NSW
  • Rob Oakeshott MP, Federal Member for Lyne

Click here for more speakers, or to book.                              

                                 [Return to top]

Diary Dates

Annual Conference
DATE: 28 October, 2011
LOCATION: Ascot House, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 9-10 November, 2011
LOCATION: William Angliss Conference Centre, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Australasian Association for Institutional Research Forum “Let the sunshine in”
DATE: 9-11 November, 2011
LOCATION: Sea World Resort, Gold Coast
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Grounds for Learning Workshop
DATE: 14-16 November, 2011
LOCATION: Monash University, Clayton Campus, VICTORIA
DETAILS: Click here for more information

‘For innovation’
DATE: 18 November, 2011
LOCATION: The Glasshouse, Port Macquarie
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 25 November, 2011
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, South Bank
DETAILS: Click here for more information

[Return to top]

To subscribe or unsubscribe to the TDA Newsletter click here.