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Newsletter | 25 January 2016

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In this edition  


Vision of a national training market evaporates

The vision of a national training market has devolved into eight distinct systems across the states and territories, according to research from the National Centre for Vocational Research (NCVER).

Four NCVER papers map the evolution of the student training entitlement system, a key part of the the National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform in 2012.

They outline the commonalities and differences in entitlement systems, related to eligibility, courses, subsidies, fees and the role of TAFE.

"This has ensured complexity for students, the NCVER says.

"Contracted providers have delivered student entitlement training of variable quality, and, in the worst extreme, so poor to be the subject of disputes impacting students."

One of the papers presents the views of 17 senior figures with longstanding involvement in the VET system.

See 'National training market in a muddle' in The Australian.

New skills ministers in South Australia and ACT

South Australia has a new minister in charge of skills and training, with Dr Susan Close picking up the portfolio following a ministerial reshuffle.

Dr Close adds Higher Education and Skills to her existing Education portfolio, following the resignation from the cabinet of former minister Gail Gago.

Dr Close, the Member for Port Adelaide, has a PhD in political science and was Director of Student Services at Adelaide University.

In the ACT, Meegan Fitzharris has been appointed Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research, replacing Joy Burch.

Victoria recovers $30 million from high risk training providers

The Victorian government’s has recovered $30 million paid to training providers following a quality audit.

The Department of Education and Training says it has investigated 36 providers, resulting in the termination of eight government-funded training contracts.

A further four providers have been issued with an intention to terminate notice while another four have been allowed to continue training but with restrictions imposed.

The first tranche of the blitz targeted registered training organisations (RTOs) that failed to deliver high quality training and those that had student complaints against them.

Investigations involved student interviews, quality reviews, onsite visits, evidence gathering and financial audits.

The Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert said the government is introducing stricter contracts for 2016 and will spend $30 million over the next three years to identify high risk training providers.

Western Australia offers scholarships to boost women in trades

The West Australian government has awarded more than 100 scholarships to encourage women into non-traditional industries and occupations.

Under the program, now in its second year, up to 400 scholarships - over four years - to the value of $3,000 each, are available to women who undertake training at Certificate III level or above in eligible qualifications.

Training and Workforce Development Minister Liza Harvey said the scholarships encourage women into occupations in which they made up less than 25 per cent of the total workforce, and included construction, electrical, horticulture, IT, engineering, automotive, work health and safety, and residential drafting.

Employers offering an apprenticeship or traineeship to eligible women can also take advantage of the program. Applications for the 2017 round are expected to open in late 2016.

See more.

Western Sydney Institute adds finishing touch to iconic restaurant

TAFE Western Sydney Institute (WSI) has completed staff training for the world acclaimed Noma restaurant ahead of its launch in Sydney tomorrow.

Denmark's Noma will open for just 10 weeks at Barangaroo, bringing its entire staff team, from dish washer to general manager. Bookings at $485 per head sold out in less than an hour.

The training with WSI ensures compliance with NSW regulations relating to food safety and service of alcohol.

“We have been able to adapt training and delivery so that it is a perfect fit for more than twenty Noma staff members, who are located close to the Barangaroo Skills Exchange training facility managed by TAFE Western Sydney," Institute Director Robin Shreeve said.

Noma was voted World’s Best Restaurant in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014.

Diary Dates

Group Training National Conference
‘Skilling for Growth’
7 – 8 April 2016
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AVETRA 19th Annual Conference 
20 – 22 April 2016
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WAVE National Conference
Women: Education, Empowerment, Equality. A New Agenda?
20 April 2016
Northern Sydney Institute, TAFE NSW
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EduTECH 2016
30 - 31 May 2016
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25th National VET Research Conference ‘No Frills’
4 – 6 July 2016
Rockhampton, Queensland
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VET Development Centre Teaching & Learning Conference
1 - 2 September 2016
RACV Torquay Resort, Victoria
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Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Conference
4-7 October 2016
Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart  
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Royal Australian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA) Conference  
12-15 October, 2016
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
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Australasian Genomic Technologies Association (AGTA) Conference
9-12 October, 2016
Pullman Hotel Auckland, New Zealand
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