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Newsletter | 25 July 2016

In this edition


TDA welcomes new government and opposition faces in skills portfolio

TAFE Directors Australia has congratulated Karen Andrews (pictured top) on her appointment as Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, replacing Senator Scott Ryan who moves to Special Minister of State in the federal ministerial reshuffle.

TDA CEO Martin Riordan said the TAFE sector looks forward to working with Ms Andrews to ensure quality and the role of TAFE in the tertiary education sector.

“Ms Andrews’ experience and background in energy, mechanical engineering and industrial relations will be extremely valuable in addressing the policy issues impacting TAFE and the VET sector,” Mr Riordan said.

The Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham, has indicated that he will lead the next stage of the VET FEE-HELP redesign.

The imbalance caused by poor design of VET FEE-HELP meant that less than 14% of loans were allocated to TAFEs last year, despite NCVER data confirming TAFE Institutes delivered 63% of fields of education.

TDA also extended its congratulations to  new Opposition Shadow Ministers.

Opposition  Leader Bill Shorten announced, what he termed, his education "dream team" to be headed by new Shadow Education Minister Tanya Plibersek.

Kate Ellis (pictured centre), will add TAFE and Vocational Education to her existing  Early Childhood responsibilities.

Also on the Opposition frontbench, NSW Senator Doug Cameron (pictured bottom) will become Shadow Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships.

Australia leads the world in the number of training providers, new research finds

Australia is at the extreme by international standards, having more training providers than similar jurisdictions, according to new research from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

The paper, VET provider market structures: history, growth and change, by Patrick Korbel and Josie Misko, says there are 3,129 people per provider in Australia, compared with 15,725 in Ontario, at the other end of the spectrum.

NCVER says that while interesting, the observation is not conclusive, suggesting only that "Australia has a system ‘skewed’ to one side".

It says one explanation could relate to Australia's geographic size, but notes that compared with higher education, where there are some 140 providers, the VET system has far greater numbers of providers across much the same geography.

ASQA to adopt new, risk-based audit model

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has unveiled a new risk-based audit model that will reflect the actual behaviour of training providers.

ASQA Chief Commissioner Chris Robinson said the changes will streamline processes, "while more effectively targeting the small percentage of providers that consistently exhibit poor outcomes, practices and behaviours".

Regulatory action will be based on factors such as the impact on the VET industry and its reputation, and whether ASQA has identified serious concerns about the provider in question.

"The new model will take a more holistic view and focus on following the ‘journey’ of a student through their engagement with a provider," ASQA says.

The new model will be piloted in the second half of 2016, with full implementation in early 2017.

See more.

Education and training providers ranked for ethical behaviour

For the first time, education and training providers have been put under the public spotlight to gauge how they are viewed in terms of ethical standards.

The Governance Institute of Australia’s inaugural Ethics Index ranked primary schools highest, with 74% saying they are "somewhat" or "very" ethical.

TAFEs ranked third highest, with 68% viewing them as ethical, ahead of universities (66%), independent secondary schools (59%) and private colleges (50%).

TAFE NSW recruiting regional general managers

TAFE NSW is recruiting five regional general managers to drive the TAFE network across the state under the new integrated  'One TAFE' structure.

Advertisements say the five regional general managers, reporting directly to the Managing Director, will be "experienced executives who have demonstrated exceptional leadership abilities".

Experience in the tertiary education environment is advantageous but not essential.

Candidates will be expected to live in the regions, which for regional NSW are West, South and North, while the metropolitan divisions are Sydney and Sydney West.

See more.

Diary Dates

VETnetwork Australia
Biennial National Conference
27- 28 July, 2016
Gold Coast
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Victorian TAFE Association State Conference
18 - 19 August, 2016
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NSW TAFE Managers Association
26 August, 2016
Taronga Zoo, Sydney
More information coming soon.

National Skills Week 2016
29 August – 4 September, 2016
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VET Development Centre Teaching & Learning Conference
1 - 2 September, 2016
RACV Torquay Resort, Victoria
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NSW Training Awards
8 September, 2016
Four Points by Sheraton, Darling Harbour
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National VET Conference 
Velg Training
14 – 16 September, 2016
Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre
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LH Martin Institute
Innovation Eco-systems: Study Mission to Italy and the Netherlands
21-30 September 2016
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TDA 2016 Convention – Skills Resurgence
4 - 6 October, 2016
Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, Melbourne, 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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2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition
6 - 8 October, 2016
Melbourne Showgrounds
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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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ACER National Adult Training and Assessment Conference
13-14 October, 2016
William Angliss Institute, Melbourne
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Australian Training Awards
17 November, 2016
Darwin, Northern Territory
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