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Newsletter | 26 November 2012    

In this edition

  • Paper says TAFE does more than its fair share of heavy lifting
  • TAFE wins big at training awards
  • Chartered status for college sector, funding overhaul announced in UK
  • China to host World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics World Congress, Beijing 2014
  • NCVER research says skills sets helpful to VET sector
  • Government rolls out Education Investment Fund
  • VET council roundtable – Sydney and Port Macquarie
  • Updated university partner list for streamlined visa processing
  • Information to assist Iranian students
  • UNESCO seeking TVET expert in Sudan
  • Diary Dates

2013 NCVER Community of Practice scholarships now open

Applications are now open for NCVER’s Community of Practice scholarships, designed to encourage novice researchers to undertake their own research project.

Scholarship recipients will receive $4,000 to conduct a small-scale research project over 12 months, while learning about the process from experienced VET researchers.

Final papers will be published by NCVER on VOCEDplus.

Applications are now open and close 8 February 2013. Click here for more information.

Paper says TAFE does more than its fair share of heavy lifting

The Centre for Policy Development has released a new paper, detailing the value of TAFE in maintaining a healthy VET sector.

The paper, funded by the Public Service Association of NSW, examines the sector’s social and economic significance and asks what lessons NSW can learn from the changes in Victoria, and proposed cuts in Queensland.

The paper titled Valuing Skills, suggests TAFE provides more training in skill shortage areas, is the main training provider outside metropolitan areas, serves a disproportionate share of people with disabilities, and provides costly training, while private providers are able to ‘skim off’ cheaper and more profitable courses.

In an interview conducted by John Ross in The Australian, the author, Christopher Stone, emphasizes the broader goals of vocational education and training and the challenges facing TAFEs under contestable funding models.

Click here to read more.

Click here for further information on the paper.

TAFE wins big at training awards

TAFE proved its success again at this year’s Australian Training Awards, claiming seven awards for institutes and TAFE students.

The Challenger Institute of Technology (WA) took home the prestigious Large Training Provider of the Year Award.

Challenger CEO, Liz Harris, said the institute was very proud to be acknowledged with the award.

"This award is a great coup for Western Australia; we have the best training in Australia right here on our doorstep," she said.

"Challenger is already the preferred training provider for more than 23,000 students, both local and international students," she said. "And now it is official that we are the best."

TDA would like to congratulate all finalists, runners-up and winners of the awards.

Full list of TAFE winners:

  • Large Training Provider of the Year – Challenger Institute of Technology (WA)
  • International Training Provider of the Year – TAFE NSW Sydney Institute
  • Industry Collaboration Award – Minerals Council of Australia with Batchelor Institute of Tertiary Education (NT)
  • Skills for Sustainability – Educational Institute Award – TAFE NSW North Coast Institute
  • Vocational Student of the Year – Gloria Davison, Canberra Institute of Technology (ACT)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year – Nathan McGuire, Central Institute of Technology (WA)
  • Australian Apprentice of the Year – Sara Burke, Canberra Institute of Technology (ACT)

Click here for more information on the awards.

Chartered status for college sector, funding overhaul announced in UK

The British Government has announced significant changes to the Further Education College sector during last week’s Association of Colleges Conference in Birmingham UK.

The UK Minister for Skills, Matthew Hancock MP, announced four new focus areas for the work of Colleges from September 2013. These are:

  1. Lift apprenticeship enrolments from approximately 600,000 per year, by streamlining funding, and further opening the market for training providers, including private and enterprise trainers. Employers will be more involved in the design and assurance of apprenticeships and a detailed report will be released in December, for discussion;
  2. Traineeships to be introduced for those not yet ready to take on an apprenticeship, with Maths and English becoming a cornerstone to those enrolled;
  3. Changed funding for those aged 20 and above. This would be accompanied by a renewed focus on rigour in vocational qualifications, with funding aligned only to those qualifications that have real employer value. Mr Hancock reiterated the commitment to introduce loans for students aged over 24 on higher level courses, and to develop new policy thinking on how programs for 19-24 year olds would be funded. Subsidised training for those aged 16-19 would continue but a major consultation will seek to establish a smaller number of rigorous and well respected qualifications, from which they can choose; and
  4. Standards to be strengthened, with plans to create a “Chartered Status Scheme” for Further Education Institutions. FE Colleges and independent training providers would be able to apply for chartered status, and if they met the criterion, would be able to use the term in reference to their title. At the same time an ‘FE Guild’ is being developed to enhance and develop the professional status of those teaching in the sector.

Click here to read Mr Hancock’s speech in full.

The UK Government initiative on Chartered Status follows an initiative by TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) earlier this year, to launch a National Charter for TAFE in the lead up to the National Partnership Agreement on Skills in Australia, to better identify the characteristics of public provider (TAFE)  delivery for industry, teachers and students. Visit www.tda.edu.au for more information.

China to host World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics World Congress, Beijing 2014

China will host the World Congress 2014, following a special meeting of the board of the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP).

The selection of China to host the next World Congress was announced following the WFCP meeting at the Association of Colleges 2012 Annual Conference in Birmingham last week.

The World Federation has confirmed there are also plans to stage the World Congress across new continents on each occasion for the next three events: China in 2014, followed biennially by Brazil, and Africa. The aim is to create a high profile calendar of outreach for skills and college networks internationally over the next six years.

Senior executives from the Board and major UK Colleges welcomed the WFCP at an international reception, hosted by AoC CEO, Martin Doel, during the Conference.

(L-R) Martin Riordan, Deputy Chair WFCP and CEO TDA, Martin Doel, Secretary and Treasurer WFCP, and CEO Association of Colleges UK, and Thomas Hope, Immigration Executive, Association of Canadian Community Colleges, based in UK.

Dr. Wang Changwen, President, Harbin Vocational and Technical College, China, and Yannick Cabassu, Coordinator, World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics.

John Widdowson, Principal and CEO, New College Durham UK, Robin Shreeve, CEO Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency, and Andy Wilson, Principal, Westminister Kingsway College, UK.

Li Yang, Director VELT, CEAIE China, and John Bingham, Chair, Association of Colleges UK.

NCVER research says skills sets helpful to VET sector

New research suggests skill sets could help the VET sector meet industry needs.

According to NCVER, ‘Skills sets’ are a related set of competency units, below the level of a full qualification that combine to meet a specific need.

The report, Workforce skills development and engagement in training through skill sets, found skill sets provide opportunities for workers to top up their skills, attract and engage more people into VET and can act as a pathway to further study or a full qualification.

Click here to read more.

NCVER also released its apprentice and trainee estimates for the September quarter, reporting enrollments had declined since the June quarter.

NCVER says the commencement figures are currently fluctuating as a result of changes to incentive payments, which came into effect in July.

Click here to read more.

Government rolls out Education Investment Fund

The Federal Government has committed funds to the University of South Australia Mount Gambier and Whyalla campuses, as part of its Education Investment Fund.

The $18 million investment will go to the university’s Regional Connections program, including its Centre for Regional Engagement.

The University of South Australia is among one of the first recipients announced under the EIF’s Regional Priorities Round.

Click here for more information.

VET council roundtable – Sydney and Port Macquarie

The National VET Equity Advisory Council (NVEAC) invites TDA members to participate in a discussion on the effects that VET reforms have had on support for disadvantaged learners, at roundtable consultations in Sydney on 28 November and Port Macquarie on 29 November.

NVEAC will use this and other feedback from around Australia to examine the priorities and directions for the NVEAC Equity Blueprint 2011-2016: Creating Futures: Achieving Potential through VET.

Anyone interested in attending any of the sessions please contact nveac_enquiries@natese.gov.au

Any questions you may have about the roundtable discussion can be emailed to NVEAC Secretariat Director, Martin Powell at martin.powell@natese.gov.au or please call Martin on (03) 9954 2503.

Updated university partner list for streamlined visa processing

The Federal Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, the Hon Chris Bowen, has released an updated list of university business partners for streamlined visa processing. Since its inception in March this year, universities have been able to amend their list twice.

Since round one, TAFE institutes gained a further 23 business partnerships. The latest list sees several universities making a number of changes since March, including the University of Southern Queensland (11 partners added), Central Queensland University (14 partners dropped / four new ones added); Charles Darwin University (four added), Edith Cowan University (three added); Griffith University (three added); La Trobe University (five added); Macquarie University (seven added).

Click here to view the list.

Information to assist Iranian students

The Council of International Students Australia (CISA) has finalised an updated survey report, Iranian International Students in Australia, which reports that some Iranian students are continuing to experience financial hardship and anxiety as a result of international sanctions and the continuing devaluation of the Iranian Rial.

Information for Iranian students is available here, including advice on visa requirements.

UNESCO seeking TVET expert in Sudan

The UNESCO Office in Juba, South Sudan is looking for a TVET Expert for a short term engagement - between 4 and 6 months.

Please send your CV and a covering letter to m.bittaye@unesco.org and m.konda@unesco.org.

Click here for more details.

Diary Dates

Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance

DATE: 11-12 December
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

DATE: 3-5 April, 2013
LOCATION: Fremantle, WA
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Group Training Australia

DATE: 17-19 April, 2013
LOCATION: Sofitel, Brisbane Central
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

TAFE Directors Australia

DATE: 2-3 September 2013
LOCATION: Sofitel, Brisbane
DETAILS: Watch this space for further details shortly.

TDA corporate affiliates: