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Newsletter | 27 May 2013

In this edition

TDA meets Victorian Tertiary Education and Skills Minister Hon Peter Hall  on skills reform and deepening apprenticeship crisis

The Victorian Tertiary Education and Skills Minister, Hon Peter Hall, met TDA Victorian board member Nicholas Hunt (CEO William Angliss Institute) and CEO Martin Riordan, ahead of the Annual General Meeting of members, to discuss the State’s long running VET reform plans.

Minister Hall said he hoped the $200 million transition plan offering structural adjustment funds to support TAFE Institutes may enable the Commonwealth to soon sign off Victoria’s part of the National Partnership Agreement (NPA) on Skills. The NPA Agreement allowed $1.75 billion in reward payments to states and territories, but relies on transition support plans being agreed with the Commonwealth, now under the senior Federal Tertiary Education Minister Dr. Craig Emerson MP.

TDA also raised the deterioration in apprenticeship commencements and completions, as the Australian economy has weakened and federal trade employer payments discontinued last year. TDA has continued weekly reports in the TDA Newsletter, based on NCVER data on trade and non-trade apprenticeships and trainees.

Minister Hall welcomed proposals from TDA, and how these may operate to support industry and apprentices affected.

Today’s Australian Financial Review contains warnings of potential skill shortages from the building and construction sector, especially if a mini-boom was to take place in the sector. Employment across the sector was expected to rise by 1.5% a year to 2016, faster than overall jobs growth, said Alan Ross, CEO of the Construction and Property Services Industry Skill Council.

See the article in the Australian Financial Review.

New TAFE statutory body established in Queensland

The Queensland Government has passed legislation to establish the new TAFE Queensland as an independent statutory body.

The Minister for Education, Training and Employment the Hon John-Paul Langbroek said the new entity would manage all TAFE institutes from 1 July this year. It follows a review undertaken by the Queensland Skills and Training Taskforce.

Mr Langbroek said one of the first tasks would be to recruit up to nine board members with commercial experience and in-depth knowledge of VET in order to set the organisational structure of TAFE Queensland.

“I will appoint the interim CEO, however all future CEO appointments will be made by the board to reflect the independent nature of the new TAFE Queensland,” he said.

“By setting up TAFE Queensland as an independent statutory body, we will be stronger and more responsive to the skills and training needs of students and industry.”

See the Minister’s media release.

Indonesian mentoring program hailed as a great success

Twenty leaders from Indonesia’s Polytechnics completed a two week mentoring program last Friday with evaluations indicating the program was an overwhelming success.

Six TAFE institutes provided a week of intensive mentoring at their colleges and workplace delivery sites, and strong support from a wide range of Australian government and industry representatives ensured the program achieved its aim of fostering stronger relationships between our two countries.

Six of the Polytechnics signed Memoranda of Understanding with their host institutes, with all 20 indicating their interest in developing further cooperation with TAFE institutes.  

TDA was also delighted to welcome the newly appointed Education and Cultural Attaché to the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, Professor Ronny Rachman Noor, who presented Certificates of Completion to each of the participants. The program was sponsored by the Australian and Indonesian governments and managed by TDA.

Left to Right: Professor Ronny Rachman Noor, Education and Cultural Attaché  of Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, Mr Mei Sutrisno, Director of Politeknik Negeri Bandung, Peter Holden, Director International and Business Development of TDA

TDA National Board Executive elected

Stephen Conway, CEO designate of the new TasTAFE statutory authority, was re-elected Chair of the National Board of TAFE Directors Australia.

The two deputy Chairs of TDA are Dianne Murray, Institute Director, TAFE NSW – Illawarra Institute, who was re-elected, and Kaylene Harth, Institute Director of the Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE Queensland, and one of the taskforce members heading up transition arrangements toward new governance in Queensland, also elected.

Left to Right: Stephen Conway, Dianne Murray and Kaylene Harth

Long-serving TDA national Board member, Kevin Harris, Institute Director, TAFE NSW - Northern Sydney Institute, was elected Chair, Finance and Audit Committee.

We congratulate the new Board Executive on their election to their roles. The Board election followed an Annual General Meeting of TDA, hosted by the VTA in Melbourne, on Friday.

Report shows Aboriginal performance improving in NSW TAFE

There have been significant improvements in the performance of Aboriginal students in the NSW TAFE system, according to a new report from the NSW Board of Vocational Education and Training.

The report, “Not just a dream: Aboriginal student pathways to higher level qualifications in TAFE NSW”, tracks the pathways of 3,014 Aboriginal students aged 15 to 24, over a six year period from 2005 – 2010.

The Minister for Education the Hon Adrian Piccoli welcomed the increase in the number of Aboriginal young people enrolling in, and successfully completing courses.

Total commencements more than doubled from 6,868 to 17,718 over the six-year period, while completions rose more than 50% from 3,288 to 5,183. Approximately 37,000 Aboriginal students are enrolled in NSW TAFE.

See the “Not just a dream” report.

See the Minister’s media release.

Review of Health and Community Services Training Packages

Feedback is sought on the review of competency standards for 14 qualifications in the community services and health training packages.

The review is being undertaken by the Community Services & Health Industry Skills Council (CSHISC). The last day to make submissions is 14 June.

See here for more information.

China vocational schools lead universities in race for jobs

China students are reporting that vocational education colleges and polytechnics lead universities in the race for successful jobs.

The report come as Australian Education International (AEI) data shows more than 45,000 China students now enrol in a TAFE qualification in China colleges collaborating with TDA member institutes.

See this media report on the success of China vocational students accessing jobs.

See the report, “Delivery of VET offshore by public providers, 2011”.

See the latest TDA China Bulletin, May edition.

$6 million to kick-start careers

School students will have more help in finding a great career with $6.1 million allocated to the new National Career Development Strategy.

Minister for School Education and Youth the Hon Peter Garrett launched the Strategy at the annual Career Development Association of Australia conference in Sydney.

"Research shows one of the main things young people want is to talk to people who are already in a career and get an insider’s view of what the workplace is really like,” he said.

See the Minister’s media release.

International education awards open

The International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) has announced the opening of entries for the 2013 Excellence in International Education Awards.

The awards recognise and reward the outstanding contributions by individuals or teams to international education in Australia. They also provide a benchmark of excellence and best practice for the entire industry. The award categories are:

  • Distinguished Contribution to the Field of International Education
  • Excellence in Leadership in International Education
  • Best Practice / Innovation in International Education
  • Excellence in Professional Commentary on Issues Related to International Education
  • Outstanding Postgraduate Thesis on a Topic Related to International Education.

Nominations close 14 July.

See here for information on nomination eligibility, guidelines, award criteria and application forms.

Fulbright VET scholarships on offer

Applications have opened for the 2014 Fulbright Scholarship round for Australian applicants.

The Fulbright Program is the largest and one of the most prestigious educational scholarship programs in the world operating between the United States and over 155 countries.

The Fulbright Vocational Education Training (VET) Scholarship offers employees within the sector, or training leaders in business and industry the opportunity to undertake research, or a program of study in the U.S.

For more information, see this flyer or visit the Fulbright website.

36th annual adult literacy conference in Sydney

The 36th Australian Council for Adult Literacy (ACAL) Conference is being held this year from 30 September – 2 October at the Aerial UTS Function Centre in Sydney.

The conference will provide the most current discussions and debates on a wide range of issues confronting the adult literacy and numeracy field. This includes national and international experts presenting sessions on the latest international adult literacy survey (PIAAC) and what it means for national and local policies and programs. Of particular interest to VET personnel are the many workshops planned on how LLN can be embedded in vocational and academic studies.

See here for more information.

Diary Dates

EduTECH Tertiary Technology Leaders Conference
DATE: 3-5 June
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention Centre
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

VET Leaders Lunch
VET Development Centre

DATE: 6 June
LOCATION: Shangri-la Hotel, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Getting started in e-learning
Queensland VET Development Centre

DATE: 17 June – 26 August
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Australasian Adult and Community Education Conference
Adult Learning Australia & ACE Aotearoa in New Zealand

DATE: 18-20 June
LOCATION: Comfort and Quality Inn, Cuba St, Wellington, New Zealand
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

NCVER ‘No Frills’ Conference

DATE: 10-12 July
LOCATION: Sunshine Coast TAFE, Mooloolaba campus
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

TedX: This Way Up
Northern Sydney Institute

DATE: 28 August
LOCATION: Cameraygal Building, the Northern Sydney Institute, St Leonards Campus
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

TDA Annual Conference 2013 TDA Annual Conference 2013 - "TAFE Redefined"
TAFE Directors Australia

DATE: 2-3 September 2013
LOCATION: Sofitel, Brisbane
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Teaching & Learning Conference
VET Development Centre

DATE: 5-6 September
LOCATION: RACV Healesville Country Club
DETAILS: Click here for further information. 

2013 National VET Conference
Velg Training

DATE: 19-20 September, 2013
LOCATION: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Australian Council for Adult Literacy Conference
DATE: 30 September - 2 October
LOCATION: University of Technology, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Australian International Education Conference

DATE: 8-11 October
LOCATION: National Convention Centre, Canberra
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

2013 AUSTAFE National Conference

DATE: 9-11 October
LOCATION: Gold Coast Convention Centre, Queensland
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

conVerge13 - E-learning Conference

DATE: 21-22 November
LOCATION: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Australian Training Awards
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

DATE: 22 November
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

TDA corporate affiliates: