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Newsletter | 27 November 2017

In this edition


TAFE excellence on show at national training awards

TAFE institutes, teachers, students and industry partners have featured prominently among the winners at the Australian Training Awards in Canberra last week.

The Gordon Institute of TAFE was named Large Training Provider of the Year, with the judges citing its role in Geelong’s transition from heavy manufacturing to a more diverse economy based around health, education, research, advanced manufacturing and tourism.

Holmesglen was awarded the International Training Provider of the Year, with some 4,000 international students and activities spread across more than 800 locations worldwide.

Holmesglen also collected the Industry Collaboration Award for Futuretech, a partnership with the Electrical Trades Union which provides accredited and professional development courses in electrotechnology, telecommunications, cabling and OH&S.

In another coup for Holmesglen, its former CEO and former TDA chair, Bruce MacKenzie was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his vision and contribution to the VET sector over 30 years.

Gemma Hartwig was awarded Australian Apprentice of the Year for her leadership and teamwork, and for overcoming barriers faced by females in traditionally male-dominated industries. Now employed by Diesel Care, Gemma studied her Certificate III in Engineering - Mechanical Trade (Maintenance - Diesel Fitting) with TAFE Queensland. The runner-up was Jordan Cahill, a landscape construction apprentice studying at TAFE NSW.

TAFE SA student Rachelle Boyle was named Vocational Student of the Year for her inspiring and dedicated work in the fashion and events industry in South Australia, where she is studying an Advanced Diploma of Event Management. The runner up was Liam Muldoon, a fly-in-fly-out technician with Gold Fields Australia who completed a Certificate IV in Automotive Mechanical Diagnosis with TAFE NSW.

TAFE NSW student Donald Dundas was named Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year, in recognition of his outstanding achievement as an apprentice plumber with Warrumbungle Shire Council in northern NSW.

The VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year Award went to Jane Goodfellow from TAFE WA North Metropolitan. Jane overcame complete and sudden hearing loss six years ago to continue lecturing in education support and early childhood, while completing a Master of Education and a research thesis on the inclusion of deaf children in mainstream schooling.

Chisholm Institute’s Kathrin Colgan was awarded the Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award for her extensive experience in the workplace as an LLN teacher and coordinator, as well as with literacy youth classes, industry, rural communities and internationally.

TDA extends its congratulations to all the winners and finalists.

See more

Winners at the 2017 Australian Training Awards in Canberra

Chisholm cleans up at hair and beauty awards

Chisholm walked away with five awards at the Hairdressing and Beauty Industry Association (HBIA) annual Student, Apprentice and Educator Awards, including the top honour of Educator of the Year awarded to Barbering teacher Jackii Brown for the second year in a row.

It also picked up awards for Certificate III in Make-Up (Zainab Jafari); Certificate IV in Screen and Media (Specialist Make-Up Services) – awarded to Julie Taylor; Certificate III in Hairdressing (Krystina Artuso); and Certificate III in Beauty Services (Chelsie Edwards).

TDA congratulates Chisholm on these awards, and also extends its enormous appreciation for rescuing many students of the former Australian College of Hair Design and Beauty which closed earlier this year.

Chisholm scoops the hair and beauty awards. Photos courtesy of Chisholm student Brad Henderson

TDA calls on federal government to act over tuition assurance

TDA has challenged key claims made by the federal government in relation to the peak body’s obligations for refunds to students under the Tuition Assurance Scheme (TAS) in place for failed colleges.

In an article in The Australian, the Department of Education and Training is quoted as saying that the total bill under the schemes operated by TDA and the Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET) has reached $19.7 million, and could go higher.

TDA operates the TAS for Careers Australia, which received about half a billion dollars from the Commonwealth in VET FEE-HELP funding and closed last May, leaving about 22,000 students stranded.

TDA has operated the scheme according to legislation and the guidance given by the government to providers and students. It is responsible for students who were enrolled in units of study which had an end date after the time Careers Australia closed, yet the government wants TDA to look after all students, some whose last contact with the college was as far back as 2013.

TDA has assisted many students who are not within the scope of the TAS, placing about 2,000 with other providers, both TAFE and non-TAFE.

In a separate article, The Australian reports that the federal government has written off at least $2 billion in expected repayments from the now-scrapped VET FEE-HELP scheme.

TDA is calling on the government to abide by its legislation and rules, act in the interests of students, and put in place a plan for dealing with all students who have incurred a debt through no fault of their own.

The government announced it will take control of  tuition assurance arrangements for 2018 while it develops a sustainable approach for the future.

International skills training course delivery extended to key markets

TDA members welcome the decision made last week by the Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Karen Andrews to allow the commercial delivery of International Skills Training (IST) courses in China (including Taiwan and Hong Kong), Latin America, Indonesia, Vietnam and Sri Lanka, in addition to India.

The IST training and assessment courses are a set of internationally-relevant courses developed by Australian industry and facilitated by the Australian Government, to help meet the global demand for skilled trainers and assessors.

Australian TAFEs active offshore are often engaged to support the development of partner countries’ TVET workforce, and the ability to deliver the IST courses in the expanded set of countries will allow TAFEs to offer the IST courses as a training option, where relevant.

Further information about the IST courses can be found here or by contacting Jen Bahen at jbahen@tda.edu.au

COAG industry and skills committee reviews progress on VET reform

National, state and territory skills ministers and officials have addressed some of the key areas of VET reform at the COAG Industry and Skills Council Meeting last Friday.The major issues addressed were:

Skilling Australians Fund  – the meeting discussed access to funding in 2017-18, availability of funding beyond 2017-18 and eligible projects.

Training package reform and unduly short courses – a paper by the Training Product Reform Joint Working Party was presented, along with ASQA’s strategic review of issues relating to unduly short courses. They will be open for consultation and reconsidered next year.

Standards for VET accredited courses and training packages – the meeting endorsed a recommendation to align the design and quality of accredited courses with standards for training packages.

National VET data policy – a new VET data policy will set a consistent framework across data collections and remove some data exemptions, to take effect from 1 January 2018.

There were also updates on a number of priority areas including Performance Information for VET roadmap, RTO Regulation, Assessment Reform, Apprenticeships Reform and the National Training Complaints Hotline.

The meeting was chaired by the Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills. Karen Andrews, and attended by ministers from states and territories except Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland, where the government is in caretaker mode.

See the Communique

VET Coalition of Education Leaders

TDA has been encouraged by the number of people who have come forward to participate in the VET Coalition of Education Leaders. See last week's newsletter for details.

TDA will be in touch soon about how people can be involved.  It’s not too late to register your interest, so do so at memberservices@tda.edu.au

Veteran public administrator appointed chair of Bendigo Kangan Institute

Bendigo Kangan Institute has appointed longstanding former senior bureaucrat Peter Harmsworth as its new chair.

Over a career spanning 44 years in public administration in Victoria, Peter served as secretary and CEO of departments and agencies including Corrections, TAFE, Justice, Industry and public-sector improvement.

He replaces Michael Brown following three and a half years as chair of the recently merged Bendigo Kangan Institute and previously seven years as chair and board member of Kangan Institute.

VET – a sector with no clothes

What is Competency Based Tailoring (CBT)? Have you heard of the Antipodean National Tailoring Authority (ANTA)? What about Tailoring and Fitting Experts (TAFEs) or the Organisation of Empirical Clothes Data (OECD)?

They are elements in a whimsical reflection by TDA Chief Executive Craig Robertson on the troubles of the VET sector.

In the style of a fable, it was part of a presentation at the Australian Education Union National TAFE Conference in October.

It starts “Two-score years ago in a far-flung land, the clothes its people wore were in disarray.”

Read it here.

Victoria Polytechnic wins blended learning award

Victoria Polytechnic wins blended learning awardVictoria Polytechnic has won the award for ‘Best Implementation of a Blended Learning Solution’ at the Australian Institute of Training and Development Excellence Awards.

Victoria Polytechnic’s ‘Project 100’ entailed the building of high-quality, modular training programs, backed by technology.

The project included 100 qualifications over 3,000 units of competency, with 12,000 assessment tasks re-created across 73 project teams.

Consultations open for projects in agricultural, food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries

The projects listed below have moved to the ‘consultation’ stage, which means draft qualifications, skill sets and units of competency are now available for review and feedback.

Feedback is being sought on whether the draft documents accurately describe all job functions and reflect the current skills standards and practices of industry.

To provide feedback on the draft units, skill sets and qualifications, please visit the project webpages by following the links below. 

Skills Impact is supporting the relevant Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) to undertake these projects. Skills Impact is a national Skills Service Organisation, funded by the Australian Government to support the operation of Industry Reference Committees across a range of industries.

Diary Dates

STEM in Defence Summit
Australian Defence Magazine

30 November 2017
Hyatt Hotel, Canberra
More information

Australian Council of Deans of Education Vocational Education Group (ACDEVEG) 
VET Teaching and VET Teacher Education Conference
7-8 December 2017
TAFE Queensland, Southbank Campus
More information

ASEAN Australia Education Dialogue
21-23 March 2018
Penang, Malaysia
More information

2017 Asian Development Bank Skills Forum Mission
11-14 December 2017
Manila, Philippines
More information

VET Practitioner Research Conference
AVETRA, VET Development Centre, and Victorian TAFE Assoc.
26-27 April 2018
More information

Australian Institute of Training and Development (AITD)
National Conference

7- 8 June 2018
International Convention Centre, Sydney
More information

2018 World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) World Congress (in conjunction with TDA National Conference)
8-10 October 2018
Melbourne Convention Centre
More information

Corporate Affiliates