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Newsletter | 28 January 2014

In this edition

TAFE features in Australia Day Honours

A number of people with links to TAFE were recognised in the Australia Day Honours.

Kaye Schofield was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to vocational and adult education and training, as a researcher and commentator, through contributions to policy development and regulation, and to the community. She is a former Member of the NSW TAFE Commission Board and played a key role in the establishment of the Australian Skills Quality Authority as Interim Executive Chair.

Professor Stephen Parker, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canberra was also made an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to tertiary education. He established a MOU with the Canberra Institute of Technology to create improved opportunities for vocational students to continue their studies at university.

Dr Moira Scollay was made a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to vocational education and training and to public sector management reform. She was CEO of the Australian National Training Authority from 1999-2003, a Board Member of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and a former Chair of the Docklands Skilling and Employment Group.

Ian John Blandthorn was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for service to workforce training and development in the retail, wholesale and personal services industries. As National Assistant Secretary of the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA), he was a Board Member of TAFE Victoria University and a Member of the State Training Board of Victoria.

Janice Nitschke was also made a Member of the Order of Australia for service to librarianship in South Australia, where she was a Board Member, South East Committee, TAFE South Australia and a member of the Millicent TAFE Area Committee.

A Medal of the Order of Australia was awarded to Kumarasamy Sivakumar, a longstanding TAFE teacher, Principal, and Deputy Director, Northern Sydney Institute (TAFE) from 1995-2000.

Also awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia was Lyndey Milan for service to hospitality, particularly the food and wine industry. She is the co-founder and Patron of Tasting Success, a female chef mentoring program run in collaboration with the Sydney Institute of TAFE.

Kendal Ferguson was also awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia. He was Teacher of Engineering Trades, Ultimo College, TAFE NSW for more than 20 years up to 2003.

See the full Australia Day Honours.

ASQA nominates targets for standards review

The national training regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), has identified the key sectors of the economy it will target in its upcoming review of quality standards.

ASQA Chief Commissioner Chris Robinson said training in early childhood, security and equine programs will be first to come under the microscope in 2014.

He said ASQA’s review into early childhood training was prompted by a 2011 Productivity Commission report into the sector.

The review of training in the security industry was prompted by ongoing community concerns about the quality of training for security guards.

The review of equine training follows the death of a young student in a horse riding accident in 2009.

Management committees comprising representatives from key industry stakeholders will be established to guide each review, which will be completed by the end of 2014.

See more.

$5 million skills boost for South Australia

The South Australian government has boosted its Skills for Jobs in Regions program by $5 million to $20 million, with the aim of helping an additional 6,000 people find jobs.

Employment Minister Grace Portolesi said 24 new projects will be funded under the regional program in areas including Northern Adelaide, Southern Adelaide, Western Adelaide and the Upper Spencer Gulf.

“The projects will provide people with a combination of practical job skills, mentoring and career guidance as well as training that meets the needs of local employers,” the Minister said.

See the Minister’s media release.

Training entitlement courses chosen in Queensland

The Queensland government has identified 11 qualifications that will be eligible for fee-free apprenticeships and traineeships under the national entitlement to training.

The Minister for Education, Training and Employment, John-Paul Langbroek, said qualifications which are in high demand areas were chosen by the government and industry.

The qualifications cover Disability, Aged Care, Home and Community Care, Children’s Services, Manufacturing Technology, Laboratory Skills, Drilling Oil and Gas (onshore), Arboriculture, Landscape Construction, Parks and Gardens, and Water Operations.

Mr Langbroek said the 11 fee-free qualifications would be available to students commence their training in the calendar year after completing Year 12.

See the Minister’s media release.

A resource to support the Standards for Training Packages

Oggi Consulting has been contracted by the Office of the National Skills Standards Council (NSSC) to develop a resource to support the Standards for Training Packages.

Ms Oggi has invited feedback:  “The project is now entering the stakeholder consultation stage of the project where you, as a key stakeholder, can provide your input into the design and content of the resource. Your assistance and cooperation will help to ensure that the resource is relevant to you and meaningful to supporting a shared understanding of the Standards.

Attached is a Consultation Paper that includes an overview of the project and consultation questions focused on the why, who, what and how of the Standards. The Consultation Paper is also a taster of what the final resource might look like – i.e. concise, easy to read, use of graphics instead of slabs of text where possible.”

The intention is to complete the consultations by the end of February.

If you have any questions please contact Ms Oggi directly on (03) 9774 3938 or via email at: tina@oggiconsulting.com.au.

See the Training Package Stakeholder Resource consultation paper.

Neighbourhoods help determine student outcomes

The socioeconomic status of a community or neighbourhood is an important factor in explaining variations in student outcomes, together with such elements as residential turnover, the composition of households and the multicultural nature of the neighbourhood, according to the National Centre for Vocational Education Research.

The report focuses on the effects of four neighbourhood characteristics — neighbourhood socioeconomic status, residential stability, household type and ethnic diversity — measured at the postcode level on student outcomes at ages 15, 17 and 19 years.

It says that neighbourhood socioeconomic status is probably the most important of the factors.

NCVER says a possible conclusion from the research is that the inequalities in student outcomes may be reduced by a better allocation of resources to schools.

See more.

Role of research to feature at AVETRA conference

The AVETRA annual conference on the Gold Coast, 22–25 April, will feature some highly credentialed local and international speakers on the role of research in addressing the transformations taking place in vocational education and training (VET).

Speakers include Professor Thomas Bailey, the George and Abby O’Neill Professor of Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York;  Dr Soon Joo Gog, Executive Director of the Institute for Adult Learning in Singapore; Professor Erica Smith, Personal Chair in Vocational Education and Training at the University of Ballarat; and Rod Camm, Managing Director, National Centre for Vocational Education Research.

See the conference brochure.

Register here.

IBSA reshapes training packages

Innovation and Business Skills Australia (IBSA) has fast-tracked a review of work health and safety (WHS) qualifications to bring them into line with new harmonised laws across the states and territories.

IBSA says it has reviewed its suite of qualifications and units of competency to accommodate the legislative changes to WHS.

IBSA says it is also restructuring its training packages to keep them consistent with the new Standards for Training Packages outlined by the National Skills Standards Council (NSSC) which will be phased in this year.

See more.

Diary Dates

VET Development Centre – The VET BLOG
For relevant news and articles about the VET sector
DETAILS: Click here.

Universities Australia
Higher Education Conference: Stirred not shaken

DATE: 26-28 February 2014
LOCATION: National Convention Centre, Canberra
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Engage, Empower, Excel – Connecting skills and workforce
Service Skills Australia 2014 Conference

DATE: 3-4 March 2014
LOCATION: Sheraton on the Park, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Annual Industry Development Conference - Innovate and Collaborate for Development
ForestWorks Industry Skills Council

DATE: 4 March 2014
LOCATION: Hyatt Hotel, Canberra
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Future Schools

DATE: 12-14 March 2014
LOCATION: Australian Technology Park, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

NCVER Research Forum
Realising our potential: widening participation through education and training

DATE: 3 April 2014
LOCATION: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council Awards for Excellence
DATE: 10 April 2014
LOCATION: The Langham Hotel, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

AVETRA 17th Annual Conference
Informing Changes in VET Policy and Practice: The Central Role of Research

DATE: 22-24 April 2014
LOCATION: Outrigger, Surfers Paradise, Queensland
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

VET Summit
Velg Training

DATE: 29 April 2014 – Brisbane, 5 May 2014 – Melbourne, 12 May 2014 – Sydney
LOCATION: Outrigger, Surfers Paradise, Queensland
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

National Congress and Expo

DATE: 3-5 June 2014
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for information.

'No Frills' - 23rd National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference
DATE: 9-11 July 2014
LOCATION: Holmesglen, Moorabbin Campus, Melbourne, Victoria
DETAILS: Coming soon.

National VET Conference
Velg Training

DATE: 11-12 September 2014
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Teaching & Learning Conference 2014
VET Development Centre

DATE: 4-5 September 2014
LOCATION: RACV Club Torquay, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

2014 WorldSkills Australia National Competition
DATE: 18, 19 & 20 September 2014
LOCATION: Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Group Training Australia
2014 National Conference

DATE: 12-14 November 2014
LOCATION: Grand Chancellor Hotel, Hobart
DETAILS: Coming soon.