TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 28 November 2011

Australian Training Awards - Congratulations TAFE Institutes, staff and students

Australia’s TAFE Institutes took centre stage at the Australian Training Awards, with major awards being won by TAFE, its teachers and students.

TAFE SA Regional Institute won the ‘Large Training Provider of the year’ for excellence in regional delivery, recognised for its quality offer in 573 nationally accredited qualifications at 43 campuses and learning centres to more than 24,000 students across the state.

TDA congratulates TAFE SA Regional on its achievement.

TAFE Institutes, their staff and students also dominated in other categories including:

  • Skills for Sustainability – Educational Institution Award – TAFE NSW –Western Sydney Institute
  • VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year Award – Amanda Smith (South West Institute of Technology, WA)
  • School-based Apprentice of the Year Award – Jessica Pendlebury (GOTAFE, Victoria)
  • Vocational Student of the Year – Vanessa Corbell  (TAFE SA Adelaide North Institute)
  • Australian Apprentice (Trainee) of the Year Award – Abbey Lee Sergeant (Great Southern Institute of Technology, WA)
  • Australian Apprentice of the Year Award – Colin Wilson (Holmesglen Institute, Victoria)

For a full list of winners and runners-up, click here.

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Launch of policy paper ‘The Case for a National Charter for TAFE’

TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) has released a discussion paper advocating that a National Charter for TAFE would bring consistency and greater certainty ahead of new Commonwealth State and Territory funding for VET - available from 1 July 2012.

The policy paper ‘The Case for a National Charter for TAFE’ was released at a National Board meeting in Brisbane.

Later, at an Industry Forum of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Standing Council on Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (SCOTESE), the role of TAFE was widely discussed. Several industry representatives spoke of new ways their firms operated with TAFE in workplace training. TDA CEO Martin Riordan tabled the Charter document at the meeting.

Ged Kearney, President of the ACTU, spoke about industry’s need for a sustainable TAFE. In a statement, she said:

“We must ensure TAFE is not disadvantaged by the contestable funding market as fly-by night     providers pick up cheap, low-cost delivery training. The continued pursuit of a contestability agenda based on price alone could ultimately lead to the privatisation of TAFE and we must be fully aware of the access and equity problems this will create.”

A communiqué was issued from the SCOTESE meeting, with Ministers declaring the important role of TAFE as the public VET provider delivering vocational education and training in Australia. The communiqué said: Ministers reiterated the importance of the key role of public providers of vocational education, including their delivery of high-cost technical training, encouraging participation of disadvantaged students and offering services in regional and remote areas”.

The paper follows recommendations from Skills Australia that the role of TAFE be better articulated, to assist with consistency, funding and planning.

See a media release here. See the discussion paper ‘The Case for a National Charter for TAFE’ here, and article in The Australian newspaper.

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NSW Premier’s Mission to India brings special announcement: TAFE NSW Institutes join to open Indian training centre

TAFE NSW Sydney and Illawarra Institutes have signed an agreement with Gujarat NRE Coke Ltd to develop a VET institute in India.

Directors from the two TAFE NSW Institutes – David Riordan (Sydney) and Dianne Murray (Illawarra) - accompanied the NSW Premier, the Hon Barry O’Farrell MP, on a trade and education mission to India to promote Australia’s training expertise.

The announcement was made in New Delhi in front of a crowd of more than 100 industry leaders and educators.

Click here to see an announcement and photos of the signing of the agreement. Click here to view a newspaper article from the New Delhi Economic Times.

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Green skills survey - reminder

TDA urges members to contribute to a 20-minute TDA Survey on sustainability and green skills, which closes Wednesday.

The national TAFE Survey will create recognition of Institute awards and initiatives for sustainability and green skills, and document the contributions of each TDA member taking part.

The purpose of the Survey is:

  • To inform an official paper and special presentation by TDA to a committee review by APEC. APEC is currently documenting practice on productivity as it relates to sustainability (broadly) and green skills (in training).

Note: before you begin the survey, it is likely you will require input from other staff and departments to collect the required information (such as buildings & facilities managers, department and faculty heads). Therefore we recommend you first consider the questions documented in an offline copy (PDF) of the survey for ease of distribution to your colleagues. 

The survey closes Wednesday. Click here begin the Survey.

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Vocational models - Have we got them right?

At the recent Vocational Education Summit in Melbourne, TDA’s Director Policy and Stakeholder Engagement addressed the question: ‘have we got the right vocational models to meet workforce needs?’

She argued that the test of whether these models are right is whether the models meet three criteria:

  1. Australian enterprises have access to people with the skills they need;
  2. Individuals gain vocational and education skills enabling them to gain employment and equipping them to gain further skills or undertake further education
  3. All sections of the community have access to, and are able to participate in vocational and education programs.

Read the full address here.

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Tertiary regulator announced schedule

The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) will begin preliminary risk scans in early 2012 as part of the new registration process.

TEQSA has announced its regulatory schedule for 2012, which says that the preliminary scans will rely on existing industry data, with a more thorough risk evaluations commencing later in 2012, requiring the collection of additional information from all providers.

For more, click here.

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Should a national association for VET professionals exist?

The feasibility of a national association for VET professionals will be discussed at forum in Sydney on 13 December.

‘An afternoon with Hugh Guthrie’ will discuss a current scoping study on the merits and structure of a national VET professionals association, being conducted by Guthrie and Berwyn Clayton, and commissioned by The TDA (TAFE Development Centre). Click here for more information about the study.

The event is free, however places are limited. Click here for event and booking details.

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Funding open for fast-tracked apprenticeships initiative 

Funding applications are now open for the Accelerated Australian Apprenticeships initiative, which was announced in the 2011-12 Budget.

Program guidelines have also been released for the initiative, which aims to support a shift to competency-based programs for apprenticeships.

The competency-based shift is in response to recommendations in the final report of the Apprenticeships for the 21st Century Expert Panel.

Further information including Program Guidelines and the Application Form for the initiative can be accessed here.

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Victorian TAFEs hit by State Government funding “reforms”

Victoria University (VU) has announced it will be cutting 30 jobs from its TAFE operations, and closing some courses, following state funding cuts.

According to The Australian, the vice-chancellor of VU, Peter Dawkins, said in 2012 the institution will lose $3.2 million in state government revenue. Click here to view the article.

Meanwhile, Holmesglen TAFE says it will suffer a $4.2million cut to its funding in 2012. Click here to view an article from The Australian

Meanwhile, the Victorian Premier, Hon Ted Ballieu, has announced a special grant of $3 million to University of Ballarat, to begin a professional development programme in higher education delivery, with five regional TAFE Institutes in Victoria. (See media release)

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Seeking advisor for Pacific islands institute

The Kiribati Institute of Technology in the Republic of Kiribati is seeking a policy and governance advisor to assist in ensuring the Institute complies with the Australian Quality Training Framework.

The Institute is supported by the AusAID-funded Technical and Vocational Education and Training Sector Strengthening Program (TVETSSP) and managed by Austraining International.

The assignment is for 42 days beginning in February 2012. For more information click here.

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Farewell Greg Woodburne

TDA pays tribute to the former Managing Director of the NSW Department of Technical and Further Education Commission, and industry champion, Greg Woodburne, who has passed away.

The Sydney Morning Herald published a detailed tribute to the tireless TAFE supporter. Click here to view the article.

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Diary Dates

DATE: 25 November, 2011
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, South Bank
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Quality in the Making
DATE: 27-28 February, 2012
LOCATION: Sofitel Hotel, Brisbane
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 12-13 April 2012
LOCATION: Canberra
DETAILS: Click here to submit an extract.

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