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Newsletter | 28 November 2016

In this edition


Minister Karen Andrews chairs careers roundtable – TDA tables TAFE regional research

A Roundtable on Career Education has been chaired by the Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Karen Andrews, to drive a revival of apprenticeships - a key priority for the minister.

Minister Andrews tabled the National Career Education Roundtable information paper, which raised current career education frameworks in the context of STEM.

TDA took part in the roundtable, with CEO Martin Riordan tabling a recent research paper commissioned for the TAFE Regional Network under Chair, Paul Culpan, CEO of GoTAFE in Victoria.

The Escalier McLean Consulting Report showed wide-ranging opportunities for better linked federal, state and territory services in regional areas, including careers, job networks and apprenticeships.

Tony Cook, Associate Secretary for Schools and Youth in the Department of Education and Training, facilitated the three-hour roundtable, and invited submissions on initiatives to boost careers education, especially apprenticeships.

TDA Board pays tribute to Dianne Murray, Mary Campbell and Robin Murt completing board service

The TDA Board passed a special resolution to thank director and former deputy Chair Dianne Murray of TAFE NSW, Mary Campbell CEO of SkillsTech, TAFE Queensland, and Robin Murt CEO of TAFE SA, for extended Board service.

Representing New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia during the past three year term, each were heavily involved in policy development, reviewing apprenticeship reform and tuition assurance governance, while Dianne Murray was also Deputy Chair and, for a period in 2015, Acting Chair of TDA. 

The Board also paid special welcome to incoming director Warren Tapp, Chair of the newly formed TAFE Chairs' Council. 

From left, Dianne Murray, Mary Campbell, Robin Murt and Waren Tapp

The Board meeting in Darwin was hosted by Christine Robinson, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Vocational Education and Training at Charles Darwin University.

The Board meeting coincided with the Australian Training Awards, and also saw visits to CDU campuses and facilities.

Left to right, Dianne Murray (NSW), Warren Tapp (Chair of Chairs' Council), Stephen Conway (Tasmania), Duncan Anderson (Western Australia), Mary Faraone (Chair of TDA, Victoria), Jodi Schmidt (Deputy Chair of TDA, Queensland), Leanne Cover (ACT), Martin Riordan (CEO, TDA), Robin Murt (South Australia), and Christine Robinson (NT)

Canadian delegation outlines lessons on applied research in VET

Canadian community colleges and polytechnics engaged in applied research have been showcased in a series of visits to Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne.

TDA hosted the senior Canadian government and college applied research specialists who have achieved five per cent share of the national research and innovation funding.

The east coast visit follows the successful Innovation and Applied Research Roundtable held jointly by TDA and LH Martin Institute, University of Melbourne, earlier this year.

Dr Alex Zahavich, pictured, and Mr Bert van den Berg spent a week visiting TDA members, the TAFE Higher Education Network, industry representatives and Commonwealth and state governments to discuss strategies to develop applied research capability in TAFE.

Dr Zahavich is Vice President of Corporate Development and Applied Research at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). Mr van den Berg is the Director of Colleges, Commercialization, and Portfolio Planning at the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Their expertise and advice was invaluable to TAFE at both the institute and policy level.

Some TAFE institutes are leading the way in applied research - TAFE Queensland has the Centre for Applied Research and Innovation Redspace and Holmesglen recently opened its Centre for Applied Research and Innovation.

Martin Riordan advises he will step down as CEO of TDA

After more than 11 years leading TDA, Chief Executive Officer Martin Riordan has notified the Board that he will step down from the role, effective March 2017.

The Chair of TDA Mary Faraone said Martin had spoken to the Board at its final meeting for the year in Darwin and outlined his decision to step aside and pursue further interests.

“Martin has made an enormous contribution, strengthening the position of TDA as a peak industry body in the VET sector and establishing a new level of services for members,” Ms Faraone said.

Mr Riordan said, “It has been a great privilege to work with such a dedicated team at TDA, with the Board, and with many others across the VET sector to advance high quality training and qualifications across the TAFE sector.

“I am very pleased with our record of policy achievement and confident that, following a successful review of the organisation’s governance, I leave TDA well placed for the future,” he said.

The Board will undertake recruitment for a new CEO.

See the TDA media release.

See 'TAFE in good shape, says departing chief Martin Riordan' in The Australian.

TDA hosts China delegation in review of offshore vocational education

TDA hosted a small delegation from China, led by TDA's key partner in China, the Chinese Association for International Exchange (CEAIE).

The delegation, pictured, was visiting to learn more about Australia’s  quality assurance and regulatory frameworks, as part of CEAIE's partnership with the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). 

The delegation comprised officials from CEAIE, the Chinese Ministry of Education and representatives from key provinces in Hainan, Guanxi and Liaoning.

TDA and CEAIE discussed possible joint activities for 2017, including ideas for celebrating the 20th anniversary of the China-Australia Chongqing VET project.

The delegation is visiting Sydney and Melbourne, and is undertaking visits to a number of TAFEs.

Holmesglen excels at Victoria's international education awards

Victoria's Holmesglen has secured two awards for international education at the Victorian International Education Awards.

The institute received the Excellence in International Education – TAFE award, and was named International Education Provider of the Year.

In addition, Holmesglen student, Freddy Mata Mendoza was named International Student of the Year in the VET category.

“Holmesglen is honoured to receive these highly-sought after and respected awards, which demonstrate a recognition of Holmesglen’s strength and diversity in the delivery of international education in Victoria,” said Mary Faraone, Chief Executive at Holmesglen.

Persistent labour market imbalances in regulated professions

A report from the Canadian province of Ontario makes a number of recommendations for addressing labour market imbalances in regulated professions.

Prepared for the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, the report examines labour market trends across a range of occupations. While the focus is on higher education qualifications (law, medicine, engineering, nursing, teaching and architecture), the lessons could be extended to VET.

The report discusses the extent of the imbalances and shows that they are not static - they swing from over to under-supply.

Governments can address these imbalances in a number of ways. In cases where they are the direct or indirect employer, as is the case in health and education, they can influence both the supply and demand.

In other cases, governments may influence the demand by monitoring demographic and labour force data in the short- and medium-term, and can influence supply by targeting funding for certain qualifications.

TAFE NSW Ultimo campus to house school for entrepreneurs

TAFE NSW Ultimo campus has ben named as the location for the new Sydney School of Entrepreneurship (SSE).

The SSE is a partnership between 11 NSW universities and TAFE NSW and is supported by $25 million from the NSW government.

The SSE will provide access to practical training, support and mentoring for up to 1000 students a year as part of their degree or TAFE course.

Founding academic partners include Australian Catholic University, Charles Sturt University, Macquarie University, Southern Cross University, TAFE NSW, University of Newcastle, University of New England, University of New South Wales, University of Sydney, University of Technology Sydney, University of Wollongong and Western Sydney University.

Diary Dates

Pathways13 Conference: Changes, Challenges and Choice – embracing the future
Disability practitioners from TAFEs and universities around Australia
30 November - 2 December, 2016
Canberra, Australia
More information

2016 National Conference on VET Teaching and VET Teacher Education
Australian Council of Deans of Education Vocational Education Group 
8 - 9 December, 2016
More information


Corporate Affiliates