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Newsletter | 29 August 2016

In this edition


Total redesign of student loan scheme needed to restore confidence, minister says

The Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham says nothing short of a full overhaul of the VET FEE-HELP scheme can restore confidence in the training system, given the scale of the rorting that has occurred.

In a speech to the ACPET conference last week, Senator Birmingham said that there were "more unscrupulous providers than have previously been acknowledged" and that simply fine tuning the system was not an option.

"What we need to do is go back to first principles, look at what the qualification level should be for a provider, public or private, to be offering loans in this space, what qualifications and courses are relevant for the support of the taxpayer and ultimately how much should be charged," Senator Birmingham said.

Speaking on ABC Radio, World Today, TDA Chief Executive Martin Riordan, welcomed the minister's pledge but said that the sector was looking for more detail soon.

"We would have liked a plan. It has been frustrating for the TAFE sector that has been whittled away to just 14 per cent of loans funds when we produce 63 per cent of the training in the skill areas," he said.

Senator Birmingham said his department was currently undertaking 28 audits of "providers of concern" and surveying students in 19 providers to investigate complaints and potential breaches.

TAFE secures funding guarantee in Victorian training overhaul

TAFE has had a big win in Victoria, with the government announcing its new funding arrangements as part of an overhaul of the training system.

Under the 'Skills First' policy announced by the Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert on Friday, TAFE will receive guaranteed funding, starting with an extra $114 million in 2017.

The reforms, to take place from next January, place a greater focus on quality training providers and on job-related skills as prerequisites for receipt of government funding.

The new publicly funded courses list has had some 500 courses removed and now has a focus on training that meets industry and regional needs, supports government infrastructure priorities, and promotes apprenticeships.

TAFE shines in Victorian training awards

TAFE institutes, teachers and students were honoured on Friday night at the 2016 Victorian Training Awards.

The awards saw the inaugural presentation of the Lynne Kosky Memorial Award for lifetime achievement which was presented to former Holmesglen CEO and TDA Chair, Bruce Mackenzie.

Other award winners included:

  • Victorian Large Training Provider of the Year - Box Hill Institute Group
  • Community Choice Award Winner (popular vote) - Danielle Kazi-Shedden, Chisholm Institute
  • Victorian Apprentice of the Year - Steven Jeffery, Swinburne University of Technology
  • Victorian Koorie Student of the Year - Indi Clarke, Sunraysia Institute of TAFE
  • Victorian Vocational Student of the Year - Jennifer Peart, The Gordon Institute of TAFE
  • Victorian Teacher/Trainer of the Year - Marc Nichol, Holmesglen Institute
  • Victorian VET Client Service/Support Excellence Award - The Bubble Student Advisory Team, Federation Training

See the full list of winners.

Top left: Victorian Large Training Provider of the Year: Box Hill CEO Norman Gray and Deputy CEO, Jennifer Oliver
Top right: Victorian Minister for Training and Skills, Steve Herbert, congratulates Bruce Mackenzie with the inaugural Lynne Kosky Memorial Award
Bottom left: Victorian Skills Commissioner Neil Coulson and adviser Cameron Baker.
Bottom right: Wodonga TAFE's Kacey Mumberson and Andrew Williamson, Executive Director Victorian TAFE Association

Quality assessment - a universal challenge and a professional development opportunity for VET practitioners

Some of the questions that will be the focus of sessions on Day 2 of the TDA Convention, Thursday 6 October include:

  • How can your institute ensure that your assessment system (policies and tools) delivers high quality outcomes?
  • How can workplace integrated learning promote a focus on workplace performance and competence?
  • How can institutes ensure credibility and integrity when their  trainers and assessors are assessing   candidates off- shore?

Delegates will have an opportunity to respond to case studies and to discuss with the  expert panels how to achieve quality assessment outcomes.

One of these experts who will discuss achieving world class performance is Jenny Shackleton. Jenny advises the UK Government on standards and assessment for apprenticeships, and works with China, Singapore and other WorldSkills members on quality development.

She also works with UNESCO and the international research community on the future alignment of vocational standards.

This is a wonderful professional development opportunity for all VET practitioners!

Register for the full Convention or register for one day, the day of these sessions.

TDA Convention – two-for-one offer for International staff

TDA is delighted to offer a very special promotion Australia-wide for TAFE institute international education managers and/or their staff.

TDA has introduced this due to the very comprehensive international program that is running throughout the convention, which includes internationally focused plenary sessions and a dedicated international laneway during breakout sessions.

TDA is also welcoming delegates from India and South East Asia as Convention guests.

This promotion is a ‘two for the price of one’ and means two staff from the international department in TAFE institutes can register to attend both days of the convention for $550 each. 

China and Australia aged care roundtable

The China-Australia Aged Care Roundtable will be an opportunity for Australian health care providers and TAFE institutes – frequently being targeted as partners for China aged care investment – to review progress and  challenges.

The Aged Care Roundtable, developed and hosted by TDA, aims to give interested parties the opportunity to understand the elements of a successful aged care delivery model; provide a frank overview of the opportunities available in China; and facilitate bilateral engagement.

The Aged Care Roundtable will be held on Monday 3 October from 2 - 5pm, with lunch beforehand.

The cost of the roundtable is $297, with the option of adding it on to an existing TDA Convention registration for $198.  To register, and for further information, please go to www.agedcareroundtable.info.

Tasmania embarks on training consultation

The Tasmanian government will soon commence a four-month consultation on how TasTAFE can best deliver training outcomes.

The Minister for Education and Training Jeremy Rockliff, said TasTAFE will visit more than 50 locations, consulting with industry, community groups and individuals.

"The aim is to optimise TasTAFE’s resources and identify ways of working collaboratively and innovatively to increase and improve training delivery across Tasmania," Mr Rockliff said.

The consultation process begins in early September and will run until December.

Key stakeholders will be invited to register for community consultations but individuals are also welcome to attend sessions in their local communities.

TDA signs agreement with Korean Council for University College Education

TDA last week signed an agreement with the Korean Council for University College Education (KCCE).

KCCE is the member organisation for over 130 university colleges in Korea, which offer a variety of two or three-year vocational programs.

Korean colleges are facing remarkably similar challenges to a number of Australian TAFE institutes, especially as Korean institutes pursue their ambitions to offer higher level qualifications through the college system.

KCCE was represented by their Secretary General, Mr Eun Hwangbo, and their Director of the Department of Training, Mr Sangjo Oh.

The delegation visited Australia primarily to understand more about the way that Australia’s TAFE institutions offer higher education qualifications, as well as to pursue a Memorandum of Understanding.

The delegation visited TAFE NSW Ultimo Campus and was briefed by Ms Ili Pelletier, General Manager, TAFE NSW Higher Education, and then travelled to Melbourne where TDA facilitated a roundtable discussion on Higher Education in Australian TAFEs with representatives from Victorian institutes.

Over the next 12 months TDA and KCCE will further develop their relationship by pursuing staff and student exchange, workshops on higher education in vocational institutes, and possible joint or collaborative programs.  To learn more about the collaboration, please contact Jen Bahen, TDA Director for International Education, via email at jbahen@tda.edu.au.

Pictured above, back row, from left, Jen Bahen, TDA Director, International Education, KCCE Director of the Department of Training, Mr Sangjo Oh, and Melinda Waters, TDA Director, Technical and Tertiary Education; front row, KCCE Secretary General, Mr Eun Hwangbo, and TDA CEO Martin Riordan

TAFE Queensland signs strategic partnership with Australian tech leader

TAFE Queensland has signed a $40 million, 10-year deal with TechnologyOne for its enterprise student management solution, OneEducation, specifically for vocational and tertiary institutions.

The contract builds on an existing strategic partnership with TAFE Queensland adding to its suite of TechnologyOne enterprise software.

TechnologyOne is Australia’s largest enterprise Software as a Service (SaaS) provider and is a TDA Corporate Affiliate, as well as a Gold Sponsor of the 2016 TDA Convention, Skills Resurgence.

With TechnologyOne’s software used by two thirds of all Australian tertiary institutes, TAFE Queensland CEO Jodi Schmidt said the SaaS provider’s extensive footprint in the vocational and tertiary sector was a key deciding factor.

“TechnologyOne has over 20 years’ experience in the education sector, and its customer list includes a number of high profile vocational institutions.

TechnologyOne’s Executive Chairman Adrian Di Marco said: “We are excited to support TAFE Queensland’s goal to become the premier further education and training provider in Australia."

TechnologyOne CEO Adrian Di Marco and TAFE Queensland CEO Jodi Schmidt.

New insights into the governance and financing of apprenticeships

Governance and financing arrangements can have a major impact on the effectiveness and uptake of apprenticeships, according to research from the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training.

The paper, Governance and financing of apprenticeships outlines the optimal settings for governing and funding apprenticeships, and benchmarks the VET systems of five member countries - Italy, Spain, Portugal, Latvia, and Sweden.

Initially presented by the lead researchers at the International Network for Innovative Apprenticeships (INAP) Conference last year in Ballarat, the paper presents settings in key areas:

  • the legal framework governing apprenticeships
  • the allocation of strategic and operational functions between central and local decision-makers
  • involvement of a broad range of stakeholders
  • quality development and assurance
  • an outcome versus and input orientation, and
  • the extent to which financing arrangements are shared between governments and employers.

The paper also provides insights into how apprenticeships may be expanded and their status improved, which is important in light of the planned review of the National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform.

Diary Dates

National Skills Week 2016
29 August – 4 September, 2016
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VDC 2016 Teaching & Learning Conference
1 - 2 September, 2016
RACV Torquay Resort, Victoria
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NSW Training Awards
8 September, 2016
Four Points by Sheraton, Darling Harbour
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National VET Conference 
Velg Training
14 – 16 September, 2016
Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre
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LH Martin Institute
Innovation Eco-systems: Study Mission to Italy and the Netherlands
21 - 30 September 2016
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TDA 2016 Convention – Skills Resurgence
4 - 6 October, 2016
Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, Melbourne, Victoria
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Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Conference
4-7 October, 2016
Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart  
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2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition
6 - 8 October, 2016
Melbourne Showgrounds
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Royal Australian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA) Conference  
12-15 October, 2016
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
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Australasian Genomic Technologies Association (AGTA) Conference
9 - 12 October, 2016
Pullman Hotel Auckland, New Zealand
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ACER National Adult Training and Assessment Conference
13 - 14 October, 2016
William Angliss Institute, Melbourne
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Innovation: What's Next For Community Education?
Community Colleges Australia Annual Conference
18 - 20 October, 2016
Park Royal, Darling Harbour, Sydney
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Australian International Education Conference (AIEC)
18 - 21 October, 2016
Melbourne, Victoria
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E-Oz and Skills Oz Conference
Assuring quality in the National VET system – Change, Challenge and Opportunity
8 - 9 November, 2016
Marriott Resort & Spa, Surfers Paradise, Queensland
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Australian Training Awards
17 November, 2016
Darwin, Northern Territory
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2016 National Conference on VET Teaching and VET Teacher Education
Australian Council of Deans of Education Vocational Education Group 
8 - 9 December, 2016
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Corporate Affiliates