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Newsletter | 2 December 2013

In this edition

ASQA Chief Commissioner outlines findings from audits and concerns on ISC Training Package protocols

Chris Robinson, Chief Commissioner of the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), addressed the Victorian TAFE Association conference on governance on Friday to outline findings of audits conducted by ASQA.

In his address, Mr Robinson welcomed the commitment from high quality public and private registered training organisations (RTOs) to quality standards. ASQA noted that approximately 20% of RTOs are not being re-registered due to non-compliance, and said this may point to a deeper issue requiring a more detailed response. 

Mr Robinson suggested some “low performing RTOs” may be driven by non-educational considerations, and they continue to affect the reputation of many quality providers in the market. He said ASQA was hoping that the proposed regulatory reform, including the move from RTOs to Licensed Training Organisation (LTOs) initiated by the National Skills Standards Council (NSSC), will go to government shortly.   

Mr Robinson also accepted that some non-compliance by RTOs reflected constant changes made to Training Packages by Industry Skill Councils, without adequate protocols for such changes. He described the changes in some cases as a “major worry”, and offered to make representations to the NSSC and ISC Chairs, to seek some redress to the “churn” issue.

See the Commissioner’s presentation.

Mick Young Scholarships awarded at Sydney’s Mt Druitt College of TAFE

At one of several ceremonies taking place around the nation, five students studying at the Mount Druitt College of TAFE NSW - Western Sydney Institute were awarded Mick Young Scholarships at a ceremony last week.

Mick Young Scholarships are awarded to motivated students experiencing financial hardship and are provided by the TDA National Scholarships Foundation.

Scholarships at Western Sydney Institute’s Mount Druitt College are generously supported by Pascal Press, a leader in school education publishing.  

Addressing the scholarship winners, Matthew Sandblom, Executive Chairman of Pascal Press, reiterated the importance of education and skill development, saying it could be the difference between a successful career and unemployment.

Sharon Kerr of Western Sydney Institute thanked TDA National Scholarships Foundation and Pascal Press, noting the scholarships were extremely well received by students.

Mick Young Scholarships have formed a key part of the TDA Foundation, with Mount Druitt  one of the foundation TAFEs offering the specialist student scholarships.

Left to right: College Mitiau; Aneel Ahmed; Matthew Sandblom, Executive Chairman Pascal Press; Caitlin May; Gretel Trost, TDA National Scholarships Foundation; Samah Sulaka; and Rafael Sen Buenaventura.

Germany and UK study mission on apprenticeships experiences skills showcase

Participants in the two-week TDA/LH Martin Institute study tour to Germany and the United Kingdom have returned after an intensive two week review of industry and approaches to apprenticeships in both countries.

The tour was led by Dianne Murray, deputy Chair of TDA, with Marian Schoen, deputy director, LH Martin Institute for Tertiary Education Leadership, University of Melbourne.  

While in Germany the group participated in discussions with organisations and companies who partner successfully in delivering components of the successful dual training system.

The group visited both large and small enterprises including Airbus to discuss their approaches to vocational training. The underpinning strength of business commitment to building the skills base of their employees and supporting vocational skills development for young people was impressive.

A roundtable was held in Bonn by UNEVOC, a part of UNESCO, focussed on the role of technical and vocational education as the means of building economies through global networking and capacity development.

In the UK, members had an opportunity to consider the outcomes of the UK Richard Review of apprenticeships, and the increased emphasis on building foundation skills for young people entering employment.

West Nottinghamshire College welcomed the group and showcased its entrepreneurial approach to VET and commitment to raising and meeting the aspirations of its community, before the mission participated in the highly successful annual conference of the Association of Colleges (AoC), in Birmingham.

An article on the delegation appeared in the local German media

TAFE features in Victorian international education awards

The Victorian Government has announced the inaugural Victorian International Education Awards.

The awards are designed to promote and reward outstanding achievement and excellence among students and education providers in Victoria.

International Student of the Year was Ms Huong Dang Thi, from Box Hill Institute.

Other award winners included Swinburne University of Technology, RMIT University, William Angliss Institute, and Sunraysia Institute of TAFE

See the full list of awards.

John Maddock, CEO of Box Hill Institute, steps down ahead of new five year Plan

John Maddock, Chief Executive of Box Hill Institute in Melbourne has announced he will step down from the role at the conclusion of his contract on 7 December.

Following 14 years as the successful CEO of Box Hill, Mr Maddock informed staff last Friday that with senior executive roles needing to be filled, and the Institute’s new five year Plan soon to begin, it was time to “rejuvenate” and he had decided to step down.

He paid tribute to Box Hill staff and students, and their work which contributed to the emergence of Box Hill as one of Australia’s most successful TAFEs in student course offerings, launch of higher education qualifications including a Masters degree, and extensive international education delivery. Last week Box Hill was recipient of the International Training Provider of the Year 2013.

TDA congratulates John Maddock on his outstanding record of service to TAFE, and long-term membership of TAFE Directors Australia.    

Float of Vocation expected to raise $250 million

Vocation Ltd, the vocational education and training company, plans to raise as much as $253.3 million in an initial public offering (IPO), according to Business Spectator.

John Dawkins, the former treasurer and education minister during the Keating and Hawke governments, will be chairman of the new company.

The company has announced it seeks to sell 200 million shares at $1.89 each in an IPO, priced at 15.4 times Vocation’s forecast 2014 earnings per share, according to its Prospectus.

The Prospectus report says up to 80% of Vocation’s revenue is derived from government contracts and it currently has 16 state and territory government contracts. In the 12 months to June 30, 2013, Vocation had about 24,000 new course enrolments.

See the article in Business Spectator. A copy of the Prospectus was listed on the company website late last week.

People born overseas more likely to have a qualification

The proportion of people born overseas that have a non-school qualification such as a degree or certificate is higher than for people born in Australia, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The proportion of people born overseas that have a non-school qualification was 63 per cent, compared with 55 per cent for those born in Australia.

The survey also found that nearly 3 million Australians aged 15 to 64 were enrolled in a course of study.

In addition, 58 per cent of students were working while studying, with 25 per cent working full time.

The proportion of people studying Information Technology has decreased since 2001, while Management and Commerce remained the most popular field of study.

See the report, Education and Work, Australia, May 2013.

Female apprentice network seeking new members

A new network for female apprentices is aiming to attract more women working in the trades.

The initiative, Fanelle, was started by Fiona Lawrie, a third year automotive apprentice in Victoria.

Fanelle is a large network of apprentices and tradeswomen working in Trade Industries. Most of its members are from Victoria and they gather once a month to support and encourage each other.

“I started Fanelle because being the only girl in class full of boys at trade school one day a week, and then being the only women in the workshop the rest of the week can sometimes be tiring. It makes me feel more supported and confident to know there are other women out there doing the same thing,” Fiona says.

See the Fanelle website and Facebook page.

Fiona Lawrie, second from right, with Fanelle network members.

South Australian government releases skills forecasts

The South Australian government has released its annual Training and Skills Commission’s workforce development plan which provides independent advice about the skill and workforce development needs of industry and the efficiency of the training system.

Skills for Jobs predicts strong growth in a number of industry sectors including mining; health care and social assistance; education and training; and agriculture, forestry and fishing.

Click here for a copy of Skills for Jobs.

2013 Australian Training Awards - full details of awards and profile of TAFE excellence

A total of 780 people attended the 20th Annual Australian Training Awards in Perth last Friday to celebrate the outstanding contributions of individuals, businesses and registered training organisations to the technical and vocational education sector. TAFE students, teachers and Institutes featured prominently in the 2013 Awards.

Amongst the many winners included the following from TAFE –

  • Markeeta Douglas , the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year, following health science studies at TAFE NSW – Western Sydney Institute
  • Ashlee Hodson, Australian Apprentice (Trainee) of the Year, who completed a Certificate III and Certificate IV at TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute
  • Morgan Clementson, runner up for Australian Apprentice of the Year, a mature aged student in bread making (Cert III in Food Processing – Baking/Bread), TAFE NSW – Illawarra Institute
  • Joel Schwarz, winner of the Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year, supported by SuniTAFE, in automotive mechanical technology.
  • Jacky Cheng, VET teacher of the Year, who is a visual arts teacher at Kimberley Training Institute, WA.
  • TAFE NSW - Western Sydney Institute and Racing New South Wales have formed a strategic partnership, known as the Australian Racing and Equine Academy, to make  the racing industry more professional, safe and sustainable through the provision of workforce development services across New South Wales
  • TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute named Large Training Provider of the Year
  • Box Hill Institute named International Training Provider of the Year..

Winners and finalists’ biographies and photographs are available on the Australian Training Awards website, while further updates from the night are available from the @AusTrainAwards Twitter account.

Nominations for the 2014 Australian Training Awards are now open.

For more information on the Australian Training Awards, please phone (02) 6102 8647, email australiantrainingawards@industry.gov.au or visit www.australiantrainingawards.gov.au.

‘Winners are grinners’ –congratulations to the 2013 Training Award winners, Perth, 22 November

Watch videos of the Real Stories and Real Achievements of Australian Training Award participants online. Follow the Australian Training Awards on Twitter @AusTrainAwards.

India Australia skills conference highlights new level of engagement

A three day skills conference in New Delhi last week signalled a major advancement in cooperation between our two countries. The 100 Australian delegates from across the skills sector, the largest international delegation of this kind to visit India,  joined their Indian counterparts in highlighting the challenges, the achievements and the future directions for skills development in India.

New partnership and cooperation agreements were formally signed by TAFE SA, TAFE NSW Hunter Institute, Skills Tech Australia and Southbank Institute and six Australian industry skills councils updated the conference on joint initiatives with Sector Skills Council in India.

TDA Board member and representative on the India Australia Education Council skills group, Neil Fernandes, as well as TDA’s Peter Holden were panellists on two key sessions focusing on partnerships and links with industry. A detailed briefing on the outcomes of the conference and the opportunities for further engagement will be sent to TDA member institutes.

TDA wishes to acknowledge the excellent and on-going support of Austrade, the Skills Connect division of the Department of Industry, and the International Division of the Department of Education. Without their assistance our engagement in a complex and challenging environment would be so much more difficult.

The value placed on cooperation with Australia was made absolutely clear through the direct sponsorship and support from key Indian government and industry partners. The India Ministry of Human Resource Development, the Confederation of Indian Industry and the All India Council for Technical Education all played a key role in the success of the conference and the challenge for all parties is to turn expectations into reality.

NCVER navigating vocational streams

A new report from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) identifies the potential for vocational streams – a set of linked occupations with related skills in a broad field of practice – in the areas of agriculture, financial services, engineering and healthcare/community services.

The authors interviewed a range of stakeholders on the usefulness of a vocational stream framework for the labour market.

It identifies two preconditions for vocational streams as well as describes scenarios of how these preconditions play out in industry. It is part of a three-year research program Vocations: the link between post compulsory education and the labour market.

See the report.

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.

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.

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.

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.