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Newsletter | 2 July 2012    

In this edition

  • MySkills website request for information
  • Unique Student Identifier External Reference Group
  • Study on cost of collecting VET data
  • Provide feedback on redesign of VET FEE-HELP Assistance
  • Government invites submissions on Green Paper
  • Online Discussion : Apprentices in the Asia-Pacific
  • QLD TAFE chief steps down
  • UK praises TAFE brand
  • TAFE students make finals of Victorian Training Awards
  • Universities review and update their visa streamlining partners
  • NCVER research scholarships
  • Australia India Skills Conference
  • Tuition Protection Service update
  • Outcomes of National Skills Standards Council (NSSC) meeting
  • Service Skills Australia Training Packages
  • Farewell and thanks to Phil DeGaris
  • Diary Dates

Feature story

TDA National Conference - last chance for early-bird registration

Early bird registration for TDA’s 2012 National Conference closes 6 July.

TDA has negotiated a 5% saving with Virgin Australia on all domestic select saver, flexi and business class fares for delegates attending the Conference in Perth, between the 6th and 7th of September.

Details on how to book will be available on the conference website shortly.

Click here to secure your place at the not-to-be missed event.

For more information on the TDA National Conference, visit the website.


MySkills website request for information

The planned launch in September of the MySkills national website has been welcomed by TAFE Directors Australia.

TDA urges private colleges to not merely support full disclosure for students and industry, but use the launch as an opportunity to showcase quality delivery in the Australian VET sector.

TDA today released a media statement, supporting the MySkills initiative. Martin Riordan, CEO of TDA, said TAFE had been a leader in public disclosure, with its data also used in national collections under the labour market statistics agency, the National Centre for Vocational Training and Research (NCVER).

Click here for important briefing and request.

TDA would like to remind members that it is critical they ensure the information on the TGA (training.gov.au) and their websites is current and accurate.

Unique Student Identifier External Reference Group

In April 2012, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed on a package of vocational education and training (VET) reforms designed to improve the transparency of the sector.  Among these reforms is a new national initiative, the Unique Student Identifier (USI) for the VET sector.

TDA has been invited to join the External Reference Group for the USI initiative, which will provide peak bodies with an opportunity to discuss key aspects of the USI such as legislation and governance, technical solutions, data management, and communications.

Janice Zwierzynski, Relieving Director Performance and Accountability, TAFE NSW will represent TDA on the USI External Reference Group.

For more information, click here.

Study on cost of collecting VET data

The Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE) is conducting a survey to identify the costs associated with data reporting for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs).

A Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) is being prepared for the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Standing Committee on Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment on the capacity of the national VET data collection to support government decision making and greater transparency.

RTOs are also invited to provide submissions to the Consultation RIS on this matter – this survey is intended to be supplementary to submissions. The Consultation RIS is available here.

Click here to complete the survey.

Provide feedback on redesign of VET FEE-HELP Assistance

The Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DISSRTE) has invited TDA stakeholders to submit feedback on a discussion paper on the redesign of the VET FEE-HELP Assistance Scheme.

The aim is to encourage greater uptake, and improve the effectiveness of the scheme.

Submissions can be submitted by email to TSEnquiries@deewr.gov.au. Closing date for submissions is 22 July 2012.

Click here to view the discussion paper.

Government invites submissions on Green Paper

The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations is developing a National Career Development Strategy in order to enable a more strategic approach to providing improved career development.

The Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, the Hon Peter Garrett, has released a green paper outlining options for the National Career Development Strategy. The paper has been guided by a research project that included consultation with state and territory governments and key stakeholders.

Individuals and organisations are invited to comment on the proposal. Online submissions close on 1 August.

For more information, or to make a submission, click here.

Online discussion: Apprenticeships in the Asia-Pacific

The Australian Government has team up with the ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific to bring together apprentices, experts, policy makers, social partners and members from the civil society to share their knowledge and experiences in an online discussion on “Apprenticeships in the Asia-Pacific – What works and why?”

Skills Australia’s Marie Persson is among those moderating the debate, and would like to hear your views on:

1) What are the key characteristics of a successful apprenticeship system?

2) What safeguards can be put in place both formally and informally to protect the rights of young people in apprenticeships?

The discussion will be open until 6 July.

Click here to join the discussion now.

For questions and queries, send an email to bkk_rskills@ilo.org or apyouthnet@ilo.org.

Click here for more information about previous discussions.

QLD TAFE Chief steps down

Queensland’s TAFE chief, Deb Daly, has stepped down after TAFE was left off the Skills and Training Taskforce, announced last week.

Ms Daly was set to finish at the end of the year, but has moved her resignation forward six-months.

The Taskforce was established to review the VET sector to determine its future.

Ms Daly is a former chair of TAFE Directors Australia, and director of the Gold Coast Institute of TAFE.

Click here to read the full story.

UK praises TAFE brand

The peak body for public colleges in the UK has urged its members to embrace the TAFE brand.

In a paper outlining an international development strategy for UK vocational training, the Association of Colleges has encouraged local providers to unite under a common identity.

The paper highlights a single marketing moniker as one of the “easily identified” drivers of other countries’ success.

Click here to read the full story.

TAFE students make finals of Victorian Training Awards

TAFE students and teachers are among the 40 finalists in the Victorian Training Awards.

The awards celebrate the state’s top apprentices, trainees, teachers, employers and training providers.

Winners, to be announced on 24 August, will receive a $10,000 fellowship, and represent Victoria at the Australian Training Awards in November.

Click here for more information, including a full list of the finalists.

Universities review and update their visa streamlining partners

Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, the Hon. Chris Bowen, has approved a revised list of universities and their nominated educational business partners for student visa streamlining processing.

Of particular note is Central Queensland University dropping sixteen partners nominated in March and adding Gold Coast Institute of TAFE and TAFE NSW, and La Trobe University adding five Victorian TAFE institutes.

In total, 11 TAFE institutes or TAFE state-wide systems have been added to the list.

The full list can be viewed here.

NCVER research scholarships

Seven people have been awarded NCVER Community of Practice (CoP) Scholarships to help develop research in the VET sector.

These novice VET researchers spend 12 months researching a workplace problem.

Click here for more information, including a full list of the CoP Scholarship winners.

Australia India Skills Conference

The Australia India Education Council has announced a full list of speakers for its conference to be held in Perth on 10-11 July.

The Australia India Skills Conference provides a unique opportunity to network with international industry representatives and government agencies from Australia and India.

To view the list of speakers, click here and visit the website to register.

Exciting employment opportunities in the Pacific

The Australian Pacific Technical College (APTC) is seeking applications from suitably qualified trainers to join the team in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea:

  • Trainer Certificate III in Automotive Mechanics
  • Trainer Certificate III in Fitting and Machining

These positions are for 12 months with the possibility for negotiation up to a three year term. Closing date for these positions is 13 July 2012.

Click here for more information.

Tuition Protection Service update

A significant amount of work has now been concluded as we usher in a new regime for tuition protection for international students.

TDA has been funded to run workshops to assist members with transitioning to the new arrangements and dates and locations will be advertised shortly.

Click here to view a brief summary, courtesy of the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.

Higher Education Standards Panel

The Higher Education Standards Panel, established under the TEQSA Act in January, has officially commenced its work plan.

The Panel has released a communiqué introducing themselves to the public.

The Panel was established to provide independent advice on the standards for higher education.

Click here to read the communiqué.

Outcomes of National Skills Standards Council meeting

The outcomes of a National Skills Standards Council (NSSC) meeting held on 14 June have been released in an official communiqué.

At the meeting, the NSSC discussed the endorsement of seven Training Packages, the launch of the review of the standards for the regulation of VET, and work plan priorities for 2012-13.

Click here to view the communiqué.

Service Skills Australia Training Packages

Training Packages with their simplified, shortened and segmented content, are expected to be released by July 2014.

Structural changes will strip out supporting information into a companion volume.

To find out more about the new Companion Volumes please complete our online survey. The online survey can be accessed here.

Farewell and thanks to Phil DeGaris

Our colleague in Western Australia, Phil DeGaris, retired from the WA public sector last week after an outstanding contribution over many years to vocational education and training. Phil has held several senior positions with the WA TAFE system, most recently as Managing Director of Education Training International (ETI). In this role he has led the establishment of ETI as a registered training organisation in its own right and as the registered WA government provider of courses for international students.

Phil has been the WA representative on TDA’s Australian TAFE International Network (ATIN) since 2009 and represented TDA on many committees and reviews relating to international education. He has also represented the WA government on many occasions including membership of the Joint Committee on International Education.

TDA thanks Phil for his great support and wishes him all the best, noting his expertise will still be called on by those who value such great experience and skill.

Diary Dates

CISA – Council of International Students Australia
International Student Conference
DATE: 9-11 July, 2012
LOCATION: Queensland University of Technology, Gardens Point Campus, Brisbane
DETAILS: For more information see the draft program.

DATE: 10-11 July,2012
LOCATION: The Central Institute, Perth
DETAILS: For more information, visit the conference website

21st National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference ‘No Frills’
DATE: 11-13 July 2012
LOCATION: Adelaide
DETAILS: Come celebrate, collaborate and connect at ‘No Frills’

Intelligence Squared Australia (IQ2) – Live Debate
DATE: 11 July 2012
LOCATION: Adelaide Town Hall
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Leadership Development Program for Facilities Management
DATE: 15 - 18 July, 2012
LOCATION: HC Coombs Centre, Kirribilli, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Cross Sectoral Partnerships Symposium
DATE: 9 August 2012
LOCATION: Sydney – venue TBA
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 27 August – 2 September
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 6 - 7 September 2012
LOCATION: Perth, Western Australia
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 3-4 October
LOCATION: Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Details will be available at http://www.skillsaustralia.gov.au

AUSTAFE 2012 NATIONAL Conference
DATE: 3-5 October 2012
LOCATION: Alice Springs NT, Kirribilli, Sydney
DETAILS: More information contact Lyle Mellors at lyle.mellors@cdu.edu.au

DATE: 17-19 October 2012
LOCATION: National Convention Centre, Canberra
DETAILS: Click here for more information

DATE: 12 – 14 November 2012
LOCATION: Crowne Plaza Terrigal, NSW
DETAILS:  Click here for more information

DATE: 16 November 2012
LOCATION: Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information.