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Newsletter | 2 June 2014

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In this edition  


Apprenticeships fall in 2013

The number of apprentices and trainees in-training as at 31 December 2013 was 392 200, a decrease of 12.9% from the previous year.

For the same 12 month period, the number of commencements was 244 700, a decrease of 25.9% compared with the previous year. The reduction was largely due to a 37.5% decrease in non-trades commencements with commencements in the trades increasing slightly by 2.3%. 

The trades refers to occupations included in the major group 3 (technicians and trade workers) in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZCO). Non-trades include apprentices and trainees employed in occupations outside this group.

Since December 2013, commencements in the trades have decreased from 26 000 to 24 400 in the March quarter 2014. Non-trade commencements also decreased from 35 200 to 32 200 over the same time.

Separate NCVER figures show that the number of students enrolled in publicly funded training in 2013 fell 3.4% to 1.88 million, down from 1.94 million in 2012.

See more.


Minister says trade loans will be paid off in five years

The average time required to pay off a loan under the government’s proposed Trade Support Loans program for apprentices will be five years, according to Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane.

The Minister has rejected claims by the Greens that it could take up to 50 years to pay off the loans, which were unveiled in the federal budget and which effectively replace the Tools For Your Trade (TFYT) program.

Mr Macfarlane said the Greens modelling did not take into account the 20 per cent discount for borrowers who completed their apprenticeships, and it incorrectly assumed they would pay interest on the $20,000 loans. The loans will be indexed annually, but they are interest-free.

“The average time to pay off the full loan amount, with the 20 per cent completion deduction, will be 5 years after repayments start, or 8 years after completing their apprenticeship,” the Minister said.

See the minister’s media release.

See the Trade Support Loans website.


Bert Evans Scholarships to help NSW apprentices

The NSW Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli has announced a $2.4 million scholarship program to assist apprentices who need financial support.

A total of 120 new scholarships will be awarded this year worth $600,000.

Forty scholarships, each worth $15,000 will be offered over three years, for beginning apprentices who have demonstrated financial hardship in completing their qualification.

There will also be scholarships to 40 second year and 40 third year apprentices, worth $5000 for each year of study remaining.

The scholarships are named in honour of the NSW Apprenticeships Ambassador, Bert Evans AO, who spent a lifetime supporting vocational education and training and apprentices in NSW.

Information on the scholarships is available from State Training Services Regional Centres on 13 28 11 and at www.training.nsw.gov.au.


Global ‘lean’ business expert joins TDA National Conference

Professor Peter Hines, co-founder of the Lean Enterprise Research Centre at Cardiff University, UK, joins the list of distinguished international speakers and over 30 Australian speakers at the 2014 TDA National Conference to be held in Sydney, 1-2 September.

Professor Hines is Chairman, S A Partners for the Shingo Institute, UK, and a pioneer of Lean Business System thinking.

He is a multiple winner of the Shingo Research Prize and a recognised leader in Lean thinking for the last 20 years, with extensive research, writing, teaching and consulting experience.

He is a prize-winning author of texts such as Staying Lean, Going Lean, Lean Profit Potential, Creating World Class Suppliers and Value Stream Management.
Other international speakers include:

  • Denise Amyot, President and CEO, Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC)
  • Dr Lawrence Chan, Deputy Executive Director, Vocational Training Council, Hong Kong
  • Fintan Donahue, CEO, Gazelle, United Kingdom
  • Dr Charles A Goldman, Senior Economist, RAND Corporation, Professor of Economics at the Pardee Rand Graduate School, USA
  • Mr Shyamal Majumdar, Head of UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre, UNESCO Germany
  • David Meates, CEO, Canterbury and West Coast District Health Boards, New Zealand

Earlybird registration closes July 7 and the Welcome Reception on Sunday evening is included in all earlybird registrations (after July 7, the Welcome Reception will be an optional extra at $77 per ticket).

Excellent accommodation rates have been negotiated at the Sheraton on the Park, starting from just $270 per night including breakfast for one.

To register or see the full list of speakers, visit the conference website.


Head of UNEVOC to lead TDA/NCVER forum

TDA has now confirmed that Mr Shyamal Majumdar, head of the UNESCO UNEVOC, will lead a regional forum focusing on research and investment in vocational education and training on Sunday 31 August in Sydney.

The forum is co-hosted by TDA and NCVER and is being held the day before TDA’s National Conference.

Mr Majumdar will also be one of the keynote speakers on global partnerships at the conference on 1-2 September. View his profile.

See more information.

Further updates and registration details for the forum and the conference will be posted on the conference website.


Foreign Minister praises TDA Latin American initiative

At last week’s Ministerial dinner for the 2014 ‘Latin America Downunder’ conference in Sydney, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop singled out the TDA initiative in running seminars in six Latin American countries as an example of effective engagement in the region.

The TDA team heads back to South America this week with two-day workshops in Santiago and Lima and a special one-day seminar in Buenos Aries.

The seminars are funded through the Council of Australia Latin America Relations competitive grant program with additional funding and support from the InterAmerican Development Bank.


Approved English language tests for visas extended to ETS ToEFL & Pearsons

The Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator Michaelia Cash, has announced approval for the ToEFL internet based test and the Pearson Test of English Academic to be used by applicants for the Temporary Graduate, Skilled, Work and Holiday, and former resident visas.

These two tests are already approved for student visa applications and the extension covers an additional 25 visas subclasses. The changes come into force in November.

The announcement and FAQs can be read here  and the ETS ToEFL release here.


Diary Dates

Edu TECH
National Congress and Expo

DATE: 3-5 June 2014
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for information.

Office for Learning and Teaching
National Conference

DATE: 10-11 June 2014
LOCATION: Dockside Pavilion, Darling Harbour, Sydney.
DETAILS: See more.

'No Frills' - 23rd National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference
DATE: 9-11 July 2014
LOCATION: Holmesglen, Moorabbin Campus, Melbourne, Victoria
DETAILS: Click here.

Victorian TAFE Association
2014 State Conference

DATE: 17-18 July 2014
LOCATION: Holmesglen, Moorabbin Campus, Melbourne, Victoria
DETAILS: Click here.

TDA National Conference 2014
TAFE Directors Australia

DATE: 1-2 September 2014
LOCATION: Sheraton on the Park, Sydney, NSW
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

National VET Conference
Velg Training

DATE: 11-12 September 2014
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Teaching & Learning Conference 2014
VET Development Centre

DATE: 4-5 September 2014
LOCATION: RACV Club Torquay, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

VETnetwork Australia 2014
Biennial National Conference

DATE: 17-19 September 2014
LOCATION: Darwin Convention Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Australian International Education Conference
Inventing the Future

DATE: 7-10 October 2014
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

2014 WorldSkills Australia National Competition
DATE: 18, 19 & 20 September 2014
LOCATION: Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Group Training Australia
2014 National Conference

DATE: 12-14 November 2014
LOCATION: Grand Chancellor Hotel, Hobart
DETAILS: Click here for more information.