TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 2 May 2011




Earlybird registrations end 6 July. Click here for more information.

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Federal Income Support Inquiry targets Australian regions - TDA Regional Committee meets with Professor Kwong Lee Dow AM

Members of the TDA Regional Committee will today participate in a teleconference with Professor Kwong Lee Dow AM, who is commissioned to conduct a Federal review of Higher Education Income Support.

The TDA Regional Committee will be discussing how income support reform can help more regional students participate in higher education. The group will also raise the growing interest in TAFE Institutes as a provider, either in its own right or under licence from a university, to offer regional students the opportunity to remain in their community to study.

The Committee will report back to members following today’s meeting. TDA will also make a submission to the review.

The Federal inquiry into HE Income Support was announced in March, by Senator Hon. Chris Evans, the Minister for Tertiary Education, Jobs, Skills and Workforce Development.  

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New VET regulator reaching final stages of preparation

Former Interim Chair, Kaye Schofield, will continue to lead the newly established Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), following her appointment as Executive Chair.

The new regulator has held industry consultations, and is currently seeking applicants to fill three Commissioner roles.

ASQA is currently in its final stages of preparation before it officially oversees VET regulation beginning 1 July 2011. The Authority is developing an Industry Engagement Team to be led by Peter Blee from the Queensland Department of Education and Training.

However, Senator Hon. Chris Evans, Minister for Tertiary Education, Jobs, Skills and Workforce Development, has announced that amendments to the National VET Regulator legislation will follow, concerning issues with the original NVR Bill and clarification on the risk framework.

See the latest ASQA update here.

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NSW Government looks to TAFE to fix shrinking workforce

TAFE may be called on to play an increasingly strategic role to respond to the current skills shortages in New South Wales according to media reports in the Sydney Morning Herald.

The SMH has continued with a series of published features on skill shortages affecting industry in NSW. It noted that NSW has been experiencing a skills shortage caused by workers moving interstate for higher wages, an aging population and a strong Australian dollar that is forcing companies to shift production overseas.

It quoted incoming State Government sources seeking for TAFE institutes to play a prominent role in responding to the current skills shortages.

NSW Treasurer, Michael Baird said: “We do have concerns with the skills shortage and are considering ways we can more closely align the skills needed with our TAFE sector.”

Martin Riordan, CEO of TDA said that TAFE Directors over some years had recommended new pathways may supplement the traditional apprenticeship training system in order to respond to skills shortages.

“It’s a huge opportunity for the O’Farrell Government to look at putting up funding for new models of skills training.” he said.

Mr. Riordan explained that there was a need to address low apprenticeship completion rates and find solutions to growing skills shortages.

Click here to read the full article.

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TDA website upgrade to improve links with China Colleges

The TDA website now features Chinese translations for key information and recent news relating to TDA’s engagement with China.

Sections of the website which have been translated include ‘About us’, ‘National Board Members’, ‘Executive Team’, ‘International Capability’ and ‘International Projects’.  Also translated are recent news stories outlining key partnerships between TDA and the China Education Association for International Exchange.

Click here to view the new ‘Engagement with China’ page.

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National workshops on assessment practices

The National Quality Council (NQC) is developing national workshops to help Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) to improve the quality and consistency of assessment practices.

The program will involve 12 interactive workshops to be conducted across each jurisdiction. Three workshops are scheduled across New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.

For more information click here.

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American community college model coming to Australia

Prospective students of TAFE Institutes can look forward to a more affordable and less intimidating entry into university in the future, according to an article in The Australian.

The article says that TAFE Institutes are set to emulate the American community college model, by offering two-year associate degrees with guaranteed articulation into university where a full degree will be conferred after further two years’ study.

Click here to read the article.

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Financial Review Higher Education Conference 2011

Registrations are open for the Financial Review Higher Education Conference, to be held from 28-29 June at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth.

TDA will be a key sponsor of the conference, which is set to be a major industry event for 2011.

Key topics to be discussed during the conference include ‘tertiary education and industry’, ‘a new role for TAFE’, ‘the changing international student market’, and ‘what is happening around the world and its impact on Australia?’

Click here for more information.

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NCVER No Frills research conference 

Registrations are now open for the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) National Conference, ‘No Frills’, to be held in Coffs Harbour 13-15 July.

No Frills is a no-cost annual conference, which seeks to bring together those involved in education and training research from TAFE Institutes, universities, private registered training organisations, as well as VET consultants.

TAFE NSW North Coast Institute will host the Conference.

An award recognising the outstanding contribution of a researcher in the VET sector will also be presented during the conference.

Click here for more information.

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Diary Dates

Gaining the Edge – Outcomes, Equity and Innovation
DATE: 3-4 May, 2011
LOCATION: Hilton on the Park, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2011 Queensland VET Symposium
DATE: 12-13 May, 2011
LOCATION: Hilton, Brisbane
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Industry E-learning Showcase and Exhibition
DATE: 25 May, 2011
LOCATION: Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

20th National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference (No Frills)
DATE: 13-15 July, 2011
LOCATION: North Coast TAFE, Coffs Harbour
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Higher Education on the Edge
DATE: 4-7 July, 2011
LOCATION: Radisson Resort, Gold Coast
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Inaugural Regional Higher Education Forum
DATE: 2-3 August, 2011
LOCATION: Coffs Harbour
DETAILS: More information soon

2011 National VET Conference
DATE: 4-5 August, 2011
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2011 National Conference
DATE: 10 August, 2011
LOCATION: Four Season’s Hotel, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2011 National Conference
DATE: 5-6 September, 2011
LOCATION: Sheraton on the Park Hotel, Sydney
DETAILS: More information here

2011 Conference
DATE: 11-14 October, 2011
LOCATION: Adelaide Convention Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information

ePortfolios Australia Conference 2011
DATE: 17-18 October, 2011
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Looking ahead - Group Training National Conference
DATE: 19-21 October, 2011
LOCATION: Grand Hyatt, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

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