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Newsletter | 2 September 2013

In this edition

Rudd pledges federal takeover of TAFE funding

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd pledged that a re-elected Labor government would take over Federal funding of TAFE unless the states and territories provided funding guarantees.

The announcement was a centrepiece of the Labor Election 2013 campaign launch in Brisbane, coinciding with the start of TDA’s 2013 National Conference, also in Brisbane.

State and Territory leaders immediately questioned the Rudd pledge on TAFE, with Queensland’s John-Paul Langbroek, reminding that Federal Labor announced cuts of $242 million to apprenticeship and traineeship employer benefits on the eve of the election.

Martin Riordan, Chief Executive of TDA, said the announcement showed why funding of entitlement ‘voucher’ training remains a key issue for both political parties.

Labor’s Minister for Employment, Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor, and Shadow Minister for Employment Participation, Sussan Ley, will both speak at the conference.

See Labor’s TAFE election statement.

See TDA’s media release.

Economic model shows impact of investment in VET

A new economic model for Australia’s technical and vocational education sector was launched today, mapping how additional investment in skills and technical education boosts employment and supports productivity.

The report, Cost-benefit analysis and returns from additional investment in Vocational Education and Training, was prepared by Canberra-based Independent Economics, under an Australian Government commissioned contract with TAFE Directors Australia (TDA).

The study forms the basis for TDA’s latest Policy Position Paper, released at the TDA National Conference in Brisbane today.

The econometric model included support from three Australian Industry Skills Councils, and included for the first time analysis of how ‘skill sets’ or modules within Training Package accredited qualifications may also contribute to employment and productivity.

It shows a very high rate of return of 18% on additional government investment in VET, which is double the rate of return (9%) from business investment.

The Chief Executive of TDA, Martin Riordan, said the report provides a compelling case for substantial ongoing government investment in vocational skills and training.

“Every dollar invested by government produces significant economic and social benefits through increased productivity, participation and improved living standards.

Click here for the Independent Economics report, executive summary and TDA’s policy position paper.

See an article in the Australian Financial Review.

New direction for NSW TAFE – Newspoll survey shows wide industry and household support for TAFE

The NSW Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli, has provided the first look at the new direction for TAFE NSW, with the release of the TAFE NSW Statement of Owner Expectations.

It sets out the broad direction for TAFE NSW under a new more competitive model  to commence from next July. The Minister also released a Newspoll survey, showing industry and households strongly support a centrepiece role for TAFE in a quality technical and vocational education sector.

The Statement outlined how TAFE NSW could identify areas where it can become more competitive and remove barriers impeding improved productivity.

“TAFE NSW must increase its competence in commercial acumen and support improvement in business processes and systems, thus becoming financially resilient and able to accommodate change.”

New budget and funding arrangements will allow TAFE NSW to operate as a distinct financial entity, while TAFE Institutes will have more say over revenue, expenditure and assets. Base funding for TAFE will also remain, to protect special requirements for its community service and equity enrolments.

See the Statement of Owner Expectations.

See an article in The Australian, and comment by The Australian’s John Ross.

TDA 2013 National Conference kicks off in Brisbane

More than 300 delegates gather in Brisbane today for the start of the two-day TDA National Conference.

Yesterday, there were a series of workshops at Southbank Institute of Technology on topics including the future of tertiary education, green skills, competition, research, and executive management.

The newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, TAFE Queensland, Jodi Schmidt, introduced Hon. Saxon Rice, Assistant Minister for Technical and Further Education, who spoke at a welcome reception.

Today’s will see the opening address by Queensland Minister for Education, Training and Employment, John-Paul Langbroek, followed by the Federal Minister for Employment, Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor.

Federal Shadow Minister for Employment Participation, Sussan Ley will speak tomorrow.

See the conference program.

Bruce Mackenzie tribute

Senior executives in TAFE and Australia's tertiary education sector paid tribute to Bruce Mackenzie in a ceremony in Melbourne last week.

Bruce Mackenzie is retiring as CEO of Holmesglen Institute, effective 30 September.

Mary Faraone was recently appointed as his successor as CEO, following her role in leading Holmesglen on its higher education mission. She paid tribute to Bruce Mackenzie since her own appointment as deputy CEO, in 2003.

Bruce Mackenzie, the immediate past Chair of TDA, represented Victoria on the TDA National Board for almost a decade.

TDA acknowledges the contribution of Bruce Mackenzie to TAFE Directors Australia, and the various areas of support and policy input to TDA and the sector over his record 31-year appointment as CEO of Holmesglen. 

Chairs of TDA: Barry Peddle, formerly of TAFE NSW, Bruce Mackenzie, CEO Holmesglen, Stephen Conway, Chair of TDA and CEO, TasTAFE

International symposium on TAFE and colleges offering higher education

William Angliss Institute hosted a TDA international symposium in Melbourne last week, with leaders from TAFEs and colleges from Hong Kong, UK and USA discussing issues for delivering higher education qualifications.

The two-day symposium discussed improved networking for major international colleges offering higher education, and research for scholarship activity for senior executives. 

Kym Peake, Deputy Secretary, Victorian Department of Higher Education and Skills, opened the symposium, and launched a case study on TAFE students completing higher education. TDA has also launched a Policy Position Paper and Discussion Paper on tertiary education. Associate Professor Leesa Wheelahan also conducted a lecture, at LH Martin Institute for Tertiary Education Leadership, University of Melbourne.  

Nicholas Hunt, CEO of William Angliss and TDA director for Victoria, later hosted College guests at a Chefs Dinner showcasing Annie Smithers, a former William Angliss student who at her famous Melbourne restaurant, Annie Smithers Bistrot.    

(Left to Right) Ruth Rosen, Company Secretary IBSA, Nicholas Hunt, CEO William Angliss, Professor Simpson Poon, Vice President THEi, Hong Kong;

Stephen Conway, Chair TDA, and Dr Roberta Teahen, Associate Provost, Ferris State University, Michigan USA;

Pam Caven, Director Policy and Stakeholder Engagement TDA, Amarjit Basi, Principal New College Nottingham UK, Madeleine King, Group Coordinator, Mixed Economy Group UK, John Widdowson, Principal New College Durham, Chair Mixed Economy Group, UK (standing);

Martin Riordan, CEO TDA, Annie Smithers, guest chef, Nicholas Hunt, CEO William Angliss Institute.

Official launch of TAFE project in Taipei

Last Monday saw the official launch in Taiwan of an engagement with the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) for the Taiwan Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training (BEVT).

The first phase of the TDA project is the provision of high level consultancy services to BEVT and the delivery of the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment to industry trainers by Kangan Institute. The launch was attended by senior officials from BEVT, ITRI and the Australian government including the BEVT Director General San-Quei Lin and Australian representative Kevin Magee. Anthony Tyrrel from TDA and John Duffield from Kangan also attended.

This project will focus on an industry-led drive for the provision of advanced technical skills training which directly meets the needs of local and international companies operating in Taiwan. More updates will be provided through this newsletter as the project continues.  

Standing: Participants (students) of the program (Certificate IV in Training and Assessment)

Sitting(Left to Right) Ming-Hsin Yu, Deputy Director, Competency Standard Promotion Ad hoc Office, Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training, Council of Labor Affairs, Executive Yuan; Martin Walsh, Deputy Representative, Australian Office; Kevin Magee, Representative, Australian Office; San-Quei Lin, Director General, Bureau of Employment and Vocational Training, Council of Labor Affairs, Executive Yuan; Anthony Tyrrel, International Project Director, TAFE Directors Australia; Serina Huang, Executive Deputy Director, Economic and Policy Section, Australian Office; John Duffield, TAE program instructor, Kangan Institute.

Coalition to establish “New Colombo Plan”

The Federal Coalition has announced its intention to establish a New Colombo Plan that will foster closer ties between Australia and the region and develop stronger people-to-people links.

Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, and Shadow Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop announced the plan, which, unlike its predecessor, will have an outward bound component that “will send our best and brightest young people to study in the Asia-Pacific region.”

The Coalition has established a Steering Group chaired by business leader Mr Kevin McCann AM, with Professor Sandra Harding, Vice-Chancellor of James Cook University and Chair of Universities Australia, as Deputy Chair.

“A Coalition government will continue to encourage the huge interest in study in Australia by students from the Asia-Pacific region – whether privately or through the support of government or tertiary institutions,” the announcement said.

Funding of $100 million over five years has been committed to the scheme.

Read more.

Western Sydney Institute signs education cooperation agreement in Vietnam

WSI Institute Director Ms Susan Hartigan and HICOL Director Mr Cuong

TAFE NSW qualifications can be gained in Vietnam following an agreement signed between TAFE NSW – Western Sydney Institute (WSI) and Vietnam’s Hue Industrial College.

The Education Cooperation Agreement, signed on April 26, will see at least 150 participants per semester enrolled in the Advanced Diploma of Banking Services Management and the Advanced Diploma of Information Technology, Network Security.

Training is set to commence in 2014 with the scope of qualifications to build over time.

Hue Industrial College (HICOL) is owned by the government of Vietnam and has been delivering vocational education and training in Vietnam for more than 100 years.

WSI Director, Susan Hartigan, said that the new agreement enhanced the existing relationship between WSI and HICOL.

The Director of HICOL, Mr Cuong, praised WSI’s high quality of training programs and believes what he learned from his visit to WSI will be beneficial to Vietnam.

Read more.

New TLISC app - a first for Skills Councils

The Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC) has launched its new TLISC – eResources app, giving assessors an innovative and interactive tool to conduct on-the-job assessments.

TLISC – eResources is a free app, believed to be the first of its kind offered by any Industry Skills Council.

The app has been developed for Transport and Logistics assessors, providing them with a paperless method of conducting assessments. It already contains more than 160 assessment resources mapped as compliant to Units of Competency from TLISC Training Packages, with more to follow.

Read more.

Diary Dates

Knowledge management – use it or lose it
Queensland VET Development Centre

DATE: 23 October
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

2013 Webinar series
Queensland VET Development Centre

DATE: August - November
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Love Apptually webinar series
Queensland VET Development Centre

DATE: 21August - 2 October
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

TDA Annual Conference 2013 TDA Annual Conference 2013 - "TAFE Redefined"
TAFE Directors Australia

DATE: 2-3 September 2013
LOCATION: Sofitel, Brisbane
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Teaching & Learning Conference
VET Development Centre

DATE: 5-6 September
LOCATION: RACV Healesville Country Club
DETAILS: Click here for further information. 

2013 National VET Conference
Velg Training

DATE: 19-20 September, 2013
LOCATION: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Australian Council for Adult Literacy Conference
DATE: 30 September - 2 October
LOCATION: University of Technology, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Australian International Education Conference

DATE: 8-11 October
LOCATION: National Convention Centre, Canberra
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

2013 AUSTAFE National Conference

DATE: 9-11 October
LOCATION: Gold Coast Convention Centre, Queensland
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

2013 AAIR National Forum
Australasian Association for Institutional Research

DATE: 13-15 November
LOCATION: Perth, Western Australia
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

conVerge13 - E-learning Conference

DATE: 21-22 November
LOCATION: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Australian Training Awards
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

DATE: 22 November
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.