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Newsletter | 30 June 2014

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In this edition  


Minister to create industry council to oversee Australian VET

A new industry-led advisory panel will steer the direction of reform to vocational education and training (VET), the Minister for Industry, Hon Ian Macfarlane announced at the National Skills Summit in Canberra last week.

“Industry will chair the committee and they will have the majority say over decisions,” he said.

“Longer term, I also want to undertake a number of sectoral studies – for example in the oil and gas industry – to determine how the VET sector can better support particular industries and the changing workforce needs.”

The Minister also released the independent review of the training regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) and called for feedback on new draft provider and regulator standards.

He announced that ASQA will not raise its fees for the foreseeable future, and said that from July 1, ASQA will remove the requirement for a financial viability assessment to be undertaken as part of the re-registration process for existing registered training organisations (RTOs).

The new risk-based framework also removes the earlier plan for Licensed Training Organisations and does away with the idea of a new position of Accountable Education Officer for each RTO.

See the Minister’s speech and the new draft standards at the VET Reform Taskforce website.


Government urged to reinstate apprentice support

The Shadow Minister for Vocational Education, Sharon Bird has called on Industry Minister Macfarlane to immediately re-commence the Tools for Your Trade program as an interim measure.

Ms Bird said apprentices have been receiving correspondence advising that the Tools for Your Trade program had been axed and inviting them to apply for Trade Support Loans from 1 July 2014. 

“The Abbott Government’s failure to have the Bill debated in the Senate this week means that from 1 July 2014 apprentices will not be able to access any assistance to help them with the cost of tools, equipment, books and petrol to get to their jobsites,” Ms Bird said.

“The Minister must step up and re-introduce the Tools for Your Trade program so that apprentices aren’t left high and dry without access to any assistance.”


Mick Young Scholarships making a difference

Twenty-six recipients were awarded Pascal Press Mick Young Scholarship at a presentation at Port Adelaide on June 20.

The presentation was hosted by Jeff Gunningham, Chief Executive of TAFE SA and Di Baron, Director Educational Services.

Visual Arts and Design student Katherine Bradfield said the award was recognition of her achievements and her goal of helping others by creating beautiful but practical ceramic mugs for arthritis sufferers.

Theresa Collignon, Executive Director of the National Scholarships Foundation, said the Scholarships made a real difference to people completing their qualifications and reaching their career goals.

Pascal Press, Australia's leading independent education publishing company, is a long-term sponsor of the Mick Young scholarships at TAFEs in Port Adelaide, South Australia and in Mount Druitt, NSW.

The Mick Young equity scholarships are supported by generous individuals and companies across Australia committed to supporting financially disadvantaged students to complete their studies. More information about these scholarships and how to make a donation to the National Scholarships Foundation can be found at www.tafescholarships.comau or by calling (02)9280 0113

Left to right: Diane Baron, Joane Lyse, Katherine Bradfield, Stuart Potter, Stephanie Twigden, Theresa Collignon and Jeff Gunningham.

Diane Baron, John Manyang and Theresa Collignon.


One week left to save on registration for the TDA National Conference - draft program available

The 2014 TDA National Conference will be held in Sydney at the Sheraton on the Park from August 31-September 2.

To register, view the current draft program or see the full list of speakers, please visit the conference website.

Earlybird and group registration discounts close on July 7. The Welcome Reception on Sunday evening is only included in earlybird registrations (after July 7, the registration fees increase and the Welcome Reception will be an optional extra at $77 per ticket).

If you do not know delegate names yet, just register them as Name TBA1, 2 etc. If you would prefer not to pay online by credit card, just select the EFT payment option and after you have completed the online registration you will automatically be emailed a tax invoice with EFT details.

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


VET in Schools’ top performers announced

A total of 500 students across Australia have been recognised as part of the annual Vet in Schools awards announced by the Assistant Minister for Education, Hon Sussan Ley MP.

Twenty prizes were also handed out for total of 20 top-performing students in the Prime Minister’s Award for Skills Excellence.

“The Abbott Government is committed to delivering a VETiS system that has stronger links with industry and training providers to ensure graduates get high-quality, on-the-job training that equips them with the skills that employers need,” Ms Ley said.

“That’s why I am currently working with my state and territory counterparts to update the National VETiS Framework,” she said.

See here for more information and the list of winners.


IBSA industry consultation on Wednesday in Melbourne

Innovation & Business Skills Australia (IBSA) has completed the 2014 IBSA Escan Keeping one step ahead: the challenge of skilling a workforce and has issued an invitation to its 2015 industry consultations.

The first of these takes place in Melbourne this Wednesday. It is a morning breakfast format at the         Hilton on the Park, with registration and breakfast at 7:30am, discussions commencing at 8am and concluding at 10am.

The other consultations will take place in capital cities during July and August.

See the registration for details.


Labour mobility explained

Around 10 per cent of workers change their job each year, but of those, only 5 per cent move long distances, such as interstate, according to new research from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

The study is titled: ‘An exploration of labour mobility in mining and construction: who moves and why’.

It shows that labour mobility fluctuates in line with economic cycles.

“When the labour market is buoyant, competition for workers is high and poaching is common. This can lead to cycling through the same group of workers and an increase in the temporary movement of workers, especially those who have the desired skills and experience.”

See the NCVER report.


Diary Dates

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

Work Smarter Webinar Series
Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment

DATE: 10 July-14 August 2014
LOCATION: Online
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Victorian TAFE Association
2014 State Conference

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

Vision 2020 – 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.

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.

2014 WorldSkills Australia National Competition
DATE: 18, 19 & 20 September 2014
LOCATION: Perth Convention and Exhibition 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.

Australasian Genomic Technologies Association (AGTA)
2014 Conference

DATE: 12-15 October 2014
LOCATION: Crown Promenade Melbourne
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.