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Newsletter | 31 August 2015

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In this edition  


VET funding in reverse while money for university and schools soars

VET spending in Australia has fallen back to levels of more than a decade ago, while funding for schools and higher education has soared, according to new research from the Mitchell Institute.

The Institute says that one year on from research which showed spending on schooling and higher education far outstripping spending on VET, the trend has intensified.

Among the three sectors, expenditure on higher education has grown the fastest, up by over 40% in real terms in the eleven years to 2013-14. Expenditure on schools has grown by approximately 25% over the same period.

Expenditure on VET has grown much more slowly, by around 15% to 2012-13, before experiencing a sharp decline in the most recent year, leaving VET expenditure only around 5% higher than 2003-4 levels.

One of the report authors, Mitchell Professorial Fellow Peter Noonan said the analysis shows that governments have been prioritising their investment in some aspects of education over others.

“There appears to be no cohesive policy or funding framework for government investment across the education sectors and this should be a major concern.”

Federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten, in his address to the National Reform Summit, committed to VET funding and restoring the position of TAFE.

“We back public TAFE because the pendulum has swung too far to dodgy private providers,” Mr Shorten said.

See the Opposition Leader’s speech.

See more.

Vale Bart Cummings

The death of Bart Cummings over the weekend marks the passing of an extraordinary Australian and a very generous supporter of training through his involvement as an ambassador of the Mick Young Scholarships.

Bart was an outstanding supporter of the scholarship trust and regularly donated shares in his horses as auction prizes and helped to raise considerable funds for young people pursuing jobs and training.

TDA CEO Martin Riordan said Bart Cummings would be remembered fondly for his enormous contribution.

“On behalf of TDA and the TDA Scholarships Foundation, we celebrate Bart’s lasting commitment to the trust and extend our sympathies to his family and friends”.

VET completion rates decline

Fewer young people completed their training qualifications, with the overall completion rate of students aged 25 years and under declining 5.9 percentage points, according to the latest data.

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) report, The likelihood of completing a government-funded VET program 2009-13 shows the completion rate for all government-funded training programs started in 2013 decreased to 34%, down from 36% for programs started in 2012.

The completion rate for training programs started in 2013 by young, full-time students declined to 40.9%, down from 46.8% for programs started in 2012.

The Assistant Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham said whilst not all students enrolled in a course to complete a full qualification, course completions were significant.

“The data released today reveals the full impact of Labor’s failed policies, and how much they let down VET students looking for skills for work, employers looking for skilled graduates to help boost productivity, and taxpayers who provided significant funding for training.”

See more.

Federal opposition accuses government of hiding breaches by private training providers

The federal opposition has accused the government of hiding data which shows the full extent of misleading and unconscionable conduct by private training providers.

A joint statement from Shadow Ministers Kim Carr and Sharon Bird says the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) confirmed in Senate Estimates in February that it was investigating 23 providers, while the ACCC is also investigating training providers.

“Yet this Government is prepared to bury evidence rather than address the issue, as we have seen with the still unreleased detail sought by Victorian Government on the recent ASQA report into childcare training,” they say.

“Students could be undertaking training at a provider who is under investigation and incurring a debt to get a worthless piece of paper while the Abbott Government sits on its hands.

“If students are dropping out due to unethical practices or poor quality courses this needs to be exposed now,” they said.

Melbourne to host 2016 Worldskills national competition

Melbourne has been announced as the host city for the 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition.

Held every two years, the competition is expected to see over 500 competitors from around the country compete in automotive services, building and construction, client services, computing and business, hospitality services and metals and engineering competitions between 11-13 August 2016. 

The three days of intense competition will reveal Australia’s most skilled young people under the age of 23, who may have the opportunity to represent Australia as a Skillaroo at the 44th WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi, UAE, in October 2017.

Australia’s 2015 Skillaroos have just returned home after competing in the 43rd WorldSkills Competition in São Paulo, Brazil.

Reminder that B/HERT awards are closing soon

The B/HERT (Business/Higher Education Round Table) awards close in one week.

The awards are for business and tertiary education institutions and the categories include:

Best Research and Development Collaboration
Best Higher Education and Training Collaboration
Best Community Engagement Collaboration
Excellence in Accounting Teaching Collaboration
Ashley Goldsworthy Award for Sustained Collaboration between Business and Tertiary Education
Best Entrepreneurial Educator of the Year
Award for Outstanding Philanthropic Support of Higher Education

The judges will also select an overall winner, the B/HERT Award for Outstanding Excellence from the first four category winners which attracts a $10,000 prize.

Applicants are encouraged to submit online. You can read the guidelines for a detailed description of judging criteria.

Winners are announced at the B/HERT Awards Dinner on Tuesday 17 November at Melbourne Crown Towers. Reserve your table here.

For further information, please contact bhert@bhert.com or phone 03 9953 3426.

Diary Dates

6th Annual INAP Conference
Architectures for apprenticeship: Achieving economic and social goals

DATE: 1-2 September 2015
LOCATION: Ballarat, Victoria
DETAILS: More information.

VET Development Centre
Teaching and Learning Conference

DATE: 3-4 September 2015
LOCATION: RACV Torquay Resort, Victoria
DETAILS: More information.

TDA National Conference
DATE: 9-11 September 2015
LOCATION: Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart
DETAILS: More information.

National VET Conference
Velg Training

DATE: 17-18 September 2015
LOCATION: Adelaide Convention Centre
DETAILS: More information.

NESA National Conference
The Spirit of Collaboration

DATE: 27-29 September 2015
LOCATION: The Marriott Resort Surfers Paradise
DETAILS: More information.

Australian International Education Conference 2015
International education: global, responsible, sustainable

DATE: 6 – 9 October 2015
LOCATION: Adelaide Convention Centre
DETAILS: More information.

2015 Australasian Genomic Technologies Association (AGTA) Conference
DATE: 11 – 14 October 2015
LOCATION: Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, NSW.
DETAILS: More information.

2015 AUSTAFE National Conference
Bringing TAFE and VET to the Nation’s Capital

DATE: 28 – 30 October 2015
LOCATION: Canberra
DETAILS: Contact National President Jerome.DeRose@cit.edu.au

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