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Newsletter | 3 December 2012    

In this edition

  • Reserve Bank board member and Federal MP Rob Oakeshott voice concerns about TAFE cuts
  • Queensland government commits to supporting TAFE during reform of the state’s vocational training system
  • Research examines likelihood of going on to tertiary education
  • Bendigo TAFE recognised at BHERT Awards
  • Construction apprenticeships get much needed Kickstart
  • Diary Dates

TasTAFE appoints Stephen Conway, Chair of TDA, as new Chief Executive Officer

Congratulations to TDA Chair, Stephen Conway, who was announced as the new CEO of TasTAFE.

Stephen will be leaving his current role as Managing Director of the Adelaide South Institute, to assume his new position in early 2013.

Click here for media announcement by the Tasmanian Government.


Reserve Bank board member and Federal MP Rob Oakeshott voice concerns about TAFE cuts

Reserve Bank board Member and former CEO of Australian Industry Group, Heather Ridout, has voiced her concerns that several state governments have continued to cut funding to TAFE.

Heather Ridout spoke on her concerns about skills investment during her address to the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, and reported in today’s AFR Education Section.

Independent MP, Rob Oakeshott, also raised the issue of TAFE funding as a Matter of Public Importance in Federal Parliament last week, signalling his concern at the failure of some governments to comply with support for the public provider (TAFE) network which was a condition of the National Partnership Agreement, signed in April.

Mr Oakeshott called for all governments to uphold the agreement, especially the recognition of the important functions of TAFEs, and develop coherent investment strategies that will enable the VET sector to “make business decisions, in an increasing business environment”.

Sharon Bird, Parliamentary Secretary on Education and Skills, spoke during the Parliamentary debate, expressing her concerns at NSW Government decisions. The Hon Sussan Ley, Shadow Minister for Employment Participation, expressed disappointment at the impasse in the NPA negotiations, and while expressing her support for TAFE also spoke of Opposition support for Australian Technical Colleges.

Click here to view the Hansard. The debate can be viewed under the Matters of Public Importance section.

Queensland government commits to supporting TAFE during reform of the state’s VET system

TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) has said that the Queensland Government’s acceptance of 37 of the 40 recommendations of the Skills and Training Taskforce was an indication of the extent of the reform proposed for technical and further education in the state.

The Chief Executive of TDA, Martin Riordan said many of the Queensland Government recommendations had been proposed by TDA to the Queensland Training and Skills Taskforce, and detailed in a commissioned report by LH Martin Institute on Tertiary Education Leadership, University of Melbourne.

TDA congratulated the Queensland Government for not adopting the “Victorian model” of TAFE cuts, and instead proposing that campus closure and similar issues should be managed by TAFEs, including their assets retained for further infrastructure.

Click here to read the TDA media release.

Queensland Minister for Training, Education and Employment, the Hon John-Paul Langbroek, said the taskforce highlighted systematic problems in TAFE, and the need for urgent action.

“Our goal is to increase participation in training in order to boost Queensland’s productivity and stimulate economic growth,” said the minister.

“This can’t be achieved unless we modernise TAFE facilities and free up institutions to offer more flexible learning by overhauling industrial arrangements.”

Click here to read the minister’s media release.

Federal Skills Minister, Senator the Hon Chris Evans, condemned the actions, particularly the closure of at least 13 TAFE campuses.

Click here to read Minister Evans’ media release.

Click here for the taskforce report.

Research examines likelihood of going on to tertiary education

A NCVER study examining the factors that influence Indigenous Australians to participate in education, shows that Indigenous Australians are just as likely to go on to university or other tertiary study once they receive an admissions rank.

NCVER also produced a report, The effect of a pre-apprenticeship on getting an apprenticeship, which finds  those not at school and in a pre-apprenticeship program are more likely to go on to an apprenticeship (23%), compared with those not in a pre-apprenticeship program (12%).

Click here for further information.

Bendigo TAFE recognised at BHERT Awards

Congratulations to Bendigo TAFE, the part-recipient of the Business/Higher Education Round Table (BHERT) Award for Best VET Collaboration.

Bendigo TAFE was recognised for their efforts, along with the Fertiliser Industry Federation of Australia and the Australian Fertiliser Services Association, for their Fertcare project.

Click here for a full list of winners.

Construction apprenticeships get much needed Kickstart

The federal government’s Kickstart incentive for construction apprentices has been strongly welcomed by Master Builders Australia, the largest building industry association.

Running from December to February, Kickstart offers a $3,250 bonus, on top of normal incentives, to small and medium businesses and Group Training Organisations in the building and construction industry who take on a new apprentice in most construction trades.

Master Builders had expressed deep concern at the29% decline in construction apprenticeship commencements last year, and the impact this would have on future skills levels.

The Kickstart initiative is an important complement to industry-led support measures such as Master Builders Construction Apprenticeship Mentoring Scheme, which offers a range of free support services to current and prospective apprentices and employers.

Master Builders’ Training Director Alex Maroya spoke about the Scheme and the crisis in construction apprenticeships at the recent TDA National Conference.

A copy of his paper is available here.

Diary Dates

Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance

DATE: 11-12 December
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

DATE: 3-5 April, 2013
LOCATION: Fremantle, WA
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Group Training Australia

DATE: 17-19 April, 2013
LOCATION: Sofitel, Brisbane Central
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

TAFE Directors Australia

DATE: 2-3 September 2013
LOCATION: Sofitel, Brisbane
DETAILS: Watch this space for further details shortly.

TDA corporate affiliates: