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Newsletter | 3 July 2017

In this edition


Administrator winds up Careers Australia

The final act in the drama surrounding Careers Australia played out in Brisbane on Friday when the group was placed in liquidation.

The decision to wind up Careers Australia and its subsidiary companies was taken at a meeting of creditors on the recommendation of the administrator, PPB Advisory.

In its report to creditors, PPB Advisory said that while the group reported a loss of $15.2 million in the year to March 2017, "revenue could be overstated by $43m and expenses could be understated for this period, so the actual losses could be significantly higher than reported."

It also said that the asset position could be overstated by "a material sum".

In mid-June the administrator announced the sale of part of the group's trades division and its nursing business.

TDA operates the Tuition Assurance Scheme for Careers Australia, designed to assist eligible domestic students to complete their training or obtain refunds for study not delivered.

The TDA call centre at TAFE Queensland has had more than 11,000 contacts with Careers Australia students, including more than 6,000 inbound calls and approximately 5,000 outgoing calls in response to email inquiries.

Careers Australia domestic students can contact the call centre on (07) 3307 4789.

International students are covered by the Tuition Protection Scheme, and should call 1300 980 434.

See last week's ABC 7.30  program on Careers Australia

Federal court finds Unique was misleading and unconscionable

The Commonwealth is seeking to recoup funds and have student debts cancelled following a Federal Court finding against Unique International College last Friday.

The court found that Unique made false or misleading representations and engaged in a pattern of behaviour that amounted to unconscionable conduct.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) brought the case against Unique which, in 2014-15, enrolled over 3,600 students in diploma courses and received about $57 million from the Commonwealth.

“The court found that Unique’s marketing deliberately targeted people from disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, including regional Aboriginal communities,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

"Unique misled people by stating that the course was free, when in fact they would incur a debt up to $25,000 per course under the VET FEE-HELP scheme,” he said.

The matter is now listed for a hearing on penalties.

See more

Fast-paced training a risk to the VET system

The quality of the VET system is being put at risk by a myriad of short courses of varying lengths being offered by training providers,according to the national VET regulator.

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) found that more than a quarter of some 11,000 courses advertised on websites had durations below the minimum of the Australian Quality Framework (AQF).

The report, A review of issues relating to unduly short training, says the system is characterised by "a myriad of different and somewhat ad hoc duration requirements".

It finds that one of the worst cases of fast-paced learning relates to the key Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAE), which had the highest proportion of course durations below 50 per cent of the AQF minimum.

"This presents a key risk factor for entire VET system as poor quality delivery of the TAE has a compounding effect on the quality of delivery and assessment for all vocational training in Australia," the report says.

The report recommends defining the term ‘amount of training’ in training packages and VET accredited courses; enabling Industry Reference Committees to define training delivery requirements; and requiring public disclosure of course duration in product disclosure statements.

Australia's VET reputation damaged in Asia, says Professor Peter Noonan

Australia has gone from a VET leader and innovator in the Asia Pacific region, to one beset by scandal and cutbacks, according to Mitchell Institute Professor Peter Noonan.

In an article on The Mandarin, Professor Noonan says that countries such as Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea that once looked to Australia for guidance have succeeded in transforming their systems, relative to Australia's.

He says these three countries still hold Australia’s VET system in high regard, particularly for its flexibility, links between national competency standards and national qualifications, and expertise in policy development.

"But publicity around the VET FEE HELP scandal, enrolment declines, cuts to TAFE and the opaque and complex arrangements for national VET governance (including for the development of competency standards and qualifications) has damaged Australia’s reputation in the region.

"It would be a paradox but perhaps a useful exercise for Australia to look at the contemporary roles of public VET institutions like the VTC in Hong Kong and the ITE in Singapore in thinking about the future role of TAFE as the public VET provider and as the backbone of the VET system in Australia," he says.

Only three exhibition booths left at ‘Networked TAFE’, the 2017 TDA Convention

The 2017 TAFE Directors Australia Convention will be held at the Adelaide Hilton on 7 and 8 September with a Welcome Reception at the Adelaide Oval on Wednesday 6 September.

To forge business links with senior managers from Australia’s TAFE institutes and other industry representatives, click here to download the 2017 sponsorship and exhibition invitation. Tailored packages are also available.

Confirmed 2017 exhibitors and sponsors include: Department of State Development South Australia, Australian Government Department of Education and Training, BUPA, CISCO, debitsuccess, Didasko, Echo360, Futura Group, LH Martin Institute, NAEN, News Corp Australia, nurseSIM, OPTUS, smallPRINT, TAFESA, TechnologyOne, The Learning Resources Group, VDC, VETASSESS and VTA.

Click here to visit the convention website or click here to download the latest PDF A4 flyer.

New analysis bringing local labour markets to life

Measuring the growth of the national economy may well be a useful tool in many ways, but as far as telling what is happen in New South Wales, or Western Australia, or at a much more granular level – for instance in Melbourne or Western Sydney – it isn’t much use.

So argues Anthony Horne, pictured, the Managing Director of Emsi Asia Pacific, who is presenting a 'marketplace' session at the TDA convention in Adelaide.

New analysis bringing local labour markets to life He says that while the “national economy” is generally what makes the headlines, in reality, it is something of a mythical beast, and more accurately, the amalgamation of a number of smaller, and very different, economies.

One way to demonstrate this is to pick an occupation – say nursing support and personal care workers – and delve into the data at a more specific geographic level.

In terms of the country as a whole, nursing support and personal care workers grew by 22,036 jobs or 32% between 2006 and 2016. But at the state level, these jobs in NSW grew by almost 62% and  in Queensland by about 36%, but in Tasmania they fell by 21% and in Western Australia by 8%.

The exercise can be repeated for any occupation, as well as on a much more granular geographic level.

What has this got to do with education? If there are significant differences in growth between local economies, this means that each local economy will have its own unique set of skills needs and employer demands.

In turn, it highlights the importance of each education provider understanding the skills of their locality or region.

One of the most important ways that TAFEs and universities can prepare for the future is to get better acquainted with what is driving their local economy; what makes it unique; identifying its skills needs, and aligning these to make the region a success.

Read the full article here on the Emsi website.

University tutors, real estate agents removed from skills shortage list

Nine occupations have been removed from the latest list of eligible occupations for temporary skilled migration.

The updated list, issued on Friday removes occupations including university tutor, picture framer, fleet manager, real estate agent and ship's master.

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said the updated list was based on extensive consultation with industry and advice from the Department of Employment and the Department of Education and Training.

From 1 July, all permanent skilled visas will have tightened English language and lower maximum age requirements.

Employers using the Temporary Skills Shortage visa will pay a fee to fund the new Skilling Australians Fund to support training for Australian workers.

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Canberra Institute of Technology recruiting for two executive roles

The Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) in the ACT is seeking two outstanding executives to play a pivotal and significant leadership role as they implement the new CIT Strategic Compass.

The Executive Director, Education and Training Services [SES 2.5] will lead the integrity of teaching and learning, ensure delivery of contemporary quality education and training, and enhance the overall student experience.

The Executive Director, Industry Engagement and Strategic Relations [SES 2.4] will lead industry liaison and oversee the development and implementation of an Industry Engagement Strategy, Brand Marketing Strategy and provide quality support to key CIT Stakeholders including the ACT Government, the CIT Board, and the CEO.

For further information, please contact Mark Lelliott or Regina Ocampo at NGS Global on 1300 138 863 or 03 8626 0614.

UNEVOC TVET leadership program set for Germany in September

Organisers have announced that the 2017 UNEVOC TVET Leadership Programme will be held in Bonn, Germany from 11-22 September.

The program is a 10-day flagship event for mid- to senior-level TVET experts who seek to build their capacities in transformational leadership in TVET.

Applications will be accepted until 20 July and positions are limited.

In 2016, 22 participants from 20 countries participated in the program.

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Diary Dates

26th National VET Research Conference 'No Frills' 
5 - 7 July 2017
More information.

2017 VTA State Conference
TAFE: Advancing Victorian Prosperity
20 – 21 July 2017
Rydges, Exhibition Street, Melbourne
More information

Queensland Training Awards
Department of Education and Training, Queensland
July 2017
More information

Youth Engagement Summit
25 July 2017
Ovolo Woolloomooloo, Sydney
More information

Community Colleges Australia Annual Conference 2017
25 - 27 July 2017
Citadines on Bourke, Melbourne, Victoria
More information

Making the Sustainable Development Goals Real in Adult Education
Women in Adult and Vocational Education (WAVE) & Adult Learning Australia (ALA)
10 August 2017
Kathleen Syme Library and Community Centre, 251 Faraday Street, Carlton, Melbourne.
More information

Towards Carbon Neutrality Workshop
14 - 15 August 2017
City Convention Centre, Victoria University, Victoria
More information

TDA Convention 2017 - Networked TAFE
7 - 8 September 2017 (Welcome Reception 6 September at Adelaide Oval)
Adelaide Hilton, South Australia
More information

2017 VDC Teaching & Learning Conference
7 - 8 September 2017
RACV Torquay Resort, Victoria
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National Skills Week 2017
28 August – 3 September 2017
Nation wide
More information

National VET Conference
13 - 15 September 2017
International Convention Centre, Sydney
More information

Australian International Education Conference (AIEC)
10 - 13 October 2017
Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart, Tasmania
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AUSTAFE National Conference
Turning Together for Success
11 - 13 October 2017
TAFE Queensland, Brisbane
More information

Chinese Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE)
Annual Conference
19 - 22 October 2017
Beijing, China
More information

International Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS) Conference
THINK BIG for Global Goals
1 - 3 November 2017
RMIT University, Victoria
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National Apprentice Employment Network
National Conference
1 - 3 November 2017
Radisson Blu Hotel, Sydney
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Australian Training Awards
23 November 2017
National Convention Centre, Canberra
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Corporate Affiliates