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Newsletter | 3 March 2014

In this edition


TAFE Meets Parliament 2014

Leadership meetings in Canberra and a message of support for quality strengthening of VET in Schools 

The National Board of TAFE Directors Australia will convene in Parliament House Canberra, this week for talks with the Coalition ministry. The Board meeting will continue the Federal Election 2013 theme of ‘Unleashing our Capability’.

TAFE leaders will argue for removal of regulation and compliance red tape, and for quality measures to strengthen VET in Schools for thousands of Years 11 and 12 students.

The Board will meet Alan Tudge, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, to discuss supporting the government’s ‘closing the gap’ indigenous education initiative. A special meeting will take place with the Senate Committee on Education and Employment which is continuing its inquiry into TAFE. 

A highlight will be a ministerial dinner with the Assistant Minister for Education, Sussan Ley, who will be discussing VET in Schools, and launching the TAFE National Achievement Scholarships as part of the TDA National Scholarships Foundation, with a dedicated VET in Schools category.


VET reform taskforce outlines concerns

The process of reform to vocational education and training (VET) is underway with the establishment of a VET Reform Taskforce in the Department of Industry and the publication of key issues arising from early consultations.

A note to stakeholders last week says that while the VET system has significant strengths and international standing, “there are concerns that the system is overly complex and continues to face challenges, particularly in the areas of quality, responsiveness to industry, funding and regulatory burden.”

The VET Reform Taskforce will engage with registered training organisations, industry and employers, VET service providers and students about ideas for reform.  Stakeholder consultations have taken place during January and February.

A summary of key issues and ideas for reform can be seen at the VET Reform website.

Feedback and ideas for reform can be sent to the future of the Department at vettaskforce@industry.gov.au

A hotline is available on 133 873 from Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 6:00pm.


TAFE parliamentary inquiry commences

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Employment has re-activated its inquiry into the operation of TAFE.

The inquiry effectively continues the work of the committee in the previous Parliament, cut short by the September federal election.

Chair of the Committee, Ewen Jones, Liberal MP for the seat of Herbert in Far North Queensland said:
“I am pleased to be able to continue the important work of the previous committee, especially given the importance of TAFE institutions in battling unemployment. This is a current issue of significance around the country and one which requires attention.

Submissions close 9 April and can be sent by email to ee@aph.gov.au.

A detailed schedule of public hearings across capital cities, and rural and regional areas will be announced shortly.

Terms of Reference and other information are available at the committee website.

The Senate Committee on Education and Employment is also continuing its inquiry into TAFE.


Senior Chinese officials continue dialogue with TDA in Sydney visit

Last Friday, TAFE Directors Australia welcomed senior officials from the China Ministry of Education led by the Deputy Director-General of the Department of Vocational and Adult Education, Liu Jiantong.

DDG Liu is a valued friend of TDA having presented at the national conference in 2010, and was among senior guests at the Prime Minister’s Education celebrations in Beijing, during last year’s 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Australia.

In a previous role, DDG Liu was the PRC government representative on the highly successful Australia Chongqing VET transformation project (AusAID, 2003 – 2007). This project continues to be regarded in China as a significant milestone and exemplary case study for the VET sector.

The five member delegation was accompanied by the Vice Consul (Education) from the PRC Consulate General in Sydney, Mr Liu Wenwu. Discussions centred on vocational education and training provision for young people, especially in schools and TAFE, and Australia’s approach to apprenticeships and internships. TDA will make a reciprocal visit to Beijing in April.

Today TDA welcomes the Secretary General of the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE), Dr Shao Wei and two of his colleagues. TDA’s relationship with CEAIE extends to 2005 with the first signing of a Memorandum of Understanding which was most recently renewed in October last year.

Cooperation includes the hosting of over 200 senior leaders of China’s tertiary vocational colleges under the Vocational Education Leadership program, reciprocal keynote and panel speakers at our respective annual conferences, and study tours for Australian and Chinese college directors.


Immigration Department welcomes responses to GTE review

Following last week’s article on the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) review, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection has welcomed responses to its review.

TDA is currently preparing its response, highlighting inconsistencies in the application of the GTE for prospective international VET students and the impact on the sector’s ability to recruit students for study in Australia.

Members are welcome to contact Peter Holden at TDA with their own perspectives and comments by Friday 21 March.   


Launch of TDA workshops in Latin America

Tomorrow evening, the TDA Board will host a dinner in Canberra for representatives from several Latin American embassies, and officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) including Austrade.

The dinner will precede a series of workshops in late April/early May in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru which will focus on strategies for strengthening national vocational education and training systems.

The workshops are supported by DFAT through the Council on Australia Latin America Relations with additional support from the InterAmerican Development Bank.

The workshop leaders include Peter Holden from TDA; Roger Frankel, previously Australian Ambassador to Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic (1996 – 2000); and David Magee, Deputy CEO of the Construction and Property Services Industry Skills Council.


Presentations sought for WFCP 2014 World Congress – Beijing Oct 2014

The World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) is seeking contributions for its 2014 World Congress being held in Beijing, China, 24-26 October.

WFCP is an international network of colleges and national and regional associations of colleges.

Prospective presenters are encouraged to submit proposals on topics including Vocational Education Development Trends, Applied Science Research, Workforce Development, Industry School Partnerships, Leadership Training and International Cooperation.

See more.


Diary Dates

VET Development Centre – The VET BLOG
For relevant news and articles about the VET sector
DETAILS: Click here.

Launch of TAFE National Achievement Scholarships
TDA

DATE: 5 March 2014
LOCATION: The Lobby Restaurant, Canberra
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Engage, Empower, Excel – Connecting skills and workforce
Service Skills Australia 2014 Conference

DATE: 3-4 March 2014
LOCATION: Sheraton on the Park, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Annual Industry Development Conference - Innovate and Collaborate for Development
ForestWorks Industry Skills Council

DATE: 4 March 2014
LOCATION: Hyatt Hotel, Canberra
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Future Schools
EduTECH

DATE: 12-14 March 2014
LOCATION: Australian Technology Park, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

NCVER Research Forum
Realising our potential: widening participation through education and training

DATE: 3 April 2014
LOCATION: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council Awards for Excellence
DATE: 10 April 2014
LOCATION: The Langham Hotel, Melbourne
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.

VET Summit
Velg Training

DATE and LOCATION:

29 April 2014 – Hilton Hotel in Brisbane

5 May 2014 - Hilton on the Park in Melbourne

12 May 2014 – Sheraton on the Park in Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Edu TECH
National Congress and Expo

DATE: 3-5 June 2014
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for information.

Office for Learning and Teaching
National Conference

DATE: 10-11 June 2014
LOCATION: Dockside Pavilion, Darling Harbour, Sydney.
DETAILS: See more.

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

Victorian TAFE Association
2014 State Conference

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

TDA National Conference 2014
TAFE Directors Australia

DATE: 1-2 September 2014
LOCATION: Sheraton on the Park, Sydney, NSW
DETAILS: Coming soon.

National VET Conference
Velg Training

DATE: 11-12 September 2014
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
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.

2014 WorldSkills Australia National Competition
DATE: 18, 19 & 20 September 2014
LOCATION: Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Group Training Australia
2014 National Conference

DATE: 12-14 November 2014
LOCATION: Grand Chancellor Hotel, Hobart
DETAILS: Coming soon.