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Newsletter | 4 April 2016

In this edition


New report reveals TAFE’s community and education role eroded in the name of efficiency

A COAG-commissioned review of Australia's landmark, five-year plan for skills has found that critical community and educational elements of TAFE have been eroded.

The review of the National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform (NPA) was undertaken by ACIL Allen Consulting last December and released on Friday.

It reveals the extent to which so-called competition and efficiency reforms have been pursued at the expense of downgrading TAFE.

The review clearly states that the NPA was intended to pay regard to the position of TAFE in servicing the training needs of industry, regions and local communities.

“In other words, the NPA recognises that public providers are more than ‘just another provider’, though would benefit from greater guidance and specification in this regard,” the review says.

However, it clearly shows that this has not occurred in practice.

“Indeed, important community service and educational roles of the public provider were in some instances being eroded in pursuit of the efficiency and responsiveness measures within the NP,” the review finds.

"Transformation of the public provider role requires a steady, evolutionary process, otherwise there are strong risks of losing the value invested in the current capacity and capability of public provision," it says.

TDA Chief Executive Martin Riordan said the review confirms TDA’s long held concern that the NPA was never implemented in the way intended, with significant damage inflicted on TAFE in the process.

See TDA's media release.

See Shadow Minister for Vocational Educaton, Sharon Bird's media release.

COAG agrees to support students impacted by college closures

Commonwealth, state and territory skills ministers have established a new working group to support students who have been displaced as a result of college collapses.

The COAG Industry and Skills Council Meeting in Sydney on Friday agreed to the new body in the lead up to the overhaul of the VET FEE-HELP student loan scheme for 2017.

The Council also considered the role of brokers and improved access for training providers operating across state boundaries.

The meeting agreed to consider whether tighter rules around the Certificate IV Training and Assessment qualification should apply to the existing VET workforce.

See the COAG Communique.

See the Commonwealth Minister's media release.

ACCC takes legal action against private college

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has commenced legal action against private training college, the Australian Institute of Professional Education (AIPE) for unconscionable conduct.

The ACCC alleges that the college enrolled approximately 15,426 students into VET FEE-HELP diploma courses and was paid in excess of $210.9 million by the Commonwealth.

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said it would be alleged that AIPE marketed its courses to some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, including consumers from low socioeconomic backgrounds and consumers with intellectual disabilities.

"Further, for these online courses, some people were enrolled who had limited reading and writing skills, could not use a computer, and were not able to use email," he said.

AIPE is the fourth private college the ACCC commenced action against.

See more.

Want to reach Australia's biggest tertiary education sector?
Sponsorship, exhibition and advertising open for TDA Convention and TAFE Futures

Australia’s TAFE network is the largest and most diverse tertiary education sector in Australia.

There is an opportunity to forge links with this network as a sponsor or exhibitor of the 2016 TDA Convention, being held 4 - 6 October, at the Sofitel Melbourne on Collins.

The Convention will bring together senior managers from Australia’s 57 TAFE institutes, vocational education and training leaders, CEOs, business managers, senior executives, industry partners peak bodies, enterprises, and universities.

For the range of options available, see the TDA 2016 Convention Sponsor Invitation.

Bookings are also open for advertising in the new TDA quarterly magazine, TAFE Futures.

The publication will feature latest news, opinions and articles, and some of the most respected voices in VET and higher education.

With an estimated readership of more than 7,000, it is distributed to TAFE institutes, peak industry bodies, federal, state and territory MPs, and stakeholders nationally.

See the TAFE Futures Media Kit. The next issue will be in June and has a booking deadline of 29 April.

You may also be interested in the TDA Annual Corporate Affiliate program. Members enjoy year-long promotion of their brand with ongoing recognition at the TDA Convention, other TDA events, e-newsletters, TAFE Futures and on both the TDA and Convention website.

For further information on any of the opportunities listed above, click on the links or contact Sarah or Jane at tda@pco.com.au or phone 02 8880 7608.

New CEOs for Sunraysia and Bendigo Kangan institutes

Victoria's Sunraysia Institute of TAFE  and Bendigo Kangan Institute have both appointed new chief executives.

The new CEO of Sunraysia Institute is Geoff Dea, who was previously Director of Corporate Services at Mallee Family Care.

Bendigo Kangan Institute has appointed senior TAFE figure, Trevor Schwenke, who was previously General Manager, TAFE Queensland South West.

TDA extends its congratulations to both Geoff and Trevor on their appointments.

TAFE NSW celebrates latest group of higher education graduates

More than 200 TAFE NSW higher education students graduated in March (see picture below).

Two ceremonies at Sydney Institute saw students receive their higher education qualifications in  courses including Design, 3D Art and Animation, IT, Early Childhood Education & Care, Applied Finance,  Accounting and Fashion Design.

TAFE NSW has more than 1,300 students across ten degree programs in diverse industry sectors, with more on the way.

Ili Pelletier, Director of TAFE NSW Higher Education said the organisation has built on its strength in vocational education and training and worked with industry partners to develop its own brand of higher education.

“It produces the highest quality, work-ready graduates with contemporary and applied skills that we know employers demand,” Ms Pelletier said.

“It is now becoming well understood that TAFE NSW degrees are designed to be different.”

The program features small class sizes, a curriculum designed in partnership with industry, teachers who are industry experts, and degrees focused on areas of employment growth and skill demand.


WorldSkills Australia seeking a procurement coordinator

WorldSkills Australia is seeking a procurement coordinator to work on the 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition in Melbourne.

The six-month contract position is responsible for for assisting with sourcing and securing of equipment and materials for the event.

Contact Eloise Balgowan on (03) 9249 1000 to request a copy of the position description.

Applications close on COB Friday, 8 April 2016.

Diary Dates

Group Training National Conference
‘Skilling for Growth’
7 – 8 April, 2016

More information

AVETRA 19th Annual Conference 
20 – 22 April 2016

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WAVE National Conference
Women: Education, Empowerment, Equality. A New Agenda?
20 April 2016
Northern Sydney Institute, TAFE NSW
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EduTECH 2016
30 - 31 May, 2016

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2016 Skills Conference
Group Training Association of NSW & ACT
15 June, 2016
More information

25th National VET Research Conference ‘No Frills’
4 – 6 July 2016
Rockhampton, Queensland

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VETnetwork Australia
Biennial National Conference
27- 28 July, 2016
Gold Coast
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Victorian TAFE Association State Conference
18 - 19 August, 2016
More information coming soon.

NSW TAFE Managers Association
19 August, 2016
Taronga Zoo, Sydney
More information coming soon.

National Skills Week 2016
29 August – 4 September, 2016
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VET Development Centre Teaching & Learning Conference
1 - 2 September, 2016
RACV Torquay Resort, Victoria
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National VET Conference 
Velg Training
14 – 16 September, 2016
Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre
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TDA Convention
4 - 6 October, 2016
More information coming soon

Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Conference
4-7 October, 2016
Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart  
More information

2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition
6 - 8 October, 2016
Melbourne Showgrounds
More information
Royal Australian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA) Conference  
12-15 October, 2016
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
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Australasian Genomic Technologies Association (AGTA) Conference
9-12 October, 2016
Pullman Hotel Auckland, New Zealand
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ACER National Adult Training and Assessment Conference
13-14 October, 2016
William Angliss institute, Melbourne
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Australian Training Awards
17 November, 2016
Darwin, Northern Territory
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Corporate Affiliates