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Newsletter | 4 November 2013

In this edition


Employers cut back on training

Slower economic growth, and lower business confidence in 2013 has seen employers reduce their use of training, according to the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

Employers using the vocational education and training system to meet their skills needs in 2013 has decreased by 4.2 percentage points to 51.9% from 2011.

The information was collected from more than 9000 employers who participated in the Survey of Employer Use and Views of the VET system 2013. It shows:

  • 51.9% of employers used the VET system to meet their training needs, a decrease of 4.2 percentage points from 2011.
     
  • 60.2% used TAFE as their main provider to train apprentices and trainees, 24.4% used private training providers and 7.1% used professional or industry associations, all similar to 2011.
     
  • 16.7% used TAFE as their main provider of nationally recognised training (down 5.0 percentage points from 2011), 45.3% used private training providers (similar to 2011), and 22.7% used professional or industry associations (similar to 2011).

See more.


New reform timetable for NSW

The NSW Government has released an updated timetable for its Smart and Skilled reforms.

The next step will be the release of the NSW Skills List and Quality Framework, planned for December.

Current training market contracts will be rolled over into 2014. Training funded through the training market in 2014 will be based on the Skills List.

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has provided its advice to the Government on prices and fees. This will be considered by the NSW Skills Board which will provide advice to the Minister.

Advice on prices and fees for 2015 will be released in 2014.

See more.

See an article in the Sydney Morning Herald.


Qualifications improve but jobs flat according to COAG

The level of workforce qualification has risen over the past five years, and more people completed VET courses at a higher level, but job related benefits from training have fallen, according to the COAG Reform Council report on skills.

The reports cover Australia’s performance and comparative analysis of State and Territory performance on key outcomes in the education and training sectors.

A total of 54.2% of working age people held higher level qualifications in 2011, up from 48.3% in 2006.

In 2012, 63.8% of VET graduates reported improved employment status after training—almost 5 percentage points lower than in 2008. The fall was significant in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and

South Australia

See the COAG skills report.

See a speech from the council chair, John Brumby.


China 2013 CEAIE conference focuses on sustainable growth

The Hon Zhang Xinsheng, President of the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE) has opened this year's International Conference expressing a determination for China’s technical and vocational education to reform, with a new focus on sustainable 'green skills' growth.

Referring to increasing pollution in Chinese cities, Mr Zhang, a former China Vice Minister of Education, said the technical and vocational college sector would play a key role in supporting more innovative, outward looking students better trained with an eye to sustainability and achieving 'green growth.'

Later leading a workshop on sustainability, Mr Zhang paid tribute to Australia's leadership under its Green Skills Agreement. TAFE Directors Australia’s Martin Riordan was a keynote speaker during the workshop.

View the China CEAIE Address from Martin Riordan.

Earlier, Craig Robertson, Head of Division, Skills Connect, Department of Industry, made a keynote address on behalf of the Australian Government, on the critical role of industry in the Australian ‘industry-led' training system.

TDA managed a booth inviting registration and information for China college partnerships with TAFE Institutes. TDA staff (left to right) Jessica Davis, Martin Riordan and Helen Kebby.


Vocational training misses out on visa streamlining

A limited number of TAFE Institutes providing degrees will benefit from the Federal Government’s streamlined visa processing. But there will be no immediate extension to the VET sector offering non-degree courses.

The Minister for Education, Chris Pyne says 22 non-university providers will be informed of the new arrangement in coming weeks.

The Assistant Immigration Minister, Michaelia Cash told The Australian that there would be no extension to VET sector, more generally.

"There are currently no plans to extend streamlined visa processing to other education sectors, for example to vocational education, because a wider extension at this point of time would increase immigration risk and may reduce the efficacy of the current arrangements," the minister said.

See Minister Pyne’s media release.

See an article in The Australian.


Training completion rates improving

The number of people likely to complete publicly funded training shows signs of steadily increasing, up from 28.9% for people who started training in 2008 to 35.5% for those who started in 2011.

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) says of all VET students who enrolled in 2011, those most likely to complete their qualifications are young people (aged 25 years and under) with no prior post-school qualifications who are studying full-time at a certificate III qualification (56.2%).

Of students of all ages, those enrolled in diploma level (43.6%), certificate IV (41.6%) and certificate III (40.9%) qualifications are also more likely to complete their vocational qualifications.

The field of study a student chooses also plays a role, with completion rates highest in education (58.8%), society and culture (48.5%) and natural and physical sciences (43.8%).

See more.


Update on VET reform standards

The National Skills Standards Council (NSSC) has released a Communiqué following its meeting on 9 October.

It provides updates on matters including VET regulator activity and the implementation of VET standards, the review of VET provider standards and regulator standards, implementation of Training Packages, Standards for VET Accredited Courses, and Training Package Cases for Endorsement.

In a related development, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA says it will delay the next round of its registered training organisation (RTO) Information Sessions to the new year, to allow the sessions to focus on any new standards being developed by the NSSC.

See the NSSC Communiqué.

See the ASQA update.


TDA Kazakhstan project well underway

TDA and its nine TAFE institute partners have made significant progress in developing curriculum frameworks for the Republic of Kazakhstan.

TDA’s partnership with the state owned agency Kasipkor was further cemented with a week-long round of consultations in the capital city Astana.

Briefings with Kasipkor and senior government officials were enhanced with meetings and site visits to major construction and ICT companies who will play a key role in supporting the transformation of the VET sector in Kazakhstan.

TDA and its partner institutes are now considering a number of other consultancy and training services required by Kasipkor.


11th Education Expo in Pakistan

Pakistan’s largest selling English language newspaper is promoting its 11th Education Expo to be held in Karachi (January 19 & 20), Lahore (January 22 & 23) and Islamabad (January 25 & 26).

Austrade will be supporting a branded pavilion for Australia.

More information.


Opportunity to learn about UK e-portfolio

The British consulate in Sydney is inviting interested parties to learn about an e-portfolio developed in the UK.   Please contact Peter Holden at TDA if you are interested in meeting with Director, Fiona Hudson-Kelly, who will be visiting Australia from late November.  

Smart e-Assessor Ltd  are the developers of a cloud hosted e-portfolio for training providers to store apprentices’ work and evidence for assessment and certification.  Within two years of launching, ‘Smart Assessor’ is used by more than 170 colleges and training providers in the UK.

Contact Peter Holden:  pholden@tda.edu.au


New education section in The Conversation

The Conversation released its new Education section last week and TDA encourages members to visit their site and contribute to the discussions.

Visit the site.


Diary Dates

2013 Webinar series
Queensland VET Development Centre

DATE: August - November
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

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

2013 AAIR National Forum
Australasian Association for Institutional Research

DATE: 13-15 November
LOCATION: Perth, Western Australia
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Risk Management for Tertiary Education Sector
Australian Institute of Company Directors and Association for Tertiary Education Management

DATE: 15 November
LOCATION: Sydney, NSW
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

conVerge13 - E-learning Conference
eWorks

DATE: 21-22 November
LOCATION: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Australian Training Awards
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

DATE: 22 November
LOCATION: Perth
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

National Association of Enabling Educators of Australia
Flexibility: Pathways to Participation

DATE: 27-29 November
LOCATION: Australian Catholic University, Melbourne Campus
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.

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