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Newsletter | 4 September 2017

In this edition


Asia skills mission strengthens ties

The Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Karen Andrews  has completed a round of engagements, aimed at strengthening educational ties across India, Sri Lanka and Singapore.

Coinciding with Australian Business Week in India, Ms Andrews met with India’s Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy (pictured) to discuss collaboration in vocational education and training between the two countries.

“Australia and India have an enviable partnership, with 60,000 Indian higher education students choosing to study in Australia last year,” Ms Andrews said.

She also met with India’s Minister of State for Higher Education, Dr Mahendra Nath Pandey, to discuss opportunities in higher education.

In Singapore, the minister visited James Cook University’s Singapore campus and the Singapore Institute of Technical Training, working in conjunction with the Box Hill Institute of TAFE.

However, the trip didn't attract bipartisan support. The Shadow Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships Senator Doug Cameron accused the minister of going "missing in India".

"It beggars belief that the Assistant Minister for Skills decides to go to India during National Skills Week," Senator Cameron said.

TAFEs caution against university expansion into vocational education

A proposal for Australian universities to move toward a UK-style of more vocationally-focused bachelor qualifications has been met cautiously by the TAFE sector.

An article in The Conversation by Stephen Parker, an  Honorary Professorial Fellow at Melbourne University's Centre for the Study of Higher Education, and a  partner at KPMG, urges a re-think about the place of traditional university degrees, and suggests a shift in higher education to areas including associate degrees and degree apprenticeships.

"Perhaps part of the emerging discussion should include a return to a tripartite public education and training system, which includes TAFE, teaching-only polytechnics and research-intensive universities," he says.

In response, TDA's Director of Quality Services, André Diez de Aux says the case for a shift to technical education is "very strong", but that Steven Parker's proposal does not reflect the reality of the tertiary education system.

"TAFEs already benefit from strong ties with employers. Similar links in the university sector are, for the most part, more tenuous," he says.

He pointed to a 2012 NCVER study which found that universities were between 50 and 130 per cent more expensive in delivering comparable qualifications to TAFE.

"What this means is that TAFEs are better positioned to offer higher level vocational qualifications than the proposed set of 'teaching-only polytechnics'. Many TAFEs already offer vocationally-oriented degrees, and they are the sole provider in PwC's current higher apprenticeship pilots," he says.

VET in school numbers decline

The total number of VET in Schools students fell by 5.4% in 2016 to 243,300, according to the National Centre for Vocational education Research (NCVER).

There were 17,200 school-based apprentices and trainees, 14.4% less than in the previous year, and 226,100 other VET in Schools students, a fall of 4.6%.

The decline was largely the result of almost 13,000 fewer VET in Schools students in Queensland.

See more

NSW skills promotion to tackle VET 'myths'

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Skills John Barilaro launched a new NSW government campaign, “Doors of Opportunity”, designed to attract students and explode myths surrounding vocational education.

“The campaign is about helping students, parents, teachers and employers across the state better understand VET as a credible alternative to university," Mr Barilaro said.

“For too long VET has taken a back-seat when it comes to students’ choices and it’s time to change that perception," he said.

The campaign, launched at the Western Sydney Apprenticeship and Traineeship Expo at Penrith, uses an interactive display to target students, parents, careers advisers and employers.

See more

TDA convention kicks off this week in Adelaide

TDA looks forward to welcoming delegates and guests to the 2017 TDA Convention 'Networked TAFE' in Adelaide this week.

It is a big week for all of those attending, with more than 400 delegates registered for a packed three days of discussion, analysis, learning and networking.

It kicks off with a welcome reception on Wednesday at the iconic Adelaide Oval, followed by two days of convention sessions with inspirational speakers and presenters across a diverse range of topics.

We also welcome our international guests including all those attending the China-Australia VET Forum.

See the final convention program.

See you in Adelaide!

TDA convention kicks off this week in Adelaide

Traditional trades shine in national skills week photo competition

A stunning photo of a West Australian family engaging in an ancient craft has won the 'Heroes of Traditional Trades' 2017 photo competition as part of National Skills Week.

The digital photographic competition was held to celebrate skills in traditional trades, crafts or other practices that contribute to the physical conservation of heritage places.

The competition was instigated by Australia ICOMOS, the national body representing heritage practitioners, and supported by SkillsOne Television, the National Trust of South Australia and the International Specialised Skills Institute.

The winning entry, ‘Family Keeps Old Lime Ways’, features Dan and Jack Susac stoking the kilns at Australia's only commercial wood-fired lime operation at Carabooda, north of Perth. It was photographed by Nic Ellis.

See an article in The West Australian

See all entries

The winning entry, 'Family Keeps Old Lime Ways’, photographed by Nic Ellis

TAFE Queensland rides high on TechnologyOne cloud - Advertorial

Digital disruption is transforming the Australian education sector. Digitally native students demand a high quality online learning experience and institutions must evolve rapidly to stay in the game.

Forward-thinking institutions are heading to the cloud to keep pace with the changing landscape of the education sector.

Since taking its financial system to the TechnologyOne cloud, TAFE Queensland has enjoyed the benefits of a true SaaS solution, including greater flexibility, consolidation of data and enhanced reporting capabilities.

TAFE Queensland went live with TechnologyOne’s OneEducation solution in July 2015, moving to TechnologyOne’s contemporary, user-friendly SaaS solution.

The project was implemented on time and under budget, and has led to a transformation of business operations for TAFE Queensland.

Read the full article

Queensland government releases skills blueprint

Tighter financial requirements for training providers and enhanced compliance around apprenticeships and traineeships are some of the key features of the Queensland government's 2017-18 Annual VET Investment Plan.

It outlines the government's priorities and funding arrangements for almost $770 million in spending on the VET sector.

Among the targets are the Certificate 3 Guarantee, which provides a government subsidy for training costs, and the User Choice program which provides public funding for eligible apprentices, and sets out requirements for User Choice pre-qualified suppliers.

See more.

Diary Dates

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
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Ignite Asia Pacific Conference
21 - 22 September 2017
TAFE Queensland, Brisbane
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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
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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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Australian Council of Deans of Education Vocational Education Group (ACDEVEG)
VET Teaching and VET Teacher Education Conference
7 & 8 December 2017
TAFE Queensland, Southbank Campus
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Corporate Affiliates