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Newsletter | 7 July 2014

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In this edition  


Industry Minister urges greater prestige for the trades, yet VET student numbers fall and apprenticeships under pressure

The number of students enrolled in the public VET system decreased by 65,700 or 3.4% between 2012 and 2013, according to latest statistics from the National Centre for Vocational Research.

South Australia was the only jurisdiction to record a growth in VET activity, with an increase in student numbers of 16.3%, compared with NSW (-5.8%), Victoria (-1.6%), Queensland (-12.8%) and Western Australia (-2.1%).

For apprenticeships, pressure continues on the issue of skill shortages, as the number of apprentices and trainees undertaking off-the-job training at publicly funded training providers fell, down 12.7%, from 397,100 to 346,700.

Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, was interviewed by The Australian, saying he hoped there may be greater value attached to trades careers.

“I think there is a level of snobbery directed towards people who decide to be tradespeople rather than pursue academic study at university. We need to place a greater level of prestige on being a tradesman.’’

See Australian vocational education and training statistics: Students and courses 2013.

See The Australian.


National TDA survey on new proposed VET Standards for registration and regulation of technical and vocational education training providers

TDA has launched a special survey across Australia’s 58 TAFE Institutes as part of a national consultation on Industry Minister Macfarlane’s proposed new VET Standards for registration and regulation of technical and vocational education training providers.

The Minister’s VET Standards focussed on three themes: increasing industry responsiveness, improving the quality of training and assessment, and reducing regulation for VET providers.

Minister Macfarlane had outlined what he termed was a “new risk-based framework”, with six standards for regulators and eight standards for providers plus the removal of earlier plans for Licensed Training Organisations and Accountable Education Officers, among a range of other changes.

TDA is seeking comment from all TAFE CEOs and senior staff, including industry clients, as we prepare a detailed response to the proposed standards.

See the new VET Standards.

Feedback is welcome on any aspect of the standards and can be sent to Melinda Waters: mwaters@tda.edu.au by 14 July. Melinda can be contacted on 02 9217 3186 for further information.


First phase of India vocational training program completed

In the final week of June, TDA ran a three day workshop in New Delhi for 39 universities which have received seed funding to establish community colleges.

The establishment of a community college model linked directly to India’s university sector and with direct industry engagement is a significant development in India’s commitment to skills training.

To date over 60 universities have received seed funding with another 100 planned for 2014-15. The funding is contingent on employment outcomes or direct articulation into university bachelor programs.

The workshop was the first phase of a program which includes 12 delegates attending the TDA national conference in September, attachments to selected TAFE institutes, and a final workshop in Delhi in November.

The program is supported by the International Group within the Australian Department of Education and the India University Grants Commission.

The Australian High Commissioner to India, Patrick Suckling welcomes participants to the three day seminar and workshop. Seated (left to right) Dr K P Singh, UGC;, Professor H Devraj, UGC; Sri Ashok Thakur, Ministry of Human Resource Development, and Peter Holden, TDA.

Delegates to the conference in New Delhi


Successful conclusion to TDA’s special Latin America TAFE seminars

TDA, with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade and the InterAmerican Development Bank, has now concluded two day seminars in six Latin American countries.

Discussions are now continuing with key government and industry agencies in each of the countries to formalise and extend the relationship.  

TDA’s Peter Holden presents the results of a benchmarking exercise in Colombia


Myanmar project gains Asian Business Engagement Plan support

TDA has been successful in gaining an Asian Business Engagement Plan grant to support linkages between member institutes and Myanmar’s government technical institutes.

This is the second successful application by TDA, with the first grant focused on research and analysis into offshore partnerships.

The Myanmar project will include seminars and workshops in both countries with the direct involvement of TAFE institutes selected through a formal Expression of Interest process. The project will commence in late 2014 and run through to June 2015.

The full list of successful grants can be seen here.


TDA 2014 National Conference – last day for ‘early bird’ registration

Today is the last day to save on your registration for the TDA National Conference

The 2014 TDA National Conference will be held in Sydney at the Sheraton on the Park from August 31-September 2, 2014. Earlybird and group registration discounts close at midnight tonight (AEST).

The speakers list for the 2014 TDA conference is impressive with over 50 Australian and international experts, including:

  • Dr Charles A Goldman, Senior Economist, RAND Corporation, Professor of Economics at the Pardee Rand Graduate School, USA
  • Dr Shyamal Majumdar, Head of UNEVOC, Bonn, Germany
  • Tom Bentley, Advisor, Melinda & Bill Gates Foundation on Education &  Innovation, visiting Professor, Copenhagen Business School
  • Professor Peter van Onselen, Australian academic, author and political journalist
  • Fintan Donohue OBE, Chief Executive Officer, UK entrepreneurial colleges federation, Gazelle, UK
  • Morris Miselowski, Australia's Most Practical Business Futurist, TEDx Speaker
  • Dr Diana Oblinger, President & Chief Executive Officer,  EDUCAUSE, Washington, DC
  • Professor Peter Hines Chairman, S A Partners & Senior Faculty at Shingo Institute, Jon M Huntsman School of Business, Utah State University, Co-Founder at Lean Enterprise Research Centre, Cardiff University, UK
  • Chris Butterworth NSW President AME, Certified Shingo Institute Facilitator, Managing Director, S A Partners Asia Pacific
  • Professor Valerie Braithwaite, Regulatory Institutions Network, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific

To register, view the current draft program or see the full list of speakers, please visit www.tda.edu.au and click on the conference banner.

Earlybird and group registration discounts close at midnight (AEST) tonight. The Welcome Reception on Sunday evening is only included in earlybird registrations (from midnight tonight the registration fees increase and the Welcome Reception will be an optional extra at $77 per ticket). If you do not know delegate names yet, just register them as Name TBA1, 2 etc. If you would prefer not to pay online by credit card, just select the EFT payment option and after you have completed the online registration you will automatically be emailed a tax invoice with EFT details.

Excellent accommodation rates have also been negotiated at the Sheraton on the Park, starting from just $270 per night including breakfast for one. Early bookings are recommended.

TDA would like to thank all of the 2014 sponsors and exhibitors including Gold Sponsor, TAFE NSW, and Silver Sponsor, Tribal.


National Skills Week – reminder

‘The Magical Mystery Tour of Skills’ is the theme of this year’s National Skills Week, running from August 25-31.

The primary focus of National Skills Week is to promote the diversity, possibilities and options for career outcomes, the future needs of industry and to recognise the teachers, students, businesses and training providers who make it happen.

Each year more than 500 events take place nationwide hosted by TAFEs, Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), industry groups, businesses and schools. In 2014, SkillsOne is again driving the initiative.

See more on National Skills Week.


Diary Dates

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

Work Smarter Webinar Series
Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment

DATE: 10 July-14 August 2014
LOCATION: Online
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Victorian TAFE Association
2014 State Conference

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

Vision 2020 – TDA National Conference 2014
TAFE Directors Australia

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

VETnetwork Australia 2014
Biennial National Conference

DATE: 17-19 September 2014
LOCATION: Darwin Convention Centre
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.

Australian International Education Conference
Inventing the Future

DATE: 7-10 October 2014
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Australasian Genomic Technologies Association (AGTA)
2014 Conference

DATE: 12-15 October 2014
LOCATION: Crown Promenade Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Group Training Australia
2014 National Conference

DATE: 12-14 November 2014
LOCATION: Grand Chancellor Hotel, Hobart
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

2014 B/HERT Awards
Business Higher Education Round Table

DATE: 20 November 2014
LOCATION: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.