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Newsletter | 8 December 2014

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In this edition  


TDA throws it support behind higher education reform

TDA has expressed its support for the federal government’s latest attempt at higher education reform as a necessary measure to put TAFE students on an equal footing to those studying at universities.

TDA Acting CEO Malcolm White said the Higher Education and Research Reform Bill 2014, introduced into parliament late last week by Education Minister Christopher Pyne should be supported.

“In all the debate about universities, it is often forgotten that these reforms are going to have major benefits for TAFE students by allowing them the same access to funding as for universities.

“TAFE higher education students will receive the same Commonwealth financial support that is extended to those studying at university,” he said.

“The reforms also remove the inequity imposed on those studying at TAFE Institutes who receive VET FEE-HELP, who are at a financial disadvantage compared with students receiving HECS loans at universities.”

See TDA’s media release.

New faces to spearhead Victoria’s skills agenda

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced longstanding government bureaucrat, Chris Eccles, as the new head of the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Mr Eccles has an extensive history in the education and training arena in Victoria, South Australia and NSW, including most recently as Secretary of the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet.

However immediate responsibility for skills and training will be under the new Department of Education and Training, headed by Ms Gill Callister and the new Minister for Training and Skills, Steve Herbert.

“My team will get straight to work fixing schools, ending the ambulance crisis, creating jobs, saving TAFE and removing the 50 most dangerous and congested level crossings,” the Premier said at his swearing in.

Retirement of TEQSA’s Dr Carol Nicoll and  Ian Hawke

Dr Carol Nicoll and Ian Hawke have announced that they will be retiring from the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).

The Minister for Education Christopher Pyne acknowledged their contribution to shaping Australia’s higher education sector.

“Dr Nicoll was the founding Chief Commissioner and CEO of TEQSA and provided strong leadership to the Agency in its early years of operation. She brought a wealth of experience to the role, including as a senior government executive, university academic and secondary school teacher,” Mr Pyne said.

“Ian Hawke served initially as Interim CEO of TEQSA and as one of the original part‑time Commissioners of the Agency. He made an important contribution in these and many other roles,” Mr Pyne said.

Professor Nicholas Saunders AO will continue to act as TEQSA’s Chief Commissioner and CEO pending permanent filling of the positions of Chief Commissioner and CEO.

TDA conference ‘Occasional Paper’ now available

All of the presentations, papers and debates from the TDA 2014 National Conference, Vision 2020, in September have been compiled in an Occasional Paper.

The document, the thirteenth in the series, includes charts, photographs, biographies and a compact outline of the critical debates.

See the Occasional Paper.

Apprentice numbers continue decline

The number of apprentices and trainees in-training at 30 June 2014 was 351,000, a decrease of 14.2% over the previous year (see chart).

The number of commencements fell 4.9% to 221,700 over the same 12 month period.

There was an increase in trades commencements of 6.0%, more than offset by a fall in non-trades commencements of 11.6%.

The number of completions in the 12 months fell 20% to 169,900

TAFE wins customer experience award

TAFE has won a People’s Choice award for ‘Best Customer Experience’ in the government and education category at the inaugural awards in Sydney last week.

The awards were presented by research and design consultancy, Fifth Quadrant, and software company, Flamingo, in partnership with Oracle and CMO Magazine.

Other winners were Bupa, RSPCA, CBA, CGU Insurance, Telstra, RSPCA and AGL.

The people’s choice awards asked 2,500 consumers to nominate up to five organisations that provided an amazing customer experience across six industry sectors.

See more.

VET-in-schools gets $17 million in Western Australia

West Australia’s Education Minister, Peter Collier has announced a $17 million funding package for vocational education and training (VET) in public secondary schools in 2015.

“The State Government is investing an extra $5.8 million in VET in 2015, taking funding specifically for VET from $11.2 million this year to $17 million next year.

“About 8,800 more public students are expected to be in VET programs in 2015. This is a 42 per cent increase from 2014,” he said.

“The way funding is being allocated in 2015 is the first step away from the historical and complex program-based funding for VET that is currently in place and towards a student-centred funding approach.”

He said that Year 9 NAPLAN results would help identify year 11 and 12 students most likely to undertake VET programs.

NSW ‘Made by TAFE’ program showcases top talent

The NSW Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli has launched the Made by TAFE NSW campaign at the opening of a new $630,000 Healthcare Training Precinct at the Randwick College of Sydney TAFE.

Managing Director of TAFE NSW, Pam Christie said the campaign features graduates and their stories, designed to inspire students and stakeholders about the products, people and industries that TAFE NSW supports.

“The campaign includes a new look TAFE NSW quality stamp, highlighting the value of TAFE NSW qualifications. It will also showcase TAFE NSW Ambassadors who have gone on to successful careers — from local heroes to those on the world stage,” Ms Christie said.

The Healthcare Training Precinct at Randwick TAFE is a collaboration between Randwick TAFE, the University of New South Wales and the Prince of Wales and the Royal Women’s Hospitals as part of the local health precinct.

See more on Made by TAFE NSW.

Flexible learning projects maps national sites

TAFE Institutes will be interested in the ongoing development of a flexible learning project that is preparing young people to gain foundation qualifications.

The program, undertaken by the Dusseldorp Forum, has three major elements:

Mapping of flexible learning projects around Australia, including at TAFEs, schools, colleges and organisations – depicted on the map, with a pop-up box containing more information.

Case studies of selected sites including 22 short case studies and two from TAFE Institutes.

Final report which provides an overview of the entire project.

TAFEs are invited to add or update information.

Corrections, logos, photos and even short videos can be added by emailing:  info@dusseldorp.org.au

TAFE staff can add programs that are missing here.

Graduate employment outcomes show VET achievements

Almost 78% of VET graduates who completed their training in 2013 were employed after training, according to the national Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

Its Student Outcomes 2014 report shows that 44.4% of graduates not employed before training were employed afterwards.

Graduates working full-time after training earned $57 400 per year on average.

A total of 87.6% of graduates were satisfied with the overall quality of their training, similar to the previous year.

See more.

‘No Frills’ conference call for papers

The National Centre for Vocational Education and Training Research (NCVER) has issued a ‘call for papers’ for its 2015 'No Frills' conference.

The conference will be co-hosted with the University of Western Sydney and TAFE NSW's South Western Sydney and Western Sydney Institutes on 6-8 July 2015 in Sydney.

The conference will highlight (but is not limited to) research across three themes:

  • Youth - engaging, inspiring and supporting students to realise their potential
  • Pathways - transitioning through education and training into the workforce
  • Skills - working with industry and employers to improve education and training

Submissions close 16 February 2015.

See here for details on how to submit an abstract.

Diary Dates

NSW Adult Literacy and Numeracy Council
2014 Conference

DATE: 12 December
LOCATION: Aerial Function Centre, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Victoria University
Financial Sustainability in VET

DATE: 25-26 February 2015
LOCATION: Victoria University City Convention Centre, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Australian Workplace Practitioners’ Network
Foundation Skills at Work

DATE: 18-20 March 2015
LOCATION: Melbourne, Victoria
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

18th Annual Conference

DATE: 8-10 April 2015
LOCATION: The Rendezvous Grand, Melbourne
DETAILS: More information.

National Congress & Expo

DATE: 2 & 3 June 2015
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Western Sydney Careers Expo
DATE: 18-21 June 2015
LOCATION: Showground, Sydney Olympic Park
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

‘No Frills’ conference

DATE: 6-8 July 2015
LOCATION: University of Western Sydney
DETAILS: More information.

VET Development Centre
Teaching and Learning Conference

DATE: 3-4 September 2015
LOCATION: RACV Torquay Resort, Victoria
DETAILS: More information.