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Newsletter | 8 October 2013

In this edition

Prime Minister outlines new Colombo Plan in Indonesia

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has outlined details of his vision for a new Colombo Plan that will see thousands of Australians studying at institutions in the Asia Pacific.

Speaking at the Indonesia-Australia Business breakfast in Jakarta, Mr Abbott said educational services were a rapidly growing element of the partnership between the two countries.

“While tens of thousands of Indonesian students are studying in Australian universities and colleges, only a few hundred Australians are returning the compliment by studying in Indonesia.

“Starting next year, the new Australian government will establish a new Colombo Plan that doesn’t just bring the best and the brightest students from the wider Asia-Pacific region to Australia but takes Australia’s best and brightest to the region,” he said.

“A contemporary, two way street version of the Colombo Plan, would acknowledge how much the region can teach us as well as how much we can offer our region.

“Operating at different levels and for different periods of time, and often with a business internship component, this new Colombo Plan could provide us with a new and more contemporary version of Rhodes scholars and Fulbright fellows, this time with a strong Asia-Pacific orientation.”

Read the PM’s speech.

Call for inquiry into TAFE reform contract

The Victorian Ombudsman has reportedly been asked to inquire into a $1 million government contract to oversee TAFE sector reform in Victoria.

Opposition Higher Education and Skills spokesman Steve Herbert has asked the Ombudsman to investigate the appointment of a consultant by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development to lead a TAFE reform taskforce.

It is claimed that the consultant had no experience in the sector and that the contract was awarded without a competitive tender process.

See an article in The Age.

TEQSA’s reform agenda

TEQSA outlined its reform agenda in a briefing to sector representatives last Thursday. Pam Caven represented TDA at the briefing.

Consistent with the review of regulatory impost conducted by Professor Kwong Lee Dow and Professor Valerie Braithwaite, TEQSA has committed to its own reform agenda.

While the reform agenda is outlined in detail in papers on the TEQSA web site, in essence it promises to deliver significant reductions in regulatory burden for existing higher education providers (HEPs) by

·         Significantly reducing evidence and information requirements of providers

·         Strengthening TEQSA’s case management model

·         Reviewing TEQSA’s Regulatory Risk Framework

·         Jointly managing CRICOS applications with ASQA

TDA members that are also HEPs can access this material on the TEQSA website.  In addition members can raise issues with TEQSA via the TDA representatives on TEQSA Reference Groups:

  • Regulation and Quality Assessment: Professor Anne Jones, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic and Students), Victoria University annet.jones@vu.edu.au
  • Regulatory Risk : Maria Peters, Director and Chief Executive Officer, Chisholm Institute of TAFE  m.peters@chisholm.edu.au

Members that are HEPs can also network with other HEPS via the National HE Provider Network, chaired by Ili Pelletier, Manager, Higher Education Support Unit, Holmesglen Ili.Pelletier@holmesglen.edu.au

Starting out in low skill jobs better than no job

Starting out in a low-skill job after leaving full-time education may have career impacts but this diminishes over time, according to research from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

Many young people start their working lives in low-skill jobs. This report examines whether, for those who have left full-time education, a low-skill job provides them with a good start to their working lives, or whether starting out in a low-skill job can have a ‘scarring’ effect on the individual.

The study, Starting out in low-skill jobs, finds that five years after leaving full-time education, the wage penalty (conditioning on education and other characteristics) still exists, but this scarring diminishes over time.

However, any job is better than no job, given that the wage penalty after five years of having no job a year after leaving full-time education is worse than taking a low-skill job.

Read more.

South Australia passes 100,000 target for training places

An initiative to deliver free and subsidised training has helped exceed the State Government’s target of delivering an additional 100,000 training places, three years ahead of schedule.

Employment, Higher Education and Skills Minister Grace Portolesi said the Government set the target of 100,000 extra training places by 2016-17 in 2010, in conjunction with reforms to the further education and skills sector.

“Getting people back into vocational education and training, and helping them to broaden their skills base, is a priority for this Government,” Ms Portolesi said.

“I’m pleased that we’ve exceeded our ambitious target, with 145,800 additional course enrolments achieved by September this year.”

Read more.

Manufacturing industry EScan date extended

If you are involved in the manufacturing industry and would like to have a say about what is happening in the industry in regard to workforce development, training or vocational education, you can do it through the annual Environmental Scan (EScan), prepared by Manufacturing Skills Australia.

The deadline for comment has been extended until this Friday 11 October.

The EScan is used by industry and government to improve VET and workforce development outcomes for manufacturing enterprises.

Find out more.

Finalists named in NSW International Student of the Year

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Stoner has announced the finalists in the NSW International Student of the Year Awards.

Among them is Enrico Avone, a Brazilian student at South West Sydney Institute of TAFE. Enrico has a Bachelor of Pharmacy and is enrolled in the Diploma of Laboratory Technology (Chemical and Forensic Testing Course).

Also among the finalists is Thomsen Ch’ng, a Malaysian student at Curtin University, Sydney who is National President of the Council of International Students Australia, and well-known to many in the TAFE sector through his work with the international student community.

Read more.

TDA representatives needed for Training Package review

TDA is seeking representatives who would be interested in playing a part in an initiative to address quality measures in Industry Training Packages.

Industry Skills Councils (ISCs), through the National Skills Standards Council’s (NSSC) Project Steering Committee, are seeking feedback in relation to the NSSC’s consultation paper - Implementing Quality Measures in Industry Training Packages.

Specifically, they would like to get feedback on proposed delivery and assessment measures for high risk units of competency and qualifications within Industry Training Packages.  The views will directly inform the report to the Project Steering Committee for this work.

Two practical workshops will be run with leading VET practitioners on the proposed measures and the processes required for the application of the measures:

  • 17th October – 1.00pm to 4.30pm – Level 10, 171 Clarence St, Sydney
  • 18th October – 9.00am to 12.30pm – Level 8, 414 La Trobe St, Melbourne

If you are interested in taking part, please contact TDA Director Policy and Stakeholder Engagement, Pam Caven:  pcaven@tda.edu.au

EYEQ2013 conference set to tackle cost and quality of training

Cost, value and quality of training are themes central to the vocational education and training (VET) reform debate for many years.

EYEQ2013, on 24-25 October in Brisbane is the Queensland VET Development Centre’s annual conference.  Among other topics it will address the question: Is raising the cost of training the answer to quality?

With respected authorities from private, public state and national government departments as panellists, this promises to be a lively discussion.

Registrations close Friday 18 October.

See more.

VET Development Centre blog

A recent initiative of the VET Development Centre has been a Blog highlighting reports and articles relevant to the VET sector.

There are over 70 current articles on the site with 2-3 posted regularly each week. Each article is attracting anywhere between 80-200 hits indicating that this free service is a welcome source of information for the sector

See the blog.

Diary Dates

AWPA Business Breakfast
Building next generation Asian connections

DATE: 18 October, 7.30 am
LOCATION: Sheraton on the Park, 161 Elizabeth St, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Knowledge management – use it or lose it
Queensland VET Development Centre

DATE: 23 October
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

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.

Australian International Education Conference

DATE: 8-11 October
LOCATION: National Convention Centre, Canberra
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

2013 AUSTAFE National Conference

DATE: 9-11 October
LOCATION: Gold Coast Convention Centre, Queensland
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

5th National Student Engagement Forum: Creating an engaged student experience
LH Martin Institute and the Australian Council for Educational Research

DATE: 21, 23 & 25 October
LOCATION: Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane.
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

EYEQ2013 Conference
Queensland VET Development Centre

DATE: 24-25 October
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Queensland.
DETAILS: Click here for more information

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
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

conVerge13 - E-learning Conference

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
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.