TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998

Newsletter 9 May 2011




Earlybird registrations end 6 July. Click here for more information.

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TDA supports Skills Australia’s vision for $310M investment and reform to apprenticeships and tertiary support for TAFE

TAFE Directors Australia has broadly welcomed the major $310 million (3%) annual investment lift for vocational education and training proposed by the Skills Australia report, Skills for Prosperity: a roadmap for vocational education and training.

TDA CEO Martin Riordan said the VET roadmap report, which also supported an overhaul of apprenticeships, was the latest in five consecutive Federal reviews on apprenticeships. He said it provides a clear statement that TDA’s advocacy for alternate apprenticeship pathways is now imperative as skill shortages get worse, and as the Federal Government is pressured for more skilled migration.

TDA also congratulated Skills Australia for its support for Commonwealth Supported Places to be allocated to VET/TAFE, and linked with skill shortages. See an article in today’s Opinion column in the Australian Financial Review by TDA CEO, Martin Riordan.

See TDA’s response to the Skills Australia report here.

The report was launched by the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Senator Chris Evans, at the TAFE NSW- Sydney Institute, Ultimo.

Click here to view a copy of the report form Skills Australia.

TDA CEO, Martin Riordan was featured with Skills Australia Chair Philip Bullock, and a group training company in a skills panel for Radio National, click here to listen to the recording.

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Surprise at Productivity Commission’s treatment of data in Final Report

TDA has questioned the use of certain data by the Productivity Commission in last week’s release of its final report on the VET Workforce.

TDA has issued a response to the report, click here to view the response.

TDA CEO, Martin Riordan said while the Commission states that “up to” 40 per cent of TAFE teachers (in one undisclosed jurisdiction) may not have Certificate IV teaching qualifications, it separately cited a 2010 DEEWR survey which found that VET teaching qualifications are held by around 90 per cent of teachers in TAFE nationally. The report also noted that among trainers and assessors who hold VET teaching qualifications, many have qualifications above the minimum requirement.

View the Productivity Commission’s final report here. View TDA’s submission to the Commission here.

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AGM – Notice of Meeting, 10.30am, Thursday 26 May - Melbourne

TDA members are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting of TAFE Directors Australia, to be hosted by Williams Angliss Institute of TAFE, on Thursday 26 May at 10.30am, in Melbourne.

Immediately following morning tea, Professor Kwong Lee Dow AM, recently appointed to head a Federal Review of Higher Education Income Support, will be a special guest for a Members Roundtable from 12.00 noon to 1.30pm – all members and associates are invited to attend.

Members can RSVP to David Potter, TDA, by 20 May.  

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Review of Victorian VET fees and funding

The Victorian Government is undertaking a public review of vocational education and training fees and funding arrangements.

The Victorian economic regulator, the Essential Services Commission, will conduct a research and consultation process before putting together a discussion paper.

For more information click here.

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Pre-Budget announcement -- Additional funds for apprentice bonus scheme

The Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, has announced additional $281 million of funding for the Apprentice Income Bonus Scheme, which rewards apprentices with payments when they reach milestones in their course.

The payments are designed to encourage apprentices to continue and complete their course. The Prime Minister says the program is expected to support more than 200,000 apprentices over four years.

Click here for more information. 

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New $11 million skills centre launched in Sydney

A new $11 million building skills centre at the TAFE NSW South Western Sydney Institute has been launched by the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Senator Chris Evans.

The new Macarthur Skills Centre will allow students to gain practical skills in real-world scenarios. Almost $10 million was contributed by the government from the Education Investment Fund. 

Click here to view a media release from Senator Evans.


(L to R) Peter Roberts, Institute Director, South Western Institute of TAFE NSW, with Senator the Hon. Senator Chris Evans, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations


(L to R) Peter Roberts (Institute Director, SWSI TAFE), Laurie Ferguson (MHR), Senator Hon Chris Evans (Minister), Chanelle Narayan, (pre-apprenticeship building student, SWSI TAFE), Ian Stone (Council member of SWSI TAFE, and CEO, Advanced Metal Products)


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Free interactive workshops - Good Practice in Offshore VET

The National Quality Council is launching its recently published Good Practice Guide for Offshore VET Delivery, and offering RTOs the opportunity to attend free interactive workshop sessions.

Conducted in late May and early June, the sessions will be held in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide. Participants will gain an understanding of the key challenges and issues faced when delivering VET offshore, and will be provided with practical solutions and measures to address or overcome them. 

For more information click here. The Good Practice Guide for Offshore VET Delivery and its Appendices are available for download from the NQC website.

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Austrade initiatives in Indonesia

Austrade Indonesia has announced a redeveloped program of education promotion activities in Indonesia to assist Australian education providers to engage with the market at a deeper level.

Following extensive consultation with Australian education and training providers currently active in Indonesia, Austrade will undertake a broad series of activities aimed at positioning Australia as a quality education destination.

Under the banner of The Australian Education Excellence Showcase (AEESI), Indonesia 2011, the program will include “Education for the Future Sessions” for students and parents of targeted secondary schools, Australian Education Networking Functions and the Australian Alumni Awards hosted by the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia.

In addition, the showcase will take advantage of the Australia-Indonesia International Education Symposium which will enable Australian and Indonesian institutions to explore collaborative opportunities.

Detailed information can be found here.

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Queensland Premier holds international education roundtable

Queensland Premier, the Hon Anna Bligh MP, has chaired a roundtable on international education with industry stakeholders including TAFE Institutes.

The group discussed ways to get international education back on track following the implementation of stronger requirements on student visas , the images of natural disasters broadcast across the globe, and a strong Australian dollar – all of which have placed pressure on the sector.

Click here for more information.

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National Career Development Week

National Career Development Week will be held from May 16 – 22. TAFE Institutes can register their events on the NCDW website.

For more information about NCDW click here.  

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TDA to participate in health workforce workshop

Leone English, Associate Director, Dean of Health, Human & Community Services, Holmesglen Institute of TAFE, will represent TDA at a workshop in Melbourne aimed at determining the required number of doctors, nurses and midwives needed by 2025.

The workshop is part of Health Workforce Australia’s development of a National Training Plan to help Australia to become self-sufficient for health professionals.

TDA appreciates Leone English’s support to represent TDA at this national workshop.

For more information, click here.

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Students roll-up at new $31 million Gold Coast TAFE campus

Classes at the new $31 million Coomera campus of the Gold Coast Institute of TAFE have begun, with the new campus catering for up to 600 students per day.

The new facility features a theatre, and $4.5 million of state-of-the-art equipment to support students in creative industries.

Read an article from the Gold Coast Bulletin here.

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Manufacturing Skills Australia award opportunities

Manufacturing Skills Australia will present three key awards at its Annual Conference to be held in Melbourne, on 24 August.

The awards include:

  • The VET Professional Study Award, which offers $10,000 to study in Australia or overseas, to build upon Australian teaching, learning and assessment practices. Applications close Friday 17June.
  • The Innovation Program Study Award, which offers $10,000 to study overseas skills and technologies. Applications close Friday 3June.
  • The Women at Work – Making a Difference study award, which offers $5,000 towards the winner’s training course. Applications close Friday 3 June.

The winners of the VET Professional and Innovation awards will present their findings to key industry stakeholders. Visit the conference web page for more details.

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Diary Dates

2011 Queensland VET Symposium
DATE: 12-13 May, 2011
LOCATION: Hilton, Brisbane
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Industry E-learning Showcase and Exhibition
DATE: 25 May, 2011
LOCATION: Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

20th National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference (No Frills)
DATE: 13-15 July, 2011
LOCATION: North Coast TAFE, Coffs Harbour
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Higher Education on the Edge
DATE: 4-7 July, 2011
LOCATION: Radisson Resort, Gold Coast
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Inaugural Regional Higher Education Forum
DATE: 2-3 August, 2011
LOCATION: Coffs Harbour
DETAILS: More information soon

2011 National VET Conference
DATE: 4-5 August, 2011
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2011 National Conference
DATE: 10 August, 2011
LOCATION: Four Season’s Hotel, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

2011 National Conference
DATE: 5-6 September, 2011
LOCATION: Sheraton on the Park Hotel, Sydney
DETAILS: More information here

2011 Conference
DATE: 11-14 October, 2011
LOCATION: Adelaide Convention Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information

ePortfolios Australia Conference 2011
DATE: 17-18 October, 2011
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Looking ahead - Group Training National Conference
DATE: 19-21 October, 2011
LOCATION: Grand Hyatt, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information

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