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Newsletter | 9 September 2013

In this edition

Election outcome will highlight skills as a key issue for employment and productivity

TAFE Directors Australia congratulates the Prime Minister-elect, Tony Abbott, and the Shadow Minister for Employment Participation, Sussan Ley, for the election win on Saturday.

TDA looks forward to working with the new Federal Coalition Minister once the new ministers are sworn in and portfolios are formally allocated.

TDA would also like to extend its appreciation to the outgoing Minister for Skills, Employment and Training, Brendan O’Connor for his diligence and professionalism in the post.

In today’s Australian Financial Review, Martin Riordan, Chief Executive of TDA, noted the major issues on skills ahead of the Abbott government. These include the continuing stress to the Australian Apprenticeships system, the capacity of governments to manage the Gillard government initiative for a new National Entitlement to Training with limited funds, and the quality regulatory structure, still six to 12 months from being finalised.

Advance Notice - TAFE industry mission to Germany, UK, on apprenticeships, 11-21 November

TAFE Directors Australia is again joining with the LH Martin Institute for Tertiary Education Leadership and Management at the University of Melbourne, to review apprenticeships in Germany and the United Kingdom.

The purpose is to undertake a detailed review of apprenticeship pathways, commencement and retention, the role of industry, and completions.

The German GiZ government agency will co-host the Mission, and include:

  • Hamburg Institute of Vocational Education – manages 45 TVET colleges, provides quality assurance and teacher education
  • Airbus Industries – manufacturing and high technology company providing in-company training within the dual system
  • Training centre for SME’s which provides three learning places – TVET College, in-company training and practical training
  • Bremen Institute for Technology and Innovation (ITB)  - vocational teacher education and research, and
  • Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training – sectoral co-ordination across government, industry and unions, undertakes research on models, training regulations and occupational standards

The UK leg will include a briefing with Mr. Doug Richard, who undertook the recent review of how apprenticeships in England can meet the needs of a changing economy. The Mission will conclude with delegates attending the Association of Colleges Annual Conference, in Birmingham.

The purpose of the Mission is to support professional development targeting those TAFE and major industry and private training firms involved in apprenticeships and higher level skill qualifications, with a special focus on innovation in workforce teaching and learning. New funding models and alternate pathways will also be investigated.

Detailed brochures with registrations will be released in coming weeks, by TDA and LH Martin Institute.

New NCVER data shows fall in apprenticeships and traineeships

The total number of apprentices and trainees in-training as at 31 March, totalled 443,300 - a decrease of 5.6% from the previous year, according to the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

Commencements decreased by 33.0%, to 68,700 over the year, while completions decreased by 1.0%, to 46,300

See more.

Furore over Education Investment Funds taken from TAFE

The final days of the election campaign revealed that a small business tax commitment made by Prime Minister Rudd was to be funded by withdrawing $111 million from Education Investment Fund (EIF) grants approved for TAFEs in regional areas.

The Chief Executive of TDA, Martin Riordan, has committed to taking up the issue of the EIF board approved grants with the incoming government.

The Australian’s Higher Education reported the Shadow Minister for Higher Education, Senator Brett Mason, indicating that he would review the matter.

See TDA’s media statement.

Members named for NSW Skills Board

The NSW Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli, has announced the members of the new NSW Skills Board to oversee skills and training in the State. It comprises:

  • Philip Clark AM, Chair
  • Mark Goodsell, Director, NSW, Australian Industry Group
  • Marie Persson, Member, Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency
  • Adam Boyton, Chief Economist at Deutsche Bank, Australia
  • Jack Manning Bancroft, CEO of the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience
  • Kay Hull, small business operator in the Riverina
  • Gemma Van Halderen, First Assistant Statistician at the Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Leslie Loble, Chief Executive, Office of Education, Department of Education and Communities

The Minister thanked the outgoing NSW Board of Vocational Education and Training, and also announced its former Chair, Bert Evans AO as the first NSW Apprenticeships Ambassador.

See the Minister’s media statement.

Thanks to all who supported the TDA 2013 National Conference

Our thanks to all those who attended this year’s National Conference, hosted by our Queensland TAFE members.

A special thank you to all our sponsors and speakers.

More than 300 delegates attended the three days of the event in Brisbane.

We were delighted to have Labor’s Minister for Employment, Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor, and the Shadow Minister for Employment Participation, Sussan Ley. 

Presentations and papers will be made available shortly.

Southbank pastry function raises $2.5k for TDA National Scholarships Foundation

Southbank Institute of Technology (SBIT) has added an extra sweet touch to its special week of National Skills Week celebrations, hosting a two hour ‘pop-up’ cake shop which raised $2,500 for the TAFE Directors Australia National Scholarships Foundation.

Students from the College of Tourism and Hospitality (COTAH) sold more than 600 freshly-baked cakes to raise the funds.

“You could say the cakes were flying off the racks! It was simply two awesome hours of pastry party buzz as we appeased the crowds with cakes of all shapes, sizes and tastes,” said COTAH Head of Department Steven Schumann.

The Pastry Party was one of five activities that took place during National Skills Week. Patisserie was also a core focus at the State launch which was held at SBIT on August 21.

TDA extends its thanks to all the students and teachers involved for a wonderful effort!

Thanks to SBIT photography student, Kira Waring, for the photos.

Read more.

Deadline for $70k innovation awards extended

The deadline for entry in the $70k The Australian Innovation Challenge awards, honouring excellence in fields from minerals and energy to ICT and community services, has been extended until September 23.

The program is a chance to showcase bright ideas, and is run by The Australian in association with Shell and supported by the federal government statutory body, Innovation Australia.

The awards, now in their third year, are helping to drive breakthroughs to commercialisation or adoption.

See more.

Managing risk in tertiary education

The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and the Association for Tertiary Education Management (ATEM) have combined to present a one day symposium on risk management for the tertiary sector in Sydney, Friday 15 November.

The evolution of tertiary institutions into complex and large organisations means that managing risk has become more challenging. It will see executives and senior academics sharing best practices and information.

Speakers include Peter Achterstraat, NSW Auditor-General; Professor Ann Brewer, University of Sydney; Bruce Mackenzie, former CEO, Holmesglen; and Iain Rothwell, Navitas.

See more.

VET teacher training program in Thailand

Australian teachers from VET, ELICOS and multi-sector providers are invited to participate in an Australian VET teacher training program in Thailand.

The program is an opportunity for participating providers to showcase Australian teaching pedagogy and English teacher training capabilities in specific fields of study.

Find out more.

Diary Dates

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.

Love Apptually webinar series
Queensland VET Development Centre

DATE: 21August - 2 October
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

2013 National VET Conference
Velg Training

DATE: 19-20 September, 2013
LOCATION: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

Australian Council for Adult Literacy Conference
DATE: 30 September - 2 October
LOCATION: University of Technology, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for further information.

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.

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.