TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998



2010 Archived News

Federal Ministers, the Hon Chris Bowen (Immigration and Citizenship) and Senator Chris Evans (Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations) have launched a six-month official inquiry into the student visa program.

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The Federal Government has launched a discussion paper as a next step in response to the Baird Review into the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000.

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TAFE Directors Australia's CEO, Martin Riordan, was a keynote speaker at last week's VET Summit, held in Melbourne, and urged the incoming Federal Tertiary Education and Skills Minister, Hon. Senator Chris Evans, to consider a 'Bradley review for VET' following a record number of Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) in Australia.

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TDA has responded to the Skills Australia Discussion Paper, Creating a future direction for Australian vocational education and training, commenting that it is comprehensive and wide-ranging.

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TAFE Directors Australia will take its concerns about the proposed new points system for skilled migration to a peak body meeting with Federal Immigration Minister the Hon. Chris Bowen in Canberra today.

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TAFE Directors Australia and Universities Australia have both welcomed the new General Skills Migration test released last week by the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, the Hon. Chris Bowen MP.

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The Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Senator, the Hon Chris Evans, has led a delegation to China to promote the Australian international education sector.While there, he announced a new partnership between the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and Shanghai University which will boost research, student exchange and training collaboration between the two Institutions.

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The Hon Simon Crean MP, Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, joined with Federal Independent Rob Oakeshott MP, to call for an overhaul of how development proceeds in regional areas, to drive innovation and especially lift educational targets in regional centres.

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Skills Australia has released a discussion paper which closely examines the future of the VET sector and the measures needed to improve quality and effectiveness, particularly in response to increasing skills shortages and improving Australia's productivity.

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The significant skills and training needs of major Australian mining and resource firms - which have committed to multi-billion investments in Mongolia - have boosted the confidence of TAFE Directors Australia to proceed with a MoU Agreement with the newly established Agency of TVET in Mongolia.

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The Federal Treasury's 'Red Book' has advised the Gillard Government to prioritise vocational skills during the new term of government. The Red Book briefing highlighted vocational skills development as a key factor in productivity growth, and encouraged policies that would enable people to upgrade their skills in line with industry needs.

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Skills development has been nominated as a key priority for the Gillard Government, which began its first week in Parliament last week, serving in a minority capacity.In her speech to open the Parliament, the Governor-General, Her Excellency, Quentin Bryce, outlined the Government's policy priorities for education and training.

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A former Victorian director of TAFE Directors Australia, Virginia Simmons AO, has outlined in an essay her vision for eight key measures to better articulate the principles required under Australian VET and tertiary reform.

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More than 280 TAFE directors and managers from across Australia joined together for the TDA National Conference in Melbourne last week, with almost 400 attending the Dinner with author, Don Watson as guest speaker.

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TDA described the new Ministerial arrangements announced by the Prime Minister Julie Gillard as the most innovative for years, with the re-structure of education under Senator Chris Evans - to be Minister for Tertiary Education, Jobs, Skills and Workplace Relations.

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TDA wishes to share with members details of the regional spending package, agreed between the Prime Minister, the Hon. Julia Gillard MP, and Independent MPs.

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A record response by delegates and suppliers to TAFE Institutes will ensure next week's TAFE Directors Australia 2010 National Conference will be a significant calendar event for the Australian training sector.

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The TAFE Directors Australia National Conference gets underway in two weeks in Melbourne (13-14 September), with an exciting line-up of both international and local education and training speakers.

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TAFE Directors Australia has written to Federal Independent and Green MPs, recommending a national skills strategy and improved VET funding as part of their negotiations with the major political parties after Saturday's election.

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Finally, VET has emerged as one of several Federal Election policy issues, with both major parties unveiling their policy platforms.

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TDA Chair Bruce Mackenzie, and the Deputy Director General, TAFE and Community Education DET NSW, Pam Christie, have launched into print in The Australian Higher Education section, responding to last week's contribution from Professor Ian Young, Vice Chancellor of Swinburne University of Technology.

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TDA has joined with the Victorian TAFE Association and the Victorian TAFE Development Centre with a submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into the Australian VET Workforce. We congratulate the 44 Australian TAFE Institutes which contributed to a national TDA survey on the VET workforce - contributions significantly informed the views outlined in the joint response.

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A group of Victorian TAFE Institutes today launched a national advertising campaign to promote the value of international education to the Australian economy and the community. The first of a series of advertisements appeared today in The Australian. It argues that it's not in the national interest to confuse the issue of international education with the current debate on immigration.

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TDA has released new research outlining the intentions international students training in TAFE Institutes, with results showing that only 13% seeking permanent residency. The survey, commissioned by TDA, interviewed more than 5,500 international students, across 36 of Australia's 58 TAFE Institutes.

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As the 2010 election campaign launches into full swing, TDA has presented six key policy measures to both the government and opposition, outlining the key opportunities and challenges facing TAFE Institutes into the next political term.

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In response to the 2010 Federal Election, TDA has brought together the key opportunities and challenges facing its members, as outlined in six key policy measures.

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The 2010 Federal Election will be a chance for TAFE Institutes to establish how the major parties will deal with industry's push for big increases in funding to overcome Australian skill shortages. TAFE Directors Australia will be releasing a special Election 2010 Manifesto ahead of the poll on 21 August.

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High-profile education leaders have been announced in key positions to help set up national quality assurance and regulation in the higher education and VET sectors.

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A delegation of TAFE Directors have returned from a six-day Mission to China, which included briefings on the outcome and evaluation of the Australia-China Chongqing VET Project, a joint symposium with the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE), and a special event in the Australian Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo.

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It was an historic week in politics last week, with the Hon Julia Gillard announced as the new Prime Minister. TDA congratulates Ms Gillard on her new role.

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Former Federal Minister, Mr John Dawkins AO has been appointed as the Chair of the National Quality Council, which oversees approvals on Training Packages and key quality indicators across the VET sector.

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TDA invites members to complete a survey in response to the Productivity Commission's study into the VET workforce.

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State education and training ministers advanced the moves toward national VET regulation at the Ministerial Council for Tertiary Education and Employment (MCTEE) meeting last week.At the meeting held at Central Institute of Technology in Perth, the ministers agreed to the drafting of an agreement and supporting legislation to progress VET reform and national regulation.

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National data has recorded that Trade apprenticeships dropped drastically in the year leading up to December 2009, according to statistics released from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

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The new Board of TAFE Directors Australia has been confirmed, following state and territory nominations. Bruce Mackenzie, CEO of Holmesglen Institute of TAFE (VIC) was elected Chair, along with two Deputy Chairs, Dianne Murray, Institute Director Illawarra Institute of TAFE NSW, and Stephen Conway, Executive Director of TAFE SA South.

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Reminder.The TDA Annual General Meeting will be held this Friday, 28 May at TAFE Ultimo, Sydney, from 2.00pm. Ahead of the AGM, TDA invites members to join Board members for a light lunch, which will include an address by Peter Noonan, VET consultant and member of the Bradley Review of Higher Education Panel.

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The Federal Budget delivered a number of strong measures that benefit TAFE institutes. In particular the introduction of performance funding was a great win for TDA and TAFE Institutes.TDA applauds the $130 million of funding allocated to the top 100 registered training organisations (RTOs), including the 59 TAFE institutes to drive specific performance benchmarks, raise the quality of teaching, lift student achievements and expand access to training, particularly for disadvantaged Australians in skills shortage areas.

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A summary of the key skills and training initiatives that were announced in the 2010 Federal Budget.

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Professor Kwong Lee Dow, Chair of the Expert Panel on Tertiary Education in Victoria, warned Australian educators that national educational targets may be achievable, but equity targets will be threatened without TAFE taking part in higher education delivery.Professor Dow, speaking to the Victoria TAFE Association 2010 National Conference, said inspection of TAFE facilities during the Panel's review demonstrated that TAFE was -more than equal to the task- of satisfying facility and programme needs. -Let's not underplay the base from which we are ableto start,- said Professor Dow. -We are not going to get better campuses and better equipment; we have good facilities.-

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The government has announced a delay in releasing the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL) to replace the Migration Occupations in Demand List. Due for release last Friday, the new SOL will now be released during May, a move which will add to uncertainty for students and providers.

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TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) and Universities Australia (UA) have commissioned a project designed to support a more cohesive national tertiary education system. The joint TDA/UA project was commissioned in September 2009 and aims to augment the connections between the vocational education and training (VET) and higher education (HE) sectors. It seeks to identify how the two organisations could facilitate an enhanced range of student pathways to support the attainment of the participation targets proposed in the Bradley Review of Higher Education and endorsed by COAG.

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Some 21% of Australian's enrolled in study attend a TAFE Institute according to new Australian Bureau of Statistics data. As of May 2009, there were 2.7 million people aged 15-64 years in some form of education. Between May 2008 and 2009, the number of apprentices reduced by more than 20,000.

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TAFE Directors Australia has recommended that TAFE play a greater role in the training of resource industry employees. The call was made in TDA's response to the National Resource Sector Employment Taskforce (NRSET) discussion paper 'Resourcing the Future'. NRSET, led by the Parliamentary Secretary for Western Australia, The Hon Gary Gray MP, was set up to help secure the future workforce requirements in the resources sector, particularly those arising from the $50 billion Gorgon LNG Project.

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Victorian TAFE Institutes will be the key to supporting greater demand for higher education according to a new report on the state's tertiary education system. The report headed by former University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kwong Lee Dow, says that Victoria should rely on existing TAFE infrastructure rather than building or expanding universities. It says that regional TAFE Institutes should follow their city counterparts and develop their capacity to engage in higher education.

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Victoria's efforts to recognise TAFE's role as a vital player in easing the skills crisis by implementing a university-style fees and loan system has resulted in a fall in student numbers according to an editorial in The Age last week. The editorial says the apparent reason for the decline in student numbers for diploma and advanced diploma courses, is the tripling of course fees to support the changes.

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Government funding for vocational education and training has declined by more than 12% between 2003 and 2008 according to two new reports from Australia Education Union (AEU). AEU surveyed 2,600 teachers and managers from TAFEs across Australia. The survey was accompanied by a research paper from the Centre for the Economics of Education and Training (CEET) at Monash University.

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TDA is very pleased to announce the signing of a formal agreement between the Chilean Ministry of Education and TDA for the BECAS Chile Technical Scholarships program. The agreement sets out the terms and conditions under which TDA will support BECAS Chile in managing Chilean vocational students who are selected to spend up to eighteen months studying in TAFE Institutes.

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A $660 million funding boost each year to 2025 will be needed to provide the future workforce needs through tertiary education according a new Skills Australia report. Australian Workforce Futures - A National Workforce Development Strategy says that the additional funding which is currently being met by recent government programs, will need to be maintained until at least 2020 to provide a 3% per annum growth in enrolments in both higher education and VET. Although the proposed distribution of the funding between the two sectors is not yet clear. The report also warns of the dangers of declining VET funding.

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A new federal government resources industry taskforce has raised the prospect of using more non-accredited and on-the-job trades training to build future skills needed in the mining and energy sectors.The National Resources Sector Employment Taskforce discussion paper, Resourcing the Future, says the possible reforms are part of an overall approach aimed at delivering a better qualified, more mobile workforce with common skills standards

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Director of the Sydney Institute of TAFE NSW and TDA Board Member, Pam Christie, has been announced as the new Deputy Director-General of the NSW Department of Education and Training (DET).

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The recent decision to revoke the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL), announced by the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator the Hon. Chris Evans has created a strong reaction both in Australia and around the world.

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The Federal Government has announced that it is revoking the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) and replacing it with a new scheme to focus on highly skilled work. View TDA's response...

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TDA has submitted ideas and priorities for the 2010-2011 Federal Budget to the Federal Treasurer, the Hon Wayne Swan MP. The suggestions included the introduction of an 'at risk' performance funding initiative, a structural adjustment fund for TAFE Institutes, funding to support the participation of low socio-economic status students in TAFE, funding for the implementation of green skills, and allocated research funding. See the submission.

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TAFE Directors Australia congratulates Chisholm Institute of TAFE Director and Chief Executive Officer, Virginia Simmons, who was awarded an Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia 2010 during Australia Day celebrations this week.

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TDA has signed an agreement with the USA's Community College specialist affiliate international agency, the Community Colleges for International Development (CCID) to enhance student and teacher mobility between the two countries.

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TAFE Directors Australia welcomes its members and stakeholders to an exciting 2010. This year we welcome TDA's new Chair, Bruce Mackenzie (CEO of Holmesglen Institute of TAFE). Previously, Bruce has served as Deputy Chair, Treasurer and Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee.

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