TAFE Directors Australia

Supporting our member institutes since 1998



2011 Archived News

New research from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) shows a further climb in the number of people undertaking VET in schools, with 220,900 students enrolled across Australia.

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TDA is calling for submissions in response to its recent discussion paper, 'The Case for a National Charter for TAFE: its role in public sector provision in Australia'.

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The Treasurer, the Hon Wayne Swan MP, has delivered the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), which included an announcement about the Education Services for Overseas Students - Tuition Protection Service Levy.

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Australia's TAFE Institutes took centre stage at the Australian Training Awards, with major awards being won by TAFE, its teachers and students.

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The impact of contestability on the publicly-funded VET system was debated at a Thought Leaders Forum held in Sydney last week.

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The number of Australians with a Certificate III or higher qualification increased slightly between 2008 and 2010, but the improvements fall short of the COAG skills target that 75% of post-school and workforce aged people should hold minimum qualifications by 2020.

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International student data for the September quarter confirms the downward spiral of student numbers in the VET sector.

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The Federal Coalition has announced it is committed to reviewing the findings from the Knight review on student visas.

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The Minister for School Education, the Hon Peter Garrett MP, said the National Trade Cadetship scheme will be launched in two parts, and will become a key part of school leavers' careers.

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The Federal Government's $500 million Regional Priorities Round of the Education Investment Fund is now open.

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The Knight Review into the student visa program has continued to receive national attention, following the Federal Government's acceptance of all 41 recommendations.

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The recent release of the Knight Review has confirmed TDA's concerns about an inherent bias towards universities in international education.

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Youth allowance changes will be introduced into Parliament this week which will allow students from inner regional areas to access the same arrangements as students from outer regions, remote and very remote areas, with effect from 1 January 2012.

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The Federal Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Senator the Hon Chris Evans has indicated that TAFE would remain central to Australia's VET system, but flagged that reform was required, when speaking at the 2011 TDA National Conference in Sydney.

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The NSW Education Minister, the Hon Adrian Piccoli MP, today launched the 2011 TAFE Directors Australia National Conference in Sydney.

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A record response to the TDA 2011 National Conference being staged in Sydney next week augers well with its theme 'Balancing the Big Issues'. The TDA Conference will feature one of the largest delegate responses, and support from TAFE corporate suppliers.

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Commonwealth, State and Territory leaders have recognised and supported the key role of TAFE as the public provider in a competitive training market. However, a proposed framework of objectives and principles to guide VET reform will continue to seek greater contestability of funding and greater competition between providers.

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Industry can bid for funding to train its workforce following the launch of the $558 million Federal Government Workforce Development Fund by Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Senator the Hon Chris Evans.

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An Australian delegation has visited India to develop further links between Australian and Indian higher education.

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The National Board of TAFE Directors Australia held a board meeting last week in Perth, which included a special meeting with the WA Minister for Training and Workforce Development, the Hon Peter Collier MLC. The meeting was hosted by West Coast Institute of TAFE (WA), and attended by WA directors of TAFE Institutes.

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TDA is pleased to announce that renowned singer-song writer, Tim Freedman, will be performing at the opening event for the TDA Conference, to be held the evening of 4 September, at the Sheraton on the Park.

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Commonwealth Ombudsman, Allan Asher will now also be responsible overseas students who have problems with private education and training.

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The architect of higher education reform, Professor Denise Bradley, has been appointed as Chair of the new National Trade Cadetship (NTC) Minister's Advisory Panel.

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Discount 'early bird' bookings for the TDA 2011 National Conference, close tomorrow, 5 July.

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A senior educational leadership delegation from Shanghai Pudong Province, China, has visited TAFE Directors Australia, as part of a trans-Tasman tour.

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The Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, the Hon Senator Chris Evans, has launched a new $3.2 million Mining and Renewable Energy Training Centre at the East-Perth campus of the Central Institute of Technology in Western Australia.

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TDA is delighted that Therese Rein, Managing Director of Ingeus, has accepted an invitation to be the guest speaker at the TDA 2011 National Conference Dinner.

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Federal and State Ministers and Shadow Ministers have accepted invitations to present at the 2011 TDA National Conference, to be held in Sydney 4-6 September.

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Stephen Conway, Managing Director of TAFE SA South, has been elected the new Chair of TAFE Directors Australia.

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This week will see two TDA papers launched at Parliament House, by the Minister for Regional Affairs and Arts, the Hon Simon Crean MP, and Member for Lyne, the Hon Rob Oakeshott MP.

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TDA has cautioned that efforts to address current skill shortages may be frustrated by Canberra relying too heavily on its proposed $1.73 billion strategy to hold back any boost to TAFE and VET pending 'better value- from the next triennial agreement with states and territories.

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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.

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Members of the TDA Regional Committee will today participate in a teleconference with Professor Kwong Lee Dow AM, who is commissioned to conduct a Federal review of Higher Education Income Support.

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The US State of Florida, the first to approve degree courses through Community Colleges, hosted a series of high-level roundtables and meetings with the Australian Tertiary Mission last week.

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TDA is urging the Federal Government to introduce Provider Categories and Standards for the vocational education and training (VET) sector.

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The Premier of New South Wales, the Hon Barry O'Farrell MP, has announced his first Cabinet, with the Hon Adrian Piccoli MP to retain the Education portfolio he held in opposition.

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TAFE Directors Australia congratulates the new Premier-elect of NSW, Barry O'Farrell, after the State Coalition's sweeping victory in the NSW Election.

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Round one of the $200 million Critical Skills Investment Fund is now open.

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The first stage of a planned international Australia China conference on Skills for Sustainability, to be held in Beijing, October 2012, is nearing completion.

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The National VET Regulator (NVR) held a 'Provider Roundtable' consultation in Canberra on Friday, ahead of TDA's scheduled appearance before a Senate Legislation Committee today, in Melbourne.

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The TDA National Board met in Brisbane on Friday, and endorsed joint correspondence signed by the Chair TDA and the AEU Federal President expressing concerns at "substantive matters of principle" underpinning the National VET Regulator Bill, now referred to a Senate Committee.

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Senator the Hon Chris Evans, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, met with TDA executives in Perth late last week, to discuss TAFE proposals for the upcoming Federal Budget 2011.

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The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) met yesterday in Canberra and agreed in principle to sign off on the National VET Regulator (NVR) by the end of February - excluding Victoria and Western Australia. Victoria and Western Australia agreed to a national regulatory approach, but will maintain control over particular organisations including TAFE Institutes.

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Queensland's run of natural disasters continued last week with devastating effects due to Tropical Cyclone Yasi. TAFE Institutes were used in some areas as evacuation centres.

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More than half of publicly-funded VET students who go on to further studies choose TAFE, higher than those who move on to university or attend private providers.

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The first cohort of Chilean students have commenced their studies with TAFE Institutes in Australia under a new scholarship program.

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The Department of Education and Training (DET) Queensland has been informed that several missing TAFE staff have been accounted for, in the devastating flooding that hit the Toowoomba region. On behalf of all the TAFE Institutes across Australia, TDA sends its support and sympathies to those Queensland communities that have been devastated by this force of nature.

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TDA would like to wish members and stakeholders all the best for 2011.It is the Year of the Rabbit, and with the Chinese Spring Festival kicking-off in early February, a hectic year ahead awaits.

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