TDA Newsletter 4 August 2014

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Forrest review says TAFE funding and courses should be decided by employers

TAFE Directors Australia has labeled proposals to bypass TAFE and universities with TAFE divisions under the Forest Review of Indigenous employment as “missing the mark” and likely to result in hundreds of millions of dollars in duplication.

Martin Riordan, CEO of TDA, said while the approach by Mr Forest was commendable to improve the capacity for indigenous communities to enter employment, it ignored the demand-led industry system of VET training being implemented by the states and territories.

In its report, Creating Parity, the Forrest Review recommends that all publically funded vocational education and training be delivered via an employer-provided voucher, and linked to a guaranteed job.

“The vocational education and training (VET) system, including TAFE, is currently moving towards employer-directed job-specific training like VTECs, but the progress is slow and sporadic. Training for training’s sake has led to first Australians accumulating Certificate I and II qualifications that are not valued by employers and rarely translate into a job,” the Forest Report says.

Employer training vouchers “would only fund training that is designed by, and meets the needs of, employers” and would be required for all qualifications and skill sets.

“Certificates I and II would require a guaranteed job written into the voucher and it would only be redeemable on completion of 26-week outcomes.”

“With Certificate III and above, courses would be designed by employers (not trainers) and participants would be assessed at significant milestones for successful completion before the voucher could be cashed,” the report says.

See the Forrest Review.

Martin Riordan added: “The Howard government attempted to bypass the existing training and TAFE network, and spent $700 million to create 23 Australian Technical Colleges, which proved to be a failed model – most ATCs required subcontract support by TAFEs even to operate.

“The Forrest plan may satisfy – even reimburse – many mining and resource companies seeking enterprise training, yet in reality there is nothing to stop those companies starting their own training operation.”

Group Training Australia also expressed doubts over the viability of the VET recommendations of the Forrest Review.

BCA says more skills, less university students needed

The President of the Business Council of Australia, Catherine Livingstone says that Australian universities are enrolling too many domestic students who should opt for vocational education and training, according to today’s Sydney Morning Herald.

She told the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce that a large number of school leavers would be better off undertaking education and training that gave them job-related and technical skills first.

“I would say there are too many people going to university and not enough going through the VET system,” she said. “It does not preclude them from later entry into the university system. I just think some students would be better off with vocation and skill training and having work experience.”
See the Sydney Morning Herald article.

Government releases details of new Industry Skills Fund

The Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane is inviting feedback on the proposed $476 million Industry Skills Fund which will provide 200,000 training places over the next four years and will commence in January.

A new Discussion paper says it will focus on micro, small and medium enterprises in “productive, competitive industries” to offer training where training is not already publicly funded.

Funding will be on a co-contribution basis with the industry share on a sliding scale between 25% and 75%.

The paper provides details on eligibility, relevant activities, merit criteria and funding arrangements. Submissions close 7 September.

Priority sectors identified for funding are food and agribusiness; mining equipment, technology and services; medical technologies and pharmaceuticals; oil and gas; and advanced manufacturing.

See the Minister’s media release & Discussion Paper.

UNESCO-UNEVOC seminar update

TDA is co-hosting a special seminar on technical and vocational education and training (TVET) on Sunday 31 August in Sydney.

With the direct support of NCVER and UNESCO-UNEVOC, the seminar reviews recent research into the contribution of TVET to productivity and will highlight the importance of evidence based research to inform government policies.

The seminar brings together representatives from the TVET sector across the Asian region who will report on their own TVET developments and priorities. Also attending will be 20 leaders from Indonesia’s public and private polytechnic sector and 12 leaders from India universities which are establishing new community colleges.

The seminar is limited to 80 people and a few places are still available. The registration fee is $121 and registrations must be made through the conference website.

Australians don’t understand VET

There is a lack of understanding among the general population about Australia’s VET sector, with a quarter of the population not knowing what is meant by the term “vocational education and training”, according to a survey by WorldSkills Australia.

Many Australians aren’t able to identify the remuneration potential for key trades, with 51 per cent underestimating what a bricklayer gets paid.

Young people are significantly more likely to believe that a university degree will put their children ahead, with 36 per cent of 21-30 year olds saying they’d encourage a degree, compared to 19 per cent of people over 60.

Men are far more likely to consider a career in a trade – more than a third (37 per cent) would follow a vocational pathway, compared to just 27 per cent of women.

See the WorldSkills survey results.

Transport and logistics fellowships for industry best practice

The Transport & Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC) is partnering with the International Specialised Skills Institute (ISS Institute) to offer two international Fellowships in the amount of $12,500 each.

The Fellowships aim to promote the acquisition of higher-level skills and an appreciation of international best practice in the transport and logistics industry. They are intended to examine innovative approaches that demonstrate potential benefits for Australian industry and enterprises.

Some 250 Australians have received ISS Institute Fellowships across many industry sectors. The Institute is an independent, national organisation that works with Australian governments, industry and education institutions to enable individuals to gain enhanced skills and experience in traditional trades, professions and leading-edge technologies.

TLISC will work with the successful recipients upon their return to share and publicise the learnings and recommendations from their research.

Applicants are encouraged to read TLISC’s 2014 Transport and Logistics Industry Environmental Scan for a strategic context of the industry prior to submitting applications.

See here for more information, or to apply.

Specialised training support for learners with a disability

The Queensland Government is committed to ensuring that learners with diverse needs receive the assistance they need to participate in training that leads to employment.

Skills Disability Support is a new model of support for learners with a disability, implemented on 1 July. It provides specialised technology (e.g. assistive software) and support services (e.g. Auslan interpreters) to pre-qualified suppliers to support learners with a disability enrolled in subsidised training.

Pre-qualified suppliers are Queensland registered training organisations that are pre-approved to deliver training and assessment services subsidised by the Department of Education, Training and Employment through one of its funded programs.

Through Skills Disability Support, a learner can receive flexible training support throughout their training program, assisting them to gain nationally recognised skills and qualifications.

Visit the website for more information about Skills Disability Support including guidelines, a factsheet and instructions on how to apply.

Senior administration advisor role in Kiribati

Scope Global, an Adelaide-based project management company is seeking an experienced Institute Administration Advisor to join the company, based in the Kiribati Institute of Technology (KIT).

The Institute Administration Advisor reports to the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Sector Strengthening Program Team Leader and is responsible for providing support to the KIT senior leadership team with the development and maintenance of Institute administration systems.

The role is initially offered on a fixed term contract basis to January 2016 subject to satisfactory performance and on-going government funding. It is a newly created role.

See more.

Diary Dates

Vision 2020 – TDA National Conference 2014
TAFE Directors Australia

DATE: 1-2 September 2014
LOCATION: Sheraton on the Park, Sydney, NSW
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Teaching & Learning Conference 2014
VET Development Centre

DATE: 4-5 September 2014
LOCATION: RACV Club Torquay, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

ACE National Conference
DATE: 11-12 September 2014
LOCATION: Adelaide
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

VETnetwork Australia 2014
Biennial National Conference

DATE: 17-19 September 2014
LOCATION: Darwin Convention Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

2014 WorldSkills Australia National Competition
DATE: 18, 19 & 20 September 2014
LOCATION: Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Australian International Education Conference
Inventing the Future

DATE: 7-10 October 2014
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

AUSTAFE 2014 Annual Conference
DATE: 8-10 October 2014
LOCATION: Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Australasian Genomic Technologies Association (AGTA)
2014 Conference

DATE: 12-15 October 2014
LOCATION: Crown Promenade Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Group Training Australia
2014 National Conference

DATE: 12-14 November 2014
LOCATION: Grand Chancellor Hotel, Hobart
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

2014 B/HERT Awards
Business Higher Education Round Table

DATE: 20 November 2014
LOCATION: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.



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