TDA Newsletter 1 September 2014

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TDA National Conference kicks off

Some of the biggest issues in education and training, including the crisis in apprenticeships and the planned reforms to both higher education and vocational education will be centre stage at the TAFE Directors Australia 2014 national conference starting in Sydney today.

Almost 400 delegates will hear experts across government, industry and the international sector.

The opening address will be delivered by NSW Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli, followed by federal Assistant Minister for Education, Sussan Ley. The Shadow Minister for Vocational Education Sharon Bird will speak tomorrow.

The opening day will also feature a panel discussion on industry perspectives on training, with speakers from the Business Council of Australia, Australian Industry Group, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the ACTU.

See the full conference program.

… and a spectacular welcome to conference delegates

The TDA national conference was preceded by last night’s gala welcome reception overlooking a stunning Sydney Harbour.

TDA Chair Stephen Conway welcomed international and local delegates, followed by guest speaker, Pip Marlow, Managing Director of Microsoft Australia, which generously sponsored the event.

Stephen Conway Martin Riordan etc
Stephen Conway, Pip Marlow, Theresa Collignon and Joseph Alvarez. Martin Riordan, Fintan Donohue and David Riordan. Peter Holden and Shyamal Majumdar.


A large number of TDA conference delegates yesterday took part in the UNESCO-UNEVOC seminar examining technical and vocational education and training (TVET) developments on the global front.

It brought together representatives from the TVET sector across the Asian region, including leaders from Indonesia’s public and private polytechnic sector.

The forum featured presentations from Shyamal Majumdar, Head of UNESCO-UNEVOC, Rod Camm, Managing Director of NCVER, Martin Riordan, CEO of TDA and representatives from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the World Bank and the Asia Development Bank.

Some useful resources include a 2013 e-book on TVET trends published by UNESCO; the Shanghai Consensus on priority actions in TVET; initiatives to promote international debate on TVET and ways to transform it through the UNEVOC Network; a series of virtual conference reports drawn from UNEVOC-organised e-forum discussions; and news stories from TVET Section of UNESCO.

TDA throws its support behind government’s higher education reform

TAFE Directors Australia has urged parliamentary support for the Higher Education and Research Reform Amendment Bill 2014, introduced last week, which will extend Commonwealth Supported Places funding to TAFE students enrolled in higher level qualifications.

TDA CEO Martin Riordan said that for the first time, TAFE higher education students would receive Commonwealth financial support when studying higher education diplomas, advanced diplomas and associate degrees, as well as bachelor degrees.

“While the proposed 70 per cent funding rate for non-universities is a significant advance for our higher education students who traditionally have paid full fees for their higher education study in TAFE, this rate does not reflect the real costs of quality higher education provision,” he said.

TDA also welcomed the simplification of the loans systems to one HECS-HELP system. However, TDA does not support higher interest rates on HELP, particularly for disadvantaged and rural and regional students.

See the TDA media release.

Guangzhou/Hong Kong/Macao/Chengdu Youth Skills Competition

TDA’s colleagues from the Vocational training Council (VTC) in Hong Kong extend a warm invitation to TDA members and affiliates to attend the Guangzhou/Hong Kong/Macao/Chengdu Youth Skills Competition (GHMCYSC) in Hong Kong on the 31 October and 1 November.

The Competition provides an opportunity for students in the region to compete in a range of vocational areas including Beauty Therapy, Computer Animation, Fashion Design & Technology, Intelligent Home Appliances Installation and Mobile Robotics.

A ‘carnival on vocational education and training’ will be held alongside the competition. The event is being co-organised by a number organisations from the four cities and will be hosted by the VTC.

Dates: 32 October and 1 November 2014

Venue: Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, Hong Kong (KTCT)

See more.

Ningbo delegation to help introduce TAFE NSW qualifications

Western Sydney Institute Director Susan Hartigan (centre) signs the agreement with University of Western Sydney Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover (right).

Western Sydney Institute Director Susan Hartigan (centre) signs the agreement with University of Western Sydney Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover (right).

Nineteen teaching staff from China’s Ningbo City College of Vocational Technology and Ningbo Foreign Affairs School spent two weeks in western Sydney in August.

The visiting teaching staff received professional development which will assist them in delivering TAFE NSW qualifications in China, in partnership with TAFE NSW – Western Sydney Institute. As well as gaining an in-depth knowledge of teaching methodology in vocational education and training, the visiting teachers benefitted from mentoring by Western Sydney Institute teaching sections.

The partnership’s focus is to provide students with a study pathway in English followed by vocational programs. Approximately 900 students are expected to be enrolled in qualifications under this partnership in September 2014.Graduates can apply for advanced standing into one of the Australian universities recognising TAFE NSW qualifications.

Western Sydney Institute recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Western Sydney to ensure smooth pathways into further education for graduates of this partnership.

Changes at NSW education international business

In line with the NSW Government’s ‘Statement of Owner Expectations’ released in 2013 and the recent separation of TAFE NSW from the NSW Department of Education and Communities, TAFE NSW has now moved to realign its international business.

As a result of the changes in the overall international operations in NSW and the move to devolution of the services to Institutes, the current CEO, Mark Howland, will leave his role on 5 September after overseeing substantial growth in the NSW international student market throughout the last four years.

During this time TAFE NSW has experienced the largest percentage growth in international student enrolment of any public provider in Australia.  In addition, the NSW Government international schools program went from strength to strength with it now being the largest such program in the country. TAFE NSW thanks Mark Howland for his commitment and diligence and wishes him all the best in the next chapter of his life.

During the transition period the overall responsibility of business-as-usual at DEC International will fall to Alison Taylor reporting to the Director of Sydney TAFE David Riordan.

TAFE NSW has also set up an overarching International Executive Group to assist with all transition arrangements.

Review of the community services and health training packages

The Community Services & Health Industry Skills Council (CSHISC) is seeking feedback on draft elements of a number of training packages which are under review. Areas for review include:

  • Direct Client care: Aged Care, Home and Community Care, Disability, Leisure and Health, Health Services Assistance, Allied Health Assistance, Alcohol and Other Drugs, Mental Health.
  • Ambulance: Communication
  • Technicians: Anaesthetic Technology
  • Complementary and Alternative Health: Ayurveda
  • Community Services: Community Services General, Advocacy, Community Sector Coordination, Case Management, Information, Advice & Referral
  • Volunteering
  • Cross Sector units
  • Qualifications for removal

A public consultation web portal has been created to make feedback easier. The deadline is Friday 12 September.
See the Training Package Public Consultation webpage.

Entries open to APEC photo contest

The APEC Secretariat is inviting readers to participate in the APEC Photo Contest 2014.

The goal of the Photo Contest is to engage the public by capturing their photographic interpretation of trade and how it reflects in their life, based on the priorities set by China, this year’s host economy.

Each participant can submit up to three photographs. The deadline is 19 September.

The winners will have the opportunity for his or her photo(s) to be showcased in APEC publications. The first prize winner will receive SG$2,000, while second and third prize winners will receive SG$1,500 and SG$1,000 respectively.

You can see more about each of these themes on the Photo Contest website as well as on the 2013 photo winners.

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.

NSW Training Awards
DATE: 9 September 2014
LOCATION: Darling Harbour, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

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

Velg Training
National VET Conference

DATE: 11-12 September 2014
LOCATION: Brisbane
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

TAFE NSW Western
Bangamalanha Conference: post-school Aboriginal education and training

DATE: 15-17 September 2014
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.

Government Skills Australia
2014 National Conference

DATE: 17-18 November 2014
LOCATION: Adelaide Oval
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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