TDA Newsletter 7 October 2014

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Apprentice loans program takes off

Almost 6,000 people have taken up loans under the federal government’s Trade Support Loans program since it commenced in August, according to Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane.

“The reality is that these loans offer young people who enter a certain skill area or apprenticeship up to $20,000 interest-free, the Minister told parliament last week.

The Trade Support Loans program replaced the Tools For Your Trade program which provided a series of cash payments over the course of an apprenticeship totalling up to $5500.

Not all vocational training providers are stacking up – The Conversation

Ahead of the gazettal of new VET Standards for Providers, The Conversation has detailed further concerns about the quality of training provided by some private colleges.

In The Conversation article, RMIT lecturer John Montague discusses his recent research which shows continuing problems with the quality of training, particularly in aged care and child care.

“As part of my research into staffing in aged care, a manager in a regional care facility told me there were numerous private training organisations that he would not use – in particular, one that provides a Certificate III qualification in personal care after a total of just 13 hours of training,” he says.

“Many training courses delivered by private providers may well be of a high quality, but too many are reported as not delivering accredited courses to the quality standard industry needs”.

See more.

Northern Melbourne Institute gets a $19 million polytechnic makeover

Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT) has been given $19 million by the Victorian government to implement a new strategic plan which will see it re-launch as Melbourne Polytechnic.

Premier Denis Napthine said the funding, from the $200 million TAFE support fund, would enable a new strategic growth plan that would boost job ready training opportunities.

The Premier said the new Melbourne Polytechnic will be an innovative and industry focused model of training for jobs of the future.

See more.

Queensland offers $6000 apprentice incentive

Queensland employers will be able to receive up to $6,000 for each new apprentice they take on, under a new program to encourage skills development

The Minister for Education, Training and Employment, John-Paul Langbroek, said the 36 million Queensland Apprenticeship Pledge was aimed at delivering on the election promise to create 10,000 new apprenticeships by 2018.

“Under the Queensland Apprenticeship Pledge we’ve set a target of 6,000 new apprentices taken on this financial year over and above normal recruitment and retention practices,” the Minister said.

The incentive will paid in two stages – $4,000 in October 2015 and $2,000 in October 2016. The incentive will apply to eligible apprenticeships commenced from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015.

See more.

Group training conference to probe VET reforms

TDA will be part of a panel discussion looking at policy and political changes in vocational education at the Group Training national conference in Hobart, November 12-14.

TDA CEO Martin Riordan will appear with Andrew Lalor, General Manager, Skills Funding and Apprenticeship Policy with the Department of Industry and journalist, John Ross from The Australian, in a session hosted by MC, Ellen Fanning.

Other speakers include:

  • Bob Baldwin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry
  • Sharon Bird, Shadow Minister for Vocational Education
  • Dr John Edwards, Reserve Bank Board
  • Rod Camm, ACPET
  • Professor Rod McDonald, Ithaca Group
  • Jeremy Donovan, CEO, Generation One
  • Peter Canavan, National Manager, Apprenticeship Project, AiGroup
  • Kevin Sheedy, Founder, Sheedy Vision

The conference will also feature a welcome reception at Government House and a celebration of high achieving apprentices and trainees at the national awards gala dinner.

More information and registration.

International education to be streamlined

A review of the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) framework has suggested reforms to reduce the red tape burden on education institutions and a streamlining of domestic and international standards.

A Discussion Paper released last week follows consultations with stakeholders between March and May on ways to improve and deregulate the ESOS framework.

The Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne, said the reform measures outlined in the discussion paper would deliver substantial benefits to education institutions, including a significant reduction in the compliance and reporting burden.

Written comments on the discussion paper are due by 31 October.

See the Discussion Paper.

Inaugural Bert Evans Apprentice scholarships awarded in NSW

The NSW government has announced 101 recipients of the inaugural Bert Evans Apprentice Scholarships.

The Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli, said that 40 first year recipients will receive $5,000 each year for three years, while second and third year apprentices will receive $5,000 for each year of study remaining.

The scholarships target students with disability, Aboriginal apprentices and women in non-traditional trades and are named in honour of the NSW Apprenticeships Ambassador, Bert Evans AO, who spent a lifetime supporting vocational education and training and apprentices in NSW.

Information on the Bert Evans Apprentice Scholarships and Country Apprentice Scholarships is available from State Training Services Regional Centres on 13 28 11 and at

Diary Dates

Transnational Education Roadshows

DATE: Brisbane (7 October), Sydney & Melbourne (13 October), Perth (16 October)
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.

National Congress & Expo

DATE: 2 & 3 June 2015
LOCATION: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
DETAILS: Click here for more information.


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