TDA Newsletter 1 December 2014

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Skills focus to follow Labor’s Victorian election win

The election of the new Labor government in Victoria paves the way for a major commitment to build and refurbish parts of the state’s TAFE system.

Premier-elect Daniel Andrews campaigned strongly on Labor’s $320 million TAFE Rescue Fund.

Promises include:

  • $10 million to re-open Swinburne Lilydale TAFE
  • $10 million to re-open TAFE in Greensborough
  • $8 million for a student hub at Holmesglen TAFE, Moorabbin
  • $25 million to rebuild Chisholm TAFE, Frankston
  • $5 million for an industry hub at Federation University TAFE, Ballarat
  • $7.8 million for an Environmental and Animal Science Centre in Bendigo
  • A VET funding review, headed by former Holmesglen CEO and former TDA Chair, Bruce MacKenzie.

Mr Andrews says that $66 million of the $100 million TAFE rescue plan has been announced, with the balance to be allocated.

William Angliss celebrates graduation at Ayers Rock

William Angliss Institute has celebrated the latest group of indigenous graduates from the Ayers Rock Resort in the Northern Territory.

The Institute has a three-year contract from Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia (VITA) to provide training at the National Indigenous Training Academy (NITA), based at the resort.

The latest class of 42 trainees graduated last week. They are employed in areas including the Finance centre, Adult Education Centre, the Town Centre, Technical Services, Guest Activities, across three hotels and the campground.

William Angliss Institute Manager of National Training, Karon Hepner, said the number of indigenous employees now stands at 254, up from just two in 2011.

Training is delivered to more than 100 Indigenous trainees each year to complete either a Certificate II in Hospitality or Tourism and Certificate III in Hospitality.

William Angliss CEO Nicholas Hunt (left), national training manager Karon Hepner (third from left) and teacher Liz Lotter (far right) celebrate with graduates at Ayers Rock.

Malcolm White to be Acting TDA CEO

Martin Riordan
Malcolm White

Martin Riordan, CEO TDA, has taken up a Prime Minister’s Postgraduate Asia Scholarship, to be hosted by a polytechnic university in Shanghai.

He will take study leave until 30 June 2015, as part of PhD studies at LH Martin Institute, University of Melbourne. Martin was also recognised as a Senior Fellow, LH Martin Institute, on taking up the PM’s Asia Scholarship.

Malcolm White has been appointed Acting CEO. Malcolm is Chair of the TDA National Scholarships Foundation, and has been working as a senior project director at TDA following a distinguished background as a TAFE director in Tasmania, and a senior manager in industry.

The Chair of TDA, Stephen Conway, congratulated Martin on the PM’s Postgraduate Asia Scholarship, and welcomed Malcolm to the role of Acting CEO.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Martin, well deserved, and we wish him well in his China study based in Shanghai. The appointment as Senior Fellow at LH Martin Institute signals the strategic nature of his research into TAFE business modelling in an Asian context,” Stephen Conway said.

“The TDA board is pleased to welcome Malcolm White, and knows his considerable experience will be important with new VET Standards and policy issues emerging for 2015.”

John Dawkins steps down from Vocation

Former Labor federal education minister and former chair of the National Skills Standards Council, John Dawkins has quit as chair of private training company, Vocation.

“In making my decision to resign I took into account shareholder views that Vocation needs to rebuild the support of its shareholders and instigate board renewal,” he said.

“My confidence in the private provision of vocational training and higher education remains undiminished and I believe the company will benefit from the continuing expansion of the sector.”

It follows the loss of training funds from the Victorian government and a sharp fall in the company’s share price.

Mr Dawkins will continue to advise Vocation as a consultant.

Opposition calls for inquiry into VET FEE-HELP

The Federal Opposition has called on the Auditor-General to investigate the abuse of VET FEE-HELP.

Shadow Minister for Higher Education, Senator Kim Carr and Shadow Minister for Vocational Education, Sharon Bird said there was a need to ensure taxpayer funds were spent on quality training.

“The taxpayer should not be paying unscrupulous providers who provide little or no training to students or recruit and enrol students through questionable practices,” they said.

“Labor urges the Auditor-General to fully investigate VET FEE-HELP to ensure that skills funding is being used in accordance with the intention of the legislation and not being squandered by unscrupulous providers.”

The Senate last week voted to establish an inquiry into the VET sector which will report by August next year.

West Australia releases future skills outlook

The West Australian government has released the latest version of its skills and training blueprint.

Skilling WA, second edition, has been released by Dr Kim Hames, Deputy Premier and Minister for Training and Workforce Development.

It addresses labour force needs at a time when the economy is moving from resources investment to the operational phase.

It says that over the next three years, some 34 000 jobs will be created requiring workers with a Certificate III/IV or a Diploma qualification.

“During this period there will be a corresponding decline in employment for individuals without post school qualifications.”

See Skilling WA, second edition.

New board for Canberra Institute of Technology

Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) will have a new independent governing board next year, following legislation passed by the ACT government.

The Minister for Education and Training Joy Burch said the current CIT advisory council has served the Institute well, but the new governing board will enable CIT to compete more effectively.

“The advisory council members realise that governance has to evolve to match changing circumstances and have supported this next step.

“The new board is expected to be in place in the first half of 2015. It will be headed by an independent chair with extensive business and industry experience and will include members with a mix of private and public sector expertise,” Ms Burch said.

“I would like to again thank the current CIT Advisory Council Members for the contribution they have made and acknowledge the support they and the staff of CIT have given to establishing the governing board.

“I would also like to thank Adrian Marron for his personal efforts in achieving the outcomes I have announced today.”

More English test options for visa applicants

The federal government has announced reforms that will give visa applicants greater choice in the English language tests they are able to use.

The Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator Michaelia Cash, said applicants would now be able to use scores from the Test of English Language as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) and the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) as evidence of their English language ability.

“This development affords applicants more choice in providers while also increasing competition within the English language testing market,” Senator Cash said.

The change will benefit applicants seeking skilled, post-study, business, work and holiday, and skilled PR visas.

The tests are alternatives to the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and Occupational English Test (OET) and have been accepted in the Student visa program since 2011.

See more.

Diary Dates

NSW Adult Literacy and Numeracy Council
2014 Conference

DATE: 12 December
LOCATION: Aerial Function Centre, Sydney
DETAILS: Click here for more information

Victoria University
Financial Sustainability in VET

DATE: 25-26 February 2015
LOCATION: Victoria University City Convention Centre, Melbourne
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

Australian Workplace Practitioners’ Network
Foundation Skills at Work

DATE: 18-20 March 2015
LOCATION: Melbourne, Victoria
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.

Western Sydney Careers Expo
DATE: 18-21 June 2015
LOCATION: Showground, Sydney Olympic Park
DETAILS: Click here for more information.



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