TDA Newsletter 16 February 2015

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Apprentice numbers recover in December quarter

There has been a turnaround in the number of apprentices commencing, suggesting an end to the recent decline, according to the latest figures from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

The figures show that non-trade commencements increased by 5,300 to 31,700 in the December quarter, suggesting an end to the series of declines since June 2013.

Trade commencements increased 1,600 to 21,500, ending the downturn since September 2013.

The NCVER report, Apprentices and trainees 2014 – early trend estimates, December quarter, provides seasonally adjusted and smoothed data at the national level.

Victoria embarks on VET funding review

Bruce Mackenzie

The Victorian government has announced an independent review of funding of the state’s vocational education and training (VET) system, headed by former TDA chair, Bruce Mackenzie.

The Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert said the review would ensure all training providers were supported through a more sustainable funding model.

Bruce Mackenzie, the former head of Holmesglen, will be supported by former VECCI and Jayco Corporation Chief Executive Neil Coulson.

The review will seek input from students, parents, employers, training providers and other stakeholders over coming weeks.

An interim report will be delivered within 100 days of commencement, with the final report due later this year.

Central Institute opens six-star, green skills centre

Central Institute of Technology’s GreenSkills building at the East Perth campus was officially opened at a ceremony in early February.

The facility was opened by the Assistant Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham, WA’s Minister for Workforce Training and Development, Liza Harvey, and the Member for Perth, Eleni Evangel.

Every aspect of the building including its architecture, construction, landscaping, and engineering has been designed on sustainability principles, and it is completely self-sufficient in energy and water.

Upon completion, the $17 million project, jointly funded by the federal and state government, earned a 6-star Green Rating for design by the Green Building Council of Australia, a rating which represents world leadership in environmentally sustainable design.

The building is a multi-purpose learning space that will be used to train students, schools, industry and the wider public in sustainable practices that are an essential feature now in most industries.

Central Institute of Technology’s GreenSkills building. Senator Simon Birmingham, Eleni Evangel and Liza Harvey.

New Year greetings from Shanghai – blog from Martin Riordan

Welcome to the 2015 Lunar New Year in Shanghai!

This Blog for Chinese New Year via the TDA newsletter, will hopefully pass as my best wishes to all TAFE Directors and Institute top teams, friends, VET sector colleagues, and my good colleagues at TDA, for the 2015 Year of the Sheep (my year !!).

My host for this postgraduate study leave in China is Dr Yu Tao, President of the Shanghai Second Polytechnic University.

Dr Yu Tao and the local Party Secretary, Song Baoru, have been great to watch, and in superb spirits. This past week I took part in their full campus dinner for those polytechnic university’s students who had chosen to remain at the outer Pudong campus during the 10-day New Year period.

It was an amazingly moving night – timed to coincide with the opening night of Lunar Year celebrations, called the Kitchen God Festival.

Read more.

National Skills Week 2015: August 24 – 30

Now in its fifth year, National Skills Week recognises, celebrates and informs students and the wider public on the diversity and benefits of undertaking vocational education and training.

This year’s theme will bring into focus the skills needs of industry, associated with Australia’s emerging areas of opportunity.

The week will seek to mobilise, inform and inspire Australians of all ages to explore the skills that Australia needs to advance the nation’s competitiveness and global opportunities.

More details will be released in coming weeks, but please note the dates – August 24-30.

For information, please contact Kirstin Casey at Skills One: or (02) 8080 0111

Transport and logistics training package workshops

The Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC) will be hosting a series of free national workshops open to all training providers to provide updates about each of the Training Packages TLISC is responsible for.

The sessions will inform participants about development and review processes planned throughout 2015.

It will also be an opportunity to review TLISC’s newly developed resources for supply chain and logistics management before they are released more broadly. There will be time allocated for Q&A throughout the day.

The four-hour sessions will be held on the following dates:

Date Location Time
3 March Canberra 10am-2pm
5 March Sydney 10am-2pm
19 March Hobart 10am-2pm
24 March Adelaide 10am-2pm
31 March Melbourne 10am-2pm
5 May Perth 8am-12pm
12 May Brisbane 10am-2pm
19 May Darwin 10am-2pm

Register here.

For more information, please contact Paul Walsh by email or on 03 9604 7207

LH Martin project to examine diversity of the VET industry

The LH Martin Institute from the University of Melbourne is leading a major research project on the nature and diversity of the vocational education and training industry, modelled on its work in the university sector.

TDA, the Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET), the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) and the Melbourne University Centre for the Study of Higher Education are supporting the project and are part of the reference group.

While much data is available within NCVER, some information is not available publicly.

Large public and private providers will be contacted directly within the next two weeks to assist in the data collection.

The raw data provided will remain confidential, but will be used in an aggregated form to map:

  • Teaching and learning
  • Student profile
  • Applied research, industry collaboration, partnerships
  • International orientation
  • Context

TDA encourages participation in this important research, and looks forward to sharing the results.

Further information can be obtained from Assoc. Professor Ruth Schubert,

Assoc. Director, LH Martin Institute, (03) 9035 6042 or

Australia-Pacific Technical College seeking executives

Australia-Pacific Technical College is currently advertising for the following leadership opportunities in the Pacific:

–          Executive Director – Training Delivery

–          Country Managers

–          Specialist Vocational Training Advisers

Find out more.

Diary Dates

Victoria University
Financial Sustainability in VET

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

Engineering Excellence Project Information Sessions
Australian Industry Group

DATE: February & March 2015
LOCATION: Various locations around Australia
DETAILS: Click here for more information.

VET Development Centre
Learning Lab

DATE: 5 March 2015
LOCATION: Melbourne Convention Centre
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.

18th Annual Conference

DATE: 8-10 April 2015
LOCATION: The Rendezvous Grand, Melbourne
DETAILS: More information.

Group Training Association of NSW & ACT
The future of work: Rethinking employment, training and skills in NSW and ACT

DATE: 7 May 2015
LOCATION: Amora Hotel, Sydney
DETAILS: 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.

‘No Frills’ conference

DATE: 6-8 July 2015
LOCATION: University of Western Sydney
DETAILS: More information.

VET Development Centre
Teaching and Learning Conference

DATE: 3-4 September 2015
LOCATION: RACV Torquay Resort, Victoria
DETAILS: More information.

National VET Conference
Velg Training

DATE: 17-18 September 2015
LOCATION: Adelaide Convention Centre
DETAILS: More information.




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