TDA Newsletter 2 March 2015

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VET FEE-HELP providers under the microscope

The federal government has announced that training providers will be subject of targeted audits to prevent the exploitation of VET FEE-HELP.

The Assistant Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham said the regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), would undertake a total of 23 audits of registered training organisations, including providers identified in complaints to the authority.

“Any training providers found to be engaged in practices that are contrary to the required national Standards could face regulatory sanctions, including the cancelation or suspension of their registration,” he said.

Senator Birmingham said he would also write to the ACCC and work with state and territory ministers to discuss further possible consumer protection measures.

See more.

Queensland backs away from contestable training market

The incoming Queensland Labor government intends to walk away from the previous Newman government’s plan for an uncapped training market and the sale of TAFE campuses, according to The Australian.

The new Training and Skills Minister Yvette D’Ath said the government had not decided on how much of public training funds would be contestible, but that it would be determined after consultation.

“But we certainly won’t be agreeing to 100 per cent contestability. It’s about getting a balance (and) recognising that there must be a commitment to have public funds going towards a strong public training provider,” Ms D’Ath said.

The report says the government will also put TAFE campus sales on ice, re-jig plans to outsource management of training facilities, reinstate subsidies for some high-level courses, and relax restrictions on funding for students who already have ­tertiary qualifications.

Read the article in The Australian.

TDA supports new training quality crackdown

The federal government has introduced legislation to crack down on unscrupulous training providers.

The Assistant Minister for Education and Training Senator Birmingham said the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Amendment Bill 2015 would send a clear signal that the government will take strong action against anyone taking advantage of vulnerable students and taxpayers.

TDA welcomed the Bill and urged that it be supported in both Houses of Parliament.

“The legislation is an important step in enabling the regulator to act quickly to address the practices of a few unscrupulous training providers that are damaging the reputation of VET,” Acting TDA CEO Malcolm White said.

See more.

See TDA’s media release.

Think tank urges new model of tertiary education funding

The Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy has called for a new approach to the way governments support tertiary education students.

In a new paper, Mitchell Professorial Fellow Peter Noonan argues for a simpler and fairer student support system, applied consistently across the higher education and vocational education and training.

He said the current tertiary funding system is skewed towards support for students at universities and in many cases, vocational students were ineligible for government support, despite increases in VET course costs.

“Some young people face very stressful choices when deciding to enrol in VET or higher education. Often, it comes down to which one provides a level of government support and which doesn’t,” he said.

See the paper, Financing tertiary education in Australia.

Summaries of VET reform consultations released

The federal government has published summaries of the feedback to its latest round of consultations on VET reform.

Consultations during January and February were held on two key areas of reform:

  • priorities for future VET Reform; and
  • the Review of Training Packages and Accredited Courses.

The government’s VET Reform Taskforce has compiled the material from these sessions into summaries which are available at the website.

Research shows youth aspirations influenced by ‘inheritance’

New research confirms the extent to which young people are significantly influenced by their educational and career ‘inheritance’.

Published by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) Geographical and place dimensions of post-school participation in education and work, examines how aspiration and engagement in education and training is influenced by where a young person lives.

Dr Craig Fowler, Managing Director NCVER said “This research highlights the importance of designing policy that gives closer consideration to individuals needs within their regional identity to ensure local communities get education and training that suits their circumstance.”

See more.

Hold the date: study mission to Canada – September 26 to October 4

TAFE Directors Australia, the LH Martin Institute and the TAFE Higher Education Network are sponsoring an upcoming study mission to Canada.

The mission will visit leading colleges and institutes in the Ontario and Quebec regions that have demonstrated commitment and expertise in the delivery of higher education qualifications and applied research.

Delegates will have the opportunity to engage with Canadian federal agencies and associations in policy, regulation, and quality, as well participate in a conference on applied research hosted by the Ontario Institute of Studies for Education, University of Toronto.

The full program will be available soon, and further information can be obtained from Ili Pelletier Director, TAFE NSW Higher Education, and Ruth Schubert, Assoc. Professor and Assoc. Director LH Martin Institute

Diary Dates

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.

WAVE National Conference
Leaders, teachers, learners, leavers: Women in the Australian VET market

DATE: 8 April 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.

Victorian TAFE Association
2015 State Conference – Leading Transformational Change

DATE: 16-17 July 2015
LOCATION: RACV Club, Melbourne
DETAILS: More information coming soon.

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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