TDA Newsletter 23 March 2015

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Sydney TAFE signs scholarships agreement with TDA

Sydney TAFE is one of several TAFE Institutes to sign up with the TDA National Scholarships Foundation (TDA NSF) to award a large share of the scholarship program. The agreement with Sydney TAFE is the most significant to date.

Rob Cousins, Associate Director of Sydney TAFE said the TDA NSF scholarships provide students with truly national recognition of their ambitions and achievements.

Other Institutes which have arrangements with TDA NSF are Riverina and South Western Sydney in NSW, Central in Western Australia, CIT in the ACT and The Gordon in Victoria. Other Institutes continuing with Mick Young scholarships include TAFE NSW – Western Sydney and TAFE SA, sponsored by the Blake-Beckett Trust and Sutherland College of Sydney TAFE sponsored through a grant from Sutherland Tradies.

Arrangements with TAFE SA, TasTAFE and TAFE Queensland are expected in the near future.

See more.

Federal government college crackdown gets the green light

The federal government’s crackdown on unscrupulous training providers will come into force, following passage of the legislation in the Senate.

The Assistant Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham said the passing of the bill would send a clear signal that strong action will be taken against providers that take advantage of vulnerable students and taxpayers.

“This will enable the national training regulator, the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to take action against an RTO, where they, or their marketing agent, fail to provide clear information to a prospective student about the qualification they are signing up for, where the training will be undertaken, how long the course will take, what support services are available and the costs associated with them,” he said.

See more.

A special report on TDA international projects

TDA has had an extremely busy period, with several major international projects and events underway. A summary of each of these projects is contained below:


TDA has just completed the second phase of a leadership program, with 11 India community college leaders spending a week in one of four institutes (Central Institute in Perth, Canberra Institute of Technology, TAFE Queensland in Brisbane, and TAFE NSW Illawarra). We now move to the final phase where TAFE institutes will provide on-the-ground mentoring in India, scheduled for late September. TDA is finalising plans for two further leadership programs in India which are due to commence in September. Expressions of interest for other TAFE members to participate will be sent out next week. TDA also briefed Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Mr Patrick Suckling, during mid term consultations in Australia.


This week TDA concluded a four-week leadership program for 21 Chinese college presidents, vice principals and chairs of their governing councils. They have spent the last two weeks in one of three TAFE institutes (Holmesglen, Northern Sydney TAFE and TAFE Queensland). This week will see a site visit to Barangaroo with Lend Lease and the Construction & Property Services Industry Skills Council. A second leadership program for this year has also been confirmed with our partners, the China Education Association for International Exchange.

TDA’s research partnership with China’s Central Institute of Vocational Training and Education is now well underway with some important announcements regarding joint research projects to be made soon. TDA CEO Martin Riordan is on sabbatical as he completes a Prime Minister’s Postgraduate Asia Scholarship based at the SSPU Polytechnic University, Shanghai.


TDA recently participated in a roundtable with a senior delegation from Brazil and there is strong interest in providing professional development for their vocational leaders and teachers. TDA, on behalf of members, is submitting a proposal for such a program along similar lines to the successful leadership programs in China, India and Indonesia. Further work is being carried out in preparation for a TDA Mission to Brazil to coincide with the International World Skills competition in Sao Paulo in August.  The full program and invitations to participate will be sent to members before the end of March.

Colombia and Mexico

TDA has been invited by the World Bank to carry out research into the Colombian TVET system, drawing on the experience in Australia. This work follows TDA’s successful participation last year in TVET workshops in Colombia and four other Latin American countries, sponsored by the InterAmerican Development Bank and Australia’s Council of Australia Latin America Relations. TDA also met with Austrade’s Trade Commissioner to Mexico, Chris Rodwell, and identified the strong demand for industry-led qualifications and institutions to support their economic growth.


TDA recently signed contracts for the second phase of consultancies and teacher training programs in Taiwan. The main focus of this second phase is to establish guidelines and principles for partnerships between training centres managed by the Taiwan Workforce Development Agency and TAFE institutes. Separately, TDA has commissioned Austrade to carry out research into the level of demand for industry-based qualifications in Taiwan.

International policy development

The Commonwealth Department of Education has flagged the imminent release of a draft national International Education Strategy. Meanwhile Austrade has scheduled a comprehensive round of consultations as it develops a ten-year strategy for international education.

The Education Visa Consultative Committee, chaired by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, held its first meeting for 2015 on 6 March and minutes from these meetings are being sent out to TDA’s international network. All members are encouraged to make contact with their respective state and territory representatives for updates on international education policies, programs and student visa statistics.

Nominations for Queensland training awards close soon

Training organisations are reminded that nominations for 2015 Queensland Training Awards close on Tuesday 31 March.

The awards give organisations the chance to showcase the outstanding outcomes they provide to  students and employers. You can nominate your organisation in one of the two training provider categories.

Training organisations can also gain further recognition in their local region and across the state by encouraging their top students, apprentices, trainees and trainers to nominate in the relevant Queensland Training Awards category.

You can nominate on behalf of your students, apprentices, trainees and trainers or provide assistance to those who are interested in participating.

To nominate, visit the Queensland Training Awards website.

Free webinars on auto industry foundation skills

Auto Skills Australia is holding two webinars that will support foundation skills in the automotive industry.

Foundation Skills for Automotive Part OneFriday 27th March, 2.00-3.00 pm.

This will look at the importance of foundation skills on the job in the automotive industry and, in particular, the demands automotive jobs make on a person’s reading and numeracy skills.

Join the webinar here.

Foundation Skills for Automotive Part TwoFriday 2nd April, 2.00-3.00 pm.

This will look at two online resources that have been developed by Auto Skills Australia to strengthen the foundation skills of automotive pre-apprentices and apprentices.  Autogames includes a number of online industry specific literacy and numeracy games and the Autostart learning series is a suite of automotive industry specific online (blended) learning programs and assessments aligned to four of the AUR units of competency and the new Foundation Skills Training Package.

Join the webinar here.

Diary Dates

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.

Navigating the new world: New challenges = New Opportunities

DATE: 4 June 2015
LOCATION: Sofitel Wentworth Hotel, Sydney
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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