TDA Newsletter 9 June 2014

TDA Logo snipped

Senate committee endorses South Australian training plan

A Senate committee has endorsed the South Australian government’s plan for subsidised training and criticised the Commonwealth for threatening to withhold $65 million in funding to the state.

The Senate Education and Employment References Committee report on the ‘Operation, regulation and funding of private vocational education and training (VET) providers in Australia’, says the South Australian government’s plan “reflects deep concern with the existing national partnership agreement on training”.

“The response from the federal government, to effectively penalise South Australia for prioritising TAFE by withholding $65 million in funding is disappointing and short sighted,” the report says.

“The committee believes the government should work to review the existing arrangements to take on board concerns rather than punishing states for prioritising public sector provision”.

ASQA uncertain about private college qualifications

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) cannot determine whether all graduates of Vocation Ltd and its subsidiaries are fully qualified, the federal opposition has claimed.

In Senate Estimates hearings last week, ASQA confirmed that graduates of courses such as Health Support Services, and Early Childhood Education may not be competent in their qualifications.

Shadow Minister for Higher Education, Kim Carr and Shadow Minister for Vocational Education, Sharon Bird said the evidence was “very concerning”.

“We need to have confidence that unqualified people trained by non-compliant providers are not entering care-based industries such as aged care, childcare and the health system,” they said.

“ASQA also told the committee that the authority has concerns about the quality of assessments across the board in the aged care training sector and has no capacity to rectify the issue”.

TDA takes role in vision for international education

TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) has been appointed to the federal government’s new Coordinating Council for International Education.

The Minister for Education and Training, Christopher Pyne announced that TDA Acting CEO Malcolm White will be on the council, which will be responsible for finalising the recently-released Draft National Strategy for International Education. Other members are:

  • Phil Honeywood, CEO, International Education Association of Australia
  • Kate Carnell AO, CEO, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Belinda Robinson , Chief Executive, Universities Australia
  • Sue Blundell, Executive Director, English Australia
  • Bill Spurr AO, Chair, Education Adelaide

“This is a vision that requires a coordinated and consistent approach across all levels of government. It is essential that the strategy is developed in partnership with education providers, industry and the wider community,” Mr Pyne said.

As a first step, the council will convene two roundtables at Parliament House, Canberra, on 18 June and 13 August.

See the Draft National Strategy for International Education.

Historic Sydney TAFE building gets a new lease of life

The NSW Skills Minister John Barilaro, pictured, has opened the refurbished Marcus Clark Building at Sydney TAFE at Ultimo.

The $7.5 million upgrade of the historic building included building works, new furniture and equipment, and a shop front with innovative services for students and staff.

“The new rooms provide a flexible learning environment and allow the very best of teaching innovation for students, who can access the best facilities and most modern teaching approaches on demand,” Mr Barilaro said.

The building is one of the largest classical buildings of the inter-war period, distinguished from its peers by the “skyscraper” effect of the 12- story central tower that is a landmark on the southern edge of Sydney’s CBD.

Five reasons to attend the TDA National Conference

In just a few months, from 9-11 September, TAFE industry leaders will be converging on Hobart, to get “Inspired”. There are five compelling reasons to attend:

1. Experience inspiring speakers and gain insights about trends

The conference is designed to motivate delegates to be more creative and to stimulate discussion on seeing the world differently, with speakers who have been tasked to goad, provoke and energise.

2. Exchange ideas

This year’s conference has many formal and informal networking opportunities. The pre-conference workshops and the Marketplace are back again. The interactive Marketplace topics particularly allow everyone to exchange ideas.

3. Collaboration leads to success

The greatest benefits of a conference are often intangible and serendipitous. That chance conversation in the barista line could make all the difference and bring new spheres of collaboration. A great conference is especially fertile ground for making new contacts and for collaboration.

4. Right-sized to really connect

2015 is a time for reflecting, recharging and reconnecting. The TDA National Conference is just the right size event to do all three. This year’s formal networking and connecting events include a Welcome Reception at MONA, ‘A Taste of Tasmania’ Conference Dinner and a Governor’s Reception at Governor’s House.

5. You want to know what all the buzz is about

You have heard the TDA National Conference is the best vocational education and training industry conference to attend. It’s time for you find out for yourself.

To register for the conference or download the draft program, please visit

Accommodation bookings are selling fast and substantial earlybird discounts close on 16 July.

APEC China workshop explores green skills

The APEC inception workshop of Systematic Design Of Green Skills Development in TVET was held last week in Beijing, attended by delegates from the Asia Pacific region, including Indonesia, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Australia and China.

It included more than 100 delegates from China, keen to learn how they can incorporate green skills into their curriculum. Many are involved in a large APEC project to integrate green skills into their courses under the leadership of Lui Yufeng, Director & Research Professor at Beijing’s Central Institute for Vocational & Technical Education (CIVTE).

The forum heard what APEC countries have been doing and many were impressed with Australia’s leading role in integrating green skills through the COAG Green Skills Agreement 2009.

Linda Condon, on behalf of TDA, presented a paper ‘The Greening of Skills in Australia’ which outlined the way Australia had worked to integrate green skills through the work of the Industry Skills Councils, The National Centre for Sustainability at Swinburne, the International Green Skills Network now managed by Sunraysia TAFE in Mildura, and with help from so many enthusiastic teachers in the VET sector.

Linda has been asked to continue to assist the group around the process of integration of Education about Sustainability and Education for Sustainability.

Delegates including Professor Liu Yufeng (4th from left); Linda Condon (5th from left); and Professor Yang Jin (6th from left), Director General CIVTE.

Fulbright scholarship applications open

Applications for the 2016 Fulbright Scholarships opened in May and there are opportunities for those interested in studying in the VET sector.

The scholarships are aimed at postgraduate students, researchers, academics, and professionals, and support a program of work in the United States.

Of particular interest is the Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Vocational Education & Training sponsored by the Department of Education and Training, and worth up to $30,000.

See more.

Government sector leads graduate recruitment

The number of organisations that recruited more than 20 graduates increased from 23 per cent in 2013, to 31.5 per cent in 2014, according to the latest employment report from Graduate Careers Australia.

The industry with the highest proportion of employers that recruited more than 20 graduates was Government/Defence/Health (41.5 per cent), followed closely by Accounting/Finance (40.4 per cent).

The highest proportion of participating employers that did not recruit any graduates as part of their 2014 intake was in the manufacturing industry (20.0 per cent).

See more.

Diary Dates

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

24th National VET Research 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: Click here for more information.

2015 ACODE Learning Technologies Leadership Institute
DATE: 17-21 August 2015
LOCATION: Mantra at Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast, Queensland
DETAILS: More information

TAFE Managers Association 2015
DATE: 21 August 2015
LOCATION: Luna Park, Sydney
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.

TDA National Conference
DATE: 9-11 September 2015
LOCATION: Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart
DETAILS: More information.

National VET Conference
Velg Training

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

Australian International Education Conference 2015
International education: global, responsible, sustainable

DATE: 6 – 9 October 2015
LOCATION: Adelaide Convention Centre
DETAILS: More information.



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