TDA Newsletter 29 June 2015

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Withdrawal fees banned for courses

Fees imposed on students wishing to withdraw from courses will be banned, under changes announced by the Assistant Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham.

“From 1 July 2015, if a student wants to withdraw from training on or before the census date, a provider will no longer be able to charge a withdrawal fee or place some other administrative barrier in the way of the student,” he said.

It means a VET provider:

  • Must not have financial, administrative or other barriers that prevent a student from withdrawing from a VET unit of study on or before the census date;
  • Must ensure that where a student notifies the VET provider of withdrawal or cancellation the student will not remain enrolled from the date of notification;
  • Must not enrol the student in subsequent VET units of study without written instructions from the student and must let students select, initiate or request their own enrolment;
  • Must publish withdrawal procedures on the website and make them readily available;
  • Must not charge a student any fine, penalty or fee for withdrawal.

It comes at the same time as rules preventing training providers and their agents from marketing VET FEE-HELP supported training as ‘free’ or ‘Government-funded’.

Victoria launches crackdown on low quality training

The Victorian government is to launch a $9 million blitz on low-quality training providers after accepting all the recommendations of its quality review of the VET sector.

The Minister for Training and Skills, Steve Herbert, today released the recommendations of the external Review of Quality Assurance in Victoria’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) System.

The review was ordered earlier this year in response to a number of serious abuses of the training system.

The Minister said the implementation of the 19 recommendations will lead to tougher requirements for training providers delivering government-funding training, and improved quality of VET teacher qualifications. It includes:

  • Stricter entry requirements for the government-funded training system
  • A consumer awareness campaign with information to help students chose the right course and provider
  • Tighter restrictions on the approval of subcontracting, to where it is genuine, specialised and limited
  • Greater transparency of poor quality training, such as problem providers that had a contract terminated for serious compliance issues
  • A revamp of online tools for students, businesses and industry to get information and provide feedback

“While many providers are doing the right thing, the review has found there remain unscrupulous operators who flout regulatory and contract conditions,” the Minister said.

See more.

Special Jetstar prices for TDA National Conference in Hobart

Have you booked your flights to Hobart for the TDA National Conference yet?

Jetstar has specials from Sydney and Melbourne to Hobart available until July 1.

Visit for more information. Fares are available until July 1 from $59 one way from Sydney to Hobart or from $49 one way from Melbourne to Hobart.

Accommodation blocks are also selling quickly. To register for the conference or for more information please visit

White paper canvasses funding handover of VET

Perverse outcomes in the vocational education and training sector may be overcome by handing total responsibility to either the Commonwealth or the states and territories, according the Reform of the Federation Green Paper.

The paper raises three key options to reform the system, including total handover to either the Commonwealth or the states, a Commonwealth focus on areas of national skills shortage, and a new agreed framework for shared responsibility.

“Due to the formal and shared arrangements between the Commonwealth and the States and Territories, no one single level of government controls the distribution of VET funding, and there is little coordination between the two levels of government to ensure their funding policies are pushing in the same direction,” the paper says.

“Overlap and duplication by governments in the apprenticeship system also means that the system is costly and complex, and not enough students are completing their apprenticeships,” it says.

See the Reform of the Federation Green Paper.

Labor promises to guarantee TAFE funding

The federal opposition has promised that a Labor government would guarantee a portion of government vocational education funding to TAFE.

Announcing the pledge on National TAFE Day, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Shadow Minister for Vocational Education Sharon Bird said Labor would work with the states and territories to refine the contestability of VET funding “to get the balance right”.

“Labor understands that TAFE provides an important quality touchstone across the sector, making it vital to maintain and grow,” they said.

“In addition to the TAFE funding guarantee, Labor will work with Premiers and Chief Ministers on a comprehensive National Priority Plan which properly defines and supports TAFE and places it at the centre of our vocational education and training sector.”

New tool to match employers and apprentices

A new approach to better match apprentices with employers, aimed at raising completion rates has been unveiled by Group Training Australia (GTA).

Employing Apprentices, was funded by the federal Department of Education and Training, and aims to address some of the key issues in recruiting, managing and communicating with apprentices.

It is designed for group training organisations, Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) providers, Job Active Employment Service providers, careers advisers and VET in schools coordinators.

A team led by Professor Rod McDonald, Managing Director of Ithaca Group developed the site.

“It is important for employers to understand all that is involved in taking on an apprentice and determine whether they can engage with young people and provide the necessary learning environment,” he said.

See Employing Apprentices.

William Angliss announces travel rating system

Melbourne’s William Angliss Institute has signed a memorandum of understanding with Star Ratings Australia for the launch of an exclusive Travellers’ Rating.

Travellers’ Rating is a score out of ten and will sit alongside the independent Star Rating.

It is based on an aggregate of online consumer sentiment from hundreds of websites in 45 languages.

William Angliss Institute has developed the statistical model to show if a property has met or exceeded the expectations of past guests.

Diary Dates

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.

2015 AUSTAFE National Conference
Bringing TAFE and VET to the Nation’s Capital

DATE: 28 – 30 October 2015
LOCATION: Canberra
DETAILS: Contact National President


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