In this edition

Festive Season message from TDA Chief Executive Craig Robertson

This will be the last TDA newsletter for 2017.Festive Season message from TDA Chief Executive Craig Robertson

On behalf of everyone at TDA, I want to wish you all the best for the festive season, urge you all to take a much needed break, and for those travelling, have safe journeys.

I want to especially thank all the dedicated TAFE staff around Australia whose commitment and hard work supports thousands of students every day. These valued professionals are the backbone of our great TAFE institutions.

I hope you have enjoyed keeping up to date with all the news from the sector. With many of the challenges of 2017 behind us, we hope you will join TDA throughout 2018 and together embrace the opportunities of a bright New Year.

I look forward to being back and sharing with you all the great work of our TAFEs and our people in 2018.  We will be resuming our newsletter on 15 January 2018.

Festive Season message from TDA Chief Executive Craig RobertsonIf you are after some light reading over the holidays, take a look at the Call for Proposals and the Awards of Excellence for the 2018 World Congress, encompassing the annual TDA convention via our website  Become a part of this exciting event, as we showcase our TAFE agenda to the world.

D-Day for higher education funding

The higher education sector is preparing for the worst, ahead of today’s release of the federal government’s mid-year economic report which is expected to include new savings measures targeting universities.

Following the Senate’s failure to pass the government’s $2.7 in higher education savings, today’s  mid-year economic and fiscal outlook (MYEEFO) is expected to contain alternative savings that won’t require legislation.

Reports suggest this could include caps on student places and tighter controls over university research grants.

Grattan Institute tertiary education expert Andrew Norton believes that the government may freeze the demand driven system, and reduce postgraduate Commonwealth-supported places.

“The funding agreements are not legislative instruments, and therefore are not sent to Parliament and not subject to disallowance by the House of Representatives or the Senate,” Norton says.

“It is one of the few options left for a government determined to make Budget savings without a Senate majority.”

Head of NZ’s leading technology institute appointed CEO of Chisholm

The Board of Chisholm Institute has announced the appointment of Dr Richard Ede, pictured, as its new Chief Executive Officer following the retirement of Maria Peters.Head of NZ�s leading technology institute appointed CEO of Chisholm

Dr Ede is currently Chief Executive of Unitec, New Zealand’s largest Institute of Technology, which he has led for almost a decade.

Before his role in New Zealand, Dr Ede was with the CSIRO, and previously, had a significant period teaching in the tertiary sector.

He holds a Master’s degree and a Doctorate in Chemistry from the University of Waikato. He is also an alumnus of the London Business School.

The Chairman of Chisholm Institute, Stephen Marks said Dr EDE is recognised as a high-performing and future-focused leader who is equally at home in both academic and business environments.

He commences in March.

TDA extends its congratulations to Dr Ede on his appointment.

TDA’s Pam Caven to call it a day

TDA’s Director Policy and Stakeholder Engagement, Pam Caven, pictured, is set to end the latest chapter in her long VET journey, as she prepares to retire at the end of the year.TDA's Pam Caven to call it a day

Pam has been with TDA for a decade and has been immersed in all areas of vocational and higher education. She has also been a driving force behind TDA’s national conferences, culminating in this year’s hugely successful convention in Adelaide with record attendance.

Pam’s history in the sector is remarkable – she has been a secondary school teacher, teachers’ college lecturer, TAFE teacher, a senior manager in state and federal departments and an author. She also served in the former Australian National Training Authority (ANTA) and the office of the Victorian Auditor General.

TDA Chief Executive Craig Robertson paid tribute to the passion and expertise that Pam brought to her work.

“It is sad to see Pam departing because she is tireless advocate for education and she has played an enormous part in policy development and building partnerships in support of TAFE and across the sector.

“I know that I speak for her vast network of friends and colleagues when I say that her contribution has been immense, and that she leaves with extraordinary goodwill and gratitude from all of us for everything that she has accomplished.

“We wish Pam all the very best in her retirement.”

Does Australia have the skills information system it needs?

Australia’s lack of a system that assembles reliable, up-to-date information on skills, risks the possibility of the country failing to meet the needs of employers and workers in a rapidly changing global environment, according to new research.

The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) has examined 13 cases worldwide of how countries assemble and manage key skills information vital to industry and employees.

It identified four standout examples, located in the United States, Singapore and the EU, as well as a new globally accepted “common language” for the digital world, known as Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA).

“In the good practice skills information systems, the government took the lead, but with stakeholder collaboration and buy-in,” NCVER said.

“Often a dedicated skills agency, the skills information body is linked with an industry organisation or sector-specific councils and has regional representation.”

While there was no comparison with Australia, NCVER says the findings “do prompt reflection on Australia’s present arrangements”.

“From a narrow VET perspective, failing to address the issue of the lack of such a framework may risk the currency of training package information, while standard occupational information is likely to become increasingly disconnected from job reality,” it says.

See more

Exhibition booths and sponsorship available at WFCP 2018 World Congress, Melbourne 2018

Sponsorship and exhibition opportunities are now available for the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics 2018 World Congress.

The WFCP holds a biennial World Congress, and Australia, through TDA, has won the right to host the 2018 World Congress in Melbourne in October 2018. By combining the annual TDA Convention with the 2018 World Congress, we anticipate attracting over 700 delegates to Melbourne, including 250 international delegates. This landmark event will enable you to forge business links with TVET leaders and practitioners from Australia and across the globe.

For more information regarding the Congress, including the Call for Speaker Proposals (submission deadline is February 19, 2018), registration and a Program at a Glance, click here.

Exhibition booths and sponsorship available at WFCP 2018 World Congress Melbourne 2018

Business Council invites input on its tertiary system overhaul

The Business Council of Australia (BCA) is inviting input into a wholesale review of the tertiary education and training system that it is undertaking.

BCA chief executive Jennifer Westacott said that public consultation is open on its recent reform blueprint ‘Future Proof: Protecting Australians Through Education and Skills’.

“Without action, I fear by the time we work out that vocational education is hugely important to the economy it will have been rundown so much we will have to spend billions to put it back together,’’ Ms Westacott said.

The reform paper proposes a single tertiary funding system across higher education and vocational education and training, with each person given a portable, lifelong “skills account” to spend on skills training.

The consultation is being run by the Nous Group. Submissions are due by 19 January and can be sent to

See the BCA reform paper and the submission guidelines.

Diary Dates

ASEAN Australia Education Dialogue
21-23 March 2018
Penang, Malaysia
More information

VET Practitioner Research Conference
AVETRA, VET Development Centre, and Victorian TAFE Assoc.
26-27 April 2018
More information

Skills Show Australia 2018
WorldSkills Australia
2-4 June 2018
International Convention Centre, Darling Harbour, Sydney
More information

Australian Institute of Training and Development (AITD)
National Conference

7- 8 June 2018
International Convention Centre, Sydney
More information

2018 Skills Conference
Apprentice Employment Network, NSW & ACT
14 June 2018
Dockside Darling Harbour, Sydney
More information

No Frills – Skills for a global future
NCVER & New Zealand’s Ako Aotearoa and Industry Training Federation
15-17 August 2018
More information

2018 World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) World Congress (in conjunction with TDA National Conference)
8-10 October 2018
Melbourne Convention Centre
More information

Corporate Affiliates


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