In this edition

Lift student loan limits to boost innovation, TDA says in budget submission

TDA has called on the federal government to review the maximum loan amounts under the revamped VET student loans program for specialised courses that contribute to the country’s innovation capability.

The recommendation is contained in TDA’s federal budget submission. Currently, VET student loans are limited to nationally endorsed qualifications under indexed loan caps of $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000, as determined by the government.

“Reliance on centrally defined qualifications is the very antithesis of the innovation and flexibility the Government is seeking, and will limit Australia’s ability to move up the value-chain,” the TDA submission says.

Other TDA budget recommended include:

  • Structured support for displaced students of the former VET FEE-HELP scheme with student debts not covered by tuition assurance
  • Extension of Commonwealth Supported Places to higher education students in TAFE.
  • An Offshore Partnership Development Fund of $10 million to invest in the coordination of Australia’s response to large scale offshore skilling opportunities

See TDA’s 2018-19 Budget submission

TAFE SA on track to address concerns raised by VET regulator

TAFE SA expects to resolve all 140 students seeking their certification following an audit of TAFE SA courses, by mid February 201, a Senate inquiry was told on Friday.

TAFE Directors CEO Craig Robertson told the Senate inquiry into TAFE SA that executives and staff from the institution have worked through the Christmas break to remedy the instances of non-compliance identified by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) in an audit last September.

He said new assessment tools had been mandated across the institute including in 23 units of competency that require remediation.

Of the 1660 students originally affected, 315 were not impacted once it was clear that the electrotechology qualification was not subject to findings, 60 secondary students needed their records updated, which is now complete, and around 880 students will continue training this year with any existing assessment issues rectified during continued study. Also, ASQA has indicated that the qualifications stand for 318 students who have already completed. All students have been invited to contact TAFE SA if they have any concerns about their qualification.

The remaining 140 students have issues of assessment which will largely be resolved between TAFE SA and their employers by mid-February, Robertson said.

ASQA Chief Commissioner Mark Paterson said that TAFE SA has been granted an extension to March 2 to address the issues identified in the audit, meaning the original regulatory decision has been set aside.

“They (TAFE SA) are able to enrol, teach and graduate students,” he said.

He also said that a further audit of TAFE SA planned for the first quarter of 2018 would be delayed.

TAFE Queensland picks up Korea business award

TAFE Queensland picks up Korea business awardTAFE Queensland has won a prestigious award at the AustCham Korea Business Awards.

The award in the Education Services category was held as part of Australia Day celebrations in Seoul.

The award was accepted by Janelle Chapman, Executive Director of TAFE Queensland International pictured centre, right.

Employers could opt for skilled migrants instead of apprentices under new skills fund, TDA warns

The federal government’s skills fund designed to create new apprenticeships could result in employers instead opting to rely on skilled migration to fill vacancies, TDA has told a Senate committee.

TDA CEO Craig Robertson, appearing before the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee, said the design of the Skilling Australians Fund, could see employers deciding that the lack of public funding for apprentices and trainees from the states and territories would make it easier to resort to skilled migration.

“So, the intent of this fund to rebuild numbers in apprenticeships and traineeships may well be lost,” he said.

He also said that the requirement for matching funding from the states and territories across individual projects ran the risk of “a whole pile of hodgepodge projects”.

“In all of that, the big loser will be national employers who we need to come back into the training system in a big way to start engaging apprentices and trainees,” he said.

See the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee transcript

ASQA hiring a regulatory manager

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) is recruiting for the position of Manager, Regulatory Operations, based in Perth.

The position is responsible for leading regulatory strategy and risk mitigation projects with the agency. Applications close 16 February.

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DFAT council grant round opens

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) runs a series of country specific councils, including the Australia China Council and the Australia-Japan Foundation.

Each year, most of these councils run a grants round, frequently with a focus on education. Those now open include:

  • Australia China Council Grants – closes 28 March
  • Australia-ASEAN Council Grant Round – closes 4 April
  • Australia-Japan Foundation – closes 4 April
  • Australia Korea Foundation – closes 4 April
  • Council for Australian-Arab Relations (CAAR) – closes 4 April
  • Council on Australia Latin America Relations – closes 28 March

Other councils, including the Australia-India Council and the Australia-Indonesia Institute, have not yet released their 2018 grant round dates.

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Diary Dates

ISANA Vic/TAS (International Education Association Inc)
National Code 2018 Workshop
12 February 2018
Trinity College Melbourne
More information

EURIE 2018
Eurasia Higher Education Summit
14-16 February 2018
Istanbul, Turkey
More information

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

2018 UNEVOC TVET Leadership Programme
25 June – 6 July 2018
Bonn, Germany
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

Victorian TAFE Association State Conference
‘TAFE: Dynamic, Connected, Invigorated’
16-17 August 2018
RACV City Club, 501 Bourke Street, Melbourne
More information coming soon

National Skills Week 2018
27 August- 2 September 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

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