The Morrison Government has announced a shake-up to Australia’s migration program

Scott Morrison has slammed critics of his new immigration shake-up and instead turned the blowtorch on Bill Shorten.

The Morrison Government has announced a dramatic shake-up to Australia’s migration program, aimed at curbing the issue of population growth in major cities.Source:AAP

The Prime Minister has responded to claims his government’s proposed cap on immigration is “dog whistling” about immigration and asylum seekers, saying he is disappointed with the comparison.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten yesterday slammed the Morrison government’s proposed cap of 160,000 new immigrants per year.

Mr Shorten said he didn’t take issue with the policy itself, but took issue with the timing of it in the wake of the terrorist attack in Christchurch.

“The dog whistling by political leaders about immigration and asylum seekers must stop,” Mr Shorten said.

“The standard you walk past is the standard you accept. So I repeat, as leader of the Labor Party, one of the two parties who can form a government in this country, dog whistling about immigration and asylum seekers needs to stop, and it needs to stop because the crazies, the extremists, they take comfort when there is approval given to go down this slippery path of starting to bag immigration.”

But thePrime Minister spoke again about the policy this morning, appearing on Sunrise to explain the detail of the proposed legislation’s roll out.

David Koch questioned the timing of the announcement, asking Mr Morrison if changes to immigration numbers were appropriate in the wake of the Christchurch massacre.

But the PM ensured the policy announcement was about “investments” and “congestion busting on our roads” and “social cohesion”.

“It’s a plan to work with the states and territories who will get an increase say about the intakes from less than one fifth to more than one quarter.

“It is about managing our population growth and I think to conflate it with other issues is very disappointing.

“I understand why Labor would be sensitive about this and I listen to Mr Daley’s comments in NSW.

“I found those comments about Asian immigrants to be very upsetting and offensive and I think Mr Shorten should disassociate himself from those comments.”

Mr Morrison said he was disappointed that Mr Shorten had conflated the policy roll out with 'dog whistling' about immigration and asylum seekers.

Mr Morrison said he was disappointed that Mr Shorten had conflated the policy roll out with ‘dog whistling’ about immigration and asylum seekers.Source:Twitter

Mr Morrison said the issue was about 'congestion busting' and 'social cohesion'.

Mr Morrison said the issue was about ‘congestion busting’ and ‘social cohesion’.Source:Twitter

NSW Labor leader Michael Daley is in turmoil ahead of the state election this weekend after a video emerged of him making remarks about youth employment and Asian migration in Sydney.

The Morrison Government today announced a plan to reduce the cap on its migration program to address the issue of population growth.

The Government will reduce the migration ceiling from 190,000 to 160,000 places a year.

It will also introduce new regional visas for skilled foreign workers, which will force them to live in regional Australia for three years before they are able to access permanent residence.

As an incentive, Skilled Employers Sponsored Regional and Skilled Work Regional visa holders will be given priority processing and will have access to a larger pool of eligible jobs.

It will also offer international students at regional universities an additional year in Australia on a post-study work visa as an incentive.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison cited lengthy traffic times, crippling public transport infrastructure and strained education and health services as among the priorities in the new policy.

“Better targeting our intake will address skills shortages and benefit the economy as a whole. It will take pressure the off in those cities that are straining, while supporting the cities and towns that are keen to have stronger growth.

“Managing population growth isn’t just about the migration intake. It’s about infrastructure, it’s about city and regional deals, it’s about our congestion busting projects, removing traffic bottlenecks, it’s about funding the essential services Australians rely on and providing key skills to rural and regional areas.

“Our plan marks a turning point in the way population is treated across government, with a move to greater collaboration, transparency and longer term planning. It is a comprehensive plan that engages and partners with our States and Territories and local governments.

“Our plan, working across all levels of government, will help to ensure that Australia continues to be one of the most liveable places in the worlincluding for generations to come.”

The Government will reduce the migration ceiling from 190,000 to 160,000 places a year as a way to alleviate population growth in the major cities.

The Government will reduce the migration ceiling from 190,000 to 160,000 places a year as a way to alleviate population growth in the major cities.Source:News Corp Australia

The Government has pledged $75 billion in infrastructure to alleviate transport issues associated with population growth, as well as establish a Centre for Population to ensure a consistent body on population growth.

Citizenship Minister Alan Tudge said the plan will ease concerns about infrastructure and services, particularly in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

“Australia has thrived from a steady population growth and is the most successful multicultural nation in the world,” he said. “But over the last two decades, the infrastructure and services have not kept pace, causing congestion on our roads particularly in Melbourne, Sydney and South East Queensland.

“At the same time, many of our smaller cities and regional areas are crying out for more people.

“Some regional areas simply cannot fill the jobs available. There are an estimated 47,000 job vacancies in regional Australia today.

“Our population plan will ease congestion on the big capitals, while supporting those smaller cities and regions that want to grow.

“It is an integrated plan, that eases the migration rate, builds the necessary infrastructure and plans for the future.”

The Morrison Government first floated the idea of new visa rules for migrants in May last year.

“There are many regions in Australia that are now facing skilled labour shortages and we are working with regional leaders and businesses to find solutions,” Mr Tudge told at the time.

“Many migrants are sponsored for permanent residence on the basis of an intent to live and work in regional Australia but don’t stay long in the region once they have their permanent visa. This is obviously not ideal and contributes to the labour shortages.”



Australia’s most future-proof jobs revealed

Top jobs for the future. Source: Getty Images

Australia’s economic growth is in a worrying state, the property market is spiralling, inflation is low and its putting huge pressure on our lacklustre jobs market and wage growth.

Throw in concerns around robots taking over our jobs and it’s easy to see why Aussies are so concerned about the security of their future career path.

According to Callam Pickering, APAC Economist at Indeed, there are four sectors in Australia where we could see significant jobs growth.

“A vast majority of growth will be in service sector industries, providing a range of personal or business services,” he told Yahoo Finance.

“An ageing population will create huge demand for healthcare and aged care services, while continuous learning will require thousands of new teachers.”

“Throughout it all, new technologies will continue to change the Australian workplace, meaning it will often replace existing jobs.”

“However, jobs in healthcare, teaching, cooking and marketing are likely to stand the test of time as these fields innately require unique human skills, such as creativity, critical thinking, taste, and empathy.”

Related story: Dole needs to be increased by $75, in step with minimum wage: social services sector

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Here are Australia’s four most ‘future-proof’ jobs, according to Pickering.

1. Marketing

Marketing has been identified as the fastest growing occupation worldwide due to ‘soft’ skills, such as creativity, critical thinking and an understanding of the human touch, Pickering explained.

This is something that artificial intelligence (AI) won’t be able to replicate in the foreseeable future.

In the last 10 years, employment in marketing has increased by 5.5 per cent per year, close to an additional 30,000 jobs.

2. Healthcare

Australia’s ageing population has increased demand for healthcare workers and social assistance across the board.

In 2007 13 per cent of Australia’s population was over the age of 65, but by 2017 this had risen to 15 per cent and it’s expected to reach 20 per cent by 2037.

With employment in healthcare increasing by an average of 4.4 per cent per year, job openings are only expected to increase in the industry, as Australia’s population continues to grow older and remains in the workforce for longer.

“As an industry, healthcare is typically at the forefront of technological developments, and these are likely to be complemented by any advancements in AI/tech,” Pickering said.

3. Chefs/Cooks 

It goes without saying that robots aren’t known for their taste in food.

Similar to marketing roles, being a chef requires creativity and an intimate understanding of the human experience.

Employment within this industry is on the rise with jobs increasing by 3.5 per cent each year. In the last three years alone, over 27,000 people have entered this occupation.

4. Teaching

Pickering pointed out that the need to upskill and remain competitive in a technologically driven workforce has meant that Australians are constantly looking to grow their knowledge and skill base.

Indeed identified that demand for teachers has increased by 2.4 per cent per year and they rank third in Australia’s leading exports.

With people looking outside of school and university for new skills, the role of teacher is no longer confined to the traditional classroom setting and instead incorporates online courses and technologies to aid with learning.


Fresh harvest: the new-look Pod Network

The VOCEDplus Pod Network has been redesigned to put more targeted information at your fingertips.

Three years on, the new-look network provides you with more avenues to access relevant publications, with a focus on addressing new trends in the VET sector.

Explore new Pods on ‘Industry 4.0’ and ‘Student outcomes’, or zero in on more specific topics with new Podlets on ’21st century skills’ and ‘Qualifications and training products’.

Some low-use material has also been archived to help simplify the resource, making it easier than ever to find what you need.

Check out the refreshed, redesigned and relaunched Pod Network now on the VOCEDplus website.

VET workforce survey now underway!

The National VET Workforce Survey is now open until the end of March 2019.

This national survey will give a better picture of how many people are working in registered training organisations, to help with future planning and to better support the VET workforce.

Selected RTOs have been invited via email to take part.

Only one person per RTO is required to complete this 10-minute survey and it is best answered by someone with detailed knowledge of staff in your organisation.

The VET workforce report will be published in July 2019. Subscribe now to be alerted when it is released.

To find out more about the survey, visit our Portal.

Latest apprentice and trainee data

The latest release of national apprentice and trainee data show there were 34 290 commencements in the September 2018 quarter, down 5.0% compared with the September 2017 quarter.

Completions were down 9.6% in the September 2018 quarter to 20 765 when compared with the same quarter in 2017.

Overall there were 267 385 apprentices and trainees in-training as at 30 September 2018, down 0.6% from 30 September 2017.

Employers we want to hear from you

The 2019 Survey of Employer Use and Views of the VET System is now underway.

Around 8000-9000 employers will be interviewed about their views on the VET system and how they use it to meet their skills needs.

This survey is conducted every 2 years and the results of this year’s survey will be published in late 2019.

To find out more, or to view the results of previous surveys, visit our Portal.

Applications now open

The Australian Training Awards are the peak, national awards for Australia’s VET sector.

The awards recognise and reward individuals, businesses and registered training organisations for their contribution to skilling Australia.

Award categories include the ‘National Achievement’ and ‘Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice’ for individuals, the ‘Australian Apprenticeships – Employer’ award, and the ‘School Pathways to VET’ award for RTOs.

Applications close Friday 31 May 2019. Visit the ATA website to submit your application and find out more.

Coming soon

Stay tuned for the following new releases over the coming weeks:

  • Research: Higher apprenticeships in Australia: opportunities and barriers
  • Research: What is the value of VET in Schools?
  • Research: School-to-work transitions: untangling the pathways

Keep an eye on Twitter and LinkedIn for more in-depth information on our latest releases, or subscribe to receive notifications on the day of release.

Upcoming events

Conference: 28th National VET Research Conference ‘No Frills’
Wednesday 10 – Friday 12 July 2019, Adelaide

4 explorative international schools that value student innovation

“It is amazing how dispiriting it can be to enter a learning environment and to be made immediately to suppress your own exploratory inclinations. We owe it to ourselves and each other to create better opportunities that enhance human potential and education is the externality that allows for this.”- Ashim Shanker

When you were a young student, you too will have possessed an eagerness to explore through engaging educational tools and techniques.

But if you were ever stuck in a learning environment that didn’t permit students to flourish or grow through innovative and stimulating activities, it’s highly likely that you’d have feel disheartened or distracted from your academic development.

That’s why exploratory learning is an essential part of modern school curricula. By leveraging this investigative education style, students unleash the power of their imagination and take their future to new heights.

Understanding the need for creative stimulation, many international schools have implemented a variety of opportunities for learners to explore their passions and enhance their interests in outdoor and co-curricular education.


Source: British International School Phuket

From playful learning labs to contemporary makerspaces, there’s always a new way to inspire pupils to think outside of their comfort zone and be daring enough to create without rigid restrictions.

As Dr Clive W Kronenberg explains, “In the global educational domain there has been, for several years already, a pronounced focus on developing critical thinking in schools and learning institutions. Although there’s wide consensus that critical thinking can enhance the learner’s general performance levels effectively.”

In order to develop their inquisitive nature, “Learners should be asked routinely to express their own points of view on a diversity of issues, concepts and ideas. Also, they should be given tasks that call upon them to develop their own categories and modes of classification, rather than the teacher providing such possibilities in advance,” Kronenberg adds.

This is where explorative learning practices come into play. By providing a safe space for young minds to curate ideas and collaborate with peers on creative tasks, they’ll feel part of a community of progressive pioneers and 21st-century creatives.

1-11-18-Early-Years-Outdoor-Classroom-Day-IMG_0145  AIS-Secondary-3660

Source: Australian International School Singapore

Here are four explorative international schools that value student innovation…


Supporting and influencing a community of international learners to excel beyond their academic pursuits and across all areas of their development, Australian International School (AIS) in Singapore understands the need for student-led discovery and explorative education.

At AIS, learning is not confined to the classroom. Through the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP), students from ages 6 to 12 are exposed to a dynamic learning environment where they can actively enquire, build on their understanding of the world and take responsibility for their academic progression.

Explorative in nature, all AIS programmes build upon learners’ enquiry-based skills and enable them to view the world through different lenses.

From the Early Years curriculum that draws on the principles of the Reggio Emilia philosophy, to the Secondary Years syllabus that promotes the Australian HSC, the IBDP or Vocational Education and Training options; every student at AIS embodies the ‘challenge by choice’ ethos.

1-11-18-Early-Years-Outdoor-Classroom-Day-IMG_0145  AIS-Secondary-3660  AIS-Elementary-HR-4165

Source: Australian International School Singapore

Inspiring ingenuity, AIS students are also coaxed to step out of their comfort zones and try new things.

Either by fully engaging in the School’s Outdoor Education Programme, introducing them to community service projects, enriching their cultural perspective with global languages programmes or involving them in inclusive co-curricular groups and events, the Australian International School in Singapore is where every student’s ambition is nurtured and realised.

Find out more about the school here.


The British International School Phuket (BISP) has developed a unique education philosophy based upon a ‘Triple Helix’.

Many schools rightly identify ‘wellbeing’ as an important aspect of general education, but BISP has also incorporated ‘Passion’ into its philosophical approach. ‘Passion’ it defines as the ‘ability to embrace life’, as evidenced by students seizing opportunities to take learning out of the classroom and into the world.

1-11-18-Early-Years-Outdoor-Classroom-Day-IMG_0145  AIS-Secondary-3660  AIS-Elementary-HR-4165  primary-1

Source: British International School Phuket

Such a commitment requires the school to provide opportunities for students to seek their own challenges, building on their existing knowledge and experiences. Examples of this in the Primary School include charitable projects devised by children through the ‘Make a Difference (MAD)’ campaigns and their work with less privileged children.

In the Secondary School, an ‘academy’ structure provides real-life experiences in business, science, the arts and technology, where students take their own passions beyond the classroom and contribute to school development through practical enterprises.

Examples include the technical back-up and live-streaming of sports and arts events, business ventures based upon retailing school-related items, the construction of buildings using materials designed out of recycled materials and the production of commissioned artwork for commercial use. Notable successes include the student-sponsored support for a scholarship student from rural India to attend BISP, and the design of an ‘app‘ to facilitate charitable giving.

Compassion lies at the heart of the educational process, and this school prides itself on encouraging students to demonstrate this attribute through innovation and creativity.


Jerudong International School in Brunei, on the northern coast of Borneo, offers a British International education to 1,650 day and boarding students.

1-11-18-Early-Years-Outdoor-Classroom-Day-IMG_0145  AIS-Secondary-3660  AIS-Elementary-HR-4165  primary-1  IMG_0333_Cooking-in-Bamboo

Source: Jerudong International School

The IB Diploma course incorporates the ‘Theory of Knowledge’ (ToK). This builds on the Philosophy for Children (P4C) programme in the Junior and Middle Years of the school.  ToK encourages critical thinking and asks the question, “How do we know what we know?”

IB Diploma students spend a residential weekend in Temburong, a protected area of Brunei, with the Iban tribal people. They learn how the Iban people acquire knowledge; is it different to Western learning? They listen to the village elders – a tradition of storytelling. What is the value of modern technology in such a traditional setting? These are the questions asked.

Students go into the primary rainforest – jungle – to learn about plants used for food and medicine. Here, students realise the value of indigenous knowledge as collectively, six guides share information on the rainforest being a self-sustainable environment.

They learn that Borneo is home to over 15,000 plant species, with over 6,000 species found nowhere else in the world. Some of the most incredibly valuable species with amazing uses are found here in Borneo, such as the Kulimpapa, a plant capable of acting as an insect repellent, whereas the Gaharu tree, which produces essential oils for the perfume industry, can be worth as much as USD$15,000 at full growth.

This is learning in an innovative and truly explorative manner!


Inspiring excellence and building character since 1912, Seoul Foreign School (SFS) in South Korea combines an exquisite campus with an extensive range of arts, athletics and aquatics facilities.

1-11-18-Early-Years-Outdoor-Classroom-Day-IMG_0145  AIS-Secondary-3660  AIS-Elementary-HR-4165  primary-1  IMG_0333_Cooking-in-Bamboo  bsks1-768x512

Source: Seoul Foreign School

By integrating innovative education practices from around the world, SFS supplies learners with two international curriculums: the International Baccalaureate and the English National Curriculum. Yet, within each curriculum, the focus is on creativity, teamwork and adaptability.

Through the comprehensive arts programmes, the school provides an explorative environment for visual arts, music and drama students to take centre stage and perform.

For instance, in their visual arts programme, learners from the bottom to the top of the curriculum pyramid have bright and open-space classrooms to brush up on their artistic skills. Encouraged to experiment with Korean art styles and contemporary 3-D printing, there’s never a shortage of innovative assembles to arise from SFS.

In addition, the school is made up of a mix of students from numerous nations and international curricula, and has evolved into a home away from home for many learners. Driven and diverse, this enables students to explore an enriched view of the world.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

Reskilling workers key to future

Alexandra Badenoch, head of human resources at Telstra. Picture: Hollie AdamsAlexandra Badenoch, head of human resources at Telstra. Picture: Hollie Adams

Rising digitisation of the workplace, coupled with the decline of middle-management jobs, is driving a wholesale shift to companies reskilling, or upskilling, their existing employees in a bid to meet the skills gap, according to panellists at the Enterprise Series lunch.

Alexandra Badenoch, head of human resources at Telstra, said her company was one of many eliminating layers of managers, namely those who “direct work and tell others what to do”. Ms Badenoch said the change was being driven by automation and a shift to an increasing digital environment, with a work structure that mirrored that of the successful tech firms.

“One of the big changes for us is breaking down some of the traditional hierarchies,” she said. “Executive and middle management for us is shrinking pretty substantially.”

With a flatter structure, technical staff needed to add soft skills to their toolkit. “I don’t want just a really smart engineer. I want a really smart engineer who knows how to collaborate, communicate, engage and actually really bring much greater value to the workplace,” Ms Badenoch said.

Skills that complement a digital future are also becoming critical for the mining sector. Tania Constable, head of the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), told the audience that recent research, conducted with Ernst and Young, identified a $35 billion investment that would need to take place in technology, and an additional $5bn to $13bn would be required over the next five years to ensure workers were trained to not just use that technology, but have the soft skills, such as change management, collaboration and leadership to use it effectively.

“Data analytics, the use of drones, automation, driverless trains and vehicles, that’s causing a fundamental shift in our workforce which has made us rethink how we’re looking at future skills,” Ms Constable said.

The MCA evaluated the skills gap across the sector and concluded that across the commodities workforce 42 per cent of jobs needed to be enhanced through technology and innovation to improve performance and productivity; 35 per cent needed to be redesigned via upskilling or reskilling; and the remaining 23 per cent of tasks would likely change completely due technological advancements like automation. “We will see complete changes of some work types,” Ms Constable said. “The important thing is to get ahead of it and invest in upskilling and reskilling. I think every job’s going to be affected.”

For Telstra, which has identified a significant undersupply of workers trained in high-skilled areas like network engineering, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence, a reassessment of the pathway from education to employment was called for.

Minerals Council of Australia CEO Tania Constable, Telstra's Group Executive, Human Resources Alexandra Badenoch, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia CEO Adrian Dwyer and moderator Adam Creighton. Hollie Adams/The Australian
Minerals Council of Australia CEO Tania Constable, Telstra’s Group Executive, Human Resources Alexandra Badenoch, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia CEO Adrian Dwyer and moderator Adam Creighton. Hollie Adams/The Australian

“Employers and educators have to rethink the world,” Ms Badenoch said. “If I look at Telstra, in the last few years we’ve become very sharp at talking about exactly what skills we need, what’s going to be declining and what’s going to be growing. But if I look at the education system, I think we are still a little stuck in a traditional mindset.”

Ms Badenoch believed many of the new, emerging jobs would need to be addressed via on-the-job training by vocational education providers such as TAFE because the university sector had been too slow to respond to needs. “When we look at most workplaces, the evolution has been tremendous, whereas … traditional universities have been a little bit slow to shift and adjust,” she said. “Getting degrees where we’re not seeing job growth is not serving the country and not serving employers of the future. It needs to change.”

Ms Constable agreed the VET sector was an excellent way to address the national skills’ shortage, and said that sectors should work together to ensure the skills created were transferable. She called on universities to work more closely with the VET sector and pooling their resources by “micro-credentialling” students. “Our message to the university sector is make sure we’ve got that cross-fertilisation occurring with the VET sector because we want to see a lot of those semi-professional skillsets coming through into our industry.”

Ms Constable saw an opportunity for employers to work more closely together.

“We have been talking about our individual areas of expertise but there is a real synergy across the skillsets and a need to be thinking more holistically. There is an opportunity to augment some of those skillsets with micro-credentialling that will occur in TAFEs and the university sector,” she said.

Taxes and royalties paid by Australian miners equivalent to Federal Government education spending

Photo by Minerals Council of Australia.

report published by Deloitte Access Economics reveals that Australian mining companies paid A$30.6 billion in company tax and royalties in 2017-18 – the equivalent of all Federal Government spending on Australian schools, universities and vocational training.

According to the report, the dollar amount paid in company taxes over the past couple of years surpasses that of 2011-12, which was the peak of the resources boom. That amount adds up to A$18.6 billion.

The document, which was commissioned by the Minerals Council of Australia, also states that mining companies paid A$12 billion in royalties to State Governments in 2017-18 – more than three times the amount paid a decade ago.

“These figures show the benefits delivered to taxpayers by the nation’s largest export earner through billions of dollars paid to governments each year in taxes and royalties,” said Tania Constable, Chief Executive Officer of the industry group, in a media statement. “Yet there could be even more benefits delivered to the community if our politicians deliver reforms – in particular, an internationally-competitive tax rate – so Australia can secure investment in the mines of the future.”

In Constable’s view, Federal and State governments need to ensure consistent policies that encourage investment and productivity in the resources sector. She said this would guarantee mining continues to deliver highly-paid, highly-skilled jobs in different areas of the country, especially in remote ones.


Aus: majority sees economic value of international education

A new survey has found the vast majority of Australians believe the international education industry makes a considerable contribution to the country’s economy, but stakeholders warn further communication of the sector’s benefits is needed.

When provided with economic figures, the number of respondents who saw value in intled increased. Photo: Seb Zurcher/UnsplashWhen provided with economic figures, the number of respondents who saw value in intled increased. Photo: Seb Zurcher/Unsplash

The research, commissioned by Universities Australia and conducted by opinions tracker JWS Research, surveyed 1,500 respondents and found 81% perceived international education as ‘important’ to the national economy.

“Any initiative that communicates the benefits of international education is very welcome”

“The Australian public absolutely get it: they know international students make a hugely valuable contribution to our local communities, society, global outlook and economy,” said UA chief executive Catriona Jackson.

“The income they bring into Australia supports local jobs, wages and living standards right across the country.”

Breaking down the figures, based on what respondents already understood of the industry, 48% said they perceived international education as ‘very important or vital’ to the Australian economy, while 34% said they saw ‘some benefit’. Only 10% said they thought there was ‘no benefit’ at all.

When provided with statistics on export revenue and the number of jobs supported by the sector, which reached a record $34.9 billion and 240,00 full-time equivalent jobs in 2018, figures improved further to 85%.

The number of those who said it was ‘very important or vital’ increased ten points to 58%.

The survey is the second in as many months of Australian’s perceptions and beliefs on international education

While Jackson said the findings were an important gauge for understanding the wider community’s perception of the economics of international education, she said it was important to continue to highlight additional benefits.

“Australians also benefit from the powerful personal, cultural, diplomatic and trade ties that are forged when brilliant students from across the globe spend their formative years here,” she said.

“When these talented students return home – as 85% do – they join a global network of alumni with deep understanding and lifelong affection for Australia.”

The survey is the second in as many months of Australian’s perceptions and beliefs on international education..

University of New South Wales’ earlier research found 54% of respondents agreed the government should limit international student numbers, and UA’s survey appears to indicate oscillating public opinion on the industry as a whole.

“[We’re] trying to find the balance”

In February, CISA president Bijay Sapkota said negative political rhetoric had caused these perceptions.

“Public opinion has been changed because of politicians making remarks on international students time and again without doing adequate research about international students’ contribution to the community,” he told The PIE News.

A tumultuous period for Australian international education, in the lead up to this year’s federal election and the possibility of an overhaul of its national strategy and governing council, Phil Honeywood, chief executive of IEAA, argued for further engagement with the broader community.

“Any initiative that involves communicating the benefits of international education to the wider Australian community is very welcome,” he said.

“The fact that we’ve had two recent surveys, one from a large education institution and one from a peak body, that have very different perspectives, underlines the challenge ahead for better communication of what we do.”

Community engagement and ensuring the domestic population benefits from international education has already become an area of focus for some universities, with Australian National University vice-chancellor Brian Schmidt arguing that there was a potential threshold above which there are reduce gains.

“There are limits to how many international students, in my opinion, one can take and still keep that message up, at least as the national university. Trying to find the balance is where we’re at,” he told The PIE.

The latest Department of Education and Training data revealed Australia experienced another record year, attracting 693,800 international students in 2018.


Schoolgirl, 12, who shaved her head to raise money for a cancer charity is left in tears after cruel bullies call her ‘ugly’

  • A year seven student was left in tears after she was bullied for shaving her head
  • Kyarah Doyle, 12, had shaved her head and raised $1000 for a cancer charity
  • Students Kyarah called her friends shouted rude remarks and called her ‘ugly’  

Inverell High School student Kyarah Doyle (pictured), from northern New South Wales, reached her goal to raise at least $1,000 for the Leukemia Foundation World's Greatest ShaveInverell High School student Kyarah Doyle (pictured), from northern New South Wales, reached her goal to raise at least $1,000 for the Leukemia Foundation World’s Greatest Shave

The 'selfless' year seven student made the brave decision to shave off her sandy-blonde hair in honour of her grandmother, who was diagnosed with cancerThe ‘selfless’ year seven student made the brave decision to shave off her sandy-blonde hair in honour of her grandmother, who was diagnosed with cancer

‘She came home from school and as soon as I saw her, I knew there was something wrong,’ the mother-of-four told Daily Mail Australia.

‘Students at school, who she classified as friends, bullied her and asked her why she would have done that,

‘They should have  been the ones to support her and they knew full well why she shaved her head.’

Ms Smith said Kyarah was so upset, she couldn’t face going back to school and had to stay home on Tuesday.

‘She’s still very upset. I’m reassuring her that what she’s done is incredible and so many people are proud of her,’ she said.

‘I thought high school students would be more mature than this.’

The mother-of-four has blamed the school for not publicising the initiative to students beforehand.

She had filed a complaint to the school but was told by the principal she was unaware of the incident.

The matter was passed on to the deputy, who also wasn’t aware of the bullying but has said the school will act on promoting the campaign.

Ms Smith said her 12-year-old was so upset, she couldn't face going back to school and had to stay home on TuesdayMs Smith said her 12-year-old was so upset, she couldn’t face going back to school and had to stay home on Tuesday

‘They [the school] literally did not want anything to do with it. I feel if they had promoted it, she wouldn’t have been bullied,’ Ms Smith said.

Ms Smith, who had participated in the World’s Greatest Shave in past after losing a close friend to cancer, said she was inspired by the bravery of her daughter.

‘I think people need to learn not to judge because what she has done is amazing,

‘Kyarah and I would like thank everyone for their support and to everyone who has donated.’

A spokesman from the New South Wales Department of Education and Training told Daily Mail Australia a member of the school executive responded to Ms Smith and addressed her concerns within an hour of her initial call.

‘The school spoke to her by telephone and is already following up her concerns and if substantiated will take appropriate action,’ the statement read.

‘The Year 7 Adviser had already praised the student’s efforts for Shave for a Cure to a meeting of the whole year group,

‘Bullying is not tolerated at Inverell High School. The school proactively encourages students to report any concerns to a wide range of nominated staff or a trusted teacher. Any bullying, whether reported or observed, is addressed appropriately.’

The mother-of-four has blamed the school for not publicising the initiative to students beforehandThe mother-of-four has blamed the school for not publicising the initiative to students beforehand

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Schoolgirl, 12, is left in tears after being bullied for shaving her head for cancer.

Business conditions remain positive, but mood is turning

The outlook for Australian manufacturing is becoming increasingly uncertain, with the first quarter 2019 results of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Westpac Survey of Industrial Trends showing a softening in business sentiment, among broader indicators of an emerging economic slowdown.

“The Westpac-AusChamber Actual Composite Index declined in March 2019 to 61.7, down from 63.0 in December,” Westpac Senior Economist, Andrew Hanlan, said.

“This extends the loss of momentum which emerged late in 2018, with the risk of a further slowing during 2019.

“While the March 2019 reading is not a weak one, it and the patchy start to the 2018 year are the softest readings since the end of 2016.

“The manufacturing sector is still being supported by increased investment in government infrastructure projects. Notably, governments continue to add new projects to the investment pipeline.

“Exports are maintaining a modest uptrend, which is expected to continue, with the lower Australian dollar providing some support.

“However, other dynamics are more difficult, leading to a more challenging environment. The boom in the housing sector has long since passed. In 2018 and moving into 2019, the housing slowdown has accelerated, consumers have reined in their spending, much of regional NSW and surrounds are in severe drought, and the global economy has lost momentum.

“Manufacturing new orders are rising, but at a slower pace, the survey reports. Expectations are that new orders will slow further in the June quarter, with the softest reading in four years.

“Manufacturers are beginning to lose confidence in the general business environment as the Australian economy slows. In March, the number of optimists still outweighs the number of pessimists, with a net 12% of firms expecting the general business situation to improve over the next twelve months. However, that is well down from +38% a year ago and is the softest reading in four years.

“Manufacturers have tempered their investment plans in response to slower growth in new orders and a less positive outlook for profits. A net 12% of firms expect to increase equipment investment in the next year, well down from +26% in December.

“The survey’s Labour Market Composite, which broadly tracks economy-wide jobs growth, points to some slowing of jobs growth in 2019, albeit to a still relatively robust pace.

Australian Chamber CEO, James Pearson, said:

“The softening in business confidence is a timely reminder ahead of election day, that the next Federal Government must take action to lift the cloud of uncertainty that is dominating the investment decisions of many businesses, in particular, small businesses right across the country.

“Rising energy costs are continuing to hurt small businesses and discourage investment.

“As we head into the Federal Election politicians from all parties need to focus on policy that encourages business investment, supports growth, invests in skills and supports business to create jobs.

“The number one objective is to make business more – not less – competitive.

“That means helping employers and employees work better together – with workplace rules that make it easier to create jobs and run businesses, delivering affordable reliable electricity with lower emissions, and stopping the collapse in skills by investing in education and training Australian’s for the jobs of today and tomorrow while maintaining a strong skilled migration program.”

There were over 300 respondents to the Australian Chamber-Westpac Survey of Industrial Trends from across the manufacturing sector.

The survey, the longest-running business survey in Australia, dating from 1966, provides a timely update on the manufacturing sector and insights into economy-wide trends.

The full report can be found on the Australian Chamber Website.

/Public Release. View in full here.

It’s time to institutionalise vocational training in India

India needs more vocational and technical degrees of high quality, along with vocational universities.

To prepare India’s future workforce for the specialised demands of the job market, our policymakers have to lay more emphasis on vocational training and career-oriented courses, writes Divya Jain.

When it comes to the practical application of skills in the real world, many people still find themselves asking, “Why didn’t they teach us this in school and college?” Education in India has gone through several reforms in the past few years. The curriculum and courses are re-designed every couple of years with the aim to bring out the best and most efficient teaching and learning methods but there is still room for improvement. Vocational Education Training (VET)requires special attention for its career-oriented courses that are geared towards improving a country’s economy and society. The government has taken steps to improve this year on year, but certain aspects still need work to be on a par with not only the education standards across the globe, but also to keep up with changing trends in the professional realm.

Ever-evolving curriculum

As with all things these days, the curriculum and structure of teaching need to be updated. This process of updating needs to draw from what current professional industries demand. It is fine to have foundational learning, but practical applicability needs more emphasis. Germany is one of the first countries in the world to make vocational education a big part of its system. It has had a dual-track VET system in place for decades. The VET spans two to four years, and involves classroom study as well as real work experience in companies or public sector institutions. These cover both theoretical as well as practical knowledge in the ratio of 40:60 respectively. According to a report by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, around 51% of Germany’s skilled workers are trained under its dual VET system.

India needs more vocational and technical degrees of high quality along with vocational universities. A centralised system where courses are consolidated will help ensure efficient tracking, grading and teaching processes. Recently, New Zealand’s Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced plans to establish the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology, which will bring together all existing government-run institutes under one national system of vocational education and training.

Reach to remote areas

Even with certain structures in place, there has been a lack of resources in rural areas in India. The Department of School Education and Literacy in 2017, under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, proposed certain reforms for rural education, with the scheme of Vocationalisation of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (VS&HSE). According to the proposal a provision of Rs 14.50 lakhs has been made to get professionals such as trainers, guest faculty and coordinators on board with schools. Additionally, it made provisions to impart hands-on training to students in industrial and commercial establishments.

What is needed further in rural areas is to extend the reach of vocational education through e-learning, and internet simulation packages. This will enable not just students, but rural women and men to access and learn even when they are away from the industry practice to equip themselves. Essential technology needs to be standardised in public school systems. There is also a need for state-sponsored training centres equipped with the right facilities to match current demands and levels of efficiency.

Upskilling and reskilling

The demands of the professional environment are constantly changing. Skills are becoming irrelevant at an extremely fast pace. Being at the brink of the fourth Industrial Revolution, it is essential for manpower to have the skill sets that meet the requirements of the job market they intend to enter. In addition to learning newer, more relevant skills, existing skills need to be improved as well. Hence, this requires not only upskilling but reskilling employees. With vocational education beginning from school level, there is scope for people to be equipped with the basic level of skills. The National Skills Policy 2015 proposed to introduce skill development in at least one school out of four from class IX onwards by 2020, for the seamless integration of vocational training in
formal education.

Today, functions that are the mostly automated, experience the largest skill mismatches. The adoption of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will mark a huge skill shift; it will give rise to the demand of technological, social and emotional skill sets. Vocational training being incorporated into formal education will help students from before they enter the job market, and help employees’ skills get on a par with industry standards.

Training for the future

Technological advancement is a major factor that has made it necessary to reinvent teaching and learning systems. Communication and creative skills will set new heights in the service sector, something that vocational training can help with. There is an abundance of information available online, but it is difficult for people to separate what is relevant and what is not. Vocational education needs to incorporate formal virtual learning environments for effective absorption among learners, such as websites with digital resources and peer-to-peer learning. Another method is to use simulators, which are an effective way to practice as well as conduct practical exams. According to a report by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), the University of Brighton has a simulated court environment where a bench of actual magistrates take students through the proceedings as in a real court. Students studying law, journalism, media and the foundation degree for police use this environment as part of their courses.

With the advent of blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT), people will be required to adapt to several new technologies at the workplace, and familiarising students and employees with these before the time comes will be an advantage. Vocational education institutes need to be equipped with the right facilities to make way for these advancements, in order to keep up. Classes need to be made more interactive with full industry participation. This includes industry and government professionals getting involved with these courses, to teach as guest lecturers and help introduce students to real-world experiences in work environments.

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