TAFE NSW spends big on consultants

TAFE NSW spends big on consultants
More than $6.4 million on 8 different contracts to various firms to provide advice and services across the TAFE sector has been spent between June 2018 and September 2019 by the NSW government.  The government is half-way through amalgamating its once 10 separate institutes into one central entity referred to as “OneTAFE reforms”. 

TAFE NSW registration renewed

Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee today welcomed the decision by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to renew the registration of TAFE NSW as a single Registered Training Organisation (RTO) for a further 7 years, the maximum renewal granted by the national regulator.

“This is a reflection of TAFE NSW’s status as a quality provider of vocational education and training,” Mr Lee said.

“I’d like to thank ASQA for the faith they have shown in TAFE NSW’s ability to deliver high quality courses across the State,” Mr Lee said.

Mr Lee said TAFE NSW takes great pride in the quality learning outcomes it achieves for its students.

“I want TAFE NSW to be the gold standard of skills and training Australia-wide and I recognise the importance of ASQA in helping us achieve this goal.”

This renewal of TAFE NSW’s registration completes the transition of all TAFE locations from 12 separate RTOs into a single RTO.


Exclusive: TAFE NSW staff details stolen after computer systems allegedly hacked

Around 30 employees have not been paid on time after having personal information stolen in what TAFE NSW said was a “targeted phishing attack”. (AAP)
A TAFE NSW spokesman said the organisation was working with the NSW Police Cyber Crime Unite to identify the source of the data breach and “to ensure it does not happen again”.
Payroll staff were urgently processing payments manually for affected workers, he said.
One employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said she only learned of the hack when she received a phone call from TAFE’s payroll department.
“They asked me if I had changed my bank account details,” the woman told nine.com.au. “My account had been compromised, my bank account details had been changed.
“She (payroll) said it was being investigated, that my pay would be late.”

TDA News- VET funding stagnates, new report shows

In this edition

  • Let’s chase value  – comment by CEO Craig Robertson
  •  Apprentice and trainee completions headed in the wrong direction
  • VET funding stagnates, new report shows
  • TasTAFE’s registration renewed for seven years
  • Wodonga TAFE appoints new CEO
  • TAFE NSW awards celebrate Indigenous achievement
  • Swinburne launches leadership index
  • Diary

Let’s chase value  – comment by CEO Craig Robertson

I suspect we are immune to sales techniques and attuned to value.

Special deals dominate our retail experience. Boxing Day sales have lost their edge and discounts are a permanent feature. Once price discounts fail, do you notice the move to promises of value that seem too good to be true – stronger, brighter, slimmer ….?

When sales plummet most rational businesses look at the access buyers have to shop, then the sales techniques. Price strategies are usually the first step but sooner rather than later questions start to be asked about the product. This past week this question was posed for VET in the form of the 2018 students and courses figures released by NCVER.

Looking at the most reliable measure, hours of training, the total for 2018 has not been as low since 2006, several years before the great opening up of training. Of more concern is the young people deserting training. In 1996, 55 per cent of the hours of training were by young people under 25 years of age but this has declined by 10 percentage points to 45 per cent in 2018. A reduction of 87 million hours of training – a loss of skills to the workforce. As I’ve indicated before, these declines need to be seen in the context of significant population growth, not decline.

This past week someone said to me that as long as VET has a sales culture, it will have a quality and integrity problem.

We’ve tried sales. After all, the rationale for contestable funding, including expanding VET FEE-HELP, was to increase access to VET.
Let’s see what sales techniques were used.

Free steak knives – we tried i-pads.

Two for one – well, actually we tried one for two – students being signed up for two qualifications and two loans under the impression it was just one.

Inducements – we do that for employers of apprentices and trainees, yet they’re not buying.

A job guarantee – research shows that only 34 per cent of courses lead to the job the training is aimed at.

Agents – they’ve been banned.

The Government is in-sourcing the sales task. They are proposing a government established Careers Institute and a government appointed Careers Ambassador.

What about value? It seems young people are the savviest of buyers. They are attuned to job prospects, and more so wage levels. In a climate of high jobs growth, they’ve chosen the job. They’ve made a value choice.

All sales textbooks are clear there must be value at the end of each transaction. I wonder how the Careers Ambassador will solve the value dilemma.

The question is when will there be a serious look at the product and its value to students.

Apprentice and trainee completions headed in the wrong direction

Completion rates for apprentices and trainees have shown a significant fall, according to the latest figures from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

The 2018 completion rates for all apprentices and trainees (who commenced training in 2014) fell to 56.7%, down from 59.9% for those commencing in 2013.

Completion rates for individuals who commenced in trade occupations in 2014 were down 4.7 percentage points to 54.5%, while non-trade completions were down 2 percentage points to 57.7%.

Completion rates varied considerably by occupation. ICT professionals had the highest rate of completion (94.7%) while food trades workers had one of the lowest (41.2%).

See more

VET funding stagnates, new report shows

The VET sector has undergone funding volatility and stagnation to a degree not seen in any other education sector, a new report on education funding in Australia shows.

The report, Education Expenditure in Australia, from the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) shows that total education expenditure has grown substantially since the beginning of the century, with funding in 2015 being 79 per cent more than the level in 2000, after adjusting for inflation.

However, it says that in the VET certificate sector between 2000 and 2015, total expenditure per student has been volatile, with almost no change over the period.

“These trends have largely been driven by volatility in government expenditure, with private expenditure being relatively stable in comparison,” the report says.

For bachelor degrees and above, total expenditure per student was stable between 2000 and 2012, before increasing between 2012 and 2015, largely driven by increases in private expenditure per student.

Annual expenditure on education (primary school and above) within institutions per student by level of education, 2000 to 2015 ($2015, constant prices)

TasTAFE’s registration renewed for seven years

TasTAFE is delighted to announce it has had its registration renewed by the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) for the next seven years.

TasTAFE received notification on July 15 that its application for renewal as a registered training provider had been granted by ASQA.

TasTAFE’s registration expired on  December 31 last year, and was extended until the end of June 2019 while ASQA undertook a standard registration renewal audit earlier this year. The audit was extensive and covered many aspects of TasTAFE’s training and delivery across a number of qualifications.

TasTAFE is the largest vocational training organisation in Tasmania and trains around 23,000 students, including 4500 apprentices.

TasTAFE is responding to ASQA regarding adequate staffing for delivery of the Certificate III in Electrotechnology and will be providing additional information for reconsideration of the decision.

Wodonga TAFE appoints new CEO

The chair of the Wodonga Institute of TAFE Allison Jenvey has announced the appointment of Phil Paterson, pictured, as its new Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director.
Phil has extensive senior management experience as the Chief Finance Officer and Board Secretary of the institute since January 2016. Prior to that he was with Mars Incorporated for 13 years in a variety of global commercial and leadership roles.

He replaces the former CEO Mark Dixon who stepped down in March to take on a new role as CEO at the City of Wodonga.

Phil is a Certified Practicing Accountant and holds a Masters of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ms Jenvey said the board received significant interest in the position from across Victoria and that that Phil’s appointment was recognition of the talent in its own ranks.

“Our TAFE has an excellent reputation and a strong positive culture, and we look forward to this continuing under Phil’s leadership,” Ms Jenvey said.

TDA extends its congratulations to Phil on his appointment.

TAFE NSW awards celebrate Indigenous achievement

Sixteen TAFE NSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, teachers and partnerships have been recognised at the annual TAFE NSW Gili Awards.

The awards which celebrate the achievements of Aboriginal students, as well as the accomplishments of TAFE NSW employees and programs were presented by the Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Dr Geoffrey Lee.

TAFE NSW Team Leader Aboriginal Education and Training Unit, Merv Donovan said the winners had shown hard work, dedication and commitment to transforming their lives and the lives of others through vocational education and training for Aboriginal people.

Ashleigh Knight, received the prestigious Gili Award for her outstanding contributions in supporting Aboriginal participation and achievement.

NECA emPOWER Aboriginal Apprentice Readiness Program received the Industry Partnership Award and Youth Engagement Award, while Wiradjuri Language accepted the Community Engagement Award for their exceptional commitment to the community.

A number of TAFE NSW staff including Elsie Gordon, Natalie Wilcock, Rebecca Murphy and Bridget Thomas were also recognised for their commitment and dedication to the vocational education and training outcomes of Aboriginal students.

The 15 awards were presented in 12 categories at the event. See the full list of award winners.

Swinburne launches leadership index

Swinburne University of Technology has launched a new index that measures public perceptions and expectations of leadership.

The publicly-available Australian Leadership Index is based on the largest ever survey of leadership and reveals Australians’ views on leadership in the public, private, government and not-for-profit sectors.

Swinburne researcher Dr Sam Wilson said the project has uncovered fascinating insights into the publics’ perceptions of leadership across all four sectors, with many sectors falling well-below Australians’ expectations.

“Perhaps the most dispiriting and striking finding is that the institutions that are supposed to be the custodians of the greater good – federal, state and local governments – are seen as showing no leadership in this space,” Dr Wilson said.

“By contrast, the institutions with which we have regular contact in the public sector – schools, hospitals and police services – are seen as showing much more leadership for the greater good.”

Religious institutions were among the worst performers in terms of leadership for the greater good, while charities such as The Salvation Army and the Red Cross rated highly.

Each quarter, the research team surveys a representative sample of 1,000 people across Australia and a full year’s worth of data is now available on the Australian Leadership Index portal.

See more

Diary Dates

National Apprentice Employment Network
Beyond 2020, NAEC Conference 2019
31 July – 2 August 2019
Crowne Plaza, Gold Coast
More information

QLD School VET Conference
Velg Training
9 August 2019
Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane
More Information

VTA 2019 State Conference 
15 – 16 August 2019
RACV City Club, 501 Bourke Street, Melbourne
More information

National Manufacturing Summit
21 & 22 August 2019
More information

National Skills Week
26 August – 1 September 2019
Locations around Australia
More information

TAFE Directors Australia 2019 Convention
‘The Power of TAFE’
3 – 5 September 2019
More information

2019 National VET Conference
Velg Training
12 &13 September 2019
Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane
More Information

Community Colleges Australia 2019 Annual Conference
18-20 November 2019
The Stamford Plaza Hotel, Brisbane
More Information

Australian Training Awards
21 November 2019
Brisbane, Queensland
More information

Australian Council of Deans of Education Vocational Education Group
5th Annual Conference on VET Teaching and VET Teacher Education
9-10 December 2019
Charles Sturt University Wagga Wagga Campus
More information


New courses available at Nyngan TAFE NSW

Business Administration, Hospitality and Individual Support (Ageing) are just some of the courses that can now be accessed at TAFE NSW Nyngan thanks to an innovative course delivery method to regional and remote communities in Western NSW.

TAFE Western Connect combines a mixture of practical, hands-on learning in Nyngan and theoretical training in classrooms connected by video conferencing technology.

Historically some courses might not have progressed due to low class sizes. TAFE Western Connect taps into classes across Western NSW to ensure that students, regardless of their location, can study the course of their choice.


Deputy Regional General Manager, Adam Bennett said TAFE NSW is continuing to invest in the latest courses and technology to address the skills local students need to pursue employment and higher learning opportunities.

“This is an example of how Australia’s largest training provider responds to the skills needs of the communities that it serves by delivering innovative learning solutions,” he said.

“What is so exciting about these courses is they are responsive, focused on job readiness and tailored to industry needs to ensure that our students have the right skills for the career they want.

“There has never been a better time to study with TAFE NSW where students can access convenient and practical training right here in Nyngan.”

Courses now available in Nyngan include:

  • Statement of Attainment in MYOB Essentials Pack
  • Certificate III in Education Support
  • Certificate IV in Business Administration
  • Certificate III in Hospitality
  • Statement of Attainment in Food Safety Supervision
  • Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing)
  • Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology
  • Certificate III in Tourism
  • Certificate III in Workplace, Health and Safety

For more information on all TAFE Western Connect courses visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.


TAFE NSW student puts best feet forward in design comp

Creative: Design graduate Sebastian O'Brien's recent design award led to an internship.

 Creative: Design graduate Sebastian O’Brien’s recent design award led to an internship.

From the sketching pad to design excellence, Caringbah’s Sebastian O’Brien already had a leg up in the industry with his latest project.

The TAFE NSW graduate recently received notable mention in the D&D New Blood Awards for his 3D-printed prosthetic limb concept design for Adidas.

The awards recognise design and advertising excellence in students, grads and aspiring creatives.

Mr O’Brien, 23, is working for a graphic design agency, after cementing his training at TAFE.

“I have always been a visual person,” he said. “I enjoy designing identity and branding systems, publications, exhibitions, websites and posters for cultural and commercial clients from music, to art and fashion.

“At the end of my journey, I was equipped with a new skill set and a new level of determination.

“I secured an internship and learnt a lot about the industry in general. Such as learning how to present work to clients in a professional manner, being given real brand guidelines to stick to within a design task, working on live projects and receiving feedback. This was a practical way for me to learn what couldn’t be taught in the classroom. Not only did it build my portfolio, but it allowed me to make my own industry connections.”

Innovative: Mr O'Brien's prosthetic leg design.

 Innovative: Mr O’Brien’s prosthetic leg design.

Impressive: The TAFE graduate won an award for his design for his Adidas brief project.

 Impressive: The TAFE graduate won an award for his design for his Adidas brief project.