TAFE Directors Australia Newsletter – 23rd April 2018

In this edition

  • The policy mistake at the heart of VET – believing free markets would work
  • Three new TAFE winners of Australian Overseas Foundation scholarships
  • Business irked by delay with skills fund
  • Construction boom prompts record teacher hirings at TAFE NSW
  • TAFE Queensland and Le Cordon Bleu cook-up culinary masterpiece
  • TAFE to lead Auslan expansion in Victoria
  • TAFEs selected to trial new migrant language services
  • Projects to improve seafood and aquaculture industry qualifications
  • Canberra manufacturing summit to tackle critical energy and training issues
  • Chisholm’s Blake McDonald takes out welding triathlon
  • Diary

The policy mistake at the heart of VET – believing free markets would work

At the core of the recent problems of the VET sector lay the misplaced belief that increased competition and free markets would work in education and training, as they had in other areas of the economy.

In an article in Australian TAFE Teacher, published by the Australian Education Union, TDA chief executive Craig Robertson says a policy of open markets, in conjunction with a profit motive, created a “lethal mix” that gave rise to unscrupulous behaviour by some training colleges and the ensuing VET FEE-HELP scandal.

“The fact that training is an intangible product that is meant to meet industry standards was overlooked.

“The very nature of education and training entails the acquisition of new skills and new knowledge. A person starting their training journey cannot always be expected to know the attributes of the industry they want to join, or what employers are chasing, let alone the skills and knowledge they should expect from a provider,” he said.

“How could it ever have been that ‘responding to consumer demand’ became the rationale for the design of a sector delivering core skills to the economy?”

He said that policy makers placed too much faith in the power of student choice.

“Students, through the ‘choice’ they were asked to exercise, were unwittingly handed the responsibility for being the arbiters of quality.”

The Autumn edition of the magazine also contains articles by Leesa Wheelahan, John Ross, Pat Forward, John Pardy, Valerie Braithwaite, Jim Stafford and Anne Jones.

See Australian TAFE Teacher

See ‘How Australia’s education debacle is still creating victims’ in the Sydney Morning Herald

Three new TAFE winners of Australian Overseas Foundation scholarships

Three TAFE graduates were awarded Australian Overseas Foundation scholarships last Tuesday evening at a function marking 60 years of the foundation at the William Angliss Institute.

The award winners will embark on work and training experience overseas for up to two years. The foundation provides financial support and assists in finding work placements. The scholarships were presented by Mark Callaghan, Chair of the Foundation and Craig Robertson, CEO of TDA.

Hannah Terry, top, who completed training at The Gordon as an electrotechnologist and instrumentation at RMIT, plans to work in Canada for a subsidiary of her current employer Viva Energy of the Geelong refinery.

Carpenter and builder, Tom Miles, middle, will travel to Europe to work in companies to learn the latest in alternative building techniques. Tom completed his apprenticeship in his father’s company, Miles and Co. in Ballarat with Federation Training.

Joe Clayton, bottom, a graduate of TAFE SA, will work in London in government/politics having completed a Certificate III in Government as well as in Business.

See Craig Robertson’s address to the Australian Overseas Foundation.

Business irked by delay with skills fund

Business is growing impatient with the slow progress of the federal government’s key apprentice development program, with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) calling for steps to get it moving.

ACCI chief executive James Pearson said that close to a year from the announcement of the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF), no state or territory has signed up to the agreement.

The $1.5 billion fund, which was announced in the last May budget, aims to create 300,000 apprenticeships over four years. But approaching the first anniversary, no state or territory has signed, and no apprenticeships have been created.

“It is unacceptable that, almost a year after the fund was announced, not a single agreement has been signed,” Mr Pearson told SmartCompany website.

“At the same time, apprenticeship numbers continue to slide,” he said.

In a statement, the Department of Education and Training said, “The Australian Government continues to work closely with state and territory governments on the NPA and possible projects that will be supported under the Fund.”

It also said that the agreement contains an offer of $261.2 million this financial year, in addition to revenue from the levy on certain skilled migration visas over the life of the agreement.

The Shadow Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships Senator Doug Cameron said the government had been too distracted to focus on skills and apprenticeships, and business groups had lost patience.

Construction boom prompts record teacher hirings at TAFE NSW

TAFE NSW is embarking on an unprecedented recruitment drive for new teachers in response to a sharp jump in trade course enrolments.

The NSW Assistant Minister for Skills Adam Marshall said 253 new TAFE teachers would be recruited, with 40 per cent based in Western Sydney. The majority of the new teachers will deliver training in construction industry trades.

He said that the state’s construction boom would require 21,600 additional skilled construction workers over the next three years, with 10,400 in Western Sydney.

The Teacher Recruitment Taskforce will oversee the planned recruitment of new TAFE teachers over the next 12 months.

The minister said government-funded enrolments at TAFE NSW have increased 19 per cent for electricians and 11 per cent for carpenters and plumbers compared to the same time last year.

The NSW government also announced a new $4.6 million vocational education and skills program for local government that will include upskilling through full or part-time training, apprentices and traineeships.

TAFE Queensland and Le Cordon Bleu cook-up culinary masterpiece

TAFE Queensland has entered into a partnership with the world-acclaimed Le Cordon Bleu to open a $3.7 million culinary training facility at its South Brisbane campus.

The Queensland government is providing $3 million in funding to support the ten-year agreement that has the potential to transform hospitality and culinary training.

The Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman said that from July, Le Cordon Bleu Brisbane Institute would train more than 1,200 hospitality students in the next five years to develop skills in a range of French culinary techniques.

“With a $3.7 million kitchen upgrade underway, students will learn in the best facilities from the best trainers,” she said.

TAFE Queensland interim CEO Mary Campbell said the program offered students the chance to learn from some of the world’s best culinary experts.

“This partnership will give our teachers the opportunity to deliver the Le Cordon Bleu program and support the students with vocational placement direct into local industry,” Ms Campbell said.

Three Le Cordon Bleu programs will be offered to students: Diplôme de Cuisine (Certificate III in Commercial Cookery),Diplôme de Pâtisserie (Certificate III in Pâtisserie) and the Advance Diploma in Hospitality Management.

TAFE to lead Auslan expansion in Victoria

The Victorian government has announced a plan for TAFE to lead the expansion of new Auslan qualifications in regional areas.

A total of $2.5 million has been provided to Melbourne Polytechnic to use latest digital technology to deliver Certificate and Diploma level Auslan courses to more than 400 additional students across the state.

Melbourne Polytechnic is the sole provider of government-subsidised Auslan accredited training and leads the Victorian Auslan Training Consortium, which also includes Monash University, VicDeaf and deafConnectEd.

Melbourne Polytechnic CEO Frances Coppolillo said, “It is Melbourne Polytechnic’s privilege to collaborate with the deaf community and our partners in the delivery of Auslan to regional Victoria using this innovative technology.”

TAFEs selected to trial new migrant language services

TAFE institutes are among the successful tenderers who will deliver innovative services to improve the language skills of new migrants.

The Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Karen Andrews announced a series of successful trial projects under the Adult English Migrant Program’s (AMEP) inaugural Innovative Projects initiative.

AMEP provides up to 510 hours of English language tuition to eligible migrants and humanitarian entrants to help them learn foundation English language and settlement skills. Some $2 million has been provided over four years to the innovative projects scheme.

South Metropolitan TAFE, North Metropolitan TAFE, TAFE NSW and TAFE Queensland are among the successful providers.

Minister Andrews said the successful projects covered a diverse range of ideas including youth focused mentoring, skills recognition and digital literacy.

See more

Projects to improve seafood and aquaculture industry qualifications

Two projects are underway to review qualifications, skill sets and units of competency for the seafood and aquaculture industry.

Skills Impact is seeking industry feedback on the current and existing qualifications, skill sets and units that will be reviewed as part of each project. In particular, they are seeking feedback about the units that are subject to deletion.

If there is a need for these units, respondents are asked to outline reasons why, and are invited to explain why there have been so few enrolments. Feedback will be drawn on to help draft the revised versions which will be available for industry consultation from July – August 2018.

Aquaculture, Fishing Operations & Biosecurity Project
This project will review 12 qualifications, 13 skill sets and approximately 104 units of competency within the SFI Seafood Industry Training Package.
A focus of the project will be to incorporate skills to address changes in technology, legislative and regulatory requirements and environmental sustainability and management. The project will also include a review of qualifications and units of competency directly related to biosecurity. Visit project webpage

Seafood Post Harvest Project
This project will review eight qualifications, one skill set and approximately 49 units of competency within the SFI Seafood Industry Training Package. A focus of the project will be to incorporate skills to address changes in distribution, processing, storage, fishing and environmental management. Visit project webpage

The projects are being managed by Skills Impact and led by the Aquaculture and Wild Catch Industry Reference Committee

Industry site visits
The Skills Impact team has been visiting key organisations over the past few weeks to discuss the skills, operations and functions of job roles in the seafood and aquaculture industry. This information will help to shape the revised qualifications, skill sets and units of competency.

Recent site visits have included Gazander Oysters, Western Abalone, Southern Ocean Express and Odyssey Fisheries.

Skills Impact staff, Michelle Ingley-Smith, Rosalie Staggard and Wayne Jones, visiting Steve Thomson, owner of Gazander Oysters and member of the Aquaculture and Wild Catch IRC, and Mark Enright at their workplace in Douglas Bay via Coffin Bay

Canberra manufacturing summit to tackle critical energy and training issues

The National Manufacturing Summit at Canberra’s Parliament House on June 26 is a key event for those with a critical interest in manufacturing, energy, and technical training.

The evidence is growing that Australia’s manufacturing sector is poised for a turnaround, however, participants point to two key constraints – energy insecurity, and fragmented skills and training. These two themes form the basis of the summit’s program.

Hosted by Weld Australia (formerly the Welding Technology Institute of Australia) and supported by last year’s summit host, the Centre for Future Work, the National Manufacturing Summit brings a range of partners and speakers from across industry, education and politics including the Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Karen Andrews; Shadow Minister for Skills, TAFE & Apprenticeships Senator Doug Cameron; Victoria Skills Commissioner Neil Coulson; President of SIMEC ZEN Energy Professor Ross Garnaut, as well as speakers from Weld Australia, Australian Steel Institute, the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre, Australian Super and TAFE Directors Australia.

The summit offers a unique opportunity for key participants in the manufacturing, energy, and the technical training sectors to discuss the direction of manufacturing. The objective is to identify promising industry and skilling opportunities, and policy measures to support an industrial turnaround.

Registrations are open here with early bird rates available until 30 April.

For further information or inquires please contact Ms Donna South at d.south@weldaustralia.com.au or see here.

Chisholm’s Blake McDonald takes out welding triathlon

Chisholm TAFE student Blake McDonald has been crowned the ‘Best Welder in Victoria for 2018’ following the third annual Welding Triathlon at the Frankston campus.

The event was run in conjunction with Weld Australia and the 12 competitors varied from welding apprentice’s (Certificate III in Engineering Fabrication trade), to professional welders and instructors.

Event organiser and Chisholm teacher Rodney Bentvelzen said the event promotes welding as an attractive career choice, allowing participants to network with inspectors, fellow welders, and industry leaders.

“Welding and manufacturing in Australia demands high quality tradespeople to stay competitive and has traditionally been very manual. As welding machine technologies adapt via programming and inverter power sources welding has become a highly technical skill,” said Bentvelzen.

Blake McDonald, left, receives his award from Robert Wiseman of Specialist Welding Products

Diary Dates

Good practice in VET institutional policy workshop
24 April, 2018
More information

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

VET CEO Conference
Velg Training
18 May 2018
Hilton Brisbane
More information

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

Skills Pathway Expo
Velg Training
2 – 4 June 2018
International Convention Centre 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

National Manufacturing Summit 2018
26 June, 2018
Parliament House, Canberra
More information

QLD Schools VET Conference
Velg Training
10 August 2018
Hilton Brisbane
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 VDC Teaching & Learning Conference
6 – 7 September 2018
RACV Torquay Resort, Victoria
More information

Tertiary Education Management Conference
9 – 13 September 2018
Crown Conference Centre, Perth
More information

National VET Conference
Velg Training
13 – 14 September 2018
Adelaide Convention Centre
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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