All happening in 2023! – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

All happening in 2023! – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

Lots happened this week. The budget was central to this, outlining direction for vocational education and training in 2023, establishing Jobs and Skills Australia, and providing the budget for the higher education review.

Firstly, the main ticket item for TAFE was the one-year 2023 national skills partnership agreement, which has TAFE at the heart, with funding for the free-fee places. Each state and territory will develop, in negotiation with the Commonwealth Government, their priority list of courses and eligibility criteria. As reported by the National Skills Commission there has been an increase in occupations on the skills priority list recently so there is much to choose from. Although there will be commonality, such as in the critical area of attracting people to develop skills for working in the care industries, there will also be differences. The differences will reflect jurisdiction priorities.

Most pleasing was the inclusion of $24million for wrap around support services for students receiving a free-fee TAFE place. As I was quoted in the Australian Financial Review this week, “the additional places (free-fee TAFE) will be absorbed by people who traditionally did not access the training market. The Jobs and Skills Summit had a very strong focus on equity and attracting people into the labour market who were not active participants. Fee-free TAFE has proven in Victoria to be a policy that enables those people to get the skills they need.” However, that requires additional support services in learning areas such as literacy and numeracy, and for example in counselling and mental health services. As education entities with extensive student support services, TAFEs have always focused on providing support for learners to achieve their outcomes.

The budget also had a strong focus on skills for the clean energy economy. TDA with its members looks forward to being part of the workforce planning process that Jobs and Skills Australia will undertake.

That leads to the second significant development this week and that was the establishment of Jobs and Skills Australia. Identified in the budget, and with the legislation passing through the Senate this week, this independent body can now get going on providing advice about current and future skill needs. This is an important coordination role for planning the skills needed for Australia’s future labour force.

An important adjustment to the final Jobs and Skills Australia legislation was the inclusion of universities in the list of bodies that will be consulted. Originally the focus was on employers, unions, industry stakeholders and training providers. TAFEs look forward to working with their university partners through these discussions.

The final significant development is also linked to both higher education and the budget. There was budget allocation of $2.7million for a comprehensive review of higher education. This work will be led by a panel of ‘eminent Australians’. Although not released until next month, the terms of reference are likely to include the full suite of tertiary education activity.

So, there is much going on for TAFE next year – read more about it as 2023 unfolds.

Federal Budget places TAFE at the heart of skills revitalisation

Last week’s Budget set out key details of the federal government’s plan to reinvigorate the VET system with “TAFE at its heart”.

The key element is a new $1 billion, 12-month skills agreement between the Commonwealth, states and territories, starting in January 2023.

The 12-month agreement includes:

  • 180,000 additional fee-free TAFE and vocational education places, with extra support for participation of women and other priority groups. These places will target industries with severe skills shortages, including the care sector, technology and digital, hospitality and tourism, construction, agriculture, and industries important to sovereign capability.
  • Fee-free places will be made available through TAFEs, public dual sector providers and other community providers including First Nations RTOs.
  • $24 million to provide wrap-around support for students with complex needs.
  • $50 million TAFE Technology Fund to improve workshops, laboratories, and telehealth simulators.$7 million for essential
  • VET data infrastructure reform.

Other Budget measures include:

  • $485 million for 20,000 Commonwealth Supported Places in higher education in areas including nursing and education.
  • $12.9 million to establish Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA).
  • $62 million for the new Skilling the Clean Energy Workforce program, with JSA to undertake a Clean Energy Capacity Study.
  • 10,000 New Energy Apprenticeships, with up to $10,000 in payments to apprentices.
  • $22.6 million for additional In-Training Support places for apprentices in regional and remote areas.
  • An Australian Skills Guarantee to ensure one-in-ten workers on major, federally funded government projects are an apprentice, trainee, or paid cadet.
  • $20mill extra for the Adult Migrant English Program.
  • A national study on Adult Literacy, Numeracy and Digital Literacy Skills.
  • $25.8 million to expand the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme.

The Budget identified a number of savings measures:

  • The Supporting Women’s Mid-Career Transition into the Tech Workforce ($4 million savings).
  • The Mid-career Checkpoint pilot program ($56.2 million)
  • The Industry Training Hubs pilot program will be reduced by $9 million.
  • The ReBoot program will not proceed ($42.1 million).
  • The Youth Jobs PaTH Internships and the National Work Experience Program will cease ($50 million)

See more

Jobs and Skills Australia bill passes the parliament

The new agency Jobs and Skills Australia is set to commence after the JSA legislation passed the parliament last week.

Last week’s federal budget provided $12.9 million to establish the agency and start on the work of identifying demand for jobs and skills.

The Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor said the interim JSA will build on the important work of the National Skills Commission, replacing it a week after royal assent.

One of JSA’s first tasks will be the preparation of a capacity study into Australia’s clean energy workforce. The budget allocated $1.9 million for this work.

The agency will also lead the development and delivery of a $12 million new National Study on Adult Literacy, Numeracy, and Digital Literacy Skills.

“This will be the most comprehensive study ever undertaken in Australia,” Mr O’Connor said.

Countdown to TDA Convention 2022 – online program now available!

TDA is pleased to advise that the TDA Convention 2022 program can now be viewed online here.

The action-packed program spanning three days features a diverse range of speakers and topics to inspire and inform delegates. TDA would like to warmly thank all of the sponsors and exhibitors supporting the TDA Convention 2022 as well as the host partner, TAFE SA.

As part of the TDA Convention program, delegates will be joined virtually by a panel of three international experts from the UK, Canada and the European Commission to share insights on trends, challenges and successes in vocational education and skills training overseas. The presentations will be followed by a live Q&A session with the panel and audience participants.

  • João Santos is a Senior expert in the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs, and Inclusion at the European Commission in Brussels. The unit is responsible for Vocational Education and Training as well as for the policy orientation of the Erasmus+ programme in this sector.
  • Dawn Ward is the Chair of the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) and is also Deputy Chair of the Chartered Institution for Further Education in the United Kingdom. She is the Chief Executive of Burton and South Derbyshire College in the UK.
  • Denise Amyot has been the President and CEO of Colleges and Institutes Canada since 2013. Denise is an international leader in education for employment in over 25 countries.

TDA is very much looking forward to welcoming its members, partners and supporters to Adelaide from 15-17 November to be part of the conversation on Courage, Change and Challenge: The Future of TAFE.


From left, João Santos, Dawn Ward and Denise Amyot.

Chisholm Frankston hosts family violence conference

Chisholm Institute’s Frankston campus recently hosted ‘Aligning the Personal with the Professional’, a conference focused on the lived experience within the family violence sector in the Southern Metropolitan Melbourne region.

The conference sought to put into practice recent reforms and work in the family violence sector.

More than 100 conference participants heard from family violence sector professionals, many with direct experience of family violence, domestic and sexual abuse.

Victoria’s Minister for Prevention of Family Violence Ros Spence attended and shared her own remarks with conference delegates.

The conference was hosted and organised by a committee (pictured above) comprising Chisholm TAFE, Women’s Health in the South East (WHISE), and the Integrated Family Violence Committees of Bayside Peninsula and Southern Melbourne.

Watch a graphic recording of the conference.

NSW regional apprentices and uni students to receive $250 travel card

Apprentices and university students in regional NSW will be eligible for a new $250 travel card to help with the cost of the commute to work, training or university.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said apprentices and university students in the bush often need to travel long distances for work or between training, classes and practical learning.

The prepaid debit card can be used for taxi trips, fuel, Opal card top ups, public transport, privately-operated coaches, and electric charging stations.

See more

OctoberVET 2022 Ballarat: Inclusivity and the future of VET

Ballarat’s fifteenth annual OctoberVET event is back face-to-face in November with the theme, ‘Inclusivity and the future of VET’.

The free research-based event will take place on Wednesday 23 November.

The keynote speaker is Adjunct Professor Robin Shreeve, an ‘elder statesman’ of VET, who has held many senior appointments in government agencies and in TAFE systems in Australia and the UK.

Other speakers are:

  • Annette Foley and Trace Ollis – Inclusive ACE pedagogies: Capabilities for work, skills and life.
  • Erica Smith & Andy Smith – Career practitioners’ views of careers in retail and hospitality.
  • Anthony Pearce – Opportunities and challenges: Applied Learning reform in Victoria.
  • Lizzie Knight – Inclusive practices in VET.
  • Cheree McDonald – Revealing the impacts of Work Based Learning for Vulnerable Youth.
  • Erica Smith – An insider’s update on the TAE Training Package review.

Registrations are open

New closing date for Destination Australia program

The next Destination Australia Program (DAP) funding round for providers for the 2023 academic year recently opened.

The closing date for the round has been extended to Tuesday 22 November 2022.

Applications for the round are via the Community Grants Hub.

The hub has advised there is currently an issue submitting some information into the application form. The application form will be updated to fix this issue on 15 November. Until then, applicants are encouraged to save their application and then finalise and submit their application between 15 November and 22 November.

For any queries, contact the Destination Australia team on

Extended transition for electrical, metal and engineering qualifications

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has extended the transition end date for current apprentices completing their third or fourth year of study in the qualification, UEE30811 Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician, to 31 January 2024.

ASQA has also approved an extended transition period for qualifications in the MEM05 Metal and Engineering Training Package for CRICOS registered RTOs to 31 January 2024. The qualifications are:

  • MEM30205 – Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade (for international students only)
  • MEM30305 – Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade (for international students only)

See more

Government researching VET in regional, rural and remote areas

The Australian National University’s Social Research Centre is conducting a research project on behalf of the federal Department of Employment and Workplace Relations on how well people in regional, rural, and remote areas are supported to undertake vocational education and training.

The research will look at the support services that make a difference to the completion of VET qualifications.

The survey can be undertaken here. It is open until this Friday, 4 November.

Diary Dates


October 2022
More information
2022 National VET Conference
Velg Training
3-4 November 2022
Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre
More information

TDA Convention 2022
Courage, Change and Challenge – the Future of TAFE
15-17 November 2022
More information

VDC Teaching & Learning Conference
VET Development Centre
17 & 18 November 2022 (Online)
More information

OctoberVET 2022 Ballarat: Inclusivity and the future of VET
23 November 2022
FedUni SMB Campus, 136 Albert St, Ballarat
More information

TEQSA Conference
23-24 November 2022
Sofitel Melbourne on Collins (and online)
More information

AVETRA 2023 Conference
27-28 April 2023
More information

World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) 2023 World Congress
23-25 April 2023
Montréal, Canada

Journal of Vocational Education and Training (JVET) Conference
13-15 July 2023
Keble College, Oxford, UK
More information