Democracy sausages and TAFE are part of communities – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

Democracy sausages and TAFE are part of communities – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

I’m writing this newsletter piece on Saturday afternoon. I hope you all enjoyed your ‘democracy sausage’! For those of you who voted early – I guess you missed out on that all-important part of voting day.

Regardless, how great is it that we can have a democracy sausage – that is, what a wonderful privilege that everyone, irrespective of who they are and what they value, can express those thoughts at the polling booth.

Today as I voted at my local primary school, I bumped into many people I’ve known for a while in the community, and I also stood in the queue with new people I didn’t know. There were numerous older people – many over 90 years of age, there were heaps of families with young children (some who went to that local school), there were young people who were possibly voting for the first time, and so it goes on. As we all know voting day is a day when people are out and about mixing in their communities.

Today, we all mixed with the range of people mentioned above. There are many aspects of our communities that are similar. But there is also uniqueness. What an employer might need in the heart of one of our major cities might be quite different from what an employer in regional parts of our country might need.

In the same way, those who come to learn in TAFE are very different depending on their community and their circumstances. Some might hold a qualification and need a new skill, others will be learning for their first qualification, others might be transitioning to a new career and some might be 40 and others 20. We cater for them all.

As TAFEs we are firmly embedded in our communities. Whether that means we work for a large single TAFE system or for a TAFE where there are multiple TAFEs in that State, those who learn and those who work within TAFE are part of their local communities. And so are the employers that they partner with. This local aspect of vocational education is important.  It is essential that whoever forms the new Australian government remembers this local aspect of vocational education and skills development as they develop this portfolio.

There are many debates yet to land in the next six months. For example, some of these discussions include national pricing, the balance of national qualifications with local employer perspectives on training product needs, the role of both micro-credentials / skills development and qualifications. The outcomes of today will determine how these various reforms are implemented.

There is nothing like Australia’s voting day to remind us that when we vote we are voting for representatives who are of our communities as well as who will lead the direction of our country. That dual responsibility is so very important in terms of the vocational education and training platform. Let’s hope the new government can keep an eye on both aspects and get the mix right.

What an Albanese Labor government means for skills and training

Prime Minister-elect Anthony Albanese comes to government with a decisive plan for the vocational education and training sector, including the place of TAFE.

Prior to the election he outlined a plan for the first 100 days. It includes the establishment of Jobs and Skills Australia, described as “a national partnership to drive VET education and strengthen workforce planning by working together with employers, unions and the training and education sector.”

Mr Albanese has said the new body would be based on the model of Infrastructure Australia, which was created by him as infrastructure minister to provide high level advice from across the sector on priority needs, and to develop targets and ways of achieving them. One issue will be how the National Skills Commission coordinates with this body.

TAFE will be at the centre of Labor’s program, with the creation of 465,000 Fee Free TAFE places, including 45,000 new places.

The Fee Free TAFE initiative will be structured around areas of skills need, including child care, aged care, disability care, nursing and community services, as well as areas hardest by the pandemic, like hospitality and tourism.

It will also align to Labor’s Future Made in Australia Skills Plan which has a focus on acute skills shortages in areas such as manufacturing and construction.

TAFE campuses will benefit from the $50 million TAFE Technology Fund which will  fund IT facilities, workshops, laboratories and tele-health simulators across the country.

Labor has promised to work with state and territory governments, industry and unions on new opportunities to allow upskilling through accredited microcredentials.

It has also committed to creating 10,000 apprenticeships in renewables and emerging industry under the $100 million New Energy Apprenticeships program.

Describing it as the “backbone of our vocational educational system” Labor says TAFE will be guaranteed at least 70% of Commonwealth VET funding. 

Under Labor, the skills portfolio currently sits with Richard Marles who will be Deputy Prime Minister, and education with Tanya Plibersek. Final decisions on portfolios won’t happen until next week when Caucus meets.

In the meantime, Mr Albanese, along with four incoming ministers – Richard Marles, Penny Wong, Jim Chalmers and Katy Gallagher – will be sworn in today to cover all portfolios while Mr Albanese and Ms Wong attend the Quad leaders’ summit in Tokyo.

Mr Albanese has also pledged to host an employment summit, bringing together employer groups and unions to look at ways to improve wages and boost productivity.

The delayed National Skills Agreement between the Commonwealth, states and territories will also now become a focus after stalled talks on the latest draft agreement.

TAFETalks: Register now for a discussion on Wednesday 15 June on Self Assurance: what does it really mean?

TAFETalks: Self Assurance: What does it really mean?
Date: Wednesday 15 June at 2.00pm AEST (Canberra/Melbourne/Sydney time)

Following the recent release of ASQA’s draft model for self-assurance, please join TDA for an in-depth discussion on self-assurance and what it means for the vocational education and training (VET) sector.

TDA is privileged to include Jackie Wilson, a Partner at ORIMA Research who worked closely with ASQA to develop the draft model as part of the panel discussions. Jackie will be joined by representatives from TAFE SA to discuss their self assurance model in practice. Sue Crew, Interim Director, Strategy Management, University of New England (UNE), Armidale will also provide reflections from her VET and higher education perspective on the proposed model and the implications it may have for the pursuit of quality in the VET sector.

Guest speakers will include:

  • Jackie Wilson, Partner, ORIMA Research
  • Penny Johnston, Executive Director, Academic Development and Mark Croft, Director, RTO Quality and Compliance, TAFE SA
  • Sue Crew, Interim Director, Strategy Management, University of New England (UNE), Armidale

Registration:  To register for this event, please click here

Tasmanian skills grant opens

The latest grant round has opened in Tasmania for training providers wishing to offer training under the state’s Skills Fund.

A total of $1.54 million is available to help train existing workers.

It follows $4.45 million released through the program in February which is now supporting training places for more than 4000 people.

Endorsed RTOs are eligible to apply with applications closing June 14.

See more

HSSO releases work placements guide

The Human Services Skills Organisation (HSSO) has released a new work placements resource that will support service providers, registered training organisations (RTOs) and students to create high quality work placement experiences in the aged care and disability support sectors.

The online guide, available on the HSSO website, offers targeted information, tips, resources, templates and suggests approaches on how to maximise the effectiveness of work placements.

HSSO Chief Executive Officer Jodi Schmidt said there was good stakeholder support for the inclusion of mandatory work requirements in the Certificate III in Individual Support.

“We know that well designed, high-quality work placement programs are important; they broaden an individual’s knowledge, contextualise the learning input and deepen the experience for individuals.

“The guide has been designed based on research we conducted in late 2021. We commenced the project in response to reports from the disability support and aged care sectors that the quality of work placements was inconsistent,” Ms Schmidt said.

See the Mandatory Work Placements Guide

Webinar to discuss the evolution of apprenticeships

The Australian Department of Education, Skills and Employment office in Malaysia is hosting a webinar on ‘The Evolution of Apprenticeships’ with the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education Polytechnics Division.

The webinar is on Tuesday 31 May at 2.00 – 3.30 PM GMT + 8 (4.00PM – 5.30PM AEST).

Speakers include John Tucker, General Manager TAFE Qld Skills Tech; Izwah Ismail, Deputy Director (Academics) at Ungku Omar Polytechnic Malaysia; and Juha Hautanen, Head of Department, School of Professional Teacher Education, JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Finland.

Speakers will provide overviews of their respective TVET systems, share how apprenticeships have evolved to meet industry human capital needs, and explore how TVET can be strengthened through partnerships and collaborations.

Register here

WFCP examines the world of PTET

The World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) has issued a series of articles as part of its first Global Statement on Professional Technical Education and Training (PTET).

Briefing on TVET Policies in China, China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE)

Building the Home We Need, Dr. Robert Christopher Nellis, Red Deer Polytechnic

Embracing and Strengthening Vocational and Professional Education and Training (VPET) in Hong Kong, Dr. Michael Wang, Deputy Executive Director, Vocational Training Council

Providing flexible pathways for learners to support post-pandemic recovery, Denise Amyot, President and CEO, Colleges and Institutes Canada

Supporting Indigenous Learners Requires an Institute-Wide Commitment, Dr. Larry Rosia, President and CEO, Saskatchewan Polytechnic

The Opportunity for Education and Training Providers to Drive Recovery in Their Area, Rob Slain, Director of Marketing UK, Emsi

Will public policy makers respond to the pandemic’s pressure testing of the value of PTET?, Dr. Don Zoellner, University Fellow, Charles Darwin University

Diary Dates

Disability Employment Australia Conference
31 May – 2 June 2022
More information

TAFETalks: Self Assurance: what does it really mean?
15 June 2022
Register here

World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics
2022 World Congress 

15-17 June 2022
Donostia-San Sebastian (Spain)
More information

Apprentice Employment Network NSW & ACT
2022 Skills Conference
15 June 2022
Dockside Darling Harbour, Sydney
More information

31st National VET Research Conference ‘No Frills’
National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)
6-8 July 2022, Online
Program out, register now!
More information

ACER Research Conference 2022
Reimagining assessment
22-25 August 2022
More information

Victorian TAFE Association
State Conference
24-26 August 2022
Save the Date

National Skills Week 2022
22-28 August 2022
More information

Community Colleges Australia National Conference
13-14 September 2022
More information

WorldSkills Shanghai 2022
12-17 October 2022
More information

Australian International Education Conference 2022
18-21 October 2022
Gold Coast & Online
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)
Save the Date