Evolving business models – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

Evolving business models – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

During the last few weeks, I have been asked in several different contexts to comment on how TAFEs responded to COVID. To some extent that question, in its past tense, has the underlying incorrect assumption that COVID has passed. Alas how wrong that assumption is.

The first part of the year has been like a pressure cooker for so many TDA members with lots of staff and students off sick with COVID or the flu, and backlogs from 2021 to manage along with new enrolments. What a juggle it has been. TDA members are just like so many other businesses in this regard – illness is disrupting our core business.

Just as well all TAFEs invested heavily in product and professional development during the last two years to build our online capability and to digitally transform our operations. This has accelerated our workplaces and made us more flexible and accessible.

By and large our TAFEs look different to what they did two years ago when we first encountered this COVID world. The commitment of our people to take on these changed modes of delivery is recognised. The commitment of our professional staff to support students with technology solutions for business operations and wrap around services is commended.

However, our models are still evolving. I heard a fascinating perspective last week at an event hosted by TDA’s corporate affiliate, D2L. Professor Simon Barrie from Western Sydney University suggested that ‘our pedagogy of student support may not yet have caught up’. This is an interesting area to keep exploring. It indicates there is certainly more to do with aspects of our overall models in this new environment of tertiary education.

Even as we keep evolving, the one thing that remains constant is that it is the students we serve that give us purpose. That is the case, whether you work for CIT, for TAFE Queensland, TAFE NSW, TAFE SA, TasTAFE, for one of our Western Australian TAFEs, one of our Victorian TDA members, or up in the Northern Territory.

This first half of the year has been a particularly challenging one. As we have done over the last two years, we will keep evolving our models to benefit students. Bring on part two of 2022 – we’re ready!

Bradley 2.0: Education minister to revisit tertiary sector reform

Education Minister Jason Clare will establish an expert group in coming months to examine reform of the tertiary education sector including how TAFEs and universities work more closely.

Mr Clare said last week that the review would take, as its starting point, the 2008 landmark Bradley Review of higher education.

“Denise’s report is still a template for us to work on but it’s a decade old and I think with fresh eyes and fresh ideas we can identify the things we need to change and improve,” he said.

“I want this group, this eminent panel that makes up this accord, to help us answer that question because we can’t accept the status quo,” he told The Conversation.

“If we continue to live in an economy where most of the jobs being created require a university education or a TAFE qualification, and more and more people, as a proportion of the population, don’t have them – in some of those disadvantaged parts of Australia, then those communities are going to become more disadvantaged.”

He said the review would look at everything from funding and access, to affordability, transparency, regulation, employment conditions and also how universities and TAFEs and other higher education and VET providers work together.

Biggest users of apprentice wage subsidy revealed

The Financial Review has reported that burger chain Grill’d was the top user of the federal government’s Boosting Apprenticeships Commencements (BAC) wage subsidy, after receiving $16.6 million towards the wages of almost 3,000 workers.

The paper reports figures from the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR) listing the largest recipients of funding under the BAC program, introduced by the former Coalition government in October 2020.

The top ten users of the BAC program were Grill’d (2,728 apprentices and trainees), Reece Australia (1,083), Trimatic Management Services (965), Byrnecut Australia (716), MEGT (709), SERENDIPITY WA, trading as Advanced Personnel Management (534), Metricon Homes (518), G8 Education (500), Pine Rivers Caboolture and Redcliffe Group Training Scheme (497) and OSMAC Group Training (468).

Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke told the Financial Review that the government would assess the implications of the Coalition’s policies for any future decisions.

“The Albanese Labor government will focus on quality spending and investment in priority occupations, leading to increased retention and completion of apprenticeships and traineeships,” Mr Burke said.

See Grill’d billed taxpayers $16.6m for ‘hamburger university’ in the Financial Review.

TDA Convention 2022 – keynote speaker announced

TDA is excited to announce that Alison Pennington, Senior Economist at the Centre for Future Work, will give the keynote address at the TDA Convention 2022, Courage, Change and Challenge: The Future of TAFE.

The TDA Convention 2022 will take place in Adelaide, South Australia from Tuesday 15 – Thursday 17 November 2022.

The Centre for Future Work conducts and publishes progressive economic research on work, employment, and labour markets. It is a unique centre of excellence on the economic issues facing working people, delivering research and initiatives that impact policy and public debate. The Centre for Future Work is an initiative of the Australia Institute.

Alison conducts research on economic issues facing working people including the future of jobs, skills and training, women’s work, collective bargaining, and the role of government. Alison is a regular national media commentator, with writing published with The Guardian and The New Daily. Alison has held previous roles in the Commonwealth Department of Finance, public sector unions, and public school music teaching.

We look forward to hearing some thought provoking insights from Alison on Tuesday 15 November in Adelaide.

TDA will be making further announcements about the convention program in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

Sponsorship opportunities
The sponsorship prospectus is now available here. To discuss sponsorship opportunities, please contact tdaconvention@absoluteevents.com.au

Delegates at the TDA Convention 2022 will be informed and inspired by courageous stories and innovative practices. Presentations will highlight the power of collaboration with colleagues, community and industry. The TDA Convention will bring together different perspectives including from students, staff, employers, industry, community and government.

For further information on registration packages and inclusions, and to register for the event, please click here.

Call for presentations
If you would like to be a part of the TDA Convention 2022 program and collectively shape the future of TAFE, the call for presentations is now open. The deadline for submissions is COB Monday 1 August.

This is an opportunity for TAFE staff and key stakeholders of TAFE to share their stories and experiences of courage and change, and to be the leading providers of solutions to the challenges of the future. Please click here for more information and to download the presentation guidelines.

Stay up to date on convention news and program updates. For updates on convention news and programming, please subscribe to the TDA Convention 2022 e-newsletter here.

TDA looks forward to welcoming its members, partners and supporters to Adelaide in November 2022 to be part of the conversation on Courage, Change and Challenge: The Future of TAFE.

Scholarship donation to help students facing hardship

The Caroline Chisholm Education Foundation has received a $20,000 donation from the Peninsula Kingswood Community Foundation (PKCF).

Farrah Buckland, Executive Officer of the Caroline Chisholm Education Foundation (CCEF), said the donation will improve the lives of many Chisholm students across the south-east who may otherwise not have the funds to access education.

“We are delighted to be partnering with PKCF to help marginalised students achieve their education and career goals,” Ms Buckland said.

The CCEF is an independent charitable trust that supports students studying a course at Chisholm Institute, who due to financial hardship, might not have access to vocational education and training.

Image: From left, Jenny Pickering PKCF; Ben Fenwick PKCF President; David Willersdorf CCEF Chair; Farrah Buckland, CCEF Executive Officer; Kevin Sheedy, Victorian of the Year; and Glenn Fernandez PKCF Chair. 

Four weeks until EduTech

TDA is pleased to be participating in the EduTECH International Congress and Expo in Melbourne, 10-11 August.

TDA CEO Jenny Dodd will be part of a panel discussion, one of approximately 300 speakers at the two-day event.

See more

AFETalks: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Wednesday 27 July at 2.00pm AEST (Canberra/Melbourne/Sydney time)

Register here

TDA is delighted to announce that we will be joined by Professor Sally Kift for a panel discussion on the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Sally is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA), a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law (FAAL) and President of the Australian Learning and Teaching Fellows (ALTF). Sally is a renowned higher education expert and academic and has published widely on transition pedagogy, legal education and student transition. Sally was a member of the Australian Qualifications Framework Review Panel that reported to Government in September 2019. Sally’s role will be to reflect on the discussions of our TDA members including:

  • Associate Professor Melanie Williams, Associate Dean (Scholarship) at William Angliss Institute, where her primary role is to lead and support vocational and higher education teaching staff in taking a scholarly approach to improving their learning and teaching practice.
  • Dr Fiona Wahr, Senior Lecturer, Applied Research and Scholarship, Melbourne Polytechnic. Fiona led the revised scholarship model introduced at Melbourne Polytechnic
  • Vanessa Crawford, Associate Dean, Higher Education, TAFE Queensland. Vanessa will reflect on TAFE Queensland’s practices related to the scholarship of teaching and learning. Vanessa is also the chair of TDA’s Higher Education Provider network.

Places are filling fast! Register here

TEQSA issues guide to help detect predatory journals

The higher education regulator, TEQSA, has released an A-to-Z guide to help academics and researchers spot predatory journals.

It says predatory journals are becoming increasingly sophisticated and can catch researchers unaware as they look for ways to publish their work.

TEQSA’s new guide has a list of the ways you can tell whether a journal is legitimate.

It includes:

  • Predatory journals tend to publish most, or all, the submissions they receive, regardless of quality.
  • Editors or Editorial Boards of reputable journals consist of recognised experts in the publication’s subject field.
  • Reputable publishers promote zero tolerance for plagiarism and have put steps in place to prevent plagiarism during the publishing process.

See more

Diary Dates

TAFETalks: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
27 July 2022
Register here

10-11 Aug 2022
More information

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

Victorian TAFE Association
State Conference
24-26 August 2022
Registrations open

National Skills Week 2022
22-28 August 2022
More information

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