Higher apprenticeships part of creating industry relevant training – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

Higher apprenticeships part of creating industry relevant training – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

This week we continue our discussion of the initiatives coming from the Employment White Paper. The Employment White Paper can be accessed here.

We’ve talked about the skills passport and now let’s turn to the proposed higher apprenticeships.

For some time, the commentary has been nine out of ten new jobs will require post-secondary qualifications. For example, in Jobs and Skills Australia’s recently released Towards a National Jobs and Skills Roadmap – Summary, they state that around half of those new jobs will require a higher education qualification and about 44% a vocational education pathway (p14).

The proposal for a higher apprenticeship is something a bit different. It straddles both vocational education and higher education. Higher education because higher apprenticeships will be the equivalent of a bachelor degree. Vocational education because higher apprenticeships are firmly part of vocational education, given their partnership with industry. TAFE’s experience here is fundamental.

As the Employment White Paper states, “Innovative and new qualifications will be a vital part of meeting industry needs. The development of ‘higher apprenticeships’ – which combine structured on-the-job training through apprenticeships with study leading to degree-level qualifications – could provide opportunities for students to obtain higher-level skills. This has the potential to engage more people in tertiary education and address the skills needs of employers. Higher apprenticeships would allow students to develop more specialised higher-level skills tailored to emerging skills needs, such as digital or cyber technology and advanced manufacturing, not offered under traditional apprenticeship models.” (p124).

The examples given above are increasing areas of demand for TAFEs. For example, many TAFEs have noted that cyber security lends itself to a work-and-learn model in the form of an apprenticeship. It is also a good example of the emerging skills needs where new curriculum at higher capability levels is required to deliver industry relevant training. The current national TAFE cyber network is well positioned to be an innovative collaborative resource for such development.

The new thinking that sits behind the potential for these higher apprenticeships is exciting. The development of the curriculum alone will require appropriate scaffolding of learning to ensure the higher apprenticeships meet AQF 7 requirements. The current competency model is unlikely to be useful in this context. Curriculum development will require those with expertise in education along with industry to design what will be relevant for them.

There is quite a bit of work to be done to make these higher apprenticeships possible, but it is exciting that they are in the mix for new industry responsive qualifications. For too long innovation has been stifled by a one size fits all model. This expansion of vocational education is exactly what is required to meet emerging skill needs.

Members sought for Jobs and Skills Australia ministerial advisory board

Nominations have opened for up to 12 positions on the new Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) Ministerial Advisory Board.

The board will provide advice to the JSA Commissioner and the Minister for Skills and Training.

The establishment of the board is a legislative requirement. It will be made up of four members representing trade unions, four members representing employer organisations, and up to four other members.

Nominations close October 27.

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Fee-Free TAFE hit social media


The federal government has launched a new ad for Fee-Free TAFE on social media.

Starting in 2024, the next round of Fee-Free TAFE will offer tens of thousands of places in priority skills, to be determined as part of the five-year National Skills Agreement.

The Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor is using social media, urging people to gain new skills to start or change their careers.

See the fee-free TAFE ad

TDA’s online conference – Linkages: One tertiary education system, this Wednesday 18 October

This week on Wednesday 18 October from 1pm to 4.30pm AEDT, TDA will host its second online conference for the year, Linkages: One tertiary education system, which will explore the policy and practice of better alignment between higher education and vocational education and training.

Information for those who have registered for this event
Registrants should have received a confirmation email with a link to join the online event when they registered. There will also be a reminder email sent from Zoom Events 24 hours before the event start time. TDA will also send all registered attendees an email from our TDA member services account with further information about how to log into the event should any registrants encounter issues along with a TDA Teams meeting link for technical assistance which will be open from 12.30 pm to 1 pm AEDT. This will be sent today, Monday 16 October.

The online event lobby will be open from 12pm and the event will start at 1pm sharp. Registrants are strongly advised to check their log in details and to log into the event lobby ahead of the 1pm start time to complete the email verification process upon login and to troubleshoot any issues. Once you have accessed the lobby, you can keep your browser open and return at 1pm to join the opening session.

There are four sessions in total which includes two breakout sessions running in parallel. Registrants will have the choice of attending only one of the breakout sessions. Registrants will need to join each session that they wish to attend by clicking ‘join’ from the lobby.

The event will be recorded and this along with any presentation materials will be available on the TDA website in the weeks following the event. For more information about the event visit the TDA event page.

World Teachers' Day seminar to explore wellbeing

To celebrate the contribution and achievements of educators, teachers and trainers in the VET sector, TDA associate member, VET Development Centre (VDC) is presenting its annual free online seminar on World Teachers’ Day.

With the theme “The Full Circle of Wellbeing”, the session will be run twice on Friday 27 October – once at 12:30 pm AEDT, and repeated at 3:30 pm AEDT.

The session features presentations by international guest speaker, Dr Stephen Corbett from the University of Portsmouth; and UK, and Australian content expert Amy Green, founder of The Wellness Strategy. VDC CEO, Martin Powell, will host a Q&A following each presentation.

Professor Corbett will explore teacher wellbeing, focusing on the origins of wellbeing theory, and how that’s changed over time. He will also look at the challenges faced by teachers across the world and provoke questions as to what can be done to facilitate enhancements in their wellbeing.

Amy Green is a Queensland based published author, speaker, facilitator, and coach, and a leader in improving workplace culture and wellbeing in schools and organisations. Amy will draw from her firsthand expertise in the field, and explore a tailored approach to enhancing educators’ wellbeing in their personal and work lives.

First Run: 12:30pm AEDT | 9:30am WA | 11:00am NT | 11:30am QLD | 12:00pm SA

Repeat: 3:30pm AEDT | 12:30pm WA | 2:00pm NT | 2:30pm QLD | 3:00pm SA

Register here

Round three of ANZSCO review underway

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has started the latest round of consultation as part of its review of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).

The review will review how occupations have evolved, changed, or been replaced over time, how skills requirements have shifted, and emerging fields or unique jobs that may emerge.

The third round will delve into a range of industries including Accommodation and food services; Agriculture, forestry and fishing; Arts and recreation; Defence; Print and internet publishing; Public administration; Rail, road and water transport; Retail trade; Sports activities; Television, stage and broadcasting; and Warehousing.

The complete list of occupations within these focus areas is available on the ABS website.

Information is available on how to prepare a submission, or at the ABS Consultation Hub.

A quick overview of Round 3 is available on this short video.

TAFETalks: Engage to Excel: Personalised student engagement strategies 15 November 2pm-3pm AEDT

TDA invites you to join us for an engaging discussion with TAFE Queensland and TechnologyOne on making learning enjoyable, discovering practical ways to support struggling students and enhance the experience of international students.

Peter Nikoletatos will discuss student engagement strategies, focusing on leveraging gamification, interactive content, and peer collaboration to tailor engagement to individual learning styles.

Emma Rice and Jo Ward will provide insights into the academically ‘At Risk’ system at TAFE Queensland, focusing on identifying struggling students and implementing appropriate intervention strategies.

Marty Lock will highlight strategies to improve engagement among international students, offering actionable approaches to create a welcoming and inclusive learning environment.

To register click here

TAFE at the Heart

Call for submissions: Developing a global statement on artificial intelligence

The World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) is inviting tenders or partners to produce a global statement and ethics framework with case studies outlining the opportunities and challenges to professional technical education and training (PTET) arising from Artificial Intelligence.

The focus of the project will be to identify the opportunities AI provides to enhance learning, teaching and equity of access to PTET; provide recommendations for an ethics framework around the use of AI and its potential risks; and speak to PTET staff and administrators who are using AI tools highlighting the best practices.

The global statement will be representative of all WFCP members and at the same time have application at national, sub-national and local levels.

Responses need to be submitted by December 31.

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Diary Dates

TDA online conference – Linkages: One tertiary education system
18 October 2023, 1 pm AEDT
See more and register here

OctoberVET 2023
October 2023
On-line and face-to-face
See all events

Careers for Net Zero Fair 2023
26 October 2023
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
More information

VDC World Teachers’ Day Event
‘The Full Circle of Wellbeing’
27 October 2023
12:30pm – 1:30pm AEDT
Repeat: 3:30pm – 4:30pm AEDT

2023 National VET Conference
2-3 November 2023
Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre
More Information

TAFETalks: Engage to Excel: Personalised student engagement strategies
15 November 2023
Register here

Australian Training Awards 
17 November 2023
Hobart, Tasmania
More information

Empowered Women in Trades
Gala and Awards 2024
23 February 2024
The Trust, Melbourne
More information

TDA Convention 2024, ‘TAFE at the Heart’ – Save the date!
8-9 May 2024
Sofitel Wentworth, Sydney
More information

VET National Teaching & Learning Conference 2024
15-16 August 2024
Save the date