Next part of university reform – Managed Growth Funding – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

Next part of university reform – Managed Growth Funding – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

The federal Department of Education has released two papers relating to structural reforms to the tertiary education system resulting from recommendations of the Australian Universities Accord. A third paper on needs-based funding is expected shortly.

Last week I discussed the role the Australian Tertiary Education Commission (ATEC). In my CEO piece I focused on ATEC’s role in harmonisation of vocational education and higher education. However, primarily ATEC will manage the funding to higher education providers. Therefore, today I have provided a brief perspective on the proposal to introduce a Managed Growth Funding System. You can access the implementation consultation paper here.

It is important to note that current higher education funding arrangements continue throughout 2025. That is, this Managed Growth Funding does not come into being until 1 January 2026. The role of ATEC is fundamental here as it will be the body with whom higher education providers negotiate their targets.

The first component of the Managed Growth Funding System is the creation of a system-wide pool of Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs). The system-wide pool will support the long-term growth needed in CSPs to reach the Government’s tertiary attainment target. The tertiary attainment target is 80% of working age people with a vocational education or higher education qualification. The Managed Growth Funding is solely referring to higher education and CSPs.

Each university and higher education provider will negotiate with ATEC what their allocation of CSPs will be. Current providers are those in receipt of CSPs which includes all universities and six higher education providers which include two TAFEs, Holmesglen Institute and Melbourne Polytechnic.

The concept behind managed growth is that university and higher education providers will negotiate what their maximum number of CSPs will be. This is different to how the system currently works, which allows much more autonomy of university decision making. Included within their negotiated CSPs will be consideration of how they are contributing to identified equity group targets.

Additionally, it is proposed, outside of this paper, that there will also be caps on international student numbers per university. Thus, the concept underpinning both parts of this change process is that there will be greater planning and control on where growth occurs.

One of TDA’s ten big submissions to the Accord was that TAFEs offering higher education programs should be in receipt of CSPs beyond the two Victorian TAFEs mentioned above. TDA will continue to advocate for this as this new managed growth system is introduced. After all, it is often students from less advantaged socio-economic backgrounds who have selected TAFE as their tertiary education provider. They need the opportunity to remain with TAFE for higher education on a fair funding arrangement.

New financial year brings change to apprentice support arrangements

A host of new arrangements for supporting apprentices came into effect on 1 July 2024.

Apprentice Connect Australia Providers have commenced delivering the new Australian Apprenticeship Support Services program. These were formerly known as Australian Apprenticeship Support Network Providers (AASNs).

A number of the new providers will deliver specialist support services in the areas of:

  • women in male-dominated trades
  • First Nations apprentices
  • apprentices working towards clean energy occupations.

More information about the transition arrangements is available here.

Also, the Australian Apprenticeship Incentive System has moved into Phase 2. In this phase, the financial support is targeted to Australian Apprenticeships in priority occupations on the Australian Apprenticeships Priority List.

Changes in the incentive system have seen apprentice payments front-loaded to provide more support in the first year of their apprenticeship.

As part of the changes, a Priority Hiring Incentive is available for eligible employers of Australian Apprentices in priority occupations and  provides up to $5,000 in the first year of an apprenticeship.

An Australian Apprentice Training Support Payment will provide up to $5,000 for eligible Australian Apprentices in occupations listed on the Australian Apprenticeship Priority List and is paid over four instalments.

The New Energy Apprentice Support Payment is available to apprentices who work in occupations identified as clean energy on the Australian Apprenticeship Priority list. In June, the guidelines were updated to broaden eligibility. It is available where employers can provide apprentices with meaningful exposure, experience and work in clean energy.

Details of all payments can be found in the Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System Summary.

The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR) has set up an Apprenticeships Transition Helpline – 1300 200 919

Inquiries can also be made to

TAFE student brings style to Governor-General Sam Mostyn's big day


Australia’s new Governor-General Sam Mostyn called on the expertise of TAFE NSW student Xiuyan Han for the elegant custom-made suit she wore to her swearing-in at Parliament House last week.

Xiuyan Han is the Senior Sewing Technician at The Social Outfit, a social enterprise fashion outlet in Sydney’s inner-west where refugee and migrant women create ethical and sustainable clothing.

Han was among a group of special guests, personally invited by Ms Mostyn to join ambassadors, MPs and other dignitaries for the swearing-in ceremony in the Senate.

“I very specially had the lovely woman, Xiuyan Han, who had made my suit at The Social Outfit, who was coming to our parliament for the very first time as a migrant to this country,” Ms Mostyn told ABC radio Sydney.

“It was a Social Outfit suit where the lovely Bianca Spender was able to bend the pattern of a suit I love to The Social Outfit.

“We used fabric that had been donated, and Han, who’s studying with TAFE, and is at The Social Outfit, made my beautiful suit and will get a credit for that with her TAFE course.

“And, she was in the Senate chamber together with a team from The Social Outfit,” Ms Mostyn said.

The Social Outfit said the suit, made for and paid for by Ms Mostyn, has supported the upskilling of its team of refugee women.

Images above, The Social Outfit studio in Marrickville; Governor-General Sam Mostyn arriving at Parliament House for the swearing-in; The Social Outfit Senior Sewing Technician Xiuyan Han. (Images courtesy of The Social Outfit).

First Nations Focus 2024 story collection

Today as we celebrate NAIDOC week nationwide, we bring you the final stories in our First Nations Focus 2024 story collection.

TAFE Queensland

For Morgan Cotter, TAFE Queensland was where it all began, and now she feels privileged to be able to help First Nations students get the most out of their study journey.

Morgan recently took on the role of Indigenous Outcomes Officer for TAFE Queensland’s Brisbane region, a move that she describes as coming full circle after first stepping through the doors as a teen studying her senior school certificate and in desperate need of motivation and guidance.

Read full story

Holmesglen Institute

Koorie Student Support Officers Luke Morgan and Kaycee Ah Kit from Victoria’s Holmesglen Institute are setting new standards in assisting First Nation learners.

For the past two years, Luke and Kaycee have worked with Holmesglen’s teachers to lift engagement and retention among Koorie learners through support and advocacy.

Having undertaken their own study journey at TAFE, they have added a new dimension to their work.

Read full story

Since Reconciliation week in May, TDA has proudly brought you news of the wonderful work of First Nations staff happening in member organisations. You can see the entire collection here.

Federation TAFE set to give more people in prison a better chance of success

Federation TAFE will expand its education delivery to more Victorian prisons and post-sentencing facilities after signing a new six-year agreement with the Department of Justice and Community Safety.

The agreement will see Federation continue to deliver VET to learners at Langi Kal Kal Prison, Hopkins Correctional Centre and Rivergum and Corella Place post-sentence facilities in the Grampians region and expand education delivery to facilities in the Barwon Southwest Region, including Barwon Prison, Marngoneet Correctional Centre, and Karreenga Annexe.

Training will focus on critical language, literacy, numeracy, and digital skills, be industry aligned and promote pathways into skills shortage areas as identified in the Victorian Skills Plan.

Fee-Free TAFE - success story collection

With the Fee-Free TAFE – success story collection, TDA aims to celebrate the successful implementation of the Fee-Free TAFE program by TDA members and the positive impact on individuals and priority groups benefiting from this initiative. Today we are sharing a success story from Box Hill Institute.

From an IT professional to award-winning horticulture student

After an extensive career as an Information Technology professional, David found a new purpose as an award-winning horticultural student, thanks to Box Hill Institute (BHI) and Free-TAFE.

Read full story

Closing date extended for 'The Heart of TAFE' photo competition

The Australian Education Union has extended the closing date for its 2024 national photography competition until July 22.

The competition, ‘The Heart of TAFE’, is open to TAFE students and aims to capture a powerful visual story about the life-changing role of Australia’s world-class TAFE system.

Each state-based winner will receive $1000 and a trip to Canberra for National TAFE Day, Tuesday September 10, where their work will be displayed in an exhibition.

The overall winner will win $5000 and publication in the TAFE Teacher magazine.

See more

Image: ‘Study Break’ by Callae Sutton, Northern Metropolitan TAFE, 2023 WA winner and National runner-up.

AUSMASA to road-test qualifications reform proposals

AUSMASA, the Jobs and Skills Council for the mining and automotive industries, is holding a webinar to test the proposed ‘purpose-led’ model of qualifications, as recommended in the recent report of the Qualification Reform Design Group.

The AUSMASA initiative will focus on two training packages, AUM – Automotive Manufacturing, and AUR – Automotive Retail, Service and Repair.

The webinar will include a presentation of AUSMASA’s Automotive Categorisation project, followed by discussion around the three recent recommendations of the Qualifications Reform Design Group regarding the relevance and transferability of VET qualifications.

Training providers are invited to register for their preferred session:

Diary dates

33rd National VET Research Conference ‘No Frills’ 
‘VET partnerships powering a dynamic workforce’
10-12 July 2024
North Metropolitan TAFE, Perth
More information

National Apprentice Employment Network
National Conference ‘Skills for Life’
23-25 July 2024
Hilton Adelaide
More information

Victorian TAFE Association
TAFECreates 2024 State Conference
8-9 August 2024
More information

VET National Teaching & Learning Conference 2024
‘From Competence to Excellence – Strive to Inspire’
15-16 August 2024
Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre
Register here

National Skills Week 2024
‘It’s a Game Changer’
19-25 August 2024

47th WorldSkills Competition
10-15 September 2024
Lyon, France
More information

WFCP World Congress 2024
22-27 September 2024
St James, Jamaica, West Indies
More Information

AVETRA 2024 Conference
3-4 October 2024
Deadline for abstract extended to July 8
University of Technology, Sydney
More information

2024 National VET Conference
31 October – 1 November 2024
Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
More information