NSA a different approach to previous national skills agreements – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

NSA a different approach to previous national skills agreements – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

Last Tuesday TDA welcomed Minister O’Connor’s announcement regarding the National Skills Agreement (NSA). The TDA media release in response is on the TDA website.

Most of you would be aware, but just in case there are some readers who are not, the NSA is the core agreement on skills between the Commonwealth and State/Territory governments. In simple terms it sets priorities and determines how the Commonwealth funding will flow to the States and Territories.

It is important to remember that the Commonwealth government contributes about 40% of vocational education funding and the States and Territories the rest. This is different to higher education where the universities are fully funded by the Commonwealth. It is more than ten years since a five-year skills agreement was reached. There is also additional funding for agreed growth targets.

The NSA will commence on 1 January 2024. It sets out how the national vocational education and training system will deliver a skilled Australian workforce over the next five years. It specifically mentions that TAFE will be at the heart of the national system.

The NSA aims to deliver on national priorities, boost productivity, and provide quality and accessible education for all Australians. There is a commitment to collaboration and partnerships between all governments.

The national priorities have been identified. They include skills to achieve net zero emissions, support for development of skills to achieve sovereign capability which includes advance manufacturing, national security, food security and construction, care and support services, and improved digital and technological capability. While having national priorities there is also an important principle that each state and territory is unique so there is flexibility for local skills development.

Of interest in this NSA is the introduction of ‘stewardship’. I understand stewardship as looking after what we have been given. So, I went to Google to see how it defines stewardship, and found the following definition from the Merriam-Webster, ‘the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care”.

The new NSA sets agreed targets between the Commonwealth and States/Territories on national priorities. The concept of stewardship means there will be deliberate processes of achieving these targets through joint responsibility, and collaboration and engagement. The NSA also proposes a more transparent process with a commitment to publicly available national and jurisdictional skills plans.

TDA has welcomed the announcement and looks forward to supporting achievement of these skills plans in the new NSA.

PM and Minister O'Connor visit CIT to launch $12bn national skills blueprint

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Skills and Training Minister Brendan O’Connor used a visit to Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) last week to launch the $12.6 billion National Skills Agreement (NSA) between the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments.

The official visit to CIT’s Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Laboratory in Fyshwick saw the Commonwealth commit to a new five-year skills agreement that could be worth up to $30 billion after state and territory contributions are included.

The PM and Minister O’Connor were accompanied by ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and the Member for Canberra Alicia Payne, as they toured the facility and met with teachers, staff and students.

Key features of the NSA include $325 million to establish nationally networked TAFE Centres of Excellence, $155 million to establish a National TAFE leadership Network to promote cutting edge curriculum, and funding for key industry areas including clean energy, the care sector, and digital capability.

TDA CEO Jenny Dodd said the NSA means the return of a truly national agreement across all jurisdictions with TAFE at the heart of a revitalised skills and training system.

“Baseline funding for TAFE means certainty, and the ability to plan with confidence to meet a host of new opportunities across emerging industries and priority occupations,” Ms Dodd said.

The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations has provided detailed fact sheets on each of the key elements of the agreement.

See the joint statement by the PM and Minister O’Connor

See an article in The Conversation by Pi-Shen Seet, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Edith Cowan University, and Janice Jones, Associate Professor at the College of Business, Government and Law at Flinders University.

See TDA’s media release

Images: Left, Chief Minister Andrew Barr, Canberra MP Alicia Payne, Minister O’Connor and Prime Minister Albanese at CIT; Centre, the PM and Minister meet with students; Right, CIT Automotive Teacher Richard Lindsay, CIT Interim CEO Christine Robertson, Minister O’Connor and CIT Chair Kate Lundy.   

TDA Convention 2024 - Registrations and Call for Proposals now open!

The TDA Convention 2024TAFE at the Heart will take place at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth Hotel from Wednesday 8 to Thursday 9 May 2024. Please join TDA, its host partner TAFE NSW and diamond sponsor ReadyTech in Sydney to explore TAFE’s role at the heart of vocational education and skills development in Australia.

Early bird registrations are now open
TDA is excited to announce that early bird registrations are now open for the TDA Convention 2024. Further information on registration packages is available here for TDA members and non-members. The early bird rate closes on 23 February 2024 or until all tickets are sold, so please get in early to avoid disappointment!

TAFE at the Heart will run over two full days. It will offer opportunities to share knowledge and experience to ensure that TAFE remains a powerful force that nurtures talent, empowers individuals, supports industry and drives Australia’s economic growth. The event will also provide numerous networking opportunities including the convention dinner on 8 May where the TAFE Staff Recognition Awards will be presented and a networking reception at the Sydney Opera House on 9 May.

For all registration enquiries, please contact our event organisers at maryanne.m@asnevents.net.au.

Call for proposals also now open
If you would like to be a part of the TDA Convention 2024 program, the call for proposals is now open. The deadline for submissions is 23 January 2024.

TDA invites proposals that will contribute to the thought provoking program through presentations and interactive workshops which align to the overarching theme of TAFE at the Heart in the following areas: excellence in teaching and learning; learner access and equity; student success; TAFE Centres of Excellence; industry partnerships and stakeholder engagement (including emerging industries); higher education and vocational education alignment; community and regional prosperity; technological innovation in learning or business; international education; staff and student wellbeing; managing staff attraction and retention;  and leading organisational change.

We welcome proposals which highlight different perspectives including students, staff, employers, industry, community, stakeholders and government.  We welcome proposals which highlight solutions and cutting edge practices, which challenge the status quo and which demonstrate TAFE as educational entities at the heart of skills and tertiary education now and into the future. Further information on submitting a proposal is available here.

Sponsorship opportunities
For a discussion on sponsorship opportunities, please contact TDA’s Sponsorship Manager Chad Murphy at ASN Events at chad.m@asnevents.net.au or on 03 8658 9530.

TDA looks forward to welcoming you to Sydney in May 2024 for TAFE at the Heart!

TAFE institutes, teachers students and industry partners named in Australian Training Awards

A host of TAFE Institutes, teachers, industry partners and students are in the running for national acclaim after the finalists for the Australian Training Awards were announced last week in the following categories:

Large Training Provider of the Year Award
TAFE Finalists: TAFE Queensland and TAFE Gippsland

Apprentice of the Year Award
TAFE Finalists: Caroline Morris (TAFE NSW), Jack Higgins (Charles Darwin University), Jake Chilcott (TasTAFE) and Leela Subramaniam (Chisholm Institute).

Trainee of the Year Award
TAFE finalists: Thanapat Kellie (Charles Darwin University), Catherine Jones (TasTAFE), Rebecca Hope (Melbourne Polytechnic) and Hannah Morrison (Central Regional TAFE).

Vocational Student of the Year Award
TAFE finalists: Loann Nguyen (Charles Darwin University), Jessica Addo (TAFE Queensland), Barbara Muller (Federation TAFE) and Kai Baharthah-King (North Metropolitan TAFE).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year Award
TAFE finalists: Emma Brown (Canberra Institute of Technology), Shaniqua Burke (TAFE Queensland), Bradley Maynard (TasTAFE) and Pearl Dunn (Sunraysia Institute of TAFE).

Australian School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year Award
TAFE finalists: Molly Smith (TAFE NSW), Lilly Bright (Charles Darwin University), Kyezaya Namai-Sabatino (TAFE Queensland), Sophie Orrock (TAFE SA), Indiana Corbin (TasTAFE) and Robert Nicolosi (North Metro TAFE).

VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year Award 
TAFE finalists: Peter Redfern-Elliot (Canberra Institute of Technology) and Holly Gudsell (North Metropolitan TAFE).

Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award
TAFE finalists: Brendan Reid (Charles Darwin University), Kelly Barron (TAFE Queensland) and Anthony Georgeff (North Metropolitan TAFE).

Industry Collaboration Award
TAFE finalists: South Metropolitan TAFE, with the Department of Defence, which deliver the Defence Industry Pathways Program; and Holmesglen Institute, which partners with the Victorian Electrical Trades Union, Trades Hall Council, Australian Women in Solar Energy, and the Victorian Department of Education and Training in the Women in Apprenticeship Victoria Electrical (WAVE) project.

Large Employer of the Year Award
TAFE finalist: All Purpose Transport, which partners with TAFE Queensland.

Small Employer of the Year Award
TAFE finalist: Beaufort and Skipton Health Services in Victoria, which partners with Federation TAFE.

The winners will be announced in Hobart on November 17.

See all the Australian Training Awards finalists

Friday 27 October – World Teachers' Day

TDA extends its best wishes to all TAFE teachers as they celebrate World Teachers’ Day this Friday.

TDA and TAFE Institutes thank them for their outstanding contribution, and the dedication they show each and every day.

Also, a reminder that the VET Development Centre (VDC) is presenting its annual free World Teachers’ Day seminar this Friday, with the theme “The Full Circle of Wellbeing”.

The online session will run twice – 12:30 pm AEDT and 3:30 pm AEDT.

Register here

Hundreds take part in TDA's online conference – Linkages: One tertiary education system

Almost a thousand people registered for TDA’s second online conference, Linkages: One tertiary education system, which aired last Wednesday.

The Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor opened the conference, followed by a discussion between TDA Chief Executive Officer Jenny Dodd and Jenny Macklin, the Australian Universities Accord panel member.

A total of 15 speakers across the tertiary education sector took part in the event.

In one session, ‘Unpacking the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) reform’, two of the AQF reform panel members, Professor Sally Kift and Megan Lilly, discussed the outlook and benefits of AGF reform.

A discussion on VET and university harmonisation was led by Mary Faraone, TDA Board Chair and Chief Executive of Holmesglen Institute. Taking part were Catriona Jackson from Universities Australia; Simon Walker from NCVER; David Coltman from TAFE SA; Peter Heilbuth from CQUniversity; and Kelly Pearce from the Department of Education.

The session, ‘Mobilising VET to Higher Education transitions’ featured Dr Sharon Schembri from TAFE Queensland; Dr Ben Allitt from Chisholm Institute; and Mish Eastman from RMIT University.

Recordings and presentations from the sessions are on the TDA website

Latest draft Standards for RTOs, shorter, simpler

The latest draft Standards for RTOs have been streamlined and cut back to make them clearer and easier to navigate, the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR) says in its updated release.

There are now 25 standards across four quality areas, compared with 38 requirements across five quality areas in the consultation draft.

DEWR says all the standards can now be articulated on a single page, supporting a clear snapshot of what constitutes quality training delivery.

“This revised structure strikes a balance between flexibility to support excellence and innovation, and clarity to support clear expectations and consistent understanding,” DEWR said.

The DEWR website includes an updated overview of the progress to date on the revised Standards, information about the next phase of activities, and details of a survey to gather input from providers and stakeholders.

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

MYOB Partner Awards 2023 – Education Winner

Congratulations to Inna Kazakevich from Swinburne University of Technology VET for winning the Educator of the Year Awards as part of the MYOB Partner Awards 2023.

You can view all the MYOB Partners Awards winners here

JSA to undertake survey of adult literacy and numeracy

Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) is about to embark on a national survey of adult literacy and numeracy skills.

This survey is being developed in response to an absence of current data on literacy and numeracy skills, with the most recent data being from the OECD’s Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), undertaken in 2011/12.

JSA will contract an external agency to undertake data collection and survey field operations. The survey will assess literacy and numeracy skills using the OECD’s Education and Skills Online tool to maximise comparison with relevant literacy and numeracy data sources, such as the 2011/12 PIAAC.

Any questions about the survey can be addressed to foundationskillssurveyteam@jobsandskills.gov.au

Diary Dates

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 and registration

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