TAFE roadmap sets out exciting future – comment by David Coltman, Chief Executive, TAFE SA

TAFE roadmap sets out exciting future – comment by David Coltman, Chief Executive, TAFE SA

It is an exciting time for us in South Australia with the Minister for Education, Training and Skills, the Hon Blair Boyer MP releasing the Roadmap for the Future of TAFE SA.

This is an important milestone and pivotal moment for TAFE SA’s future and one that we warmly welcome.

The Roadmap is the culmination of an extensive and incredibly respectful engagement with TAFE SA’s stakeholders including students, staff, industry, the community and external experts.

The Roadmap is the voice of our stakeholders and it provides the opportunity for us to listen and take action to shape TAFE SA’s future. It signals the Governments renewed commitment to TAFE SA as well a step change for the expectations of our education and training delivery.

TAFE SA’s new Strategic Plan will now be informed by the Roadmap’s renewed vision, purpose and goals and the associated recommendations.

We have committed to deliver six priority projects as signals of our commitment to the goals identified in the Roadmap.

  • We will commence the consultation on changes to the TAFE SA Act 2012 to determine whether our existing structure as a statutory Corporation best positions us to achieve the Governments objective.
  • We will prioritise the development of our next RAP that will establish our way of building pride and knowledge of First Nations cultures in every program and service we offer.
  • We will accelerate consultation on opportunities for new and emerging businesses (Start ups and SMEs) and industries to use TAFE SA training sites expanding the way we support business to flourish.
  • We will accelerate implementation of our Student Hub model which will establish TAFE SA as a local place of learning and support for all tertiary students irrespective of the provider they have enrolled with (university, TAFE SA, private RTOs)
  • We will implement updated and enhanced enrolment processes to ensure students  experience increased support, collaboration and communication when joining TAFE SA in 2024.  We will pilot the removal of literacy and numeracy assessment for students who have already demonstrated their ability to successfully complete tertiary study
  • We will offer more courses in regional and rural South Australia, the courses determined through consultation with our newly established Reginal Advisory Committees.

It’s an exciting time for TAFE SA as we rebuild and reimagine our role as the public provider of vocational education and training in South Australia over the next decade.

David Coltman is a TDA Board Member.

Announcing TDA's online conference – Linkages: One tertiary education system 18 October 2023

TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) is thrilled to be hosting our second online conference for 2023, Linkages: One tertiary education system which will explore the policy and practice of better alignment between higher education and vocational education and training.

The online conference will take place from 1.00 pm to 4.30 pm AEDT on Wednesday 18 October and features a range of high profile speakers from vocational education and training, higher education, government and industry.

Some of our high profile speakers include the Hon Brendan O’Connor MP, Minister for Skills and Training who be providing an opening address at the conference. The Hon Jenny Macklin, Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow, University of Melbourne and Panel Member Australian Universities Accord will be discussing the Australian Universities Accord Interim Report.

Members of the 2019 AQF Review, Professor Sally Kift, President of Australian Learning and Teaching Fellows and Vice Chancellor’s Fellow, Victoria University, and Megan Lilly, Executive Director, Centre for Education and Training, AiGroup will be speaking on the proposed changes to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) reform.

To view the full program, visit the TDA Linkages: One tertiary education system event page.

Registrations are now open for this free event. To secure your spot, click here.

Federal government releases tender for apprentice support

The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations has released the Request for Tender for Australian Apprenticeship Support Services 2024–26 seeking responses from organisations interested in delivering apprenticeship services from 1 July 2024.

The RFT follows extensive stakeholder consultation on how to enhance Australian Apprenticeship supports for individuals and employers, and seeks to strengthen the apprenticeship system, improve completion rates and increase the diversity of the apprentice workforce.

This will include improving wrap-around support for women in male-dominated trades, First Nations Australian Apprentices, apprentices with disability, and apprentices located in remote Australia. Specialist services are also being sought, including to support apprentices working towards clean energy occupations.

Information on the RFT and how to respond is available on AusTender and the department’s Employment Services Tenders website.

Responses to the RFT close September 12.

TAFETalks: Beyond Paper: The evolution of digital credentials

As digital transformation continues to take place across many aspects of life, TAFEs are at the forefront, streamlining the student experience by awarding and recognising qualifications digitally.

TDA invites you to join us for a discussion with our corporate affiliate My eQuals along with representatives from Bendigo Kangan Institute, Holmesglen and Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) to learn more about how TAFEs are digitising their credentials, and the benefits that this is bringing to students, institutions and industry alike.

The consistent approach to provisioning official credentials between VET and higher education providers also supports increasing alignment on recognition of learning between the sectors. This session will also explore the future evolution of this technology, including the movement to Self-Sovereign Identities (SSI) for individuals to securely store credentials in their digital wallet. The future of digital credentials is here!

To register click here

TEQSA warns higher education sector about unethical treatment of overseas students

TEQSA has issued a warning to higher education providers about recruitment, admission and support of overseas students.

In a letter to all higher education providers on Friday, Chief Commissioner, Professor Peter Coaldrake, says the risks include students transferring from their provider shortly after arrival in Australia, unethical recruitment behaviours by some education agents and inadequate information to overseas students in recruitment.

He says that TEQSA is investigating several providers.

“Providers registered on CRICOS to deliver education to overseas students have obligations to protect and enhance Australia’s reputation for quality education,” he says.

“Where these obligations are not met, the international community loses confidence in Australian education and the wellbeing and safety of overseas students are not protected.”

See more

University, VET and industry forge closer partnership

University, VET and industry representatives have met in Canberra to thrash out a joint approach to develop improved links across the tertiary education sector in order to meet chronic skills shortages.

Following the meeting last Thursday, the group issued a statement outlining a shared role in delivering the skills workers needed.

“The Australian Universities Accord presents an opportunity to facilitate greater engagement between universities and VET providers for the benefit of Australia and all Australians, regardless of their education qualifications,” the statement said.

Universities Australia Chair Professor David Lloyd said it was important to see universities and the VET sector as being complementary, rather than being in competition with one another.

TAFE Directors Australia Chief Executive Officer Jenny Dodd said: “If we have a strong university system collaborating with well-funded TAFEs, we have a strong economy. It’s as simple as that.”

See the statement

From left, Megan Lilly, Catriona Jackson, Professor David Lloyd and Jenny Dodd.

Victorian skills chief, Craig Robertson, to head VET qualifications reform group

The CEO of the Victorian Skills Authority, Craig Robertson has been appointed as the chair of the newly created VET Qualifications Reform Design Group that will modernise and streamline VET qualifications.

The Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor said the current system is afflicted with thousands of unit duplications, where students are having to relearn things they’ve already been taught.

“We’ve have identified more than 5000 units of competency that contain at least 70 per cent of the same material taught in other units,” he said.

“This current model is not fit for the modern economy, where changing jobs and careers and life long learning has become the norm.”

Other members of the group are:

  • Sarah Brunton, National Technical Officer, Electrical Trades Union
  • Helen Cooney, Principal Policy Officer, Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association
  • Megan Lilly, Executive Director, Australian Industry Group
  • Geoff Gwilym, Chief Executive Officer, Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce
  • Dr Margot McNeill, Chief Product and Quality Officer TAFE NSW, Education expert
  • Mathew Pearson, Director – National Skills Reform, NSW Department of Education, State and Territory nominated representative.

The group will design new training package rules for the development of units of competency and qualifications that recognise the differing needs of industry by the end of 2023,  before further work in 2024 to develop a change program for transitioning VET qualifications.

TDA looks forward to working with the group to help shape design elements of qualifications/training products to make them more flexible, transferable and so learners’ existing knowledge and skills can be more easily recognised .

See more

NSW VET review gets underway

The NSW government’s review of the state’s VET system has kicked off with the launch of public consultation around the state.

The first roundtable took place in Tamworth on Friday with further meetings planned for Wollongong, Western Sydney, Dubbo, Cobar, Hunter/Central Coast, Ballina, and Albury during August and September.

The review panel will also visit Coffs Harbour, Moree, Moruya, Bega and Sydney during a regional tour in September.

The expert review panel is led by former senior state and Commonwealth public servant Dr Michele Bruniges, and includes Professor Verity Firth and Jason Ardler.

“We want to hear every voice, from industry leaders to past and current students, educators, employers and other key stakeholders to discuss their concerns and insights,” the Minister for Skills, TAFE and Tertiary Education Prue Car said.

Student support an important factor in choosing an RTO: NCVER

While factors, such as the cost of a course, delivery mode and travel time, have a greater influence on choosing an RTO, the availability of student support services does play some role in helping prospective students select their preferred training provider.

This is the finding of a new paper, Drivers of student training choices – a focus on student support services, by NCVER.

Generally, RTOs that offer any type of student support, whether it be group sessions or personalised, one-on-one support, are more favoured by individuals than RTOs offering no support.

Additionally, the preference for student support services tends not to be strongly impacted by course price, so students are likely to want a similar level of the available support, whether they are paying $300 for a course or $5000.

The report says willingness-to-pay estimates show that individuals are prepared to pay extra for student support services, particularly one-on-one tutoring and study skills support.

Also, while it might be assumed that individuals from a certain demographic background, such as those with disability or who are unemployed, may be more strongly influenced by the availability of student support services, this is not reflected as strongly in the results as might be expected.

Foundation skills must be designed and delivered locally, report finds

Responses to recent discussion paper on foundation skills training in remote Australia have seen a resounding message that language, literacy, numeracy and digital literacy skills programs should be designed and led by remote communities.

The responses are contained in the Future delivery of foundation skills training in remote Australia – Discussion Paper Response Summary and Analysis released by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.

“This community led component is critical for remote and First Nations communities, where success of the program can depend largely on word of mouth, and the support of key community members,” the paper says.

It follows release of a discussion paper last December that saw 37 organisations and stakeholder groups either respond or take part in virtual workshops.

“We have listened to this feedback, and are now using it to help inform policy and program approaches for future Commonwealth supported foundation skills program delivery,” DEWR says.

Diary Dates

SAVE THE DATE – TDA CONVENTION 2024: 8 & 9 May, Sydney. Details coming soon

National Apprentice Employment Network 2023 National Conference
‘New Skills for a New World’
15-17 August 2023
Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
More information

VET National Teaching & Learning Conference 2023
‘From Competence to Excellence’
17-18 August 2023
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
More information

WorldSkills Australia National Championships and Skills Show
17-19 August 2023
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Victoria
More information

Victorian Training Awards
18 August 2023
More information

National Skills Week
‘What are you looking for?’
21-27 August 2023
More information

TAFETalks: Beyond Paper: The evolution of digital credentials
30 August 2023, 2pm AEST
More information

NSW Training Awards
September 2023
Sydney Town Hall
More information

Community Colleges Australia (CCA) Annual Conference
Building ACE Futures
10-11 October 2023
More information

Australian International Education Conference
10-13 October
More information

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

VDC World Teachers’ Day Event
27 October 2023 – save the date

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

Australian Training Awards 
17 November 2023
Hobart, Tasmania
More information

TDA Convention 2024
8-9 May 2024
Sofitel Wentworth, Sydney
Save the date