TAFEs champions for their communities, women and people with disability – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

TAFEs champions for their communities, women and people with disability – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

The events of the last week made us all stop and think about what is important. TAFEs deliver skills for industry, but they are much more than that. TAFEs are part of the fabric of local communities. TAFEs are also champions for social change including women’s rights to equality and people with disability’s rights to a ‘seat at the table’.

As we witnessed the rising dirty brown waters in Queensland and NSW our thanks must go to our TAFE colleagues who have supported their communities. The TAFE NSW Kingscliff campus is one such example – it became an evacuation centre. A huge thank you to all TAFE staff who have been part of this or similar efforts. There are many stories to tell about the role TAFE people have played, even though many TAFE colleagues themselves have been and still are impacted by the floods.

TAFEs are intergenerational assets for communities. In any family there might be multiple members who have at one point connected with their local TAFE. As recovery starts to happen from these floods, TAFEs will continue to support those who have been impacted through this natural disaster.

TAFEs back the individuals who make up those communities. In the context of the national VET reforms, TDA is communicating about projects that focus on diversity. For example, later in this newsletter there is a section about projects that are supporting VET providers to assist students with disability to participate and succeed in VET. People with a disability also need a seat at every table, be that the workplace, training package development, or course design and implementation.

And TAFEs are also champions for women. Tomorrow, 8 March is International Women’s Day. This day is a celebration of equality and inclusion. On the TDA website there are several stories about women and organisations in Australia’s vocational education and training sector that have been recognised for excellence in creating communities that are equitable and inclusive.

However, there is still a long way to go for women to make their mark in many industries, in particular apprenticeships. As TAFEs who deliver the bulk of trade apprenticeships, we actively encourage women, and partner with employers to mentor women for success.

So, this week in the newsletter we have entered into the broader role TAFEs play within communities and for individuals. Education outcomes are much more than just about skills development. They include championing changes that provide equal opportunities for all, including people impacted by disaster, people with disability and women. This is part of building stronger, inclusive, and diverse communities.

Women in TAFE urged to become involved in WAVE

WAVE, the national network of women involved in VET, adult education and work-related education and training, is celebrating International Women’s Day 2022 and supporting TAFE Institutes in enhancing gender equality and sustainable futures.

Women in TAFE are encouraged to become involved in WAVE. Newsletter membership is free, and financial membership is $50 or $30, a small amount that helps WAVE undertake research and other activities.

WAVE will undertake a symposium around equity during the AVETRA conference, and make a grant for research to be undertaken into gender and disability. The current grant recipients, Annemaree Gibson and Annie Carney at Box Hill TAFE, will soon be presenting findings through an AVETRA publication.

WAVE also invites further TAFE women onto the WAVE National Committee. There are vacancies in NSW, Tasmania and ACT.

There are also joint state/territory convenors welcomed from any state or territory. The main role is to communicate through networks, provide advice on WAVE plans and activities, and hold events if possible.

More information can be found on the WAVE website or by contacting wave@wave.org.au

Russia and Belarus banned from WorldSkills competition

WorldSkills has imposed tough penalties on both Russia and Belarus over the invasion of Ukraine, cancelling their participation in the upcoming international competition in China, and suspending their membership of the prestigious skills organisation.

Worldskills has also decided to move next year’s EuroSkills Competition which was due to be held in St Petersburg.

In a statement, WorldSkills International said the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and the active support of Belarus was a “clear and enormous breach” of the organisation’s code of ethics.

“WorldSkills rose out of the ruins of the Second World War, which devastated economies and created a huge skills shortage that threatened a new economic depression,” the statement said.

“WorldSkills is steadfast in our support for the people of Ukraine, WorldSkills Ukraine, and using skills to build respect, dignity, peace, and prosperity around the world.”

Both Russia and Belarus will be prevented from participating in the 46th Worldskills Competition in Shanghai in October.

It’s a far cry from the 45th WorldSkills Competition held in Kazan, Russia in 2019, where the host nation’s 56-strong team came second overall, behind China.

Organisers inviting speakers for World Congress in Spain

The 2022 WFCP World Congress in June will have opportunities for speakers to address key issues in the VET sector.

The topics include:

  • Sustainability
  • Equity and inclusion
  • And any other major research undertaken in vocational education

If interested, would you please send details and a suggested session outline to Susana Espilla sespilla@tknika.eus

The World Congress is being hosted by The World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) and TKNIKA (Basque VET Applied Research Centre) in Donostia-San Sebastián, the Basque Country (Spain) from June 15 – 17, 2022.

See more about the WFCP 2022 Congress

Have your say on VET-in-schools in regional, rural and remote areas

PwC has been engaged by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment to undertake a review of the provision of VET delivered to secondary students across Australia, with one focus being on students in regional, rural and remote areas.

PwC is seeking input from stakeholders via a survey which can be accessed here. The survey aims to build an understanding of the current arrangements for VET delivery in these areas, explore the barriers to delivery and identify examples of excellence and best practice.

The survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete and all answers will remain anonymous. If you have any issues completing the survey, please contact Georgia Wells from PwC at georgia.wells@pwc.com

TAFETalks: Register now for international education forum, 16 March

TAFETalks: The future of international education in Australia: what opportunities for TAFEs?

Date: Wednesday 16 March at 2.00pm AEDT (Canberra/Melbourne/Sydney time)

Description: Please join Janelle Chapman for a conversation on the future of international education in Australia and opportunities for TAFEs. Janelle is the Executive Director at the Australia Pacific Training Coalition, VET Expert member on the Council for International Education and President of the International Education Association of Australia.

Janelle will be joined by:

  • David Atkins, Assistant Secretary, Quality Branch, International Division, Department of Education, Skills and Employment
  • Helen Kronberger, Manager, International Education, Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade)
  • Andrew Williamson, Executive Director, International Education and Enterprise Solutions, Holmesglen Institute

Registration:  To register for this event, please click here

AND for your diary…

TAFETalks: Imagining an Integrated VET and HE Future

Date: Wednesday 6 April at 2.00pm AEST

The new Industry Clusters will focus on both vocational education and training (VET), and higher education (HE) as they develop skills solutions for their workforces. We have been discussing combined VET and HE solutions for a long time. What will be different under these new industry cluster arrangements which come into effect in 2023?

Please join TDA CEO, Jenny Dodd for a panel discussion with three leaders of industry about how they think VET and HE integration might be different from 2023 onwards.

Guest speakers include:

  • Jodi Schmidt, CEO of the Human Services Skills Organisation (HSSO)
  • Paul Walsh, CEO at Australian Industry Standards (AIS)
  • Phil Clarke, General Manager, Industry Engagement from Innovation and Business Skills Australia (IBSA)

Registration: To register for this event, please click here

Help assist students with disability in VET

The Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training (ADCET) has been funded by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment to undertake three projects as a program of works to transform the capacity of and provide support to the wide range of VET providers to assist them in supporting students with disability.

They are seeking feedback from VET providers and staff through a survey into what is needed to build staff capacity to better support students with disability to participate and succeed in VET.

The survey aims to inform their work, and they would value your input. Contributions will be anonymous. The survey will be open until 21 March 2022.

See the survey

Input invited on core skills and digital literacy framework

The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) has completed the discovery phase of its review of the Australian Core Skills Framework and the Digital Literacy Skills Framework.

The next phase will launch with an online survey and two online discussion forums. The survey will start from 11 March and will gather views on the two frameworks, as well as assessment tools based on the ACSF.

There will also be two online discussion forums:

  • 17 March 4 to 5pm AEDT: An information session on the project and its discovery phase findings. An opportunity to ask questions about the project (live or via chat).
  • 31 March 4 to 5pm AEDT: This forum gives you an opportunity to expand on your responses to the online survey and provide more specific feedback relating to the frameworks.

The forums are open to all practitioners and program managers who use the frameworks and/or tools in their various job roles.

Register for these forums at FSFrameworks@acer.org and you will be sent a link to the Zoom meeting.

ASQA extends transition period for high-risk crane units

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (AQSA) has extended the transition period for a number of high-risk work licence crane units of competency until 31 May 2022.

Last December AQSA notified stakeholders of a decision to shorten the transition period for the units to 28 February 2022, based on the available information at the time.

In late February, ASQA received a request to extend the transition period for the units by three months until 31 May 2022.

See more

Diary Dates

National Apprentice Employment Network
National Conference
15-17 March 2022
Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart, Tasmania
More information

TAFETalks: The future of international education in Australia: what opportunities for TAFEs?
16 March 2022

CCA National ACE Summit
5 April 2022
More information

TAFETalks: Imagining an Integrated VET and HE Future
6 April 2022
More information

AVETRA 2022 Conference
Are we there yet? Building a research community to share VET’s future
28-29 April 2022
More information

VET CEO Conference
Velg Training
16-20 May 2022
More information

Disability Employment Australia Conference
31 May – 2 June 2022
More information

World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics
2022 World Congress 

15-17 June 2022
Donostia-San Sebastian (Spain)
More information

Apprentice Employment Network NSW & ACT
2022 Skills Conference
15 June 2022
Dockside Darling Harbour, Sydney
More information

31st National VET Research Conference ‘No Frills’
National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)
6-8 July 2022, Melbourne
Call for abstracts open now!
More information

National Skills Week 2022
22-28 August 2022
More information

WorldSkills Shanghai 2022
12-17 October 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

VDC Teaching & Learning Conference
VET Development Centre
17 & 18 November 2022 (Online)
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