‘Tap the appetite’ – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

‘Tap the appetite’ – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

Last week, the Treasurer announced the jobs and skills summit. He stated this is about ‘tapping the appetite to come together … to grasp the opportunities … to seize the moment … and to find common purpose’. Approximately 100 people will be at this two-day summit in Canberra on 1 and 2 September.

As the joint media release between the Treasurer and the Prime Minister states, “Our goal is to build a bigger, better‑trained and more productive workforce, boost incomes and living standards, and create more opportunities for more Australians to get ahead and to reach their aspirations.’

TAFEs will play a central role in the outcomes of the summit. This is inevitable as TAFEs deliver most of the high value qualifications that are central to enhancing productivity and social outcomes.

TAFEs deliver over two thirds of the Certificate III in Electrotechnology – Electrician, Certificate III in Plumbing, Diploma of Nursing, and Certificate III in Engineering both for fabrication and mechanical trade. TAFEs are delivering 87% of the Certificate IV in Cyber Security – an example of how TAFEs are responding to emerging industries.

As public institutions, TAFEs have invested in facilities to deliver these critical qualifications, such as simulated hospital wards with technology support for nursing training, electrotechnology, plumbing, building and construction workshops, and equipment for emerging industries including electric vehicles.

TAFEs have a clear focus on delivering nationally recognised qualification and skill sets. This is their orientation, not just short return stand-alone subjects.

TAFEs also dominate in the delivery of foundational, preparatory and pathway qualifications, all of which improve participation in both employment and in society.

As the part of the VET sector that does the ‘heavy lifting’ in the qualifications that drive productivity, TDA members look forward to contributing to the conversation. TAFEs are essential parts if we are to build a ‘bigger, better‑trained and more productive workforce’.

Fijian aged care trainees to be 'fast-tracked' into Australia

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has struck an arrangement for dozens of Fijian aged care trainees to come to Australia, as part of a program to train and fast-track workers from the Pacific.

Forty students are going through the 12-week course at the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC) as part of the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme. The program has traditionally focused on agriculture and blue-collar industries but is being expanded to include the aged care sector.

Mr Albanese met with staff and students at APTC in Suva last week following the Pacific Islands Forum.

APTC Labour Mobility Manager Carolyn Jalal said the students that go through her program will graduate with a Certificate III qualification and then be sent to locations across regional Queensland.

“Once they get their letters of employment, the visas are applied for and they go, so they’ll be in Australia in early September,” she said.

The locations are Yeppoon, Mackay, Bundaberg, Sunshine Coast area, Gympie and Toowoomba. The pilot program started this year, but already has hundreds of applications.

APTC is Australia’s flagship Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institution in the Pacific region, operated by TAFE Queensland.

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WorldSkills reveals plan for 'special edition' global competition

WorldSkills has announced the arrangements for a unique “Special Edition” format for the international skills competition that will replace WorldSkills Shanghai 2022 which was cancelled due to the pandemic.

A total of 15 countries across Europe, North America, and East Asia will host 61 international skill competitions between September and November.

The WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition (WSC2022SE) will see 1,000 competitors from 58 countries and regions participate.

WorldSkills Australia has announced the opening of entries for a series of regional competitions that will culminate in the WorldSkills International Competition in Lyon, France in 2024.

TDA Convention 2022 – announcement of MC

TDA is delighted to announce that Ellen Fanning, award-winning current affairs journalist will be the MC at the TDA Convention 2022Courage, Change and Challenge: The Future of TAFE. The TDA Convention 2022 will take place in Adelaide, South Australia from Tuesday 15 – Thursday 17 November 2022.

Ellen Fanning appears daily on the ABC TV’s program, The Drum, a panel discussion program that focuses on the news of the day. With a wealth of experience in communications, politics, social, cultural and business issues, along with her work as a TV presenter and panellist, Ellen will be an exceptional MC, moderator and facilitator at the TDA Convention 2022.

Call for presentations
If you would like to be a part of the TDA Convention 2022 program and collectively shape the future of TAFE, the call for presentations is now open. The deadline for submissions is COB Monday 1 August.

This is an opportunity for TAFE staff and key stakeholders of TAFE to share their stories and experiences of courage and change, and to be the leading providers of solutions to the challenges of the future. Please click here for more information and to download the presentation guidelines.

Delegates at the TDA Convention 2022 will be informed and inspired by courageous stories and innovative practices. Presentations will highlight the power of collaboration with colleagues, community and industry. The TDA Convention will bring together different perspectives including from students, staff, employers, industry, community and government.

For further information on registration packages and inclusions, and to register for the event, please click here.

Sponsorship opportunities
The sponsorship prospectus is now available here. To discuss sponsorship opportunities, please contact tdaconvention@absoluteevents.com.au

Stay up to date on convention news and program updates 
For updates on convention news and programming, please subscribe to the TDA Convention 2022 e-newsletter here.

TDA looks forward to welcoming its members, partners and supporters to Adelaide in November 2022 to be part of the conversation on Courage, Change and Challenge: The Future of TAFE.

More than a million students enrolled in government-funded VET

A total of 1.25 million students were enrolled in government-funded vocational education and training (VET) in 2021, up by 5% compared with 2020.

More than half (52.2%) of enrolments were delivered by TAFE.

The vast majority of students (95.9%) were enrolled in in nationally recognised training. Of those enrolled in nationally recognised training, most (80.4% or 963,900) were undertaking training package qualifications.

NCVER Managing Director Simon Walker said the largest absolute increase was in qualifications (up 82,000 students or 8.6%), while the largest decline was in skill sets (down 21,100 students or 12.1%).

“Student enrolments increased most in the Community Services, Construction, Health, Automotive, Business Services and Electrotechnology training packages, clustered within Certificate III to Diploma level programs,” Mr Walker said.

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Australia’s first sustainable VET campus opens on the Gold Coast

Australia’s first sustainable VET campus – the TAFE Queensland Robina campus on the Gold Coast – was officially opened last week.

Queensland Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer said the campus was designed from the ground up to be sustainable in building, fit-out, procurement, curriculum, operations and culture.

The building has five levels of flexible multi-purpose training spaces, teaching rooms, student areas, break out zones as well as live training facilities including a restaurant, café, hair and beauty salons, fitness centre and event venue.

TAFE Queensland’s General Manager on the Gold Coast, Karen Dickinson said the building’s modern design and construction practices meet sustainability ambitions and reduce greenhouse emissions.

“We designed the base building to a National Australian Built Environment 5-star rating standard with 250 solar panels providing renewable energy for the campus and maximised use of performance solar glass,” she said.

The Queensland government provided $10 million towards the fit-out costs of the campus as part of the Equipping TAFE for our Future program.

The building was awarded silver in the Construction category at the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics 2022 Awards of Excellence. It is the fourth TAFE Queensland campus on the Gold Coast.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer cutting the ribbon at the TAFE Robina campus.

TAFETalks: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning – register now!

Wednesday 27 July at 2.00pm AEST (Canberra/Melbourne/Sydney time)

Register here

TDA is delighted to announce that we will be joined by Professor Sally Kift for a panel discussion on the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Sally is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA), a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law (FAAL) and President of the Australian Learning and Teaching Fellows (ALTF). Sally is a renowned higher education expert and academic and has published widely on transition pedagogy, legal education and student transition. Sally was a member of the Australian Qualifications Framework Review Panel that reported to Government in September 2019. Sally’s role will be to reflect on the discussions of our TDA members including:

  • Associate Professor Melanie Williams, Associate Dean (Scholarship) at William Angliss Institute, where her primary role is to lead and support vocational and higher education teaching staff in taking a scholarly approach to improving their learning and teaching practice.
  • Dr Fiona Wahr, Senior Lecturer, Applied Research and Scholarship, Melbourne Polytechnic. Fiona led the revised scholarship model introduced at Melbourne Polytechnic
  • Vanessa Crawford, Associate Dean, Higher Education, TAFE Queensland. Vanessa will reflect on TAFE Queensland’s practices related to the scholarship of teaching and learning. Vanessa is also the chair of TDA’s Higher Education Provider network.

Places are filling fast! Register here

Job vacancies reach 14-year high

Job advertisements increased for the sixth consecutive month in June and are at their highest level since 2008, according to the National Skills Commission (NSC).

The NSC’s Internet Vacancy Index (IVI) increased 1.2% in seasonally adjusted terms (or 3,700 job advertisements) in June 2022 to stand at 303,400.

Job advertisements have rebounded strongly since hitting record lows in May 2020 with the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.Job ads are now at their highest level since April 2008.

Recruitment activity in all states and territories is now significantly higher than pre-COVID levels, led by Tasmania where job ads are almost 150% higher than pre-COVID.

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Diary Dates

TAFETalks: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
27 July 2022
Register here

10-11 Aug 2022
More information

ACER Research Conference 2022
Reimagining assessment
22-25 August 2022
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Victorian TAFE Association
State Conference
24-26 August 2022
Registrations open

National Skills Week 2022
22-28 August 2022
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Community Colleges Australia National Conference
13-14 September 2022
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Australian International Education Conference 2022
18-21 October 2022
Gold Coast & Online
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2022 National VET Conference
Velg Training
3-4 November 2022
Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre
More information

TDA Convention 2022
Courage, Change and Challenge – the Future of TAFE
15-17 November 2022
More information

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