TDA welcomes new Labor federal government – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

TDA welcomes new Labor federal government – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

TAFE has been the bedrock in skilling communities over decades. Under the Labor federal government, TAFEs will continue to play a pivotal role in ensuring Australia has the skills for now and into the future. So, what will be different?

TDA and its members look forward to contributing to Jobs and Skills Australia, the new body that will strengthen workforce planning and vocational education. This body will be made up of employers, unions, and training providers.

As part of Jobs and Skills Australia, TAFEs will be at the start of the development cycle for vocational education and training solutions, rather than at the end of the process. We look forward to the opportunity to both listen and to be heard. And TAFEs have much to contribute! Our workforce is made up of teachers with deep industry expertise across all trades and professions. That’s a requirement to teach – they must be industry competent and current. Plus, TAFEs are fully committed to the professionalisation of their workforces as educators. Our teachers are highly invested in ensuring positive outcomes for students and giving them the best learning experiences to get there.

Other aspects of the new government’s platform include at least 70% of Commonwealth VET funding for TAFE and 465,000 free or low fee TAFE places. The TAFE places will be in new industries and industries recovering from the pandemic or facing long term skills shortages. Included in these industries are manufacturing, new energy, digital transformation – all industries where TAFEs are actively working with peak industry bodies and employers to ensure our training is right for the skills that they need.

Another key focus for the new government is the aged, disability and childcare industries. These industries are particularly important for every TDA member. Student enrolments in qualifications in these industry areas are consistently in the top ten enrolments for all TAFEs.

Another initiative is Labor’s commitment to the TAFE Technology Fund of $50million over two years. This will provide a welcome injection for IT facilities, workshops, laboratories, and health simulators in TAFEs across the country.

As 15 of TDA’s members are either dual sectors or higher education providers, we also welcome the focus on the higher education sector. It is early days, but TDA members can play a pivotal role in exploring how the two sectors can be better integrated to service what industry wants and to provide innovative student learning opportunities.

As I said in the TDA media release on Monday, TDA looks forward to working collaboratively with the new government to help bring this to fruition.

Celebrating National Reconciliation Week


TAFEs around the country acknowledge National Reconciliation Week (NRW) as an occasion to celebrate Indigenous Australia’s history, culture and achievement.

The dates for NRW remain the same each year –  27 May to 3 June, commemorating two milestones – the successful 1967 referendum where Australia voted to change the constitution so that all Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people would be counted as part of the population, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.

This week also marks the fifth anniversary of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and the 55th anniversary of the 1967 referendum.

The new Labor government has committed to implementing the Uluru Statement and is supporting a referendum to enshrine a Voice to Parliament in the constitution.

A major event occurred in Sydney last week when religious leaders from nine faith groups formally endorsed the Uluru Statement and signed a resolution demanding action.

Emeritus Professor Greg Craven described it as “an amazing exercise of consensus”.

“Muslims, Catholics, Anglicans, Protestants of all varieties, Jews, Sikhs, Hindus and Buddhists now stand behind the voice,” he wrote in The Australian.

There are a host of amazing events around the country in support of National Reconciliation Week. See them here.

See more about National Reconciliation Week

TAFETalks: Register for a discussion, Wednesday 15 June, Self Assurance: what does it really mean?

Date: Wednesday 15 June at 2.00pm AEST (Canberra/Melbourne/Sydney time)

Following the recent release of ASQA’s draft model for self-assurance, please join TDA for an in-depth discussion on self-assurance and what it means for the vocational education and training (VET) sector.

Christina Bolger, Deputy CEO at ASQA will introduce the concept of self-assurance, followed by Jackie Wilson, a Partner at ORIMA Research who worked closely with ASQA to develop the draft model. Jackie will be joined by representatives from TAFE SA to discuss their self-assurance model in practice. Sue Crew, Interim Director, Strategy Management, University of New England (UNE), Armidale will also provide reflections from a VET and higher education perspective on the proposed model and the implications it may have for the pursuit of quality in the VET sector.

Guest speakers will include:

  • Christina Bolger, Deputy CEO, ASQA
  • Jackie Wilson, Partner, ORIMA Research
  • Penny Johnston, Executive Director, Academic Development, TAFE SA
  • Mark Croft, Director, RTO Quality and Compliance, TAFE SA
  • Sue Crew, Interim Director, Strategy Management, University of New England (UNE), Armidale

Registration:  To register for this event, please click here

AND for your diaries…

TAFETalks: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
Date: Wednesday 27 July at 2.00pm AEST (Canberra/Melbourne/Sydney time)

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 is 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.

Registration:  To register for this event, please click here
For further information, please visit:

Victoria to stage WorldSkills Australia competition

Victoria will host the WorldSkills Australia National Championships in Melbourne in 2023, with regional competitions to begin across the state this year.

National winners will join the Skillaroos team and represent Australia at the international WorldSkills competition in France in 2024.

“Our TAFE and training system is producing world-class workers and I’m looking forward to seeing them shine and showcase their skills on a national and international stage,” the Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney said.

WorldSkills Australia National Championships began in 1982 and are held biannually. Victoria last hosted the event in 2016.

Tasmanian budget delivers extra TAFE funding

Last week’s Tasmanian state budget included additional funds for teachers, infrastructure and for a new centre of excellence.

Following last year’s budget which provided funding of $37 million for TasTAFE to employ an additional 100 teachers, the latest budget allocates $7 million over four years for support services for those teachers.

There is also $3 million for COVID infrastructure improvements at TasTAFE.

The budget provides an additional $5 million to complete the development of the $21 million Water and Energy Trades Centre of Excellence under construction at TasTAFE’s Clarence campus.

Online job ads reach series high in April

There was another big increase in jab vacancies during April, according to the latest National Skills Commission Internet Vacancy Index (IVI) preliminary results.

It shows job online job advertisements increased by 8% or 23,100 positions to 311,100 during April.

The growth in recruitment activity over the first four months of 2022 has seen job ads reach their highest level since the inception of the IVI series in January 2006.

Recruitment activity increased across all eight jurisdictions over the month, the strongest increase being in Queensland (10.1%). Job advertisements in Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania, and the ACT all recorded series highs during April.

See more

ASQA approves training package extensions

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has announced extended transition periods for a number of qualifications.

These are:

  • CPP51119 Diploma of Property (Agency Management)
  • CPC31511 – Certificate III in Formwork/Falsework
  • Four ACM training products
  • Qualifications in UEE11 Electrotechnology Training package Release 1.5

See more

Diary Dates

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

TAFETalks: Self Assurance: what does it really mean?
15 June 2022
Register here

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, Online
Program out, register now!
More information

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

ACER Research Conference 2022
Reimagining assessment
22-25 August 2022
More information

Victorian TAFE Association
State Conference
24-26 August 2022
Save the Date

National Skills Week 2022
22-28 August 2022
More information

Community Colleges Australia National Conference
13-14 September 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

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)
Save the Date