The power of TAFE – comment by CEO Craig Robertson

The power of TAFE – comment by CEO Craig Robertson

For those at last week’s TDA Convention, I figure you’ve had enough words. Here’s just a few.

Opportunities for all
Wherever one is
Educationally and physically
Requiring local
Offerings designed by TAFEs built on a
Foundation of
Anchoring confidence and quality
For a world-class vocational
Education sector once again


Enough said! Other reflections from the convention in future weeks.

Minister urges TAFEs to get closer to universities, business as part of VET reform

The Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships Steve Irons has urged TAFEs to examine closer links with universities and businesses at the local level as part of a “once in a generation” effort to reform the VET sector.

Speaking at the TDA Convention in Brisbane, Mr Irons said everyone in the sector would need to be “open to new ways of working and being ready to collaborate across traditional boundaries.”

For TAFE, he said this may entail stronger links with universities and larger employers in the regions, as well as bringing together small business, community groups, and different levels of government to devise local solutions to skills gaps.

He said the recent COAG agreement by the Commonwealth, states and territories should be seen as “a once-in-a generation opportunity to strengthen VET.”

“I cannot overstate how important it is that we now have this top-level agreement across jurisdictions on the future direction of VET in Australia,” he said.

He noted the key elements in the planned reform process to date – the National Skills Commission, National Careers Ambassador, National Careers Institute and new Skills Organisations.

“These organisations will benefit greatly from practical input from TAFE representatives, and this in turn will make them more useful to you,” he said.

See the full speech.

Our thanks to everyone who supported Power of TAFE

TAFE Directors Australia would like to extend its appreciation to everyone who attended and supported the TDA Convention in Brisbane – delegates, speakers, workshop presenters, sponsors and exhibitors.

The Power of TAFE attracted 310 attendees, 22 sponsors and exhibitors, 82 speakers, with all states and territories represented as well as attendees from UK, China, Canada, New Zealand and Fiji.

Decline in apprentice commencements continues

The number of apprentices and trainees commencing fell by 2.7% to 157,880 in the 12 months to the end of March, compared with the corresponding period in 2018, according to the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

Commencements in non-trades were down 4.5%, while trades were down 0.6%.

By industry sector, some of the biggest falls were in sales workers (down 18.4%) and construction trades (down 7.4%) while there were increases in electrotechnology and telecommunications (up 7.3%) and community and personal service work (up 2.1%).

The number of apprentices and trainees in training stood at 276,250 at the end of March, down 0.9% from March 2018.

Apprentice & trainee commencements
Source: NCVER

See more.

SuniTAFE takes top prize at Victorian training awards

Sunraysia Institute of TAFE was announced as the Large Training Provider of the Year at Victoria’s training awards on Friday.

As a leading training institute in north-west Victoria, SuniTAFE was recognised for its technologically innovative 30-hectare SMART farm that has attracted international attention.

A partnership between Holmesglen and the Royal Children’s Hospital that enables young people with a disability to gain employment was presented with the Industry Collaboration Award.

The Inclusive Training Provider of the Year went to Victoria University Polytechnic, with the judges noting VU’s catchment includes areas of extreme disadvantage with associated chronic mental and physical health issues, yet students are supported in programs that encourage independence and skills development.

The Lynne Kosky Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement went to Patricia Neden, a highly respected leader in Victoria’s vocational education and training sector and the former CEO of Innovation & Business Skills Australia (IBSA).

The Teacher/Trainer of the Year went to GOTAFE’s Jodi Rechsteiner-Sanders for the passion and enthusiasm she imparts teaching in GOTAFE’s hospitality and VCAL departments.

The Apprentice of the Year was Jake Carter, who studied a Certificate III in Electrotechnology and credits Holmesglen’s Futuretech for laying the foundation for his success.

Vocational Student of the Year was Rachael Hilder (Diploma of Community Services and Diploma of Justice), trained at Kangan Institute.

See all the award winners.

TAFE SA partnership earns industry training award

An innovative partnership helping people with low self esteem gain training and employment in northern Adelaide has seen TAFE SA named a joint winner of the Industry Collaboration Award at the South Australian training awards on Friday.

The other partners are Datacom Connect, Service to Youth Council, and Workskil. They have joined to develop an innovative model of collaborative recruitment, job screening and pre and post-employment training.

The VET Trainer or Teacher of the Year is Gina Dal Santo, who is employed by TAFE SA and manages the Artisan Cheese Making Academy.

The Apprentice of the Year is Kate Jansen, trained by TAFE SA (Certificate III in Commercial Cookery – Cook) and the head chef at Windy Point Restaurant.

Trainee of the Year is Sarah Mills (Certificate III in Beauty Services) trained by TAFE SA.

Vocational Student of the Year is Shaona Imaru (Certificate III in Health Services Assistance) trained by TAFE SA.

School-based Apprentice of the Year is Sophie Nuske, (Certificate lll in Agriculture) who attends Cleve Area School and is trained by TAFE SA.

The VET Innovation for Schools Award went to Edward John Eyre High School which, in partnership with TAFE SA, offers 18 courses across Certificate II and III, and offers an innovative week-block delivery model.

See all the award winners.

TasTAFE scores with top apprentices, teachers and industry partners

The Tasmanian training awards on Friday saw TAFE feature in the top award categories. TasTAFE was in the winner’s circle with:

  • Apprentice of the Year, Marek Porter, pictured, (Certificate III in Electrotechnology)
  • School-Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year, Daniel Ragg (Certificate III in Electrotechnology)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year, Djuker Willis-Hart (Certificate III in Guiding)
  • VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year, Darren Scott (Drysdale South – Butchery)
  • Industry Collaboration Award, St Lukes Health with TasTAFE and MEGT

Also, TasTAFE’s Quality and Compliance Manager, Lyndene Bowen was recognised for her contribution to VET with the Trevor Leo Medal.

See all the award winners.

International study show the limits of TVET privatisation

A comparative research study that examines TVET in seven countries including Australia has published the findings of privatisation of the market in the West African country of Ivory Coast.

The University of Toronto study is part of a larger project in seven countries: Germany, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Australia, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia and Taiwan.

The study compares education systems and assesses the degree to which they give individuals the means to flourish and achieve fulfilment, while supporting social justice objectives.

It says that in Ivory Coast, about 60% of TVET students go to private institutions, largely in response to learners’ perceived needs for training leading to jobs.

But the study shows that the private sector does not meet these expectations.

“In fact, the private sector largely operates in the large urban centers; it offers only courses requiring modest investment, such as those associated with bureaucracy and accounting; it recruits a large proportion of the teachers from public establishments, which means they have to divide their time between two training centers; and it demands high tuition fees from its students,” the study says.

Former TAFE NSW chief Jon Black to head NSW RSL

The former managing director of TAFE NSW, Jon Black, has been appointed as the CEO of RSL NSW.

The Acting President of RSL NSW Ray James said Jon’s experience in leading a range of complex organisations with strong knowledge of governance practices was exactly what was needed at the organisation.

Mr Black had a 20-year career in the Australian Army and also headed a number of Queensland government departments.

ASQA grants extension to property services qualifications

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has approved an extension to the transition period for a number of qualifications and units of competency in the property services industry.

The extensions apply to:

  • CPP40307 Certificate IV in Property Services (Real Estate)
  • CPP40507 Certificate IV in Property Services (Business Broking)
  • CPP50307 Diploma of Property Services (Agency Management)
  • 80 CPP Property Services units of competency that lead to licences in the property industry across Australia.

ASQA will consider applications for a longer transition period where it can be demonstrated that there would be genuine disadvantage to a cohort of learners if an extension was not approved.

The extension applies until September 30.

See more.

Diary Dates

2019 National VET Conference
Velg Training
12 &13 September 2019
Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane
More Information

Community Colleges Australia 2019 Annual Conference
18-20 November 2019
The Stamford Plaza Hotel, Brisbane
More Information

Australian Training Awards
21 November 2019
Brisbane, Queensland
More information

Australian Council of Deans of Education Vocational Education Group
5th Annual Conference on VET Teaching and VET Teacher Education
9-10 December 2019
Charles Sturt University Wagga Wagga Campus
More information