The Story so far… comment by CEO Craig Robertson

The Story so far… comment by CEO Craig Robertson

With apologies to Banjo and the riders of the Snowy Mountains

There was stirring across the nation, Sco Mo heard the word spreading round
The skills system of Australia was a wild and wayward mob
Hurtling to election resolution, a winning strategy must be found
Called a Kiwi thorough bred to wrestle this tough job.
He found the system complex with confusing inter-twine-ment
That led to needless tension between employers and RTOs
Better plans and in-formation, and strengthen skills thru align-ment
Into the crowded landscape, ‘twas added three SOs.

Replete from his prized victory – Sco Mo raced it to the eight
A great vocational vision – for his national cabinet clan
Gallop gave way to canter, stared down by the sovereign state
Although at least he salvaged – a five year skills plan.
Ever wary of the word national, the eight each took their own positions
Each have their own conditions, that shape a unique mission
Along rode Macklin, Gonski & Shergold – offering new propositions
And with South Australia, revamping its own commission.

Fearless in struggle ne’er un-deterred, Sco Mo saddles Robert to action the plan
And corrals good old industry, to pile the pressure on
A united voice should bring resolve, trusted ally to get agreement in the can
Replace SO with skill enterprise, to build the future on.
Surely good ol’ industry can bring the lot together, it has done the trick before
Oddly in this country on skills, capital and labour have unified
Alas, it’s ripped asunder at the neo-liberal hand, social partners seem no more
Is it too late to call for union, when the tri-part-ite has died?

At least some hope seems on the cards, quality training in the mix again
The sector can be rescued, pegged to self-assur-ance
But new rules just keep on comin’, and constant changing packages remain
All it manages to be testing, is provider ultra-endur-ance.
Key arrangements for the sector, such an odd dilemma actually hold it back
The chance is close at hand, to keep industry in the loop
Despite the Joyce ambition pilots in the hand, new plans appear off-track
In the best tradition, there is now a Transition Advisory Group.

New skills each day are needed, the world moves fast and can’t afford to wait
What benefit the commotion, if a student or employer
Must wait for finished product, that once finished is already out of date
Let’s choose a better target, and produce a skilled all-rounder.
Let’s hope the group can ponder, the way these needs are met
There is a new code – ASC, that could be the missing link
Elaborate industry arrangements does little responsiveness get
Trusting good RTOs to deliver will do better than you think.

This bard does humbly beg forgiveness, of this humour badly phrased
He hopes there is a message even after he’s long gone
We are at a point in history, when the difficult issues must be raised
The old ways just don’t cut it, to face a brand new dawn.

No one expert holds the answers, and we get little from unilateral action
We must find new ways, for more to have their say
Cause when this chapter they unearth in the archives of this nation
Will tell of the chance of VET reform, that simply got away.

Sydney TAFE campuses open for essential services only as COVID spreads 

TAFE campuses across Greater Sydney will remain open but there will be no face-to-face teaching for at least the coming week as the NSW COVID-19 outbreak grows.

Under the latest NSW government health warnings, education is an essential service, meaning that TAFE NSW will continue to operate, with some modifications.

In the Greater Sydney area, students may attend a campus to access technology or support services, including to connect to a virtual classroom, but there will be no face-to-face teaching.

A number of critical support services will remain operational, including childcare centres, student services and support, contact centres, and security.

Libraries will be closed to the public but will be open for students, as will computer labs. Those who do attend campuses are required to leave as soon as their business is done.

Outside the Greater Sydney area, TAFE campuses will remain open and classes will run as scheduled unless otherwise advised.

The latest lockdown is due to run until this Friday, but with 77 new cases yesterday, and the Premier warning of “much worse to come”, there is every chance restrictions will be extended.

See the latest TAFE NSW COVID update

Inaugural CEO appointed to Victorian TAFE post

The Victorian government has appointed former senior public servant and Federation Square chief, Dr Xavier Csar, pictured, as the inaugural CEO of the Office of TAFE Coordination and Delivery (OTCD) in the Department of Education and Training.

The idea for the OTCD was laid out in the recent “Macklin Review” and announced in the Victorian Budget. It is aimed at facilitating greater collaboration across the TAFE network.

Dr Csar has held senior executive positions in Victorian and federal government departments, including in economic development, energy, and innovation.

He was previously Executive Director of the TAFE and Participation Division in the Department, as well as CEO of the Adult, Community and Further Education (ACFE) Board. More recently, he was CEO of Federation Square.

The OTCD will work with the Department’s Higher Education and Skills Group as well as with the new Victorian Skills Authority to drive reform of the skills and training system.

Quiet leadership leaves its mark as 45-year veteran departs CIT

I’m sure we all can share stories of the colleague who is the perfect fit for an organisation and who always delivers with a smile. In today’s difficult world they are treasures for any organisation.

The Canberra Institute of Technology loses one such jewel this month when Ivan Radic, Senior Manager of CIT Facilities retires after forty-five faithful years of service to TAFE education.

Ivan has understood that the best of vocational education is the combination of theory and practical skills development and fit-for-purpose facilities and equipment are crucial for effective learning.

CIT’s ability to meet the ACT Government renewable energy targets by 2020 is in large part an outcome of Ivan’s energetic and thoughtful guidance. With a background in science, he has been an enthusiastic advocate for environmentally sustainable practices across all CIT business activities, long before the need for action was identified.

Ivan has forged many reciprocal relationships with industry partners over the years. He was instrumental in accommodating Evoenergy’s Hydrogen Test Site at Trade Centre campus—the first of its kind in the country—and has been active in facilitating partnerships with companies such as Neoen, EPC Solar and Siemens GameSA.

When TDA moved from Sydney to CIT in 2017, as if with no effort, Ivan organised for the office to be set up, complete with a new paint job. One example of his work still stands out for me. Amid the heavy work TDA was involved in supporting students who had been abandoned by several VET FEE-HELP providers, I was keen to secure a large teaching whiteboard for the office so we could map out our strategy. Imagine my surprise when it was installed within the hour it had been requested!

Ivan has created a lasting impact on the environment of CIT and has done much to place the organisation at the forefront of environmental sustainability in the ACT.

Leadership doesn’t always need to be from the front of things. His quiet leadership has left a lasting impression on CIT, its staff and me.

Craig Robertson

Teaching trades — using technology to enhance the experience

Recently, TDA presented an informative webinar on Engaging Trades Learners in a Virtual Class, attended by over 170 trade teachers and interested groups that highlighted the different methods to deliver virtually at least some aspects of the teaching of trades.  Engaging trades learners in a virtual class does not mean taking a face-to-face approach and just presenting this material online – it’s much more than this if you seek engagement and learning to occur.

Given the TDA webinar in April this year, TDA encourages you to register for Teaching trades — using technology to enhance the experience this Tuesday July 13 11:00am (AEST).  On the webinar you will hear from Cam Gleeson who started his career as plumber and gasfitter and in 2008 turned his hand to teaching trades to apprentices and pre apprentices full time.  Now he’s an advocate for use of electronic technology in any training program.

Well worth setting aside the time to learn more – so please register through the above link prior to 11am Tuesday.

National Skills Week just around the corner

Now in its 11th year, National Skills Week is dedicated to raising the profile and status of vocational learning, dispelling outdated myths and showcasing the attractive career opportunities for all Australians.

The theme for 2021 invites Australians to ‘RE-THINK’ their ideas of what vocational education and training is all about and the role it can have in preparing people for the future of work.

The best way to help celebrate National Skills Week is to get involved!

Organisations, businesses, schools and community groups can organise and share any events they are running.

Register your event on the National Skills Week website so others can attend, and don’t forget to hashtag #nationalskillsweek so that everyone can celebrate!

Click here to register your event.

Click here for more ideas on how to get involved.

William Angliss Institute joins prestigious global culinary club

William Angliss Institute has joined the ranks of the world’s top culinary education institutions, being recognised by the international World Association of Chefs’ Societies, or Worldchefs, as it is known.

Founded in 1928 at the Sorbonne in Paris with the venerable chef August Escoffier as first Honorary President, Worldchefs is recognised as a global authority and opinion leader on food, and represents chefs across the world. William Angliss Institute is the third accredited cookery school in Australia represented at Worldchefs.

Worldchefs’ Recognition of Quality Culinary Education (RQCE) program recognises educational institutions committed to the highest standards for quality culinary education.

William Angliss Institute professional cookery teacher Dale Lyman has been a member of Worldchefs since 2010 and is heavily involved in the Young Chefs Development Committee.

“The Worldchefs organisation offers many programs to support up-and-coming young chefs globally via the annual Congress and also a range of events and webinars throughout the year.

“This recognition will raise the profile of William Angliss Institute globally and offer tangible activities and support for our students.”

See more

National Skills Commission releases its first skills priority list

Almost 800 occupations have been assessed in terms of their current and future demand, as part of the National Skills Commission’s inaugural Skills Priority List.

The list is a critical piece of the NSC’s analysis and provides a single source of advice on occupations that are in shortage and their expected future demand.

The analysis provides the current labour market rating for each occupation, as well as nationally and for each state and territory. In addition, each occupation is given an indicative future demand rating – strong, moderate or soft – to indicate the likely demand over the coming five years.

The NSC website contains the 2021 Skills Priority List and the Skills Priority List Methodology

WFCP releases global best practice guide

The World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) has released the third volume of its World’s Best Practice Guide in Professional and Technical Education and Training, featuring outstanding cases of teaching and training.

The guide details award winning institutions, individuals and projects engaged in professional and technical education and training from around the world.

It documents best practice across eight categories, flowing from the 2020 WFCP Awards of Excellence, and includes several notable studies of TAFE achievement in Australia.

See the WFCP World’s Best Practice Guide in Professional and Technical Education and Training

Free webinar to explore how digital technology impacts work 

The impact of digital transformation on the workforce will be the topic of a free webinar hosted by Australian Industry Standards (AIS) on Wednesday 21 July.

Titled ’Digital transformation – what Australia’s VET system must do to ensure we leave no worker behind’, it follows the release of the Digital Transformation Expert Panel’s ‘The Learning Country’.

The session will explore the key issues that Australia’s training system must address as digital transformation rapidly changes the world of work.

It will feature Expert Panel members Professor Aleksandar Subic, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Science, Engineering, Health and Vice President Digital Innovation at RMIT University; Dr Claire Mason, Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO’s Data61; and Mark McKenzie, Immediate Past Chair and Director of the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia, and will be facilitated by AIS CEO Paul Walsh.

Register for the webinar here.

See the latest VET research in RAVE News

The research group ‘Researching Adult and Vocational Education’ (RAVE) has published its latest newsletter which covers a host of issues in VET research.

There is news about research activities, research events, publications and engagement in policy and practice in the VET sector.

There is also an update on teacher education programs at Federation University, including the Associate Degree of VET.

See RAVE News

Diary Dates

TVET World eConference
International Vocational and Training Association
28 – 30 July 2021
More information

QLD Schools VET Conference
Velg Training
6 August 2021
Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
More information

National Apprentice Employment Network
National Conference
17 – 19 August 2021
Grand Chancellor Hobart, Tasmania
More information

National Skills Week
23 – 29 August 2021
More information

WorldSkills National Championships & Skills Show
25 – 29 August 2021
Perth Exhibition and Convention Centre
More information

2021 National VET Conference
Velg Training
9 – 19 September 2021
Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre
More information

Victorian TAFE Association
2021 State Conference
16 – 17 September 2021
William Angliss Institute. 555 La Trobe St Melbourne
Save the Date

Australian International Education Conference 2021
5 – 8 October 2021
Gold Coast & Online
More information

Australian Training Awards
18 November 2021
Perth, Western Australia
More information

2021 VDC Virtual Teaching & Learning Conference
VET Development Centre
18 – 19 November 2021 (Online)
Save the date