Training package developers must have broad industry perspectives – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

Training package developers must have broad industry perspectives – comment by CEO Jenny Dodd

The public consultation period on the training and education products has closed. TDA members are broadly supportive of the changes that have been proposed. This feedback has been provided. For example, in the Certificate IV Training and Assessment, members support the inclusion of the online units and the moving of some units from core to elective. 

This review is an example where it is important that those undertaking the review take a broad perspective.

One of the biggest single issues facing most TAFEs is their own workforce recruitment. At a recent meeting of some of the Executive of TAFEs there was agreement that the ability to recruit qualified staff to train and assess in critical economy dependent industries is significant.

Regarding the Certificate IV Training and Assessment, it is a vital entry level qualification to ensure quality delivery by RTOs. This is supported, but equally so we must have better ways for industry and education to move together, so recruitment issues can be resolved.

This is but one example where it is essential training products give employers flexibility to use the training product. Training package developers must come at product development with an agile mind.

That is, they must give maximum opportunities for those who lead workforces to take the product and use it how it best suites their businesses. Therefore, qualifications need to be flexible and not dominated by prerequisites or lock step structures.

Training package developers do not run the business where the product will be used. The businesses need to have flexibility to work with their TAFE to develop their people for their local circumstances, while maintaining the portability of national qualifications.

There are a multitude of examples where employer’s desire to use a national training product in a certain way has been restricted by industry reference committees. A good example exists in the most recent changes to one of the beauty industry training products. Local employers and their TAFE partners have not supported the changes as it imposes structures that are not how local employers want their workforce to be trained.

Equally with the Certificate IV Training and Assessment, we must make sure that it enables the professional workforce of RTOs but does not become an obstacle to recruitment. TDA applauds many of the changes that have been made because they will achieve just that.

Let’s make sure in the final version that flexible vision is not lost.

Australia misses critical skills targets, Productivity Commission finds

Australia has failed to meet key benchmarks set for the vocational education and training system under the National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development (NASWD), according to the Productivity Commission’s latest report.

The NASWD was signed by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments in 2012 and had three key objectives – reduce the number of Australians without a Certificate III qualification or above, increase the number of higher-level qualifications, and improve employment outcomes for VET graduates.

However, none of the three objectives have been met, according to the Commission’s Performance Reporting Dashboard which examines progress in key areas of the economy, including skills. The PC report details the results:

Objective 1: Halve the proportion of Australians nationally aged 20–64 without qualifications at Certificate III level and above between 2009 and 2020.

Outcome: In 2020, the proportion of Australians aged 20–64 without qualifications at the Certificate III level or above was 36.3 per cent. This is a 10.8 percentage point decrease from 2009. Whilst an improvement over this time, it does not meet the 2020 target of 23.6 per cent.

Objective 2: Double the number of higher level qualification completions (diploma and advanced diploma) nationally between 2009 and 2020.

Outcome: COAG’s target means that the number of Diploma and Advanced Diploma completions needs to increase to 87,458 by 2020. Nationally from 2019 to 2020, there was a decrease of 16.7 per cent (6,833) Diploma and Advanced Diploma completions.

Objective 3: Improve employment outcomes for VET graduates.

Outcome: Nationally between 2008 and 2021, there was a 3.3 percentage point decrease in the proportion of VET graduates aged 20–64 years with improved employment circumstances after training.

While the national goals were not met, some states and territories performed above average.

Also, one area that did achieve its targets was skills reform, which achieved a perfect score of five-from-five.

See the Productivity Commission’s Performance Reporting Dashboard

TDA Convention 2022 – Registrations and Call for Presentations NOW OPEN!

TDA is excited to announce that registrations are now open for the TDA Convention 2022, Courage, Change and Challenge – The Future of TAFE which will take place in Adelaide, South Australia from Tuesday 15 – Thursday 17 November 2022.

The TDA Convention 2022 will be the first opportunity in three years to bring together all TDA members with their key partners and stakeholders – an event not to be missed!

The TDA Convention 2022 is about coming together, reconnecting, collaborating, learning from change, rising to challenges and creating the future together.

It will be a convention to reconnect and reflect on the changes that are occurring within the vocational education and training (VET) sector. It will be a convention that celebrates excellence and innovation, where challenges are seen as opportunities and where delegates can collectively shape the future of TAFE.

Delegates at the TDA Convention 2022 will be in 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.

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.

Sponsorship opportunities
The sponsorship prospectus is coming soon. To discuss sponsorship opportunities, please contact

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.


New skills minister Brendan O'Connor makes TAFE his first stop

New Skills and Training Minister Brendan O’Connor has made his first public event in the portfolio a visit to Holmesglen Institute’s Chadstone campus where he toured new facilities and pledged the government’s support for TAFE.

Mr O’Connor was accompanied by Victoria’s Minister for Training, Skills and Higher Education, Gayle Tierney, and the newly elected federal Labor member for Higgins, Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah.

Holmesglen CEO and TDA Chair Mary Faraone took the visitors on a tour of newly-refurbished library and fashion spaces where they met students training in trades and fashion courses.

“It was a pleasure to chat with students upskilling in a range of industry areas,” Mr O’Connor tweeted.

“Our Govt will always support TAFE as the heart of Australia’s VET system,” he pledged.



WorldSkills Shanghai 2022 cancelled

Lockdowns in Shanghai and the continuing COVID disruption in China have forced organisers to cancel the 2022 WorldSkills Competition scheduled for Shanghai in October.

It’s the third time unlucky for the 46th WorldSkills Competition which was originally planned for 2021 after being postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic.

“It is with deep disappointment that we announce the cancellation of WorldSkills Shanghai 2022,” Chris Humphries, President and Chair of the Board said.

“Looking ahead to the future, we have no doubt that when China hosts a WorldSkills Competition, it will be extraordinary.”

WorldSkills members and global partners have started discussions on alternative opportunities for the competitors.

WorldSkills Australia said it is committed to providing an international competition experience for Team Australia.

“We will be working with WorldSkills International and have already started conversation with our international counterparts to find an alternative solution,” it said in a statement.

Still time to register for this week's TAFETalks – Self Assurance: what does it really mean?

Don’t forget to register for this week’s TAFETalks looking at the issue of self-assurance for VET, following the release of ASQA’s draft model for self-assurance.

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

Speakers 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

Register here

The next TAFETalks will be on the topic of: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

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.

Register here

Visit here for more information

Final days to book for ‘No Frills’ 2022

The 31st National VET Research Conference ‘No Frills’, will be held online on 6-8 July 2022.

Focusing on the theme VET’s role in transforming the future, the conference will feature research and insights into how the VET sector can continue to innovate and respond to Australia’s shifting future skill demands.

Full access is available for only $199.00 and all sessions will be available on-demand for three months after the conference.

A special discount is available for group bookings of five or more. Email prior to registering.

See more

$72k scholarship to help refugee students get a start in film, TV and radio

A unique opportunity exists for students with a refugee background to apply for a scholarship to study at the prestigious Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS).

The Public Education Foundation’s ‘Australia for UNHCR Beddie Scholarship’ is worth more than $72,000 and will fund full tuition for the Bachelor of Arts program (three years full time) at the AFTRS, some living expenses, and a vocational pathways and internship opportunity at Australia for UNHCR.

This scholarship is named for Rurer Beddie, who escaped the Japanese invasion of China and the German occupation of the island of Jersey in the Second World War before settling in Australia.

Francesca Beddie, daughter of Rurer, former diplomat, and well-known to many in the tertiary education sector, says it’s the stories behind the news headlines that help to truly understand the human condition. (See her her recent article about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine).

The first recipient of the scholarship is an amazing young woman, Joelle Sanounou, who left Syria to find safety in Lebanon, arriving in Australia in 2016. See her story.

See details of the Australia for UNHCR Beddie Scholarship.

Image: Joelle Sanounou (left) with Francesca Beddie. Courtesy of Australia for UNHCR

Chisholm Institute pioneers technology to tackle homelessness

A partnership between Chisholm Institute and the not-for-profit social enterprise, Infoxchange will give community and social services students at Chisholm a technology solution to assist the homeless.

A new student version of Infoxchange’s nation-wide web-based case management system called Specialist homelessness Information Platform (SHIP), has been specially developed for Chisholm students.

SHIP is well known across the community and social services industry, and used by professionals to record client information, case notes and case plans and report on the current state of homelessness across the country.

Raelene Stockton, Manager of Community and Social Services at Chisholm, said the partnership provides students with another way to connect with what goes on in the industry and better understand the challenges faced by vulnerable communities.

Initially, Infoxchange’s SHIP will be incorporated into a homeless unit within Mental Health and Youth Work courses at Chisholm’s Berwick and Frankston campuses, and will then be rolled out to all Community and Social Services course areas.

David Spriggs, CEO of Infoxchange said it’s the first education partnership established for the case management system and he is keen to work more closely with Chisholm and the TAFE sector to expand the initiative.

ACT releases updated skills list

The ACT Skills Needs List has been released, with more than 40 new qualifications to help address skills gaps in renewable energy, tourism, advanced manufacturing and transport.

The Minister for Skills Chris Steel said the 2022-23 ACT Skills Needs List was developed through an updated direct consultation approach, seeking feedback from local employers about their current gaps and growth needs.

The Skills Needs List forms the basis for the qualifications that are subsidised by the ACT Government. It comprises 121 qualifications covering approximately 175 occupations.

New qualifications on the list include Certificate III in Renewable Energy – ELV, Certificate IV in Electrical – Renewable Energy, Diploma of Outdoor Leadership, Certificate IV in Supply Chain Operations, Diploma of Engineering – Advanced Trade, and Diploma of Logistics.

See the ACT Skills Needs List 2022-23

Digital literacy to be defined in skills review

A review by the Commonwealth of Foundation Skills Frameworks is nearing finalisation and is likely to include steps to clarify the understanding of digital literacy and how it fits in the VET space.

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment commissioned the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) to review both the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) and the Digital Literacy Skills Framework (DLSF).

More than 500 people have shared their views during the latest consultation round.

A consistent theme was the need for more support material and professional development to use the ACSF and the DLSF.

Also, the review identified the need to better define the concept of digital literacy and distinguish it from other terms such as digital skills, digital fluency, digital proficiency, and digital mastery.

There was also a need to clarify the relationship between the ACSF and the DLSF and determine how they relate to other digital and foundation skills frameworks in the crowded VET space.

See more

Nominations open for young leaders forum

Nominations are open for the National Leadership Forum, to be held in Canberra, 15-18 September 2022.

It will bring together young leaders from Australia and the Pacific to expand their leadership through the lens of values, compassion and connection.

In its 21st year, the forum is a four-day residential program where young leaders spend time with Members of Parliament, leaders of business, and other young leaders. It includes keynote addresses, leadership workshops, small group sessions and panel discussions.

TAFEs are invited to nominate young people aged 18-26 to participate.

See more

Diary Dates

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

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