Under embargo until 7pm 21 November

Under embargo until 7pm 21 November

Good evening. My name is Craig Robertson and I’m your host this evening. Welcome to this special night and let’s introduce our special guests.

The Honourable Michaelia Cash. If the minister is as brilliant tonight as last year these Australian Training Awards will be a sparkling affair.

Michaelia is assisted by Steve Irons. Steve is well qualified for his job. I’m sure he understands most things about building and construction, even how S bends work.

We have our own S bends here. The S***** Organisations. Making them work without getting blocked will keep him busy.  And if he’s worried by those, there’s S***** S****** Organisations.

By the way, representatives of the S***** S****** Organisations are meeting in the back corner later tonight to haggle over who gets the leftovers.

The night wouldn’t be complete without a big celebrity. A huge round of applause for Scott Cam. I’m not sure what the Government is telling us by appointing Scotty to sell the sector. You see, he takes something that’s ramshackle and brings in a bunch of amateurs to spruce it up.

Reminds me of my first joke.

How many Australian public servants does it take to fix the VET system?
I don’t know but ask a New Zealander.

And then he orchestrates in-fighting. Oh, that reminds me. Welcome to industry tonight.

No expense is spared of course. In a first for this sector Victoria and Queensland are paying to build this Commonwealth Block ….. and it’s not even in Melbourne or Brisbane!

What competencies do you need to fix the system?
We can’t tell you because they are still working their way through the AISC.

On a night like tonight we can’t forget the contestants. The best from around Australia are here.

There’s a glittering array of prizes on offer. The department has found a few stockpiles of i-pads so you’ll get one of those – actually you can take as many as you like, really. You’ll need to sign-up for them though. Don’t worry, there’s nothing to pay ….. yet.

We would have liked to honour the i-pad sponsors tonight but for some reason they are in hiding.

In the interests of transparency I must warn you that the Commonwealth will charge you an immediate 20 per cent loading for attending.

[Editorial note – ghee this material comes easy]

Also, representatives are here from ASQA to give you a health check-up. A kick in the guts is only $5000 and if you want your eye poked out it’s a very reasonable $10,000. It seems nothing is free these days.

We’ve got new awards tonight, in recognition of the industry bureaucrats who stick with the sector through thick and thin – through ITABs, to ISCSs to SSOs to SOs.

It’s called Pushing S***** Uphill Award.

We’re pleased we have NCVER counting the votes tonight. They apologise in advance, as they have no idea what half the voters are doing.

They have also allocated the seats for tonight. Their figures show that TAFEs represent only 19 per cent of the crowd. If you are from a TAFE it’s likely you are over the quota. Could all those on tables 3, 5 and 8, and 10 through 20 leave please.

NCVER is out looking for those who should be in your seats. On your way if you see anyone who has done the half-day CPR training, tell them they can come in. They make up the missing 81 per cent. Seems the Prime Minister was quite literal in making sure the Quiet Australians are here tonight.

Talking about the 81 per cent. You are represented by ITECA. They are a new crowd this year. ITECA – sounds like an exotic vodka. Be careful though – two swigs and you’ll be drunk with power.

Knock, knock
Who’s there?
TAFE who?
Oh dear, ITECA’s advertising is paying off?

Knock, knock
Who’s there?
ITECA who?
How come you don’t know who we are?  We are 81 per cent of the sector. We’re bringing a CPR-led recovery to the sector!

The AASNs are celebrating tonight. The drinks are on them. They’ve escaped the dreaded S bend, well, for a least another two years!

On a serious note. Despite the machinations at the top of this crazy sector there are people who achieve great things, and organisations and their staff who help them. We’ll come a long way when we all start to focus on them.

Warmest congratulations to all the finalists and may the best of VET win!

Knock knock

Knock knock

It’s the janitor
We are wondering where the TAFEs are
They’re at their own awards.

[Delivered in my dreams]

Productivity Commission to examine national skills agreement

The inequitable student loan arrangement between VET and university will be one of the issues examined by a Productivity Commission review of the National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development (NASWD).

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg formally requested the review last Friday.

The COAG-level national skills agreement sets out the central objectives of the Commonwealth, states and territories in skills and workforce development.

The terms of reference for the inquiry include:

  • options for governments to coordinate and streamline their support for vocational education in the future
  • options for nationally consistent government funding and pricing arrangements
  • options to promote consistency in funding and loan arrangements between the VET and higher education sectors

Submissions can be made here.

The Productivity Commission will report within 12 months but an interim report will be released in March.

TAFEs invited to attend and present at next year’s WFCP World Congress in Spain

TAFE institutes are advised that the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) 2020 Congress will be held in Spain’s Basque Country next October under the theme TVET Excellence – For All.

Everyone who attended last year’s World Congress in Melbourne will know what a spectacular event this is, and the way it showcases TAFE excellence on a global stage.

Held every two years, the World Congress will be in Donostia-San Sebástian, Spain from 14-16 October – the first time it has been held in Europe.

Through TDA, Australian TAFEs are members of the WFCP, and have a great opportunity to participate on a number of levels. The Congress will highlight trends in professional and technical education and training from across the world and include:

  • The 2020 Awards of Excellence (nominations are now open and close 28 February 2020 – see below)
  • A Leadership Institute workshop (13-14 October)
  • An International Youth Camp (12-16) October).
  • The 2020 TDA CISCO-OPTUS study tour 11-16 October, London, England and Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain

Craig Robertson, TAFE Directors CEO and Chair of the WCFP said the 2020 World Congress presents a unique opportunity for TAFEs to learn, share and network with the leaders of associations, colleges and polytechnics from all continents.

“This is the biggest international gathering of experts and professionals in the field of professional and technical education and training.

“It’s difficult to overstate the opportunity it presents, and I’d encourage all my TAFE colleagues to look at how they can participate. Last year’s World Congress in Melbourne brought together an extraordinary global audience and this event will be just as big,” he said.

The TDA Newsletter will provide more information on every aspect of the World Congress over coming weeks. But one critical deadline for TAFE institutes is the 28 February 2020 cut-off for Awards of Excellence nominations.

There are eight award categories and recipients will be invited to present on their award-winning projects to the global audience. See information on how to enter the Awards of Excellence.

At the 2018 World Congress in Melbourne, there were four Australian winners in different categories – the Australian Pacific Training Coalition, TAFE NSW, Box Hill Institute and Holmesglen Institute.

We are mindful of the Christmas-New Year break but want to ensure that as many TAFEs as possible have the chance to enter these prestigious awards.

If you would like to discuss entering these awards, please contact TDA Project Officer, Astrida Upitis, who can provide assistance: Email aupitis@tda.edu.au Mob.  0409 714 457

Government announces successful apprenticeship support providers

The federal government has announced the seven providers chosen to deliver an expanded Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) service, starting next February.

It follows a competitive tender undertaken by the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business for organisations to provide the service across 10 regions. The successful AASN providers are:

ACT: Sarina Russo Job Access
NSW: Apprenticeship Support Australia, MEGT, Sarina Russo Job Access, VERTO Ltd
Northern Territory: Australian Apprenticeships NT
Outback Western Australia: Apprenticeship Support Australia, BUSY At Work
Perth and Surrounds: Apprenticeship Support Australia, BUSY At Work, MEGT
Queensland: BUSY At Work, MAS National, MEGT, Sarina Russo Job Access
South Australia: MAS National, MEGT
Tasmania: MAS National, MEGT
Torres Strait Islands : BUSY At Work
Victoria: Apprenticeship Support Australia, MAS National, MEGT, Sarina Russo Job Access

Following a review in 2018, the new contracts will include strengthened sign-up processes, an additional incentive for providers to attract new employers to take on apprentices, a re-designed Performance Management Framework, and improved Gateway Services to help employers find the right apprentice.

First of ten industry training hubs launched in Tasmania

The federal government has opened the first of its ten Industry Training Hubs, designed to serve as one-stop shops linking schools, industry and VET providers.

The Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships Steve Irons opened the first hub last week at Burnie in north-west Tasmania.

“Burnie’s Training Hub will target year 11 and 12 students, with a facilitator providing career advice and mentoring and promoting education and training pathways in areas of local skills shortages,” Minister Irons said.

The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business will undertake a procurement process to engage a facilitator to deliver the services in Burnie.

The government allocated $50.6 million in the last Budget to trial the training hubs in 10 regions with high youth unemployment.

The other nine hubs will be in New South Wales (Grafton, Gosford), Mid North Queensland (Townsville), Queensland (Maryborough), Victoria (Shepparton), Western Australia (Wanneroo, Armadale), South Australia (Port Pirie) and Northern Territory (Alice Springs).

Victoria to review adult community education sector

The Victorian government has announced a six-year reform plan for the state’s adult community education sector.

In a Ministerial Statement, the Minister for Training, Skills and Higher Education Gayle Tierney outlined the 2020–2025 reform plan, focussed on enhancing adult literacy, numeracy, employability and digital skills training.

There are some 28,000 Victorians engaged in adult community education across 272 registered providers.

The statement identifies the need for a stronger relationship between adult community education providers and TAFE and university.

“This includes simplified and coordinated pathways, more collaboration, stronger linkages, as well as coordinated training by adult community education providers to support students’ success in TAFE and university,” it says.

Strong attendance at skills reform workshops

More than 1,000 people from over 600 organisations have so far taken part in the stakeholder consultation to help shape the reformed VET system, according to the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business.

The government is holding 13 workshops across metropolitan and regional centres to discuss the design of the National Careers Institute, the National Skills Commission and Skills Organisations.

Workshops have been held in Adelaide, Melbourne, Bendigo, Perth, Cairns, Orange, Canberra and Darwin, with another five scheduled in November in Sydney, Hobart, Brisbane, Mt Isa and Karratha.

Interim National Skills Commissioner, Adam Boyton, who attended the Darwin NSC and SO co-design workshops, said consultations have reflected the diverse range of views and experiences of the VET sector.

“The discussions have been constructive and informative, and it has been particularly valuable to hear from people and organisations all across Australia, especially those in regional and remote areas,” he said.

“Hearing from all parts of the system and all parts of the country will help ensure that together we can deliver the training and skills outcomes that Australia needs.”

ASQA releases new fees and charges

The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) has issued the costs and charges it proposes to levy training providers under its cost recovery model, commencing next July.

As a result of a decision in the last federal Budget, ASQA must fully recover the costs associated with the regulation of the VET sector, starting July 1.

The proposed new fees and charges are outlined in a consultation paper.

ASQA is inviting feedback on the proposed charges up until December 9.

If you want to hear same great discussion on options for ASQA listen to the podcast  What’s Now? What’s Next

Diary Dates

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

ASEAN Australia Education Dialogue (AAED)
18 – 20 November 2019
Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia
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

AVETRA Conference
20/20 vision for VET: Research at the centre of future policy and practice
23 – 24 April 2020
More information

VDC 2020 Teaching & Learning Conference
14 – 15 May 2020
RACV Torquay Resort, Great Ocean Road, Victoria
Registrations opening soon