The VET Sector News- February 2020

Coronavirus travel ban sees Chinese students miss start of university, Australia’s tertiary education sector scrambling

More than 100,000 Chinese students will not be able to start their university and TAFE classes in Australia because of the travel ban put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus.

On Saturday, the Federal Government banned anyone arriving from, or transiting through, mainland China from coming to Australia.

With most university classes due to start next week, the ban has thrown Australia’s higher education sector into chaos. 

For more Information, please visit here.

SA Govt invests in vocational education and training

More young South Australians are in training and on the pathway to new jobs due in part to strong investment and reforms in South Australia’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) system.

The latest data from the Productivity Commission’s annual Report on Government Services (ROGS) reports that the Marshall Liberal Government delivered the highest boost to skills training and funding in the nation in percentage terms in VET in 2018, boosted non-government training providers, and delivered improved employment outcomes for students.

Highlights for South Australia include:

  • An additional $54.3 million in State Government recurrent funding, or a 38.1 percent increase in 2018.
  • Non-government providers were supported by an additional $11 million or a 28 percent increase from 2017, the largest increase in the nation in percentage terms.
  • 5 percent of government funded VET graduates aged 20 to 64 improved their employment status after training in 2019 -above the national figure of 64.7 per cent.

 

For more Information, please visit here.

ACT has highest student participation and employment

The ACT has the highest participation in education across early childhood, tertiary, vocational and graduate training, according to the 2020 Report on Government Services, enabling Canberrans to secure good jobs and valuable skills.

“The ACT is the knowledge capital of the nation and these results show the ACT Government’s is successfully supporting Canberra students to reach their full potential,” said Chief Minister and Minister for Tertiary Education Andrew Barr.

Vocational education and training

“For the sixth year in a row, the ACT had the highest number of government-funded vocational education and training students participating in courses at Certificate III to Diploma level or above,” said Minister for Tertiary Education Andrew Barr.

“We also continue to have the nation’s highest number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students employed and/or undertaking further study after completing a course.

“The ACT Government remains committed to investing in high-quality vocational education and training programs.”

“We are investing in a new state-of-the art ICT campus to be built in Woden. CIT Woden will provide a modern, purpose built campus that’s expected to bring an extra 6,500 students to the Woden town centre each year to support local business and industry.”

For more Information, please visit here.

Report on Government Services 2020

The Australian, State and Territory governments’ recurrent expenditure (including user cost of capital) on VET totalled $6.0 billion in 2018 — a real decrease of 4.0 per cent from 2017.

Nationally in 2018:

  • an estimated 4.1 million students participated in total VET, and around 1.1 million students participated in government‑funded VET
  • there were 3830  registered VET training organisations delivering nationally recognised training in Australia. Around 1747 government funded VET providers delivered nationally recognised, locally developed and non-nationally recognised training, at 30 485 locations in Australia
  • around 722 200 qualifications were completed by total VET students aged 15—64 years — equivalent to 44.1 qualifications per 1000 people. Around 346 800 qualifications were completed by government-funded VET students aged 15—64 years — equivalent to 21.2 qualifications per 1000 people.

Nationally in 2019:

  • 88.6 per cent of all government-funded 2018 VET graduates were satisfied with the overall quality of their training
  • 67.0 percent of 20—64 year old total VET graduates from 2018 improved their employment status after training.

The VET system aims to deliver a productive and highly skilled workforce through enabling all working age Australians to develop and use the skills required to effectively participate in the labour market and contribute to Australia’s economic future. To achieve this, the Australian, State and Territory governments aim to create a national training system that:

  • is accessible to all working age Australians
  • meets the needs of students, employers and industries
  • is high quality.

 

Governments aim for a national training system that meets these objectives in an equitable and efficient manner.

For more Information, please visit here.

‘Energising Tasmania’ agreement signed

The Australian and Tasmanian Governments have signed an agreement that will support thousands of Tasmanians through the delivery of fee-free training to develop a skilled workforce for the renewable energy and related sectors.

The Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, the Hon Michaelia Cash, said the $17 million Energising Tasmania project will equip Tasmanians with the skills to support the Battery of the Nation initiative.

“The Morrison Government is removing the barriers that inhibit people in Tasmania from taking up further skilling through the vocational education and training (VET) sector such as upfront costs of training,” Minister Cash said.

“In addition, we are supporting Tasmania to establish a local industry advisory group, build capacity in the training market and undertake dedicated workforce planning activities – all aimed at building the skills needed for the critically important Battery of the Nation initiative.

“The advisory group will engage with employers and registered training organisations to support the development of the workforce needed for the renewable energy and related sectors more broadly.”

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships, the Hon Steve Irons MP, said Energising Tasmania will support the delivery of high-quality training in priority areas.

“Energising Tasmania will deliver up to 2,500 fully subsidised training places, including traineeships, apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships, in areas of identified skills need, Assistant Minister Irons said.

Assistance of up to $1,000 per learner will also be available to cover costs associated with training, such as books and materials, and student amenity fees.

Energising Tasmania is part of the Australian Government’s $585 million Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow package.

For more Information, please visit here.

Malaysian university seeks partner for short-term study abroad program in Australia

A Malaysian public research university seeks an Australian university partner for a study abroad program for undergraduate and postgraduate cohorts.

For more Information, please visit here.

Singapore’s first undergraduate health degree in speech and language therapy

Australian universities will now face intense competition for allied health enrolments as a Singapore institute launches the market’s first degree program in speech and language therapy. Australia has long been a top destination for Singaporean students seeking speech therapy qualifications.

For more Information, please visit here.

Mitchell Institute releases new report and sounds VET funding alarm

The Mitchell Institute recently shared the results from the Australian Investment in Education: Vocational Education and Training report, showing that funding for vocational education and training (VET) is at its lowest level in more than a decade, leaving Australia at risk of failing to properly provide high-quality training for the estimated 45 per cent of new jobs needing VET qualifications in the next five years.

The findings will be of particular interest to the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector in light of publicised workforce shortages which fall at a time when state governments are rolling out initiatives which will require more qualified educators to meet initiative demands. 

Every state and territory government, the report found, had cut VET funding over the past decade, with overall funding falling to 15 per cent below levels in 2006. New South Wales has experienced one of the largest declines, report authors said, with a decline in recurrent funding of 21 per cent in real terms compared to 2006, while Victoria has seen its funding almost halve since 2012.

Mitchell Institute Education Policy Fellow Peter Hurley warned that the funding crisis was “making it especially difficult for quality VET providers to sustain high course standards”.

Ensuring a quality education for VET students, and meeting the growing demand for skilled workers is only possible, Mr Hurley said, when governments increase funding for VET courses. 

For more Information, please visit here.

VET Student Loan Caps Lifted

The Australian Government has announced that the VET Student Loan limits have been increased for a number of courses, with the changes scheduled to come into effect from today, 29 January 2020. More than one hundred courses have seen the VET Student Loan cap increase, reflecting advocacy undertaken by ITECA and other stakeholders to ensure students have access to loans that more closely reflect the cost of delivery.

For more Information, please visit here

Coronavirus advice for RTOs

The Department of Health has released updated advice to RTOs in relation to the coronavirus outbreak.

If a student or staff member has travelled to Hubei Province, China, within the past 14 days, isolation is recommended for 14 days after leaving Hubei Province.

If a student or staff member has been in close contact with a confirmed case of novel coronavirus, isolation is recommended for 14 days after last contact with the confirmed case. Students and staff in these circumstances should not attend college and must avoid contact with other students and staff.

If a student or staff member travelled to mainland China in general but not Hubei Province, the Department does not currently recommend self-isolation. The development of cases outside of Hubei Province is being closely monitored and this advice will be updated if necessary.

For more Information, please visit here.

Five things RTOs need to know in 2020

Every ASQA registered provider needs to stay on top of the basics of registration.

Here is how you can keep track of some of your key obligations this year.

For more Information, please visit here.

The new ASQA website 

If you’ve visited asqa.gov.au before, you will probably notice that the page layout looks a little different. Here are some changes to be aware of:

  • Simplified main menu labelling and added  ‘Students’ tab.
  • Relocated information about making a complaint under the ‘About’ heading.
  • Both the Users’ guide to the Standards for RTOs 2015 and Users’ guide to the Standards for VET Accredited Courses can be accessed from any page on the site, via links in the top left of the page header. In addition, the Users’ guide to the Standards for RTOs 2015 can now be browsed by either subject chapter or standard—whichever you prefer.
  • The FAQs are now grouped by popular topics. You can now also browse FAQs alphabetically by topic.
  • Search results can now be filtered by content type.
  • An Upcoming events page, it’s now easier to find out details of the next webinar or presentation.
  • Edited website content to be easier to read and reorganised information to follow logical user pathways.

 

For more Information, please visit here.

Australian visas exploited by “criminal people smuggling syndicates”

In her speech to the annual John Curtin Lecture, Labor’s immigration spokesperson, Kristina Keneally, spoke about the surge in bridging visas under the Coalition’s term in office, which has been fuelled by “criminal people smuggling syndicates… running a work scam”:

For more Information, please visit here.

These are the 15 most in-demand skills in Australia right now, according to LinkedIn

Whether you’re looking to get a new gig, a promotion or a pay rise, what you can do for an employer will always be the most important thing you can bring to the table.

“Learning not only helps Australians build skills and improve in their roles, it has a strong correlation to a change in mindset, boost confidence and open doors to new opportunities,” LinkedIn Learning Asia-Pacific senior director Jason Laufer said in a release.

It’s in this vein that LinkedIn has revealed the 15 most sought-after skills in the country right now, and made some of its own courses free for the rest of January.

“By sharing insights about the most valuable skills in the workplace today, our goal is to help more professionals own their careers, cultivating the essential soft skills and most current hard skills.”

For more Information, please visit here.