Submissions & Discussion Papers
This submission was made by The Victorian TAFE Association (VTA) in response to the Victorian Legislative Assembly Economy and Infrastructure Committee’s Inquiry into access to TAFE for learners with disability.
Victorian TAFE providers are actively engaged in the provision of education and training for learners with disability. The VTA understands the Committee is interested in views, insights, and experiences on how learners with disability can be supported to access and fully participate in TAFE programs in Victoria. Through this submission, we endeavour to cover many of the areas of interest to the Committee, with a particular focus on the key areas of:
• the support learners with disability need to maximise their learning experience at TAFE;
• the training and practical, policy and curriculum support TAFE teachers need to maximise the learning experiences of learners with a disability; and
• the effectiveness of current government and TAFE policies and programs in supporting learners with disability and suggestions for improvement.
This submission was prepared in consultation with VTA Members and specifically with the assistance of members of the TAFE Disability Network.
The Association has worked collaboratively with the Review Chair and her team to facilitate consultations across TAFE and the dual sector Universities. These consultations have raised wide-ranging issues about the VET sector in Victoria and the place of the public provider within it.
The Association and its members have valued the openness and willingness of the Chair, Jenny Macklin, and the Review team to engage in robust discussion during the consultation process.
The VTA written submission to the Review focuses on priorities for the TAFE and Dual Sector Universities now and into the future.
The VTA worked collaboratively with the Review Chair John Firth and his team to facilitate consultations with TAFE and the dual sector Universities for the Review into Vocational and Applied Learning (VCAL) Pathways in Senior Secondary Schooling.
This submission takes the format of a detailed letter to the Chair on his invitation not to be bound by the Review key questions and rather to comment on issues that are of direct relevance to our members the TAFE Institutes and Dual Sector Universities in Victoria.
TAFEs offer authentic skilling and learning experiences for senior secondary students across a range of industries which prepares the students for an informed choice of future career. This submission provides views informed by VTA policy positions on issues related to the VCAL under the themes of design, access and delivery, career advice, and reputation; and more generally addresses other broader themes around vocational and applied learning for senior secondary students.
The Victorian TAFE Association welcomed the opportunity to provide input to the Productivity Commission Review of the National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development (NASWD). The VTA would like to use this opportunity to provide comment on a number of areas, including:
• Equal treatment of sectors
• The unique role of the public provider
• Developing all capabilities
• The Victorian TAFE model
• More than apprentices
The Association intends to provide additional comments at the release of the Review’s interim report in 2020.
The Victorian TAFE Association welcomed the opportunity to provide input to the review of senior secondary pathways into work, further education and training. Our response is built around seven themes, including:
• The dominance of the university narrative
• Senior secondary structures
• Regional drain
• Equal treatment of sectors
• Career advice
• The breadth of the VET sector
• Youth in TAFE
• Senior secondary pathways and lifelong learning
The Victorian TAFE Association made a submisison to the Victorian Parliament's Economy and Infrastructure Committee inquiry into sustainable employment for disadvantaged jobseekes.
The Victorian TAFE Association made a submission to Promoting Participation and engagement for Koorie Learners in VET. The Association's response focused on four key areas, including:
- Maximising engagement
- Leveraging existing programs
- Community Service Obligation funding
- The strength of the Victorian TAFE model
The Victorian TAFE Association provided a response to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Review. The response is built around a number of themes, including:
- The AQF hierarchy
- Volume of Learning and credit points
- Generic skills and coordination
The Victorian TAFE Association submitted a response to the Review of the Higher Education Provider Category Standards. The submisison drew attention three key areas, including:
- Broadening the view of research
- Amending provider category standards
- Tertiary bias
- The Victorian TAFE model
- The breadth of the VET sector
- Career advice and aspiration
- Coordination and leverage
- Student support
- Commissioner for Regional, Rural and Remote Education
The Victorian TAFE Association welcomed the opportunity to respond to the Expert Review of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Sector. The submission drew attention to a number of issues, including:
- The strength of the Victorian TAFE model
- The breadth of the VET sector
- Applied research and innovation
- The whole education sector
- Equal treatment of sectors
- Lifelong learning
- National training packages
- Career advise
- International education and training
- Leverage, harmonisation and coordination
This submission briefly responded to a number of themes, including:
- The New Enterprise Inventive Scheme
- The TAFE network
- Addressing conflicts
The Victorian TAFE Association welcomed the opportunity to provide input to this discussion paper.
The VTA and the Adult, Community and Further Education(ACFE) Board commissioned Victoria University’s Centre for International Research onEducation Systems (CIRES) to conduct research on levels of collaboration between the two sectors. The research was motivated to explore mechanisms that encourage effective collaboration between TAFEs and Learn Locals in the provision of adult, community,technical and further education and support services within Victorian communities.
The VTA welcomed the opportunity to provide input to the Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training's Inquiry into Funding Australia's Research. The VTA provided commentary on the following -
* Broadening scope and understanding
* Supporting TAFE research
* Maximising research impact
The Victorian TAFE Association welcomed the opportunity to respond to Reporting on Literacy and Numeracy attainment in Victorian senior secondary qualifications – Consultation paper. Specifically, we have commented on the following:
• A broader review
• Nature of assessment
• Including multiple touchpoints
• Student diversity
• Leveraging from other jurisdictions
• Senior schooling in TAFE
The consultation paper notes a “community expectation” that “thirteen years of schooling” will enable students to enter the “workforce, further education or training with adequate levels of literacy and numeracy”. Despite this expectation, “perceptions” abound that “adequate levels of literacy and numeracy proficiency” are “not universally being realised”, leading to calls from “employer groups and some in the broader community” for “greater focus on ensuring that students have the necessary literacy and numeracy skills at the conclusion of their secondary schooling to enable full and successful participation in society and the economy”.
The Victorian TAFE Association (VTA) welcomed the opportunity to respond to issues outlined in Addressing issues relating to unduly short courses – discussion paper.
The VTA response is grouped into a series of themes, including:
➢ Unduly short, or other factors?
➢ Product Disclosure Statements: An alternative approach
➢ Definitional matters
➢ Performance-based regulation
➢ Support for disadvantaged cohorts
➢ International education: market ramifications
➢ Working with all stakeholders
➢ A deeper review
The Victorian TAFE Association (VTA) welcomes this opportunity to respond to Training Product Reform: Issues for Discussion.
Our response is structured according to a series of themes, including:
➢ Future, Foundation and Technical Skills
➢ Creating durable qualification: unit banks, common core units and broadening the outcome
➢ The teacher workforce
➢ Understanding and evaluating each piece of the puzzle
The VTA is, in-principle, supportive of the proposal to provide learners with a spectrum of skills that comprises technical skills, foundation skills and futurework skills, and for a greater emphasis of theoretical underpinnings to be delivered in technical units. We consider these proposals will give learners the ability to meet and adapt to the increasingly changing requirements of work and life, providing learners with skills that can be transferred across work and life scenarios and maximise future employability.
The Victorian TAFE Association welcomed the opportunity to provide comment on the Migration Amendment (Skilling Australians Fund) Bill 2017 and the Migration (Skilling Australians Fund) Charges Bill 2017. The VTA would like to provide a brief comment on the following.
- Funding nexus
- Contradictions in objective
- Funded training
- National partnership agreement
The Victorian TAFE Association welcomed the opportunity to respond to the Victorian Parliament’s Economic, Education, Jobs and Skills Committee review into careers advice activities in Victorian schools. The Victorian TAFE Association would like to present a response crafted around seven themes, including:
- Secondary education in TAFE
- Career services and lifelong learning
- The breadth of the TAFE Network
- Recognising student diversity
- Stakeholder engagement
- Facilitating a strong careers adviser workforce
- Career advice and sustainability
The Victorian TAFE Association welcomed the opportunity to respond to the Review of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 and provided commentary to broad principles that it considers should guide any reform of the Act and supporting regulatory instruments, including:
- A tertiary regulation review
- Provider differentiation
- Avoiding duplication and ensuring consistency
- Subordinate legislation and instruments
- VET teacher registration
- An outcomes-based approach
- Other recommendations
The Victorian TAFE Association welcomed the opportunity to respond to the Independent review into regional, rural and remote education, and provide commentary through a series of ‘themes’ that it considers should be taken into account as part of the review. These themes included the:
• need for a holistic review
• benefits of multi-generational considerations
• regional diaspora and innovation ecosystems
• benefits of educational devolution
• regional skills and unemployment nexus
• breadth of the VET sector
The Victorian TAFE Association welcomed the opportunity to respond to the Review of the VET Student Loans course list and loan caps methodology Discussion Paper. The VTA’s comments can be grouped into two broad categories, including course lists and course fee caps. In short, the VTA provided comments on the following issues to help make the current policy fairer, less onerous and more efficient:
- Superseded, transitioning and updated courses
- Capacity to add courses
- Loan caps and bands
- Comment on miscellaneous matters
The Victorian TAFE Association welcomed the opportunity to respond to the 2030 Strategic Plan: Issues Paper released by Innovation and Science Australia, and provided commentary on a number of matters that highlighted the important role played by VET in supporting and underpinning Australia’s innovation system and the challenges that are faced. These include:
- The role of TAFE in enterprise innovation
- Lifelong learning and skills development
- Regulation, federation policy and educaitonal innovation
- Unleashing the gazelle in each Australian
- Engaging TAFE and the VET sector in Australia’s formal research and innovation system
- The ‘Innovation Ecosystem
The Victorian Department of Education periodically publish Victorian Training Market Reports. The most recent Victorian Training Market Report (the Report) was published in May 2016 for the year 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015. The Reports were published quarterly in 2012 and 2013. In 2014 the arrangements changed to half-year and full-year reports.
This summary paper aims to draw out key messages for VTA members from the report’s 153 pages of data and commentary.
The VTA recognises and endorses the important role VET FEE‐HELP plays in removing some of the financial barriers to study and encouraging students to pursue further study in vocational or higher education. The principle of universal access has underpinned the Australian VET system since 1975.
The VTA also supports the Australian Government’s concerns over the quality, probity and conduct of some providers, low completion rates and unethical practices, and acknowledge that there are insufficient safeguards in place to protect students from unethical behaviour or regulatory powers for ASQA to mitigate this behaviour.
The focus of this submission is that the inquiry has the opportunity to look beyond the university sector as the predominant and even sole site of 'innovation and creativity' for the purpose of research and partnering with industry within the broader perspective of innovation and the associated incentives to innovate, commercialise and disseminate that innovation. We argue that public VET providers can play a much greater and central role in this process. TAFE, in particular, is a missing link.
The VTA fully supports the Australian Government's objective to improving confidence in the VET sector by ensuring VET teachers and trainers are the strongest platform for high quality assessment, and welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Quality of Assessment in vocational education and training.
The VTA welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Review of Research Policy and Funding Arrangements and its associated issues paper.
The focus of this submission is that the review has the opportunity to look beyond the university sector as the predominant and even sole site of significant research and development and conceive the issue of research policy and funding arrangements within the broader perspective ‘innovation’ and the associated incentives to innovate, and to commercialise and disseminate that innovation. We argue that public VET providers can play a greater and more recognised role in this process. TAFE, in particular, is a missing link.
The VTA welcomes the opportunity to respond to the discussion paper ‘Victoria’s future industries. International Education’.
Victoria as a study destination and in the provision of education transnationally is attractive because it is clever, cultured, caring and connected. ‘Connected’ would be substantiated by: smooth and established relationships between education providers and sectors; quality assured digital learning and assessment; sophisticated systems and processes to connect to students globally; and strong industry and government partnerships onshore and offshore.
The Issues Paper brings together practical ideas that can improve stability in the Victorian VET funding system. Such proposals are welcomed by VTA because they incorporate an emphasis on quality and accountability. Victoria needs a VET funding model that explicitly acknowledges variations between providers and local industry, student and community demands on the VET system.
The Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development periodically publish Victorian Training Market Reports. The most recent Victorian Training Market Report (the Report) was published for the year January 2014 to December 2014.
The pdf Draft National Strategy for International Education - for discussion (1.43 MB) was released for consultation in April 2015.
VTA supports the vision in the Draft Strategy that international education is a core element of Australia’s economic prosperity, social advancement and international standing.
The Victorian Government has identified international education as one of six sectors positioned to contribute substantially to the State’s growth. As noted in the Draft Strategy, Victoria has prepared a comprehensive international education strategy in consultation with stakeholders. VTA has found this to be a most valuable approach, strengthening stakeholder engagement and providing a clear line of sight to goals and strategic activities. The Draft Strategy will complement the Victorian International Education Strategy 2013-2018 most closely in building export markets, contributing to stability in the international education sector, and capitalising on the broader cultural and economic benefits of international education. A co-ordinated approach to Australia’s international education sector is necessary to ensure Australia remains competitive in this market.
pdf VTA submission to the VET Funding Review - Responding in thin markets. (433 KB) (April 2015)
pdf VTA submission to the VET Funding Review - Compliance (399 KB) (May 2015)
VTA has elected to make several submissions to the VET Funding Review about key matters, including where government policy decisions impact on the ability of TAFE Institutes and dual sector Universities to be competitive in the current VET market, and to meet the needs of industry and their communities. These submissions draw attention to the role of VTA members to ensure access to vocational education across the State of Victoria.
This submission responds to the Discussion Paper Review of Training Packages and Accredited Courses. VTA also responded to the accompanying paper, Industry Engagement in Training Package Development, in December 2014.