Submissions & Discussion Papers
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 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.
This submission is made by the VTA in response to the Federal Department of Education & Training discussion paper Industry Engagement in Training Package Development.
From 1 January 2014, the NSSC is only accepting Training Package Cases for Endorsement where the proposed components meet the new Standards for Training Packages. The Training Package Development Handbook (TPDH), and associated support materials, will soon be retired from the NSSC website. In 2013, the Office of the NSSC consultations with stakeholders identified a need to develop a resource to support a shared understanding of the development and implementation the Standards for Training Packages.
The Consultation paper fails to articulate any convincing argument for the benefits of a graduation statement in the VET context. There is no clarity about who the audience is for the proposed graduation statement – students, employers, Universities or other education providers. The paper relies on the rationale for graduate statement in the higher education context and wrongly translates these to the VET context.
The VET system is crying out for sound and appropriate underpinning principles not ad hoc inconsistencies across state borders. While VTA does not call for a nationalised VET system, we are calling for a greater degree of national consistency under the National Partnership Agreement in the treatment and underpinning policy principles applying to the role of the public TAFE provider in the contestable marketplace. We should, in the national interest, have nationally approved and enforceable principles applying as the minima to public providers in the contestable marketplace. It is imperative to ensure the integrity of the National Partnership Agreement as the minimum key underpinning principles have national application.
VTA looks forward to the achievement of the proposed outcome of a single national set of standards for the regulation of VET, including the characteristics described on page 15 of the Position Paper, that is appropriate for ensuring quality outcomes, clearly documented, capable of being consistently interpreted by registered training organisations (RTOs) and regulators, and effectively implemented through nationally consistent regulation.
VTA supports in principle the need for ASQA to charge for its regulatory functions and to do so, on a cost recovery basis. However VTA will not be commenting specifically on the proposed fees and charges as detailed in the 2013 cost Recovery Impact Statement – Exposure Draft but rather we offer some suggestions on the underpinning principles of the design structure of the schedule and impact on business planning.
VTA and TDA provided a joint response to the AQF Council consultation, June 2012, of the place of Graduate and Vocational Graduate Certificates and Diplomas in the Australian Qualifications.
The Victorian TAFE Association (VTA) welcomes the initiative of the Standing Council on Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (SCOTESE) to ask that the National Skills Standards Council (NSSC) undertake a broad ranging review of the standards for the regulation of vocational education and training (VET), focussing on issues of quality. The Association looks forward to the achievement of the proposed outcome of a single national set of standards for the regulation of VET that is appropriate for ensuring quality outcomes, clearly documented, capable of being consistently interpreted by registered training organisations (RTOs) and regulators, and effectively implemented through nationally consistent regulation…
A copy of the TAFE Directors Australia submission to the Productivity Commission’s Report Impact of COAG Reforms: Business Regulation and VET. VTA contributed to this submission
In this joint response we drew on submissions directly from TDA/VTA members and on the views of Victorian TAFE providers attending a consultation convened in February 2012.
This response focuses on the key areas of policy reforms and recommendations contained in Part II of the Report,Education and Innovation, Section 3. Further reform of the education system can improve productivity and participation and, most specifically area 3.4 Strengthening the VET system.
The Expert Panel appointed by the Government is seeking feedback on the Essential Services Commission’s report and recommendations. This survey provides important information to the Panel about VTA's views.
To help inform its strategy to improve the competitiveness of the Victorian economy, the Victorian Government has asked the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission to undertake an inquiry that will identify the main elements of a state-based reform agenda. VTA's response includes 14 key messages.
VTA remains unconvinced that the funding mechanisms and fee structures introduced to reform the VET sector in Victoria are the most effective and efficient to achieving workforce needs where skills shortages exist particularly in thin markets.
In 2010 VTA/TDA jointly responded to the Productivity Commission's study into the VET workforce. The Commission issued a draft research report and invited VTA/TDA to further comment.
The VTA's response focuses on the policy objectives and consequences of a range of reforms in the training and skills environment. It identifies and focuses on the impact of these reforms on both the cost and burden of regulation.
VTA's response to the Skills Australia discussion paper Creating a future direction for Australian vocational education and training focusing on the improvement of the VET experience with particular focus on apprentices.
This submission is made by TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) and Victorian TAFE Association (VTA) to the DEEWR project on the quality of teaching in VET on behalf of their individual and collective constituencies.
This submission is made by the Victorian TAFE Association (VTA), TAFE Directors Australia (TDA), and the Victorian TAFE Development Centre (TDC) on behalf of their individual and collective constituencies. The VTA, TDA and the TDC are in agreement that a capable and competent VET workforce is fundamental to the achievement of the Government’s productivity agenda.
Skills Victoria has released a Report advising on the development of the Victorian Tertiary Education Plan. The VTA Response considers the recommendations of the Report.
The Victorian Government released a discussion paper pdf Stronger Futures for all Young Victorians (2.22 MB) . The VTA Response provides a TAFE perspective to the questions highlighted in the discussion paper.
In order to achieve the policy goals of Victoria’s new skills system it is imperative that more Victorians can gain access, and not be denied access at affordable costs, to VET. The VTA in its response to the Review of the implementation of Securing Jobs for Your Future makes 11 recommendations and 24 proposed policy improvements. VTA looks forward to ongoing dialogue with DIIRD on the matters raised in this response.
VTA welcomed the opportunity to comment on the papers to promote discussion towards an Australian Workforce Development
Strategy and strongly supports a national approach.
VTA in its response to AQF Council reaffirms the need to have an enabling level in a new AQF framework, recommends a separate framework for describing the complexity of generic skills and offers specific comments in relation to qualification types descriptors and measures of the volume of learning
All regional TAFE providers have strategic plans to grow their activities in each region and capital works plans to underpin these. The revenue base of Victoria’s regionally based public TAFE providers in 2008 exceeded $300m. Regional TAFE providers support an effective full time workforce of approximately 3000 and make substantial investments benefiting regional economies.
The Victorian TAFE Association endorses the establishment of the Australian Apprentices Taskforce to explore opportunities to support participation in Australian Apprenticeships during the current economic downturn and to equip Australian enterprises with the skills to take advantage of opportunities as the economy strengthens.
It is timely that the AQF Council reflects on the current AQF and its relevance to 21st Century Australia and global post-compulsory education practices. The Victorian TAFE Association (VTA) endorses the work being undertaken to explore opportunities to strengthen the AQF to meet short, medium and longer term education and training needs.
Foundations for the Future - Draft Proposals for Future Governance, Architecture and Market Design for the National Training System.
The principles and objectives to apply to future governance of the National Training System described in the Position Paper and emphasise on the strategic leadership role of industry are strongly supported by VTA.
VTA fully supports the need to have a national approach to developing the sustainability agenda for vocational and technical education.
The initiative to develop a common policy and terminology for credit arrangements across education and training sectors is applauded. The perceived benefits for learners and students are critical in ensuring clear and effective pathways between courses, sectors and providers.
Victorian TAFE Association supports a national industry led VET system and commends the National Quality Council/COAG Joint Steering Committee for initiating this consultation as part of the development of a draft policy framework for VET Training Products for the 21st Century.
VTA's response includes key points covering: Defining and Developing Competency; VET Qualifications; Training Packages - Structure and Content; and Credit Systems and Recognition Arrangements.
VTA is of the view that the Job Ready Certificate policy described in the Discussion Paper. The proposed Job Ready Certificate limits eligibility and therefore disadvantages certain groups of young Australians and learners in non-school settings. Secondly the paper ignores policy initiatives in the past two years that strengthen quality standards (AQTF 2007) and the delivery, assessment and reporting of employability skills in AQF VET qualifications. Duplication of effort must be avoided. This response comments specifically on the proposed key features of the Job Ready Certificate and the underpinning principles described in the pdf discussion paper (237 KB) .