The Power of Community Education, ACEVic Conference, 28 and 29 March 2019
Audit Express are proud to be sponsoring the 2019 ACEVic Conference which will be held in Melbourne from 28-29 March 2019. The theme of this year’s conference theme is ‘The Power of Community Education’.
The conference will be opened by The Hon Gayle Tierney, Minister for Training and Skills, and brings together educators, trainers, speakers, and community leaders to share new perspectives and discuss innovative programs that place adult education at the heart of community mobilisation.
The conference will run for one and a half days, with drinks and canapés at 5.30pm on Day One and a networking event at 2.30pm on Day Two.
Assistant Minister Karen Andrews MP at the at the Federal VET Policy Forum.
Key stakeholders from the vocational education and training (VET) sector, including decisions makers and thought leaders from TAFE Organisations, Private Registered Training Organisations and Community Education Providers met in Melbourne on 16/07/2018 at the Federal VET Policy Forum to discuss the future of the Australian VET Sector, which has been plagued by scandal and poor government policy.
Shadow Minister Senator Doug Cameron at the Federal VET Policy Forum
The forum was held at the VET Development Centre, and was organised and hosted by Audit Express, an assurance and advisory firm that specialises in education policy.
Kevin Ekendahl, CEO of Audit Express said that his team had organised the forum to promote cohesion and harmony within the vocational education and training sector, and to encourage all providers to work together to build a stronger sector. “For too long our sector has been used as a political football, we organised this forum to promote good policy in VET as we’ve seen the detrimental effects bad policy has on our sector, students and the economy” said Mr Ekendahl.
Mary Faraone, Chair of Tafe Directors Australia, called for the removal of the 20% tax of students who take on a VET Student Loan. Ms Faraone said that VET is currently a “hard sell”, as evidenced by the decline in government-funded training, and the impact of issues such as demand driven university admissions and the VET student loan scandal. Ms Faraone also shared her concerns about the prospect of a looming skills mismatch – “people without jobs and jobs without people”, and that this is worsened by funding being uneven across states and territories, and student choices distorted by differing taxation and support arrangements between university and VET.
Don Perlgut, CEO of Community Colleges described the VET Sector as being the “Middle Child” of the greater education sector, and gave a plea for our government to demonstrate National Leadership, “calling for our national politicians to provide real vision and leadership in Australia’s VET space, developing bi-partisan approaches to national challenges”. Mr Perlgut noted that “it’s time for proper funding: don’t tell me that we don’t have the money, because we surely do, when we are considering tax cuts across the board”.
Rod Camm, CEO of the Australian Council of Private Education and Training (ACPET) said that “we need a vision, we need a national policy framework and we need to take ideology out of VET”. He also said that “the current construct of our system has to have a fundamental rethink”.
The forum attendees also heard from Assistant Minister Karen Andrews, who delivered her vision for VET, which was focussed on building on the past, securing our future. The Assistant Minister spoke about her support of innovation in the VET Sector, in particular of her support for micro-credentials, skill sets and innovative training programs that lead to employment for students. Assistant Minster Andrews also outlined the review of the AQF that is currently taking place. You can read more about the Assistant Minister’s announcements here.
Finally, the forum heard from the Shadow Minister Senator Doug Cameron, who spoke of his commitment to ensuring that a full inquiry of the VET Sector will take place should Labor win the upcoming Federal election. Senator Cameron also spoke of his unwavering support for TAFE’s, re-iterating that 2/3 of funding of VET will go directly to TAFE under a Labor led government. You can read Senator Cameron’s speech here.
Both Minister Andrews and Shadow Minister Cameron agreed on a number of key points, including the reality that training packages are currently outdated, in many cases not responsive to the needs of industry or current job roles, and that structure of both training packages the overall Australian qualifications framework is in desperate need of a rethink. Senator Cameron said that qualifications were narrow and not fit for purpose. He then raised the question “are Training Packages operating for public good?”.
One thing was clear from all presenters and the agreeable audience, that is the current Training Packages and the framework in which they operate are not working and are in desperate need of a re-think and new direction.
Sector representatives from TDA, ACPET and CCA all described a perceived “lack of a VET Policy vision at a federal level, on all sides of government”. There was also an overwhelming support from both the guests attending the forum and also from the panel of industry representatives for both sides of government to put good policy before ideology moving forward.
Attendees at the forum took to twitter throughout and after the forum with mixed views of support and frustration.
Call to action
1. In the lead up to this Federal Election the team from Audit Express encourage you to participate in the policy discussion, especially when it comes to Vocational Education and Training. You can do this by following the three key industry representatives and member organisations, which can be followed here:
2. Keep in close contact with your relevant member organisation or industry representative organisation. If you see or hear something happening in the VET Sector that you disagree with or are unhappy with, or if you are passionate about a particular topic or issue, always remember that “the pen is mightier than the sword”. Never underestimate the power of writing to the minister, or your local senator or member of parliament. For more information on contacting your local senator or MP, click here.
3. Be active and vocal on social media about the issues that you care about!
UPDATE – This event is fully booked. All ticket allocations were exhausted in less than 10 hours. We are however hoping to live-stream this event, so please watch this space.
The Australian VET Sector has experienced significant change and transformation over recent years.
If you have solutions and want to make a difference, we want your input!
This event will put the issues and needs of the VET Sector in the spotlight, and back onto the federal policy agenda.
The Federal VET Forum & Panel Discussion will set the scene and put the issue of VET front and centre in the lead up to the Federal Election. This event brings together thought-leaders and key stakeholders from the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Sector, and will provide a platform for discussion, debate and also for concerns about landscape and policy of the VET sector to be voiced.
Hear from the Federal Assistant Minister Karen Andrews, as she delivers her position and vision for the Australian VET Sector beyond 2018.
Hear from the Shadow Minister, Senator Doug Cameron about his plans to review the National Vocational Education and Training sector if his party wins the next the Federal election.
Learn about the various issues and challenges faced by the three key types of training providers in the sector (Private/TAFE/Community) with the VET Sector Stakeholder Panel discussion, which includes:
Rod Camm, CEO of ACPET
Craig Robertson, CEO of Tafe Directors Australia
Don Perlgut, CEO of Community Colleges Australia
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Last week Audit Express Express was invited to attend an exclusive launch and private viewing of Rose Office Furniture’s new range of Education Furniture at their West Melbourne Showroom.
[emaillocker id=6291]The champagne flowed and canapés as guests worked their way through the showroom, wowed by the new range of incredibly designed, ergonomic, quality education furniture. The evening was well attended with a number of guests of honour, including The Hon Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle, who congratulated and thanked Rose Office Furniture for its long standing presence as a reputable, well known and well regarded Melbourne business.
Since 1954, Rose Office Furniture has delivered best practice in customer service and has become a Melbourne institution, as it has survived the test of time, supplying office furniture locally and nationally to individuals, businesses and training providers, both big and small.
If your Training Organisation, TAFE or University needs any education or office furniture, we highly recommend that you get in touch with Tom and the team at Rose Office Furniture. Mention this post by Audit Express and Tom will take care of you. You can also take a look at their range of products online by visiting >>> https://www.roseoffice.com.au/
The Victorian Department of Education and Training (The Department) has announced that it’s call for expressions of Interest for Skills First 2018-19 VET Funding Contracts will open at 2pm on Friday the 1st of September 2017, and will close on Thursday the 28th of September 2017.
It is understood that applying organisations will be able to apply for either a “Standard” or “Restricted” funding contract, which is consistent with the current 2017 Skills First VET Funding Contracts.
Successful applicants will be offered a 2 year contract, that will be valid throughout the 2018 and 2019 calendar years.
[emaillocker id=6291]The Department has advised that it is hoping to provide applying organisations of their outcome in November 2017.
A suite of information will be published on the The Department’s Skills Victoria Training System (SVTS) when the Call for EOI opens on 1/9/2017, including draft VET Funding Contracts and supporting information to assist providers with completing the application process.
Information sessions will be held in Melbourne, Geelong, Traralgon and Bendigo in the first week of September. Providers can register now via SVTS. Places will be limited to three attendees per training provider.
For more information on how to apply for a Skills First 2018 – 2019 Funding Contract please complete your details on the registration form at the end of this post to attend our FREE WEBINAR on “How to apply for a Skills First 2018 – 2019 Funding Contract“.
The Good News
There is some really good news in this years’ Skills First contract application process, in that the Victorian state government has listened to our feedback and calls for longer contract durations. As already mentioned, successful applicants will be offered a 2 year contract, that will be valid throughout the 2018 and 2019 calendar years. This is a great outcome and will offer quality training providers greater certainty and stability. This will also allow providers to invest in their business to deliver quality training.
It is also really pleasing to hear that the Department will allow training providers up until 16/10/2017 to provide the required financial information, including financials that have been audited by an ASIC Registered Auditor.
Get Your Financials Ready NOW!
The Department has advised that training provider applicants will need to submit their audited financial statements for the two most recently completed full financial years. These financial statements must be accompanied by independent audit reports completed by an ASIC registered auditor. Applicants are encouraged to prepare this documentation as soon as possible. If your organisation has not already started work on this, do not delay – now is the time to start work on this important task.
Learn Local Training Providers that are applying for a restricted contract must have audited financial statements, but will be pleased to hear that they are exempted from the requirement for the auditor to be an ASIC Registered Auditor. That is unless they are applying for a standard contract, in which case Learn Local Training Providers must utilise an ASIC Registered Auditor.
The requirement to submit audited financials is arguably the most challenging part of the application process, and the one sticking point that has seen countless applications rejected over previous years. Having financials audited by an ASIC Registered Auditor is no small task. If your organisation is looking for an ASIC Registered Auditor that is experienced in supporting training providers to apply for VET Funding Contracts, please get in touch and we will happily introduce you to one of our reputable contacts.
The To Do List
Register online at eduweb.vic.gov.au/svts/Events to attend the Department’s 2018 Provider Selection Process Information Sessions. These sessions are targeted towards training providers that are considering lodging an expression of interest for a Skills First 2018-19 VET Funding Contract
Continue to monitor SVTS daily for further updates and announcements throughout the application process
Register your details on the form below to attend our FREE LIVE WEBINAR on Monday 4th September where we will unpack the Skills First contract for you and discuss what is involved in the application process, or click on the following link if the form below isn’t working on your device: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6372504797326981891
Contact the team at Audit Express if you have any questions, or require support completing your application