The National Centre for Vocational Education Research has released the Australian apprentice and trainee statistics for the September quarter 2011.

In total there were 461,200 apprentices and trainees in-training as at the end of September 2011, an increase of 3.2% from the previous year.

Comparing apprentice and trainee activity in the year to 30 September 2011 with the year to 30 September 2010:

  • the number of people commencing in trades occupations decreased by 1.0%
  • the number of people commencing in non-trades occupations increased by 7.2%
  • the number of people completing apprenticeships and traineeships increased by 6.1%.

The South Australian Government has released draft legislation for public consultation that will see the state's TAFE body, TAFE SA, become a statutory body.

A new report, released by the Whitlam Institute within the University of Western Sydney, canvasses the existing research on ‘high stakes’ testing. It finds that despite ‘high stakes’ testing of Australian primary and high school students becoming more and more entrenched, there are serious concerns internationally about the impact the tests have on students.

The South Australian Government has launched a skills program whereby employers from industries with skills shortages in jobs deemed critical to the state’s future growth may apply for funding of up to 90 per cent of the cost of training.

The Minister for School Education Peter Garrett has announced the opening of nominations for the 2012 Australian Awards for Outstanding Teaching and School Leadership, recognising the top performing teachers and school leaders across the country.

The Victorian Government has announced seven new global partnerships aimed at driving collaborative research and development within the higher education sector.

The Federal Government released the Gonski review into school funding in the country, which finds that a comprehensive overhaul of funding is required to deliver the best results for students.

Kangan Institute's Automotive Centre of Excellence in the Docklands, Victoria, has been launched as the largest and most advanced automotive training and research facility in the southern hemisphere following the completion of the $84 million Stage 2 of the training facility.

The Federal Government has announced improved indexation arrangements that will inject an extra $367 million over the next four years to assist universities meet the cost of research and training.

The membership of the independent panel that will evaluate the first full year of the new South Australian Certificate of Education has been announced.

The Commonwealth and South Australian Governments have announced a bilateral agreement to reform the State's vocational education and training system.

The Grattan Institute has released a report on four top-performing East Asian schooling systems, analysing the educational and policy features which have fed into the successful outcomes achieved.

The Minister for School Education Peter Garrett will be holding a school funding forum with live and online audiences from 11am on Wednesday 22 February. 


The conversation will focus on the final report of the Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling, to be released on Monday 20 February, the Australian Government’s response to it and the way forward for Australian schools.


Members of the public can submit a question before the event by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by using the twitter has tag: #schoolsfunding.


Questions can also be submitted during the event using the live webchat facility, or through twitter.


The forum can be viewed  online from 11am here.


More information about the Gonski Review is here.

Federal Minister for Immigration and Citzenship, Chris Bowen, announced the Federal Government will move to simplify the student visa application process for 29 countries by reducing assessment levels across a range of student visa subclasses from 24 March.

Australian cities are among the most attractive study destinations in the world according to a report released today by rankings provider QS (Quacquarelli Symonds Limited).

Using scores that take into account student mix, affordability, quality of living and employer activity, as well as their own QS World University Rankings, the company has compiled a top fifty list of the 'Best Student Cities'.

Universities Australia Chief Executive, Belinda Robinson, said "Australia has more cities than any other country in the world listed in the top ten, making it one of the world's most favourable study environments according to QS.

"This is an outstanding result for Australia and reinforces what most Australians and others already know; Australia is, by world standards, a great place to pursue a university education.

"Australia's higher education system is consistently rated as among the world's best and our university cities are vital to Australia maintaining its strong reputation. If 'affordability' is removed as a criterion, Melbourne and Sydney would be ranked at number 1 and 4 respectively.

"While it may be a little more expensive to live and study in Australia, the quality of living, employment opportunities, student mix and the quality of universities makes Australia a very appealing place for those seeking to study abroad.

"The international education sector is Australia's third largest export industry, and over the 2010-11 period international higher education students spent an average of $38,000 each in this country on goods, services and fees. This highlights how valuable the contribution is, particularly at a time when other economic inputs such as tourism are suffering.

"Recent Government initiatives such as visa reforms will certainly assist in arresting the decline in international student enrolments. However as the QS affordability index suggests there is more still that can be done to ensure Australia remains an attractive and competitive study destination.

"The introduction of nationally consistent public transport concessions along the lines recommended by COAG, for example, would be one such initiative to assist this outcome," said Ms Robinson.

The Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education has released data that shows more than 220,000 university offers have been made this year, an increase of over four per cent compared to the same time last year.

The Victorian Coalition Government will invest $3.3 million to boost participation rates in vocational and higher education and grow jobs in the state's north-east.

The Master Builders Association of Victoria (MBAV) has announced it will construct a $10 million Master Builders Building Leadership Simulation Centre (BLSC).

The Civil Contractors Federation Skills Centre has opened in Western Australia, with Federal Minister for Skills Senator Chris Evans attending the opening ceremony.

Teaching and learning academic Professor Sally Kift has been appointed Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic at James Cook University.

New data released by the South Australia Tertiary Admissions Centre shows that the number of placement offers made by South Australian universities over the last year has increased by over 5 per cent.

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