VALA March 2014 newsletter

March 2014 newsletter (Member version) VALAWeb version

In this issue

From the CEO

1. 2014 VALA Conference Call for Workshops - Closes 21st March

2. VALA Membership now due

3. Revised for 2014: VCAL Industry Specific Skills Strand and Work Related Skills Strand

4. Port of Melbourne - Education Program

5. Parliament education resources

6. 2014 Youth in VET Conference - Engaging with VET

7. Adult Foundation Skills: Looking Behind PIAAC

8. ACER National Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Assessment Conference 2014

9. Foundation Skills Assessment Tool (FSAT)

10. VET Teacher Scholarship Program

11. Playmeo

12. SAFE T1 Resources

13. VCAL First - Resource

Adam Whitbread

From the CEO

Great to see so many faces at the recent VCAL Induction Day. If you missed out, don't despair, the 2014 VALA Conference is right around the corner. The Call For Workshops is still open. Are you an Edupreneur? We think you might be and the VALA Conference is just the place to share your big ideas with everyone. First time presenters are particularly welcome, so do drop me a line if you would like to chat about presenting something from your experience that might be of interest to others.

2014Conference logo 'Are you an Edupreneur?1. 2014 VALA Conference Call for Workshops - Closes 21st March

This year's conference (at Monash Caulfield Campus) explores the intersection of Social Enterprise and Applied Learning. The concept of enterprises that are not solely driven by a for-profit motive has gained widespread interest and momentum over the last 35 years and they provide a fertile ground for teachers engaging in work-related and vocational areas. Large or small, enterprise activities build confidence in employability skills and can break new ground in building connections between school and work.


VALA logo2. VALA Membership now due

Membership renewal invoices have been sent. Not got yours? Ask for an invoice at

Join or renew online

Membership benefits include discounts for the 2014 Conference on June 13.
You also get access to the Resources, including playmeo activities (see below), access to advice and other exclusive member-only benefits from our supporters.

VCAA logo3. Revised for 2014: VCAL Industry Specific Skills Strand and Work Related Skills Strand

Information on designing curriculum and learning programs to meet the purpose statements of the Industry Specific Skills and Work Related Skills Strand is available on the VCAA website.

Port of Melbourne logo4. Port of Melbourne - Education Program

From the clothes you wear to the food you eat, the Port of Melbourne plays a very important role in your everyday life. The Port Education Program opens a window to the world of traded goods and commodities, offering exciting free excursion opportunities to groups of all ages and interests. Excursions can be tailored to suit your individual interests and are written to suit the VCAL curriculum. Please contact the Port Education Officer on 9683 1361 or email us to learn more!

Parliament of Victoria education services5. Parliament education resources

A new teaching resource is now available through the Parliament of Victoria websitealigned to VCAL and CGEA. It consists of a program of four Units (choose one or more Units) with students engaged in events management (inviting your local State MP as Guest Speaker in your class room, or organising a more critical tour of Parliament House), field research (such as community visits to establish difference in levels of government), complications which arise from this system of three levels of government, and an opportunity for students to be rewarded with $50,000 by finding the stolen Mace!


6. 2014 Youth in VET Conference - Engaging with VET

21st March

The Victorian Government's Engage, Involve and Create strategy notes the importance of youth engagement. This one day event looks at the state government policy and strategy to connect those young people not engaged with learning and employment opportunities. Hear about: the whole of government approach to youth engagement; the latest policy and strategy arrangements for youth pathways; and the latest research on youth engagement / disengagement; the latest research into youth learning patterns.


VISTA 7. Adult Foundation Skills: Looking Behind PIAAC

31 March 2014, William Angliss Conference Centre, 2-4 pm

What is PIAAC? The Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) is an Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) survey which measures adult skills and competencies. These competencies include literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills, with a particular focus on skills needed for success in the information age. PIAAC has an emphasis on the skills used by people in their jobs and includes information on the use of reading and numeracy at work as well as other workplace skills including team work, communication, presentation and information and technology skills. Twenty-four countries participated in the first round of PIAAC including Australia, the USA, the UK, Canada, Japan and Korea. Why are the PIAAC measures important and require more attention in the VET sector? With recent interest in Foundation skills such as their inclusion within training packages, coupled with the state government challenge in ensuring that foundation studies are effectively targeted, we have a critical space for measured and balanced debate about Foundation skills. The PIAAC data and results could be an appropriate vehicle to help frame and research this debate.


ACER8. ACER National Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Assessment Conference 2014

May 1 and 2, 2014

A National Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Assessment Conference has the theme is 'Foundation skills and lifelong learning – what does the evidence from international assessments tell us about improving work and life skills?'. The two-day conference will examine the latest results of both the Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), and the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) surveys. The conference will discuss the implications for both policy and practice, for not only all education sectors but also for lifelong learning and full participation as an individual, as a community member and as a worker. Keynote speakers will include a range of international and national speakers who have been involved in the development and analysis of both the PIAAC and PISA surveys. Other sessions will include presentations and workshops from a range of sectors about how to work successfully with youth and adults to improve their literacy and numeracy skills.


ACER9. Foundation Skills Assessment Tool (FSAT)

The Department of Industry has contracted the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) to develop an online Foundation Skills Assessment Tool (FSAT) to identify and assess an individual's foundation skill levels. The tool will be available free to assist learners (youth and adults), job seekers, trainers, educators and employment services practitioners to assess their own or a client's foundation skill levels, and help identify any gaps in skills and knowledge. The FSAT will be based around the theoretical underpinnings of the Australian Core Skills Framework (language, literacy and numeracy) and the Core Skills for Work Developmental Framework (employability skills). ACER is interested in hearing from interested LLN, VET and employment services providers to be involved in focus groups and trials in order to provide feedback and to trial and test the assessment system and the questions to be used in the various assessments.


VET Development Centre10. VET Teacher Scholarship Program

Claims close April 30th

To ensure that the Victorian Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector is recognised for the quality provision of its training, the Victorian government has funded scholarships for people studying VET teaching qualifications. Applications for the 2014 Scholarship program are now open. The scheme offers up to $1,000 per successful applicant to support study of:

  • TAE50111 Diploma of Vocational Education and Training

  • TAE50211 Diploma of Training Design and Development

  • TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment


playmeo logo11. Playmeo

VALA membership includes access to playmeo's ever-expanding online database of group games & activities specifically designed to equip teachers with outrageously fun and interactive group activities.

Here's a free 60 minute program chock-full of simple, interactive, no-prop style activities which are perfect for any group.

You'll need your VALA password which was supplied when you subscribed.

SAFET1 12. SAFE T1 Resources

VALA has developed some excellent resources for young workers with WorkSafe Victoria on OHS. These have been recently updated to align with the revised VCAL Personal Development Skills (PDS) units.



13. VCAL First - Resource

VCAL FirstThis new digital publication from VALA, written especially for teachers who are coming to grips with VCAL programs for the first time, provides a comprehensive yet accessible overview of the essential concepts of VCAL.