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Edition 539, 3 February 2014

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Taking ACPET members to the world

Monday, February 3 2014

ACPET has begun preparations for international delegations to India, China and Indonesia in the first half of 2014. While we have taken members with us on previous delegations to India, China and had commenced planning a delegation to Indonesia last month, as well as accompanying members and Commonwealth and State Premiers and Ministers on a range of delegations – it has taken time to develop the experience and in-country contacts to ensure we can offer the right opportunities for our members based on their needs, interests and experiences in particular countries.

From this year onwards and using the experiences gained from multiple previous overseas delegations ACPET will be amending the structure of our delegations to cater for members with differing needs.

Delegation programs will be designed to cater for three types of members:

  1. Members new to offshore activity in a country: These members may have travelled to a country previously for leisure but have not yet been on business. These members are typically seeking advice and information from us to understand the opportunities on offer in a specific country and to be guided through introductory meetings with key in-country officials, representatives and successful ACPET members. The purpose of the delegation is to open members’ eyes to the opportunities, to give them contacts to follow-up in future (via ACPET or independently) and to understand some of the challenges faced by others and how they worked to overcome them. A key take-away will be understanding how well the member’s current business operations fits the opportunities on offer in-country and what modifications are likely to be needed to achieve success.
  2. Members who have previously visited a country for business purposes but are yet to commence operations: These members understand the possibilities on offer and are starting to think about how their business might capitalise on them. Typically they need assistance with specifics about the types of operations that have been proven to work in a country, why these different types of operations work, lessons other ACPET members have learned, and introductions to partners seeking an Australian business partner (including site visits to see the day-to-day reality of different operations).
  3. Members who are established in the country: Typically these members have done the hard work themselves and do not want, or need, to be part of a core delegation. ACPET however can still value-add for these members. Our networks and connections amongst both Australian and local officials and business leaders provide opportunities to members to continue to lift their profiles, through invitations to attend official functions associated with the delegations. Many members are also generous in sharing the lessons they have learned, some are actively seeking new Australian business partners, and others are interested in which of their competitors are looking to set-up rival operations.

To improve ACPET’s performance in providing content rich, relevant and rewarding delegations to its members, ACPET has engaged a project manager, Louisa Jordan, on a contract basis.  Louisa has previously worked with ACPET to help plan our highly successful 2013 Asia-Pacific International Education Forum and has also been a senior manager with the Victorian Government working on international engagement including overseas delegation planning.

To express an interest in receiving early advice on upcoming delegations please contact Louisa directly and let her know more about your interest and where you’re at in exploring offshore opportunities.


And in other news...

The ongoing challenges facing our CRICOS members on-shore remain at the forefront of our minds, as a number of articles in today's issue of National Monday Update reflect. As I noted last week I will have more specific advice to members in the upcoming In Conversation with the CEO session later this month, and in the ‘members-only' sessions of our upcoming International Education forums in Brisbane and Melbourne.

In the interim, members should be aware that the Department of Immigration have clarified the purpose of their recent communications to students regarding their status if they entered Australia via SVP arrangements.  We are also continuing to progress efforts to see ACPET members listed on the Chinese JSJ list, and we are pleased to support the Council of International Students efforts to shift community understanding about the benefits to Australia of educating international students.

And on domestic matters – the Chair of ACPET, Martin Cass, and I were pleased to attend a very productive workshop with Federal Industry Minister, the Hon Ian Macfarlane last week.

While members know that I don't use this newsletter to outline the nature of discussions like these, I can advise that the Minister is across the significant issues affecting the VET sector, is questioning the complexity and red-tape which now bedevils the sector, as well as how ‘national’ it now is. His advisers also made themselves available the week before last, to meet with members of the ACPET Queensland State Committee and key ACPET staff. Once again we were pleased and impressed by their understanding of key issues and their determination to tackle the challenges facing the sector (and ACPET's members).

I continue to be asked about the status of the proposed National Skills Standards Council changes to the VET Standards. The reality is that nothing has changed - the NSSC has provided the Minister with their final advice (which they chose not to share with the rest of the sector). Their advice is being considered by the Minister and he is aware that their proposals do not have universal support across the sector. ACPET's views (reflecting the concerns of its members) are known and understood. ACPET members and other RTOs will have a further chance this week in the two provider workshops being held in Canberra, to put their own views on matters like this directly to key decision makers.

Members should be reassured that when there is news on this, and any other issue affecting your businesses, we will make sure we provide it to you as soon as we have it.

Claire Field
Chief Exceutive Officer
 


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