education - Tasmania Talks

Launceston Apprenticeship Pipeline Scheme looking to give students a helping hand

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Over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in the amount of construction work around Launceston, and this will continue to grow when the Utas campus move begins.

But with construction projects comes the need for people to do the work. The Tasmanian Building and Construction Training Board, alongside the State Government and other stakeholders, are looking to give 20 Year 11 students per year a helping hand to get into construction and get an apprenticeship.

This scheme will cover their fees for an apprenticeship, including money for protective equipment, but most importantly give students a mentor and opportunity to develop relationships with businesses.

Simon Cocker, CEO of the TBCITB, talks to Brian Carlton this morning about the scheme and how it works, urging all construction businesses in the state to get on board.

If you are interested or would like more information please contact Program Manager Annette Doddridge on telephone 0417 503 771 or email [email protected].

'Anything Can Happen' says new education ad - but will it keep kids in school?

A new advertisement by the Tasmanian Education Department is causing controversy.

The advertisement, which encourages students to stay in school until Year 12, says that if students drop out they will ‘do nothing’. The alternative is to stay and be able to ‘do anything’.

Watch the advertisement above and let us know what you think.

Listen as Brian Carlton and Tas Talks listener Michael discuss the advertisement below.

'This is kind of my story - I've lived this' - University College boss Lee Whiteley talks associate degrees & more

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What is the University College?

That’s what many people have been asking since the college was established in 2016, with a big push this year to get students to enrol in the new associate degrees.

These degrees look to help people get into further university degrees, or just give them a way that they can expand their knowledge whilst maintaining a full time job.

Lee Whiteley is the Chief Executive of the University College, and comes from a background in industry. He speaks with Brian Carlton about what the University College actually does, and why he decided to put his hand up for this position.

The University College will have a pop-up booth in the Quadrant Mall, Launceston today from 12pm – 2pm if you would like more information.

'We've got to make it better tomorrow than it is today' - $490 million funding for Tassie students with a disability

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For several years, there have been calls to provide more support to students with a disability in schools, and move towards a needs-based funding model.

This may finally be a reality, with the State and Federal Government signing the National School Reform Agreement last week. This agreement will see an additional $490 million injected into Tasmanian schools over the next 10 years to fill the gaps in funding.

Kristen Desmond is the founder of the Tasmanian Disability Education Reform Lobby, and was worked hard for many years to see this kind of funding become a reality. She speaks with Brian Carlton this morning to talk about the fantastic news.

‘I am just gutted’ – Laser Tag operator starts petition over school ban

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Jonathon Simonetis says he is ‘just gutted’ by the Education Department ban on laser tag school excursions.

Jonathon owns Tas Laser Skirmish in Hobart, and is deeply concerned about his business with this ban in place, with several school groups already cancelling bookings.

Jonathon calls Brian Carlton this morning to discuss the impact of the ban and the petition he has set up online.

If you would like to sign the petition, click here.

Image: Spring Break-reation, Laser Tag - U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, South Korea - 9 Apr. 2014 by USAG-Humphreys under a CC2.0

‘I can’t let this go unchallenged’ – Disability Reform lobbyist disturbed over Hobart school ‘cage’ for autistic children

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The Education Department is facing criticism off the back of news that a North Hobart school has had a ‘cage’ installed for special needs students.

Though this action is said to have come after heavy consultation with experts, teachers, and parents, many Tasmanians are still disturbed by the news.

Listen as Kristen Desmond, Founder of the Tasmanian Disability Education Reform Lobby, joins Brian Carlton to discuss the concerning installation, and whether special needs children can get the education they need in a mainstream school.

‘Stop the stunts, stop the threats… and negotiate in good faith’ says Education Minister re AEU action

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The State Education Minister has strongly urged the Australian Education Union (AEU) Tasmania branch to ‘stop the stunts, stop the threats and negotiate in good faith’ over further industrial action.

AEU members have announced that they will attend 45 minute ‘stop work’ meetings at 9am on Tuesday 27th November in the North and North-West, and on Wednesday the 23rd November in the South. They will not be on site at school until 10:30am, which means some schools may need to close for the morning.

Education Minister, Jeremy Rockliff, joins Brian Carlton this morning to talk about the escalating action, and whether the government is willing to budge on their 2% wage increase.

‘The goodwill of parents and students is starting to wear a little thin’ – more Stop Work action planned for schools

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The goodwill of parents and students is starting to wear a little thin, according to the President of the Tasmanian Association of State Schools Organisation (TASSO), Nigel Jones.

The Australian Education Union Tasmanian branch announced yesterday that more stop work action will take place in schools next week, on Tuesday 2nd and Wednesday 3rd April. The NW on Tuesday and the South on Wednesday are likely to see early school closures with stop work meetings as 2:30pm, however the planned stop work meeting in the North will be at 9:30am.

Nigel talks to Brian Carlton this morning about this further action and how it will impact parents and students.

Tasmania Talks listeners also call in to discuss their thoughts on the strike.

Advanced Welding Training Centre for Burnie, sexting school program ‘wacky and dangerous’


The boons for Braddon continue, with the announcement today that an Advanced Welding Training Centre will be based in South Burnie.

Minister for Education and Training, Simon Birmingham, is in Burnie today to make the announcement, which will see five state-of-the-art welding simulators installed at the Tasmanian Minerals and Energy Council (TMEC) Centre of Excellence in South Burnie.

Minister Birmingham also answers questions regarding a Victorian high school teaching children how to ‘safe sext’, which the Minister says is ‘wacky and dangerous.’

Image: By Department of Education and Training, CC BY 3.0 au,

AEU deal struck, but not all parties happy

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The Australian Education Union Tasmanian branch strike action is over, with 70 per cent of the membership voting to accept the Government’s latest offer that will see a pay rise between 7.5 per cent to 8.5 per cent over three years.

However, not all members are happy, with relief teachers receiving a 30 per cent pay decrease as a result of the agreement.

This morning, relief teacher Margaret from Youngtown calls in to tell Brian Carlton how the union deal will impact her career. Anthony from Glengarry also calls in to say that teacher’s aides are also getting a bad deal.

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AEU flags potential early school closures next Wednesday

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Schools may be forced to close early next Wednesday 24th October, due to increasing industrial action by teachers.

Teachers are planning on attending ‘Stop Work’ rallies on the Wednesday at 3pm at Hobart, Launceston, Devonport, Burnie and St Helens.

However this means that parents will need to make alternative arrangements to pick their children up, with early school closures likely to differ from school to school.

Brian Carlton speaks to Australian Education Union Tasmanian Branch President, Helen Richardson, about the industrial action, and what disruptions it will cause to schools.

AEU strike action ‘very disappointing’, says Education Minister as schools prepare to close early

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State Education Minister, Jeremy Rockliff, has described the Australian Education Union Tasmanian branch’s decision to walk off the job early tomorrow as a ‘very disappointing action.’

He joins Brian Carlton this morning to speak about the strike action, saying that the Government’s commitment to hire 250 teachers over the next six years would do better to address teachers concerns of workloads, rather than a pay increase.

They also discuss a recent Grattan Institute report on Education, and the contract for the new Bruny Island ferries.

Anonymous cleaner queries stop work action - says she just 'takes pride in her job'


The tension between the state government and Education Facility Attendents (EFA school cleaners) has reached an all-time high this week, with Ulverstone Secondary College closed today due to the dirty state of the school.

The union strikes have seen EFA's continue to reduce the amount of cleaning they do in schools, until they can negotiate a suitable pay rise with the State Government.

Today, an EFA rings in to speak with Brian Carlton anonymously. She says that she takes pride in her work and has not taken any notice of the stop work action notices, however is terribly worried about contract cleaners coming in and taking her working hours.

Be bold and privatise GBE's, abolish the college system, says Saul Eslake


Today saw the release of noted economist Saul Eslake's annual Tasmania Report, which details Tasmania's economic performance over the past year.

In the report, Mr Eslake suggests the privatisation of many State Owned Companies, such as TasNetworks and Aurora Energy.

Mr Eslake speaks with Brian Carlton about his report, and renews his call for the college system to be abolished in Tasmania. 

Concerns for student welfare with AEU action tomorrow

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There is a concern that children will be left unattended at state schools over the next two days, with Australian Education Union (AEU) members choosing not to begin work until 10:30am.

With Metro bus services unchanged, there are concerns children will be left stranded at schools prior to the later starting times. Other frustrated parents are choosing not to send their children to school at all, saying that this is an easier option than trying to send their child to school around work times. 

President of the Tasmanian Association of State Schools Organisation (TASSO), Nigel Jones, joins Brian Carlton this morning. He says that these strike actions are ‘extremely disappointing’, and only hurt parents and students.  

For more information on which schools will be closed, click here

Concerns over current school education - why don't young people know about the wars?

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What are essential skills and topics that you learnt in school, but young people don’t seem to be taught today?

Brian Carlton is always incredibly confused to find that people were not taught about the wars, whilst basic numeracy and literacy skills rate highly with other listeners.

Take a listen as Tasmania Talks listeners discuss what they missed out on at school, or what they think young people are missing out on today.

Course opportunities boundless with Northern Transformation

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Whilst the building of the new University of Tasmania Inveresk campus is key to the university’s ‘northern transformation’, so are the courses offered.

The new campus will offer students more variety with accelerated degrees, associate degrees and the university college all looking to arm people with the tools they need for a pathway to industry.

Associate Professor for Utas, Stuart Crispin, joins Brian Carlton in the studio this morning to talk about some of the things that will be on offer, and how these new courses come about.

Image: By Noogz - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

DCCI want UTAS presence in Devonport to address skills shortage, but not a campus

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The Devonport Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) is expressing an interest in a UTAS presence in the city.

Noticing a skill shortage in certain industries on the North-West Coast, the DCCI is hoping to work with UTAS to fill this void and create a partnership.

President of the DCCI, Dane Layton, talks to Brian Carlton this morning and says that the DCCI is not after a formal UTAS campus. However they would like community feedback on what might work best for young people in the area.

To have your say in the DCCI’s survey, click here.

Education alternative for old Devonport library

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The old Devonport Library is set to become an Indie School.

An Indie School offers an educational alternative for teenagers aged between 15 – 19, who may struggle with traditional school or has stopped attending.

It is hoped that the school will operate from the old library, located on Oldaker Street, from 2020 subject to ministerial approval.

David Pickett, Deputy Principal of Indie Schools, speaks with Rick Fontyn about Indie School and the proposed school at Devonport.

Education Department laser tag ban will have ‘a huge impact’, says Burnie business

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Burnie business In the Zone says that a new ban laser tag school excursions will have a ‘huge impact’ on their business.

The Department of Education has banned laser tag excursions on the basis of being a ‘weapons-based real life action game’.  In the Zone conducts games of laser tag for all ages, and relies heavily on school groups to keep the business going, particularly towards the end of the year.

Sandra Fordham, owner of In the Zone, talks to Brian Carlton about this ban this morning and says that they did not receive ‘a cracker’ of correspondence from the Department of Education.

Tasmania Talks listeners also call in and give their thoughts on this 'ridiculous' ban.

Image:  Image: Lasertag Aachen by Flickr user heipei under a CC2.0 licence.   

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