About the conference

The 28th National Vocational Education and Training Research Conference 'No Frills' is being co-hosted with TAFE SA in Adelaide on 10-12 July 2019.

'No Frills' is a well-known annual national conference where researchers, practitioners, providers, government and industry representatives come together and share knowledge, ideas, insights and solutions surrounding Australia’s VET sector.

The conference also provides valuable professional development opportunities through a program of hands-on, interactive pre-conference workshops incorporating activities on data and research analytics, and research practice.


The 2019 conference program will focus on The student journey: skilling for life.

As explored at past ‘No Frills’ conferences, the world of work is changing, driven by rapid technological evolution in an increasingly global society. It’s almost certain that the skills we develop today won’t be enough to operate or compete effectively in the workplaces of tomorrow.

Will it be enough for our future workers to earn a single qualification or learn only a few different skills? Where do employability skills fit into the mix?

While every student’s journey is different, more and more research and discussion points to how workers must become lifelong learners to enable them to grow and evolve with their jobs. VET plays a critical role in making this happen.

Who should attend

  • Educators
  • Researchers
  • Policymakers
  • Registered training organisations
  • Schools and universities
  • Research organisations
  • Commonwealth, state and territory education and training authorities
  • Industry bodies
  • Employer groups
  • Not-for-profit and community associations
  • Private consultants

Keynote speakers

We are thrilled to announce Dr Fiona Kerr, a prominent thought leader who consults globally in the fields of cognitive neuroscience, complex systems dynamics, human connectivity and the impacts of technologisation, as our opening keynote speaker. Dr Kerr will talk about the neurophysiological effects of interaction between humans and technology and how it relates to learning and the adaption of new technologies.

We are also very pleased to welcome Gabrielle Kelly, Founding Director of The Wellbeing and Resilience Centre at SAHMRI, who will join us on Friday to talk about 'resilience' skills for workforces in transition and building 'wellbeing'.

In addition, we will featuring a panel discussion on Friday, which is not to be missed! The panel will discuss Lifelong learning: VET’s role now and into the future. Panelists to be announced shortly.

Networking opportunities

Welcome reception

All delegates are invited to attend a 'unique' welcome reception on Wednesday 10 July at 5.15pm to 6.45pm at TAFE SA Tonsley.

The impressive TAFE SA building, part of the Tonsley Innovation District which brings together leading-edge research and education institutions, has been designed to be a learning tool in itself. All of the building’s services – electrical, plumbing, communication, air-conditioning, gas, waste systems – are exposed, so students get an insight into how the building works. Within this structure, the Tonsley campus is host to a suite of specialist facilities.

Conference dinner

The student-led conference dinner, featuring fabulous South Australian food and wine, will be held at Graduates Restaurant, located at the award-winning training facilities of TAFE SA's Regency International Centre. Graduates is an Adelaide institution famous for its sumptuous dishes created with flair by a team of highly trained and experienced cookery lecturers and their talented Commercial Cookery students. 

We are thrilled to have Glenn Cooper AM, Chairman and Ambassador for Coopers Brewery as our guest speaker. After starting his working life as an automotive electrician, Glenn joined the well-known family brewery in 1990 as Sales and Marketing Director, where he oversaw the launch of numerous popular Coopers products.

An entertaining speaker, Glenn is currently Chairman of Australian Made Australian Grown, and former Chairman of the Adelaide Fringe and the Adelaide Convention and Tourism Authority.


Again this year we received a terrific number of high-calibre abstract submissions. We would like to thank all candidates for their time and effort in preparing their abstracts.

View the PROGRAM here

Drop-in data hub

Again this year, delegates interested in accessing data can speak to an NCVER data expert, one-on-one. This personalised service will provide delegates with data information from a basic introduction to VOCSTATS, to constructing tables for specific data, or exploring NCVER's range of data products and tools, we'll be happy to point you in the right direction.

We will also have a knowledgeable NCVER staff member on hand to help you navigate NCVER's free international research database, VOCEDplus, which contain over 75,000 Australian and international tertiary education research and statistical publications.


A range of registration options are available up to the value of $500.

Click here to view the registration packages and REGISTER


Thank you to those who have applied for a scholarship. All applicants have been notified, except those who applied for a 'Researcher' scholarship. We expect to notify these applicants shortly.

Scholarships are valued at $1,200 and cover full conference registration (including pre-conference workshops, welcome reception, and conference dinner) as well as $700 to support travel, accommodation, and other related sundries.


We're offering exhibition space again this year along with a range of other sponsorship packages which represent excellent value for money. We encourage you to get in quick as these opportunities are filling fast.

Please click on the the image below to download the Sponsorship & Exhibition Opportunities booklet and take a look at what's on offer!


Co-hosted with TAFE SA, the conference will be held at the TAFE SA Adelaide campus, located at 120 Currie Street, Adelaide in the CBD. The plenary sessions only will be held at the University of South Australia, City West campus.


There are a number of accommodation options available for a range of budgets close to or nearby the venue.

The Adelaide Rockford is the closest to the TAFE SA Adelaide campus, and the Oaks Embassy serviced apartments, Peppers on Waymouth and Stamford Plaza are a short walk to the venue.

Adelaide attractions

Adelaide is home to historic buildings, lush parklands and sprawling botanic gardens. It is also the gateway to some of Australia's most renowned wine regions - The Barossa, Clare Valley, McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills which offer some of the most exclusive, unique and boutique drinking and dining experiences in the world.

In the CBD, consider an Adelaide Central Market Discovery Tour or Adelaide Oval Roof Climb Experience! Greater Adelaide also has an inspiring range of attractions to keep you busy over the weekend, so why not stay on!

Adelaide has one of the fastest airport to city transfers anywhere in the world (just 10 minutes) with regular direct international and domestic flights.

Adelaide also ranks as the most affordable capital in Australia as well as being undoubtedly the most walk-able, making it possible for delegates staying in the city to walk to and from the conference venue with ease.

General information

Conference contact

Stephen Tormet
National Centre for Vocational Education Research
Level 5, 60 Light Square, Adelaide SA 5000
08 8230 8451


A huge thank you to our sponsors for their valued support.

Conference co-host
Supporting sponsor
Event app sponsor
Welcome reception / catering sponsor
Tea break sponsors
Conference satchel sponsor
Scholarship sponsor