Training Services NSW Executives visit the Hunter, Central Coast and Newcastle Regions
Senior representatives from Training Services NSW toured parts of the Hunter, Central Coast and Newcastle regions on 25 and 26 May to meet with agencies and organisations who are supporting education, skills and employment in the area.
The regional tour commenced on the Central Coast with the graduation of 14 students completing a CPC20112 Certificate II in Construction with Construction Trade Qualifications (CTQ). This training was subsidised by the NSW Government under Smart and Skilled to and delivered in partnership with Employment Service Provider, Castle Personnel, to students with disability and learning difficulties. Additional support offered by CTQ included mentoring and tutoring, with a focus on independence, health and wellbeing. Work experience was also offered and over 70% of students had employment opportunities upon course completion. Read more about People with Disabilities in Construction Training on Central Coast.
This was followed by a tour of Employment & Training Australia (ET Australia). ET Australia is a community-based not-for-profit organisation and approved Smart and Skilled training provider which delivers services to help people find and maintain employment. The visit showcased the ET Australia Secondary College (ETASC) which offers Year 9-10 students a high school environment where the teaching focus is about preparing students for the world of work, vocational education and life-long learning.
Next was a meeting with Regional Development Australia Hunter (RDA Hunter), who gave an overview of the locally delivered STEMship program. An innovative VET pre-employment program, the STEMship program was a collaboration between RDA Hunter, who co-ordinated the initiative, the Training Services NSW Hunter and Central Coast office and Hunter TAFE. Participating students from Hunter region high schools undertook training with Hunter TAFE, and Training Services NSW assisted with industry contacts for work placements. The program provided an opportunity for students to pursue a career in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Training Services NSW representatives then met with CEO Pierre Malou and Director Steve Wait of The Hunter Business Centre, a community-based not-for-profit organisation and approved Smart and Skilled training provider. The Hunter Business Centre supports local businesses and offers training in the Certificate IV in Small Business Management, amongst other qualifications.
A subsequent meeting with Darren Wright and Craig Layer, officers for the New Careers for Aboriginal People Program (NCAP) and Aboriginal Enterprise Development Officer Program (AEDO) respectively, highlighted the strong connections they have built within the Greater Hunter region and the results being achieved under these programs, which support the improvement of vocational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
On day two, David Collins, Executive Director, Training Services NSW, and Stephen Wills, CEO Hunter from the Department of Premier and Cabinet, met formally to discuss the Economic Development Sub Committee, the Upper Hunter Workforce Development Planning Group, Rapid Response Team for retrenched workers or those at risk of being retrenched, and other joint initiatives with Training Services NSW.
Following this was a “behind-the-scenes” tour of WesTrac’s Tomago site. As one of the largest employers of apprentices in Australia, WesTrac developed the WesTrac Institute, a comprehensive training centre servicing the construction, transport and mining industries. The Institute delivers training under the NSW Government’s Smart and Skilled program at their Tomago campus.
The second last stop was Hunter River High School (HRHS), which has a strong focus on vocational education as a Trade School in metals and engineering and offers school-based apprenticeships and traineeships. The school also runs P-TECH, a collaborative partnership between education and industry, which offers pathways for students to gain a nationally accredited qualification alongside their regular school education, supported by workplace experience.
The regional tour concluded with a visit to Hunter TAFE’s Tighes Hill campus, which offers a wide range of training options, as demonstrated by the facilities - everything from a Maritime simulator with realistic harbour views, to The Design Centre which offers training in disciplines such as fashion, architecture, industrial and kitchen design, floristry and interior design, to a state-of-the-art recording studio.