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Groundbreaking initiative gets the tick of approval on the Gold Coast

Collaborative partnerships with Gold Coast businesses are delivering a successful groundbreaking initiative which is providing a more holistic approach to school-based training in the community services sector.

The Imagine Education Australia Early Childhood Education and Care School-Based Apprenticeships and Traineeship Program (ECEC SAT Program) is an innovative collaboration between Gold Coast high schools, Imagine Education Australia, the Department of Education and Training (DET), BUSY At Work and Rosalind Education.

BUSY At Work Senior Industry Training Consultant, Darrin Larney said the collaboration between these groups recognised the need for higher quality training in the VET sector, particularly with school based traineeships.

“In August 2015 it was identified that there was a decline in the number of students aged under 25 completing training qualifications with overall completion rates down by 5.9%.”

“We needed to understand why students enrolled in apprenticeships and traineeships had failed to complete their qualifications and why the training had been unsuccessful in job matching students with their career choices,” Mr Larney said.

Following this the ECEC SAT Program was developed as a piloted program, with 80 expressions of interest received from various high schools on the Gold Coast.

Suitability of the applicants was assessed through the Harrison Career Assessment Tool which helped identify the strengths, weaknesses and needs of the student. Once the desired work traits and suitability of the applicants for the children’s services sector was identified, approximately 30 students were able to undertake work experience to assess work readiness. From this pool, 13 were then offered the opportunity to commence a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care as a school-based traineeship.

The students then undertook employment-based and one-on-one training with Imagine Education and Rosalind Education based in Southport.

Next month all 13 students are expected to graduate successfully completing their qualification which will enable them to become skilled workers in the child care sector.

Mr Larney said the success of the program relied on the ongoing relationship between all key stakeholders including the high schools and each individual student throughout their traineeship.

“The ECEC SAT Program has proven to be successful for students by providing accurate job matching, quality education and long term career success within the community. Our aim through the program is to deliver quality trained youth back to the community.”

“BUSY At Work will continue to work with organisations like Imagine Education and the government in the effort to develop innovative and sustainable practices to better service business and community needs, both now and in the future,” Mr Larney said.

Imagine Education Marketing Manager, Sue Taggart said the opportunity existed for the collaboration to be replicated with other industries.

“We chose to roll out the program to strengthen pathways in the child care sector as there is a high need for Child Care Assistants in Queensland and we have the facilities to train students at our two Early Learning Centres on our on-site campus.”

“We have been contacted by a number of other industries who are keen to replicate our initial success and we feel confident that this program will not only increase training completion rates but can be easily applied to a wide range of industry sectors,” Ms Taggart said.

BUSY At Work CEO, Paul Miles said that the program’s success in job matching potential candidates will better equip individuals to enter the community with a strong foundation of knowledge and skills.

“The program provides graduates with the confidence of being suitably matched to the industry and are embarking on the right career choice for them as an individual.”

“In addition, employers can take control of the training delivered and be reassured that the program will produce quality results,” Mr Miles said.



Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator

0438 173 960

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