This article by Kareena Waters from Industry OneCARD explains her solution to a problem students are experiencing when they apply for jobs.
Students often don’t understand the difference between a VET Delivered in Schools course, and their non VET school curriculum. When potential employers ask them if they have any certificates, the reply is often “No” or “I don’t know”.
A construction/mining employer recently decided to engage a couple of school graduates for a Traineeship in Administration.
After screening resumes and interviews, they finally choose a couple of very suitable candidates, only to find that when the Australian Apprentice Support Network (AASN) signed up the candidate into a traineeship, one already had a Cert III Business Admin, and the other had completed most of the core units.
There was no record of these achievements on their resumes, or any reference to the training during the interview or understand the significance and the value of ‘That training we did at school’.
There is a gap between what students do, and their understanding of how their work contributes to their resume.
Employer’s ability to engage a student on a traineeship is impacted by what VET in Schools certificates a student has commenced or obtained.
Many students have been issued a Unique Student Identifier (USI) but have no idea what it is, or how to access their portal.
Even though Nationally Accredited Units will be recorded on the student’s USI most employers:
want to view and save the certificates, not the USI transcript, and
want to know about any inductions, safety and other inhouse training from students work placement, and or part times jobs, which won’t appear on a USI.
How Industry OneCARD Helps
The OneCARD ™ provides a platform to help employers manage the administrative nightmare of employees’ training and licence records.
Kareena Waters Founder of Industry OneCARD ™ and her team want to provide students, trainees and apprentices a complimentary Industry OneCARD™, to help keep all their certificates, induction records and achievements in one place, and to support the cultivation of good habits around the management of their valuable achievements both accredited and non-accredited.
We have built some great features into Industry OneCARD™ that help when someone is applying for positions, that ensure all records are presented to a recruiter, in a high professional standard.
Some of Hayden’s fondest childhood memories involve holding a torch as his dad, grandad and pop tinkered under the bonnet of a car. The family connection and the ability to bring something broken back to life is what led the apprentice mechanic to study a Certificate III in Light Vehicle Automotive with North Metropolitan TAFE.
With on-the-job learning at mycar, Hayden has helped induct and teach new team members about safety, work practices and methods of fixing cars, and recognises that technology is moving quickly.
Joann Knight, Brabham: Heavy Mobile Equipment
Visiting Kalgoorlie’s ‘super pit’ as a child and seeing all of the machines in action was enough to convince Joann of a career in mechanics. She followed her childhood dream, completing an apprenticeship as a mobile plant mechanic and landed a job with BHP.
Joann was open to every opportunity as she completed the Automotive Technician (Heavy Mobile Equipment) course through the Westrac Institute, and wanted to show that women can work and achieve their dreams in a male-dominated industry.
Stacey-Lee always loved pulling things apart to see how they worked, so much so that at the age of 12 she started building bicycles. After years working in painting, mining, hospitality management and government administration, Stacey Lee’s determination to pursue a career she is truly passionate about has come full circle, completing a Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade (Mechanical Fitter) through South Metropolitan TAFE, and she is just shy of achieving her Diploma in Engineering.
Stacey-Lee has had to battle health issues throughout her studies, making her achievement of winning South Metropolitan TAFE’s Apprentice of the Year 2020 even more special.
Christian Ferrone, Bayswater: Aircraft Maintenance Engineer
A curiosity for how things work and a love of aeroplanes led Christian to pursue a career as a Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer. Now employed by ExecuJet MRO Services Australia – where he completed his apprenticeship – the course taught him how to safely maintain gas turbine and propeller driven fixed wing aircraft.
Christian completed the Diploma in Aeroskills (Mechanical) with a 95 per cent course average and was in the first cohort of WA apprentices through RTO Aviation Australia.
Now a mentor for other apprentices coming through, Christian knows teamwork is an essential part of the aviation industry.
WA Trainee of the Year Finalists
Bonnie Barber, Bridgetown: Administration
Bonnie knew she wanted to join the mining industry when she was in her final year of school, but she did not know which career pathway to follow with the many options available in the sector.
An administration traineeship through Combined Team Services and working with Talison Lithium gave her the perfect mix of support and resources, and she found the ability to study and work a full-time job attractive.
Bonnie says the Certificate IV in Business qualification and hands-on experience has set her up for a fulfilling career working in a field she is passionate about, and she has now accepted a new position as Human Resource Administration Assistant working in her dream professional field.
Amber Ugle-Hayward, Karrinyup: Government
Wanting to pursue a career that was meaningful, challenging and would make a positive impact on the lives of many Western Australians, Amber applied for the Public Sector Commission’s Aboriginal Traineeship Program, knowing it would give her a ‘foot in the door’ to government. Amber has made the most of her placement with the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, gaining practical knowledge while completing a Certificate III in Government through Aspire Performance Training.
Throughout the traineeship, Amber has proactively sought opportunities to further her career and expand networks, establishing a reputation as a highly competent team member who consistently displays leadership, collaboration, respect and integrity.
Amber says the experience has allowed her to develop her confidence and communication skills to raise awareness of Aboriginal culture within the State Government, and directly influence the department’s internal policies.
Vikki Doecke, Kelmscott: Leadership and Management
Passionate about food and hospitality since becoming a chef in her early 20s, Vikki wanted to stay in the industry but broaden her career. Initially afraid to make the change into management, Vikki says she finally started living life on her terms.
A Certificate IV in Leadership and Management through Stanborough Wemyss Contracting was the perfect training alongside her Assistant Village Manager role with Sodexo, which provides catering and managing services at mine sites.
The course developed Vikki’s leadership skills so much so that she is now Village Manager of the Wintamarra site and thoroughly enjoys applying all of her past experience with her newly acquired skills.
WA Vocational Student of the Year finalists
Maxine Turner, Fremantle: Community Services
Volunteering throughout India and Vietnam helping disadvantaged children and families guided Maxine towards her chosen career. Completing a Diploma of Community Services through North Metropolitan TAFE led Maxine to gaining full-time work at the Department of Communities, Child Protection and Family Support, following a successful work experience stint.
Maxine now gets to carry out her passion for helping those in need on a daily basis, using the skills and knowledge obtained through her course in her role as a residential worker.
Nerine Boulter, White Gum Valley: Aquaculture
Returning to study as a mature age student gave Nerine a passion for learning that she had not experienced before. Her enthusiasm for sustainable aquaculture has been ignited during completion of the Diploma of Aquaculture at South Metropolitan TAFE, where has excelled, nominated for the South Metropolitan TAFE’s Vocational Student of the Year in 2019 and 2020.
Nerine hopes to build her own sustainable, environmentally friendly business, growing and harvesting native seaweed for use in health foods, animal feed, cosmetics, bio-plastics and bio-fuel.
Meg Maroni, Albany: Information Technology
Achieving a better future for her local community by implementing and demonstrating digital technologies led Meg to complete her Certificate IV in Information Technology at South Regional TAFE.
Now employed in the industry as the Technical Support Officer for Little Grove Primary School, Meg applies the skills gained in her studies every day to the upkeep of the school’s physical and networking digital infrastructure, and maintenance of implemented systems and software. Meg also assists teaching staff to design class exercises and assignments to fulfil their digital curriculum, and is now tutoring a student carrying out the same course she successfully completed.
Zoe Tucker, Bayswater: Landscape Design
Twenty years after leaving school, Zoe finally feels like she has found her pathway. Finding traditional work roles not conducive to family life, the single mother of three took the plunge towards a new career and followed her passion, studying a Certificate IV in Landscape Design – a perfect fit for a creative person with a love of plants and nature and background in architecture.
Zoe has not looked back, winning South Metropolitan TAFE’s Vocational Student of the Year 2020 and relishing the opportunity to create greener spaces.
WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander of the Year 2021 finalists
Kevin Wilson, Victoria Park: Graphic Design
Growing up as a Wongai man from the Goldfields region, Kevin has had an interest in art for as long as he can remember. After a few years and a few too many run-ins with police, he decided he could not keep going down that path, so he signed up for an apprenticeship in print finishing at North Metropolitan TAFE, which was just the beginning of his TAFE journey. After completing his Diploma in Graphic Design, he continued on to the Advanced Diploma, becoming more confident in himself, his work and how he speaks about it. Kevin says he feels like he has found his calling in life, and since finishing has gone on to co-found Nani Creative, a graphic design company specialising in design for projects promoting Aboriginal tourism.
Grant Syron, Como: Maritime Operations
Sailing the seas may not be for everyone, but for Grant, pursuing a maritime career was an opportunity to see the world, meet new people and have a new challenge every day. From growing up in a Sydney housing commission, Grant says he had wonderful role models in his hard-working parents, who showed him anything is achievable if you put your mind to it.
After completing the Diploma of Maritime Operations (Watchkeeper Deck) through South Metropolitan TAFE, Grant has gone on to become a second officer, with his qualification allowing him to travel the world working on any ship.
Grant’s hard work and commitment is an inspiration to the whole community, and he has ambitions to take his studies and career development even further, with his long-term goal of becoming a Master Mariner.
Keira Gentle, Ridgewood: Fashion Design and Merchandising
From a young age Keira wanted to design clothes, and after a massive life turn around she decided to take a leap and enrol in a Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising at North Metropolitan TAFE. Juggling full-time study with being mum to her daughter, Keira said she has not looked back and is living her dream daily, with the opportunity to explore her creative side and the routine of study giving her the strength to manage her time and provide balance in her life.
Most importantly, studying the course has sparked her creative side that was always there but needed to be developed and nurtured.
Keira says that connection to creativity has been life changing, and she can now see a future where she can work in an industry that she loves, and has all the skills needed to develop a satisfying and challenging career.
Losing his father at the age of 13, Sterling did not know what he wanted to do with his life, but had the mental push to make his dad proud. Making the most of every opportunity that came his way, he jumped at the chance to take up an apprenticeship through South Metropolitan TAFE and the National Energy Technician Training Scheme (NETTS), completing a Certificate III in Engineering – Industrial Electrician.
His journey in the oil and gas sector has given him valuable life skills as well as experience in a thriving sector. Sterling has been a strong ambassador and role model, assisting younger apprentices and promoting the NETTS program by public speaking at schools.
WA School-based Apprentice of the Year finalists
Courtney Short, Ellenbrook: Commercial Cookery
Preparing meals with and for her family has always brought great joy to Courtney, so it seemed a natural fit to pursue her love of cooking at the age of 15, commencing a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery.
Successfully juggling her school work at Mercy College with an apprenticeship through North Metropolitan TAFE, Courtney says the knowledge and skills she has already developed by working alongside chefs at Pan Pacific Hotel (through Hospitality Group Training) are essential for working in the industry.
Now aged 17, Courtney is well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming a chef and she is so pleased she followed a VET pathway.
Taj Morris, Glenfield: Commercial Cookery
Working as a waiter in his nan and pop’s family restaurant gave Taj his first taste of the hospitality industry. With his mother and two uncles all chefs, cooking is in his blood, so it was an easy choice for Taj to do a school-based apprenticeship, taking on a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery at Geraldton’s Central Regional TAFE.
Taj says with a chef qualification he knows he will have many future employment opportunities and feels that the chance to learn practical industry skills while still studying at Nagle Catholic College has prepared him well.
Samantha Winter, Lower Chittering: Government
In Year 10 and unsure of what career pathway to pursue, Samantha heard about the Certificate II in Government through the Public Sector Commission’s school-based traineeship. Seeing it as a great opportunity, Samantha started the traineeship through Aspire Performance Training.
Juggling Year 12 at Bullsbrook College three days a week, a large portion of Samantha’s training is done on the job at Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.
Samantha sees it as a major head start in the workforce, broadening her knowledge, making connections and gaining independence and confidence.
WA Cultural Diversity Training Award 2021 finalists
Marli Nicholls, Carlisle: English as an Additional Language
With knowledge and experience already gained from her home country Brazil, Marli knew that the language barrier was the only thing in her way when relocating to Perth with her Australian husband and their children.
Marli decided to take English classes to start her new life here, enrolling in Certificate IV EAL (English as an Additional Language) at South Metropolitan TAFE, to help her work, connect with people, make new friends and participate in the local community and her children’s school.
Marli says her course has offered her so much more than language skills, gaining self-confidence, time management, teamwork, problem-solving and leadership skills.
Agnes Toluwade, Leeming: Mental Health
Migrating from Nigeria in 2015, the first time Agnes heard about the suicide of a teenager on the news, she was jolted. Determined to take action and contribute to her new home country, Agnes decided to study a Certificate IV in Mental Health and be part of the solution for a mentally healthy Australia.
The course at North Metropolitan TAFE has helped her understand the many issues that impact on mental health and the ways to support people’s recovery.
Agnes has crossed several barriers to pursue her study and hopes that others in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities will see that studying at TAFE offers many opportunities.
WA International Student of the Year finalists
Johanna Faber, Yokine: Travel and Tourism
Johanna has always been passionate about travelling, so when she came to Australia from Germany in 2017 and fell in love with the country, she decided she wanted a career in travel and tourism.
By studying in a different country, Johanna felt it would offer her the opportunity of experiencing travel and tourism first-hand, taking part in a different culture and learning a new language while completing her course – a Diploma of Travel and Tourism Management at North Metropolitan TAFE.
Studying allowed Johanna to gain confidence in communicating in English while learning the many facets of the industry, and she was able to land a job as a travel consultant. While COVID-19 forced the closure of the office, it has not deterred Johanna from working in the industry.
Shalynn Buss, Lathlain: Event Management
Back in Canada in 2014, Shalynn was studying Business Administration to become a lawyer. During her studies she took an introduction to events elective course, which sparked her love of creating something out of nothing that brought people together. Fast forward to July 2020, she finally took the plunge into formalising her passion, starting a Diploma of Event Management through South Metropolitan TAFE.
Experience has shown Shalynn she learns best in vocational settings, continually challenging herself and demonstrating her skills and abilities in real-world scenarios, which lead to winning South Metropolitan TAFE’s International Student of the Year 2020.
Shalynn has been putting her industry knowledge into practice, working for a small wedding and event business, and she hopes to one day own her own wedding planning business.
Aurelie Jammes, Scarborough: Event Management
With a Masters degree in Events, Tourism and Hospitality and experience working around the world, French native Aurelie was employed at a winery in the Swan Valley when she realised she enjoyed in-house events. When COVID-19 hit she did not let losing her job get in the way, taking the opportunity to enhance her knowledge about this part of the industry by starting a Diploma of Event Management at South Metropolitan TAFE.
Aurelie says it was the best decision she ever made, now working as a hotel event operations supervisor. Aurelie is also an ambassador for Go Study, sharing her challenges and achievements as in international student in Australia.
Congratulations ongetting to the finals. Good Luck
Graduates at this level will have broad knowledge and be highly skilled for work in a vocation. These are high level vocational skills. The knowledge can usually be transferred to academic qualifications like a bachelor’s degree.
Apprenticeships and Traineeships
Apprenticeships tend to be in traditional trades like plumbing. Traineeships are in non-trade areas like business and computing. They both involve:
• a combination of work and study.
• finding an employer who is willing for you to go to college 1 day per week, or in blocks of study a couple of times a year
• getting on the job training
• getting paid a training wage while you get your qualification
Australian Apprenticeship Support Network
The Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) is your first point of contact for all queries about apprenticeships.
You cannot start an apprenticeship without an AASN provider.
You can find your closest AASN HERE.
This is entry level training that gives foundation skills. Anyone who graduates from school will have qualifications above Cert I.
Entry level for many vocational occupations. Graduates of Cert II will have a basic understanding of the job.
This is getting into the vocation with much more skill. A licensed electrician has a Cert III and it usually takes 4 years to complete the apprenticeship.
This is getting into management roles. A Cert IV holder will have sound skills in a vocational area AND have enough knowledge of the industry to start exercising sound judgement and solve problems.
A competency is a skill you are required to learn. It is made up of an element of competency and performance criteria.
• Element Identify workplace communication procedures.
• Performance Criteria Identify appropriate lines of communication with supervisors and colleagues
For each unit of competency, you will be assessed and you will need to demonstrate that you can do the skill. To be competent means that you can do the specific skill that is required in the workplace.
Competency A competency is a skill you are required to learn. It is made up of an element of competency and performance criteria.
• Element Identify workplace communication procedures.
• Performance Criteria Identify appropriate lines of communication with supervisors and colleagues.
Diplomas demonstrate high level of specialised vocational knowledge and skills in an industry. Workers may choose to study a diploma in order to gain management skills for a vocation. The high level of competence of diploma holders is often recognised by universities which award credit for study in a degree program. The degree will focus more on theory.
Group Training Organisation
Group Training Organisations (RTO) are employers of apprentices and trainees.
Their role is to coordinate a group of small businesses who can employ an apprentice plumber for example for one day per week. Some big organisations now use an RTO to organize their apprentices for them.
A pre-apprenticeship is a Certificate II program that includes a period of workplace experience coordinated by a Registered Training Provider. The aim is to provide you with industry specific training, combined with adequate time in a real workplace to gain skills, knowledge and behaviours to enable transition into a full apprenticeship.
A pre apprenticeship is often a pathway to an apprenticeship as employers call lecturers and ask them to recommend a good student to employ.
TIPS for getting a pre-apprenticeship:
When applying for a pre-apprenticeship you may need to do an interview.
• Take along photos of your work in a portfolio to impress the interview panel.
• Dress in the sort of clothes they would wear to work, office clothes for an office job, and smart casual for a building trade.
• Sporting and volunteer experience as well as school results and industry experience will help to impress the panel.
Places in pre-apprenticeships are usually limited so you should prepare well for the interview.
Recognition of Prior Learning. You can apply to have skills you learned in the workplace recognised in order to get a qualification.
Registered Training Organisation. A college that is registered by government to deliver registered vocational training.
State Priority Occupation List. This list shows government where there will be skills shortages and therefore where it should give the greatest subsidies for courses. SPOL courses will be less expensive and there will be higher demand for skilled workers.
TAFE colleges are government run organisations.
Technical and Further Education – This often gets used to describe training after school that is not uni. You may also hear the word “tech” used in the same way.
A course is made up of a number of units. A unit is a block of skills or competencies grouped together within a course.
Vocational Education and Training. This is often used by people in the training industry.
Students would probably say they are doing a “TAFE” course rather than doing a “VET” course.
The Careers Expo is great fun. There are happy, smiling people. There are glossy brochures and beautiful displays. People on the stands are friendly and helpful. Of course they are! They are professionals. You aren’t going to buy something from someone who isn’t nice.
Many visitors sign up for thousands of dollars worth of training based on a noisy 5 minute discussion in the crowded Convention Centre.
The Expos are a prime marketing place for all education and training organisation. They spend a lot of money on their displays and get their best, nicest, most professional sales people to tell you about their courses.
Don’t sign ANYTHING.
Know that the biggest displays, those closest to the entry doors, and the most professional looking displays have spent the most money on trying to sell to you.
Some are pure information, like the WA Police Force, Construction Training Fund, WA Department of Education – Teaching and Defence Force Recruiting. Others have courses they would like you to know about.
If you are interested in having a Gap Year check out which exhibitors will have information that will interest you. If you are interested in Trades, check out the ones that you must visit.
Make the decision about which ones to visit before you get sucked in by the bright lights and music!
Figure out three questions to ask exhibitor one before you meet with them. Make sure one of your questions is about price if they are selling courses.
Don’t be surprised if they don’t want to answer you about. You may get answers like “It depends on…… ” and “We have a great loan to cover your costs”.
You could also ask….
How much will it cost?
How long the course will take.
What are the entry requirements.
For contacts with current students.
What successful students are like.
Do they have a mid year intake.
If they have links with industry that provides work placement.
How long it takes their graduates to get a job in the industry.
What sort of work graduates get.
STEP 5 – FINAL STEP
Go to see your career advisor to discuss what you have discovered.
If you don’t know a career advisor go to a Jobs and Skills Centre and talk with them. Its FREE. The Jobs and Skills Centres are based in TAFE colleges but they also have information about unis.
Go back to the places you are interested in. You will end up paying a lot for your course. This is probably the first BIG thing you have ever bought. Make sure you are buying something that is perfect for you.
Thanks for the latest newsletter Bev, and for all the information and inspiring ideas over the year. Since I have become a part of the (In Focus Careers) network I have grown in knowledge and motivation to really make a difference for our young people.
The recommendations are for cost shifting to a user pays system which will INTRODUCE obstacles to lifelong learning.
As well as shifting from a government pays system, they move away from supporting TAFE delivery again.
You don’t need to have a long memory to recall how this has worked in the past with cheap to deliver courses being taken up by private training providers while expensive, workshop intensive courses were starved for funds in the TAFE system.
The long term impact on skills delivered via the VET system has resulted in a skills shortage now that we can’t import skilled tradies and technical experts from overseas.
The National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development is the framework for intergovernmental collaboration in VET. After ignoring VET for years the government thought it was time to check out what is happening. It asked the Productivity Commission to do a review.
• The National Agreement for Skills and Workforce Development is overdue for replacement.– Governments have stepped back from some of its policy aspirations. Targets have not been met and the performance framework has not held governments to account.
The Framework hasn’t been actively managed since the Coalition came to power in 2013 when it no longer saw VET as a priority.Little wonder the Framework overdue for replacement.
• A new intergovernmental agreement should be principles-based, modular (to retain flexibility and currency) and reviewed every five years. – Australian Government funding should remain largely untied for base funding but subject to much greater accountability and transparency.
· contestability in VET markets, with a provider-agnostic approach to training deliveryThis is good new for private RTOs. Check P11 for the Principles which give lots of emphasis to measurement and reporting and not much about how to support quality VET.
• Governments should continue to support the development of a more efficient and competitive VET market through informed user choice and a focus on quality.– Students need better curated information on career opportunities, the performance of training providers, course quality and prices. – Efforts to improve quality should be ramped up through faster changes to training packages, developing an evidence-based VET workforce strategy, and a phased introduction of independent assessment.
“Informed user choice” could be a great thing given the lack of information around VET in WA. “Faster changes to training packages” is good. Industry complains about skills training not keeping up with industry.“Independent assessment” should hold to account some of the shonky providers.
• There is a manifest capacity for governments to achieve a better return on the $6.4 billion spent on VET by:– using the efficient costs and loadings currently being estimated by the National Skills Commission as a common basis for setting and simplifying course subsidies– introducing modest minimum student fees for Certificate III and above courses with exemptions for disadvantaged students– applying more contestability and transparency to public funding of TAFEs and enhancing the operational autonomy of public providers – enabling State and Territory funding to follow students enrolled with an interstate provider.
More collaboration between parties that smooth the transition from school could deliver a more efficient outcome. See Cyril Jackson’s Partnership Model.– I like WA’s course subsidy model that favors training for industries where there are skills shortages. – No. No. No. If we want an economy that keeps up with changes in industry, we must ditch this user pays model. – Contestability of public funding of TAFEs led to the demise of expensive, high tech, “state of the art” training. The priority became making money rather than investing in emerging technologies. – I don’t know how happy WA taxpayers will be with this.
• To scale up workforce skills, governments should expand VET Student Loans (VSL) to more Diploma and above courses and to most Certificate IV courses. – Loan caps should better reflect course costs, and loan fees should be paid by all students.
– Charging people who are trying to keep up with high end and rapid changes in their industry is an interesting concept in a smart economy!! – I think this policy is the wrong way around. To incentivize workers gaining high level skills in a changing economy, Certificate IV and Diploma courses should be heavily subsidized.
• Reforms to the trade apprenticeship system are best focused on:– improving completion rates by better screening and matching of prospective apprentices– making pathways more flexible and providing the same subsidy for non-apprenticeship pathways as for traditional pathways– adjusting the timing of employer incentives to provide more support when the risk of cancellation is greatest
• There should be a coordinated national strategy to improve school education, ‘second-chance’ learning in the VET sector and other adult education services to reduce the large number of Australians with low language, literacy, numeracy and digital literacy skills.
At last, something positive!
• To address some of the key obstacles to lifelong learning, this report proposes improvements in foundation skills, better credit pathways, an expansion of VSL and a trial of a new financing instrument for mature-age Australians reskilling and upskilling
I don’t think this strategy will achieve this aim.
The range of careers through TAFE is too great to mention. A VET course can get you into the high demand cyber security industry or into a specialist health career without getting a degree. There are also apprenticeships and traineeships that you expect to get from TAFE. See:
This could be your big chance to blitz an apprenticeship interview.
Skilled migration has stopped,
Apprenticeship subsidies are high,
Building grants are generous, causing a building boom
Employers are looking for enthusiastic people to take up their jobs.
Therefore, your chances of winning a job are high.
Make sure you don’t miss this window by blowing your interview.
Do you shake hands now?
WA has so little spread of COVID that you can shake hands if you get to the interview stage. However, carry hand sanitizer and use it straight after the interview. Also, make sure you don’t have a pathetic handshake! A wimpy handshake is pathetic but a bone crusher is weird.
Have a firm handshake. Apart from having a decent handshake look at the person, say “Hi. Good to meet you” and smile.
It gives tips on how to give your potential employers a good gut feeling.
If you have a good written application the employer will start off with the feeling that you are going to be good. School leavers can get tips on how to write a good resume and cover letter HERE at Youth Central.
Dress like the employer
Neat casual will probably suit most apprenticeships. Don’t wear a suit. Your employer won’t be wearing a suit.
Finding an apprenticeship
An apprenticeship is a job. You can find apprenticeships through family and friends, on sites like Seek.com.au, through a career advisor, a Jobs and Skills Centre or via a pre-apprenticeship.
Getting a job as a trades assistant can help you to get a foot in the door.
Making a good impression
Employers like applicants who have done volunteer or part time work as it showed their enthusiasm and meant they would have some work ready skills.
Work experience in the field looks good on a resume.
Good school results, particularly in metals, maths and engineering are indicators that you might be a good apprentice in a building trade. Taking a folio of photos of projects you have worked on is a good idea.
Get your driver’s license
A driver’s license is important for most apprenticeships. Start working towards your driver’s license as soon as you turn 16.
At the end of the interview say you really want this apprenticeship.
(Know what to say if they ask why!)
Women in Trades
Only 1-3% of tradespeople are women. Opportunities to earn the big money during mining and building booms are largely given to men while women are directed into low paid caring jobs in the aged, child and disability sectors.
If you go to a school in Western Australia it probably subscribes to the In Focus Careers Newsletter. You can check, and get a complimentary copy here.
I have found your material invaluable. The information you have put together is thorough – a one-stop-shop in a sea of information that is out there. I have utilised this information on a regular basis with others throughout the school.
(South Metropolitan Government High School.)
My Commitment to West Australian Careers Education
For In Focus Careers to be the conduit to Insanely Great Careers Information for West Australian careers teachers and students I undertake to:
Write 10 insanely great issues of In Focus Careers newsletter each year that focus on the needs of West Australian students and careers teachers.
Search for local, national and international information that could impact on the careers of West Australian students.
Connect you with insanely great careers teachers across the In Focus Careers network.
Listen to and support West Australian careers teachers
If you want to go into a building trade the job prospects are great, the pay is a whole lot better than aged or child care and you have opportunities to go into design, running your own business or project management.
If you would like working in building trades start looking at the big companies first. They are the ones with systems in place that reduce sexism and they try to make workplaces fair.
Students who hate school might want to try their luck at getting an apprenticeship while the employer subsidies are available and the building industry is booming.
You are allowed to leave school early if you go into a job or into training. An apprenticeship is a job WITH training.
Become part of the Network of West Australian professionals who are working to deliver the best career guidance in the world.
Subscribe to the Infocus Careers Newsletter as your first step towards linking to a world of insanely great career ideas.
Infocus Careers is an independent organisation which is solely supported by insanely great subscribers who share information with me, support each other and help me to pay my bills.
I can talk about careers under water so if you would like to chat about how I can help you to improve your career or the services you deliver, give me a ring on 0434056412 or email me at Bev.J@infocus-careers.com.au
If you subscribe to the In Focus Careers Newsletter you know how much work I put into it. I am sometimes surprised when I meet someone at a workshop or conference who mentions something I have written.
I feel like I am working away in my cave and no one is listening.
Rebecca Herbertson, WA President of the CDAA wanted me to go for one of the National Careers Partnership Grants to have my newsletter developed for each State/Territory collating information just for that jurisdiction.
You need to be a little obsessed, a lot passionate and a tad parochial if you want to do what I do, so I don’t think it is a goer nationally.
Rebecca wrote this testimonial in support of her idea … and I am so glad she did.
The In Focus Monthly Careers Newsletter is a curated collection of current scholarships, career programs, important dates, Career Expos and events, career research and resources.
While aimed at the secondary school practitioner in WA, I find it incredibly valuable as a Careers Educator in the VET sector.
Having a trusted source of timely information means that parents, students, job seekers and career development practitioners have an up to date reliable resource telling what is out there, all in the one place. Prior to subscribing to the In Focus Careers Newsletter I would only discover resources or opportunities by accident, or through time consuming research.
Having this resource at a National level could address one of the biggest issues we have in Careers in Australia; recreating the wheel over and over because we don’t know about something that already exists.
There is currently no universally recognised system for distributing careers information or for advertising programs and events, which reaches everyone who would be genuinely interested and find it helpful.
The reinvention of the wheel can be seen in the plethora of websites which contain the same or similar information all funded by Governments, such as Jobs and Skills WA, MyFuture, Job Outlook and Job Jumpstart.
A National Resource, with a similar format of the In Focus Careers Newsletter, which was published monthly, and distributed through all schools, job actives, DES providers, TAFEs and organisations like The Smith Family across the nation, would be amazing.
Of course such a resource would need a team headed by someone like Bev Johnson, curator of the In Focus Career Resources Hub, who has the careers expertise, knowledge and energy required to put together such a well-researched publication. Without Bev’s passion, networking, and career expertise, such a resource would be likely to miss the mark.
WA Divisional President – Career Development Association of Australia
Director of Training and Compliance for the Betterlink Group – a private RTO specialising in Careers and Employment Training to the sector.
Apprenticeships are the main things we know that TAFE delivers.
If you want to be a mechanic or electrician, you get an apprenticeship and go to TAFE.
But what about computer technicians, house designers, tourism operators, agriculture and aged care workers?
There are hundreds of jobs you can get with a TAFE qualification.
Do I need a qualification AT ALL after leaving school??
Yes….. The bottom line is that you NEED a post school qualification if you are not to take a pathway to poverty.
Employers pay for knowledge and skills, but:
people who have a Certificate III or IV have about the same unemployment rate as people who have a degree.
people who have a TAFE qualification earn about the same as people who get degrees.
(Statistics from Ivan Neville, Labour Market Research and Analysis, Dept of Labour)
Spot the Difference
Guess which Fashion Course is run at Curtin and which one is run at TAFE?
You’ll focus on the relationship between garment and body, using a theoretical and contextual framework for understanding the cultural significance and practice of fashion design and global trends.
You’ll learn the principles of design and creative studio practice; and develop skills in fabric manipulation and construction, design, pattern-making, styling and fashion illustration.
Study the enterprise skills to work in fashion business. Computer Aided Design (CAD) patternmaking, grading and illustration facilities, world class fashion design and textile forecasting resources, over 80 specialised industrial sewing machines, and a staff of fashion industry specialists, are key to our successes with our industry relevant courses, graduate employment outcomes and recognition in the sector.
It is easy to see that the one that mentions theory is a uni course while the one that focuses on CAD and pattern making has a more practical focus.
Length of Course
An qualified electrician (Certificate III) takes about 4 years to get their license.
A barista takes about a week to get a piece of paper saying they have a set of skills (skills set) rather than a full qualification as a chef. A course on using farm chemicals safely may take a day and you don’t need to be a qualified farmer to do the course.
The focus of the courses is always on providing the skills that industry needs for a particular purpose.
Lots of TAFE courses give you credits at university. A Diploma of Work Health and Safety takes a year to complete and you will get between 6 months and a year’s credit for the Diploma if you do a degree.
A Bachelor of Science (Health, Safety and Environment) takes three years.
Cost per Course
The maximum fee for the one year Diploma of Work Health and Safety is $2,848.50 which included tuition and resources that you may have to purchase.
If you do a course where there is a West Australian skills shortage, like cyber security, aged care or agriculture , your fees will be heavily subsidised by the State government.
The tuition fee for the three year Bachelor of Science degree is $8,460 (Roughly $1000/unit)
There are many scholarships available for university students.
TAFE is More Like School
When you go to TAFE you will probably go into a class of less than 25 students, a lot like a schoolroom or workshop designed to replicate what you will find in the workplace. Some TAFE courses are done entirely in the workplace. Some courses also have a significant theory component – Occupational health and safety, for example, has a lot of chemistry in the course. Veterinary nursing includes anatomy and physiology.
Uni has more Theory
Lectures are a routine teaching methodology at university. You may be in a group of 400 students in a lecture theatre as you are given information by an expert in their field. You are required to do reading on the subject BEFORE you go into the lecture. The subject of your lecture will be followed up by a tutorial or practical workshop on the subject where you can ask questions and gain more in depth knowledge.