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Items filtered by date: June 2016

Two apprentices at Mercedes-Benz Melbourne headed off on an International Scholarship to extend their training in the USA this week. Mattin Nguyen, 23, and John Galvez, 22, are each working toward a Certificate III in light vehicle mechanical technology. They arrived in California where they were met by Garth Blumenthal, General Manager Fletcher Jones Mercedes-Benz.

The scholarship, presented by the Honourable Steve Herbert, Victoria’s Minister for Training and Skills, was awarded through the Skilling Australia Foundation and made possible with the support of the Perpetual Foundation of the Kingston Sedgfield Charitable Trust.

“For both scholarship recipients – this is will be a life-changing experience that will expose them to skills and work practices on another continent” said Skilling Australia Chairman Frederick Maddern OBE.

After finishing high school, John Galvez decided that earning a trade qualification was the best way to secure his future. He had always been interested in automobiles, and enjoyed helping friends and family with car repair and diagnostic work.

“After I finished school I was job-hunting for around a year. It was kind of hard finding an apprenticeship due to not many people hiring apprentices at that time,” John said.

Once he landed the apprenticeship with Mercedes-Benz Melbourne, John began learning new skills at a rapid pace. “I had a whole new list of responsibilities that I had not had before,” he recalled. “When I first started my apprenticeship I was nervous, but the staff members made it easy to adapt to a new environment.”

Now in his fourth year of the apprenticeship, John has found that one of the most important tools for success is “to be hard-working, and to always want to be better.”

Mattin is a third-year apprentice who grew up working on cars with his brother. He has always had a passion for automotive mechanics and knew he wanted to pursue a career in the trade.

“I didn’t have the right resources and there was a lack of information, until I found WPC, who really helped me find my pathway,” Mattin said. “They helped me out with great support and insightful advice about different career aspects.”

Mattin feels confident about his career going forward. “I feel like I’m heading towards the right career pathway,” he said, adding, “I still feel as though there is more room to grow and achieve more goals after completing my apprenticeship.” For others considering apprenticeship or starting out in their careers, John and Mattin have similar advice. The most important thing, according to John, is to “start—and finish—training in a trade or career that you enjoy doing.”

For more information on Scholarship opportunities, or to support Skilling Australia contact the foundations Manager, Julia Pannan.

T: 1300 096 120
E: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Ashlee who works at Wight’s Nissan at Traralgon in Victoria has shown categorically, that there is a very valued place in the automotive industry for female apprentices and technicians.

Ashlee currently attends her NISSMAP block release training at the state of the art facility in Melbourne’s Docklands, known as the Automotive Centre of Excellence. Her factory trained NISSMAP teacher George Orfanidis was delighted with Ashlee’s award saying that “she really goes above and beyond both at work and at TAFE”.

Shortly after the announcement was made public, Anthony (Fred) Frederiksen and Steve Dunn from Nissan Motor Company headed down to Wight’s Nissan to personally congratulate Ashlee. Fred and Steve spent some time with her Service Manager and Workshop Foreman who both commented on how well Ashlee is going, and that she has a bright future ahead. Ashlee then joined Fred and Steve for lunch, as we spoke about Nissan, NISSMAP and her future career. Ashlee is aiming at becoming a Nissan Master Technician which is fantastic to hear.

Originally published by: Nissan Learning Academy, April 2016.

Want to to find out about how you can become involved in NISSMAP as an apprentice or an employer? Call Mark on 1300 656 461.

by Robert Ballantyne  |  08 Jun 2016  |  The Educator

Preparing young people for the workforce they’ll enter after school is crucial, but are enough schools succeeding in this area?

A recent survey of Australian counsellors by a major career planning provider, Hobsons, found that only 5% of Year 7 students are receiving exposure to tertiary education and careers, where as in other countries education programs are being developed for this age group.

David Saville, Hobson’s vice-president of advertising and admissions solutions, told The Educator how the company’s K-12 college and career readiness platform, Naviance, is improving students’ engagement in their learning.

“We believe it is important that schools devote more attention to career and tertiary study readiness helping students understand themselves and aspire to careers that match their strengths,” Saville said.

“Attention should also be devoted to helping students set goals, understand the connection between school and these aspirations, and finally select the best next step after leaving secondary school.

Saville added that Naviance was built around this very process.

Naviance is designed to connect students, and their parents, to their school’s careers advisor/teachers who help that student throughout the process of understanding themselves, then selecting careers of interest and finally a tertiary study destination, such as TAFE, university or a private provider.

“We are seeing improved post-secondary participation upwards of 60% in low socio-economic areas, and we know that one way to help address this is to bring careers education to younger students,” he said.

“If we were to choose one thing, bringing this awareness to younger students would surely make a difference.”

Schools urged to reflect on their curriculum

Skilling Australia CEO, Nicholas Wyman, told The Educator that there are too many children not reaching Year 12, and even when they are, they’re not doing very well academically.

“We need to ask ‘whose fault is this?’ Schools need to look at the way deliver their curriculum and ask whether it is engaging and suitable for all students,” he said.

In March, Wyman travelled to the US where he visited six schools in four states. He said many employers in Australia and the US share a common problem: they can’t find people with the skills they need to fill modern, technical jobs.

“These are jobs that require academic and technical training in specific fields – such as healthcare, IT and even finance – but also require workplace skills such as problem-solving, creativity, commitment, reliability, communication and teamwork.”

Not just another ‘self-guided careers resource

There are currently close to 200 schools using Hobson’s services throughout Australia, a number Saville expects to grow thanks to its

“Naviance is unique in the Australian marketplace, and perhaps globally, in that it seeks to be more than just another self-guided careers/education book or website,” he explained.

“While we think these are valuable resources and will continue to have a place in the market, we feel there is something missing in K-12 schools to help drive the careers education process.”

Saville added that Naviance can become a platform which is used to integrate careers outcomes into the school’s curriculum and provides a delivery engine for that content.

“We know that integrating careers into the curriculum is the best outcome for students, but this is often not done due to the lack of a platform to centre this activity around,” he said.

“Naviance fills this need while also providing rich content alongside its career and education development tools.”


|  Drive ABC 774 - 7 June 2016  | 

Rafael Epstein hosts Drive on ABC 774 In Melbourne and discusses Apprenticeships and traditional and emerging job pathways with Nicholas Wyman, WPC CEO and Apprenticeship expert.

Listen on Soundcloud:

P-TECH announced in South Australia

Tuesday, 07 June 2016 12:41 Published in Latest WPC Group News

Thursday 2 June 2016:

Skilling Australia Foundation welcomes todays news of the Turnbull Government’s plans to extend the P-TECH (Pathways in Technology) program to South Australia - announcing a new pilot at St Patricks Technical College in Edinburgh.

The Defence Teaming Centre, an association with 24 member companies, will assist interested employers in their network to join a consortia that includes local employer, Century Engineering.

The Defence Teaming Centre has both small and large member organisations in its network. ‘This is a great way for SME’s to also join the P-TECH Pathways in Technology STEM initiative” said Skilling Australia Chairman Fred Maddern.

Mr Maddern added “the P-TECH model is particularly effective in areas of high youth unemployment and will present a wonderful opportunity for young people with high aspirations looking to acquire practical real world skills” Mr Maddern was referring to recent news of dozens of students graduating early from the first P-TECH school in Brooklyn, NY. Australia’s P-TECH style model – has taken core elements of the US model – and adapted them for Australian conditions. The first 2 Australian pilots in Geelong and Ballarat commenced in January 2016 and have attracted strong interest from local students wanting to explore meaningful and relevant career pathways.

“Australia is at a pivotal crossroads where equipping young people with 21st Century Skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) is a now a national imperative. It makes sense to expand a model that has received broad interest from educators, communities and most importantly students in the initial pilot sites” said Skilling Australia Chairman, Mr Frederick Maddern OBE.

In order to have young people entering the labour market with the capability to meet the growing demand for skilled workers, we need to increase the number of students undertaking STEM studies in senior secondary school, and then in post-secondary education and training. “Globalisation, economic reforms and technological change are re shaping the nature of work and the types of jobs that will be available in the future – and STEM skills will play a major role” Mr Maddern said.

In the 2 pilot schools already up and running, students are being provided opportunities to engage with the world of work and better understand the relevance of their learning.

The P-TECH model was designed around collaboration and partnerships to expand opportunities for young people. “Existing partnerships in Geelong and Ballarat between schools and industry are already delivering learning experiences that would not be possible if schools, or industry, acted in isolation – and this improves a young person’s prospects of employment” Mr Maddern said

The first 2 Australian pilots in Geelong and Ballarat commenced in January 2016 and have attracted strong interest from local students wanting to explore meaningful and relevant career pathways. These initial sites are supported by employer partners in Geelong including Barwon Health, GMHBA, Bendigo Bank, Opteon and Tribal Campus. IBM, who co founded the first US P-Tech school in 2011 is also the industry partner in Ballarat, Victoria.