2012 Australian WELL Practitioners’ Conference

Doing WELL in VET. WELL in the context of workforce development

8–9 November 2012, Brisbane Convention Centre, Queensland

The sixth National Annual Conference for the Australian WELL Practitioners’ Network was held on 8–9 November 2012 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC), Queensland.

The Conference was an opportunity for WELL and VET practitioners, policymakers, employers and industry to come together and focus on the role of the WELL Program in supporting enterprise workforce development. The conference encouraged enhanced relationships, allowing delegates to share information in current and best practice, develop dialogues and networks, and address professional development needs specific to WELL delivery.

This Conference was supported through a National WELL Strategic Project under the Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) Program by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.

 

Plenary Speakers

The Hon. Sharon Bird MP

Parliamentary Secretary for Higher Education and Skills

Opening Address – Day 2

Sharon Bird MP was elected as the Federal Member for Cunningham (New South Wales) in October 2004, November 2007 and August 2010.

On 5 March 2012 Ms Bird was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Higher Education and Skills.

Ms Bird Chaired the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications from 2010 until 2012.  She was also a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties and the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Procedure from 2010 until 2012.

Ms Bird served on the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Vocational Training from 2004 until 2010 and Chaired this Committee from 2008 until 2010.

She has also served on the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment and Workplace Relations (2008–2010), the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Transport and Regional Services (2004–2007) and served on the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, Finance and Public Administration in 2007 as Deputy Chair.

Ms Bird served as a Councillor on Shellharbour Council from 1991 to 1995.  Her occupations prior to entering Parliament are as follows:

  • BA (Syd), Dip Ed (Wollongong)
  • High School Teacher (1985–1989)
  • TAFE Teacher (1989–1995)
  • Electorate Officer to Colin Hollis MP, Member for Throsby (1995–1997)
  • Senior Project Officer, Department of Juvenile Justice (1997–2004)


Dr Margaret Cameron

Manager, Australian Government Skills Connect

Keynote Address – WELL and Skills Connect: Showcasing Barangaroo; a showcase study of a Successful Skills Connect Project

See the presentation

Dr Margaret Cameron is Manager of Australian Government Skills Connect. Margaret has considerable experience in the Australian Public Service across a broad range of areas including, vocational education and training, employment and schools. Her strengths include program management and policy development, research and analysis, evaluation of government programs, and managing complex projects.

Margaret heads up the Australian Government Skills Connect team and is enjoying seeing the collaborative spirit demonstrated by so many in the network.

 

Susan Devereux

General Manager, Foundation Skills Branch, DIISRTE

Welcome to Conference

See the presentation

Susan Devereux is the General Manager of the Foundation Skills Branch, in the Tertiary Quality and Participation Division.  This involves managing a range of policy and program responses aimed at improving the foundation skills of adult Australians, including a suite of programs tailored to the needs of job seekers, employers and their employees and practitioner workforces.  These programs are:

  • Australian Apprenticeships Access Program
  • Language Literacy and Numeracy Program (LLNP)
  • WELL Program
  • Language Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) Practitioner Scholarships Program

The Branch is also responsible for the National Foundation Skills Strategy for Adults.

Susan commenced her APS career in 1987 joining the then Department of Industrial Relations as a Graduate Economist.  She has worked in various departments including the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and various iterations of the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and the Department of Family and Community Services. During this time Susan has worked on a range of social policy issues with a particular focus on labour market and employment policy and programs.  She has been an SES officer since 2005.

Susan received a bachelor degree from the University of Queensland in 1986 and an ANZSOG Executive Masters of Public Administration from the Australian National University in 2005.

 

Geoff Gwilym

CEO, Auto Skills Australia Ltd

Keynote Address – Building sustainable relationships with industry

See the presentation

Geoff Gwilym is Director of Auto Skills Australia Ltd. While initially gaining his industry qualifications in the UK, Geoff went on to become a qualified teacher and achieved postgraduate qualifications in education leadership. Prior to joining Auto Skills Australia in April 2011 Geoff enjoyed a 25 year career in the Australian Vocational Training Sector including 12 years in the Victorian TAFE system leading to roles in curriculum and project management. After leaving TAFE in 1997 Geoff went on to manage the University of Melbourne TAFE Collaboration Project, two large RTOs and was, prior to his current role, Chief Executive Officer of the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council.

Geoff brings with him a wealth of experience across multiple VET functions and maintains that striving for excellence is what it is all about.

 

Mark Pincott

ISC WELL Broker

Keynote Address – WELL and Skills Connect: Showcasing Barangaroo; a showcase study of Successful Skills Connect Project

See the presentation

Mark Pincott is WELL Broker at the Construction and Property Services Industry Skills Council and is responsible for the implementation of the Workplace English Language and Literacy program across the Construction and Property Services sectors. Mark has managed RTOs in the Community Services area for the past 6 years and he has a background in the Finance and Banking sector at senior levels.

Mark holds a Diploma in Business Management, Cert IV Workplace Training and Assessment and Cert Dip Adult LLN.

 

Linda White

Manager, Industry Skills Branch, DIISRTE

Keynote Address – WELL in the context of workforce development

See the presentation

Linda White is General Manager of Industry Skills Branch in the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.  Working in the Skills Connect area of the department, the Branch is responsible for policy advice on skilling the Australian workforce to meet industry needs and managing a range of programs aimed at training new workers and up-skilling existing workers to increase productivity and participation such as the National Workforce Development Fund and Investing in Experience – Skills Recognition and Training.  The Branch has strong relationships with industry bodies including managing the Industry Skills Councils who develop the industry competency standards that underpin the nationally endorsed qualifications delivered in the Australian training system. Linda has worked in the employment and vocational education and training area of the portfolio for more than 20 years and been responsible for introducing a number of major industry skills initiatives.

 

Louise Wignall

Thinking strategically about WELL – maximising engagement & participation

Louise Wignall has worked in the education sector for the past 25 years as a teacher, resource developer, policy advisor and quality assurance manager with a specialisation in adult literacy and learning in vocational education and training (VET), the community and the workplace. She is presently involved in a number of national and State-based LLN initiatives at both policy and implementation level. Her key interest is in ‘joining the dots’ between policy and practice and highlighting ‘what works’.

 

Panel Speakers

Steve Dixon

National Training Manager of Colter Holt Harvey

Steve has worked in a variety of training in industry and VET, his previous roles include T&D Consulting business in NZ healthcare, Sydney Manufacturing and various financial organisations. He started his own RTO, was a TAFE teacher and held various Management and Project Management positions in a variety of industries. Steve is always interested and passionate about learning and performance in the workplace, continuous improvement of both process and people and intentional development of positive workplace cultures.

 

Carolyn McColl

General Manager Residential Services, Villa Maria

Carolyn holds a Master of Aged Services Management, Graduate Diploma of Health Administration, Graduate Diploma Health Education and is a Registered Nurse and Registered Midwife.

Working for a not for profit values based organisation as the General Manager Residential Services she is responsible for the management and oversight of four residential aged care facilities.

Carolyn has over 20 years management experience in aged care and has a passion for quality service delivery with a focus on improving aged care practice and outcomes.

She has brought about operational development, organisational change and service improvements through specialised areas such as palliative care and dementia care, introducing Advanced Care Planning and End of Life Care Pathways into the service model.

Throughout her career Carolyn has advocated for the development and professional growth of staff as means of addressing ongoing and future workforce issues in aged care. 

 

John Mills

National Learning and Development Manager, Qantas Q Catering

John is an accomplished and integrity driven professional, offering over twenty years of leadership, management and professional experience on local and international levels with a strong concentration and success as Manager, Facilitator, Communicator, Teacher, Mentor and Advisor.

John’s role as National Learning and Development Manager, Qantas Q Catering, capitalises on his strong learning and development acumen and natural leadership. The role provides him the opportunity to mentor individuals as well as steer teams and companies in new directions to achieve positive outcomes.

John holds a Bachelor and Masters in Education and has a background in teaching and facilitating including English as A Second Language. His professional experience includes a variety of roles encompassing classroom teaching, Deputy Head, Cabin Crew Manager, Base Operational Manager, Customer Service Manager, Manager Cabin Services, Manager Learning and Development and Communications and National Manager Learning and Development, within Australia and Asia.

Key Skills:

  • People Management/HR
  • Project Management and Design
  • People Development
  • Change Management
  • High Level Facilitation Skills
  • Learning and Development


Workshops

Natural born fighter

Cathrena McRae, Director, The Learning Workshop

Natural born fighter – presentation

The Australian Government has identified that the development and support of Indigenous small business and entrepreneurship has the potential to be a contributor to its ‘Closing the Gap Strategy’. Low levels of business and financial literacy (particularly in rural and remote Australia) are a significant barrier for Indigenous people wanting to start a small business and impact on the efficacy and outcomes of other related government initiatives and strategies.

In 2011 the WELL Program acknowledged this barrier and funded a national literacy and numeracy resource to assist Indigenous people establish a small business. The resource developed an interactive film/animation/multimedia resource to support the literacy and numeracy skills of Indigenous people in regional and remote Australia wanting to establish a small business.

Natural Born Fighter (the resource) developed a number of specific strategies to meet the literacy, language and numeracy needs of these learners including:

  • The use of  a strong narrative – a  documentary that introduces and follows an Indigenous man (Brian) as he establishes his boxing /fitness business, Natural Born Fighters
  • The development of a virtual community that uses 3D animation of Brian and his Indigenous mentor (Elva) yarning about the specific  personal, family and cultural issues Indigenous people face when starting a small business
  • Interactive literacy, language and numeracy activities that support the building of the knowledge and skills Indigenous people need to establish a small business.

The presentation outlined the policy context, theoretical framework, development methodology, and structure of the resource, and presented key excerpts from the film, 3D animation and literacy and numeracy activities. Workshop participants were then provided with the opportunity to explore the Natural Born Fighter resource on laptops.

Cathrena McRae is a Director of The Learning Workshop, a private registered training organisation based in Cairns. She has an established career in public and private training sectors across Australia, drawing on a broad spectrum of experience in delivering training, research and resource projects to communities and workplaces. The Learning Workshop has developed particular expertise in delivery of training and resource development projects to Indigenous workplaces and communities in regional and remote Queensland.

 

Jimmy Jack Don’t Be Slack

Sue Muller, Director, The Learning Workshop

Jimmy Jack First Aid – presentation

The Workplace English Language and Literacy Program funded the development of a resource to assist Indigenous employees to complete First Aid competencies in a range of industries.

First Aid training utilises standard texts such as, Australian Red Cross, First Aid: Responding to Emergencies which are characterised by dense text, complex format and unfamiliar medical terminology.  The illustrations and language often depict situations, characters and contexts unfamiliar to the target group.

The Learning Workshop is developing an interactive DVD that uses film, graphics, 3-D modelling, interactive practice, and humour to introduce the language and communication of the First Aid environment.

The workshop introduced participants to components of the resource and included opportunity to provide feedback.

Sue Muller is a Director of The Learning Workshop, a private registered training organisation based in Cairns. She has an established career in public and private training sectors across Australia, drawing on a broad spectrum of experience in delivering training, research and resource projects to communities and workplaces. Sue has developed particular expertise in delivery of WELL programs, LLN training and resource development projects to Indigenous workplaces and communities in regional and remote Queensland.

 

Building employer commitment to workplace literacy programs

Michael Taylor, National Policy and Projects Manager, Australian Industry Group

Building employer commitment to workplace literacy programs – presentation

The purpose of this project is for the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) to determine the extent of Return on Investment (ROI) outcomes for employers who invest in Language Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) Programs in the workplace. An ROI instrument will be developed and trialled through selected Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) projects. It is anticipated that the ROI instrument will measure the effectiveness and provide evidence of the benefits of LLN training which will ultimately assist with employer uptake of and investment in LLN training.

The project builds on recommendations from the Ai Group National Workforce Literacy Project Final Report, which demonstrated the importance of employer engagement in the provision of English language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) training in the workplace.

A further dimension of this project will be the development of an Employers Guide to the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) in response to the evident interest demonstrated by employers in the Ai Group’s previous project. This was also a recommendation of the Ai Group National Workforce Literacy Project Final Report.

There are essentially four main stages to the project:

  1. Develop a Return on Investment Instrument (ROI) to be used in selected WELL programs from July – November 2012.
  2. Implement the ROI instrument in selected WELL programs in consultation with participating employers and utilise the ACSF as a benchmark of outcomes for participants from November 2012 to November 2013.
  3. Develop an Employers Guide to the ACSF in consultation with employers. A draft is to be completed by the end of 2012 and consultation to occur throughout 2013.
  4. Evaluate and report on the project outcomes with particular focus on ROI measures from November 2013 to July 2014. This will include a period of result dissemination.

Michael Taylor is the National Policy and Projects Manager within the Australian Industry Group and responsible for the management of a number of education and training projects. These currently include Building Employer Commitment to Workplace Literacy, the Corporate Champions project, a Manufacturing e-learning project. Former projects include Skilling the Existing Workforce Project, the National Workforce Literacy Project and World Class Skills for World Class Industries.

Michael also contributes to policy formulation across a wide spectrum of education and training which includes apprenticeships, workplace development and skills surveys. Michael is also a member of a number of committees including the Foundation Skills Training Package Reference Group.

Michael has also been the director of his own consulting company, Manager of Youth Transitions within the Australian National Training Authority and state-wide Manager of Vocational Education in Schools with the Victorian Department of Education and Training.

 

On taking foundation skills to small and medium sized enterprises

Rhonda Pelletier, Project Officer, Workplace Communications Unit, Chisholm Institute of TAFE

What does it mean to be a provider in the current policy environment when you are trying to invite small and medium sized enterprises into language, literacy and numeracy training? This presentation reviewed some of the learning from Chisholm’s WELL Strategic Project, ENTWINED, which completed its first year in 2012.

This presentation looked at what we learnt in the first year, in the funding and policy environment of 2011/12 and pondered what might be possible in light of the recently released National Foundation Skills Strategy for Adults.

Does this policy offer providers more opportunities to ‘reach’ SMEs and for SMEs to afford the skill development supported by the policy? How can LLN delivery via WELL assist SMEs with their business goals – some don’t want to grow, some want to grow but structural factors hold them back. If, as the research suggests, LLN training is a positive for business, how can providers make this available for SMEs?

Rhonda Pelletier, Project Officer, Workplace Communications Unit, Chisholm Institute of TAFE. Over the last 13 years Rhonda has worked in a variety of roles in WELL training – WELL practitioner, co-ordinator, manager, and interested observer.

Recent activity in WELL has included: completion of a WELL strategic project in 2011 – ‘Not Your Usual Practice: Educational Voices in the Workplace’; WELL practitioner – Swinburne; Project Officer – Chisholm. Rhonda has an abiding interest in the effective marriage of theory and practice that is applied learning.

 

Queensland VET Development Centre’s initiatives for foundation skills in VET

Les Retford, Senior Program Manager, Innovation for Learning,Queensland VET Development Centre

The Queensland VET Development Centre provides continuing professional learning for the VET sector. We have highlighted a number of key areas for CPL in our VET Strategy 2012–2015, including foundation skills. This is in response to needs identified in two symposia conducted in 2010 and 2011.  We have started to address these by conducting workshops, primarily focused on the ACSF, but also touching on the range of government and industry initiatives (NFSS, FSTP, Streamlining TPs, LLN qualifications/units for VET practitioners, Inclusive Learning). We followed this with a pilot Leading Practice Group program where VET practitioners undertake LLN projects relevant to their workplace.

This session discussed these initiatives and other strategies such QVDC’s Inclusive Learning Framework and the Crux of the Matter publication.

Les Retford is a Senior Program Manager in the Innovation for Learning section of the Queensland VET Development Centre. His interest is in incorporating LLN into VET practice, with a focus on the continuing professional learning for VET educators.

He is completing a Masters of Education (by Research) on this theme.

 

Skill set for addressing foundation skills in vocational practice

Louise Wignall and Anita Roberts, IBSA

Skill set for addressing foundation skills in vocational practice  presentation

Innovation and Business Skills Australia is developing a new skill set that will provide vocational practitioners with the skills and knowledge to address their learners’ foundation skills in a vocational training context. The skill set has the potential to build the capacity of the VET workforce to deliver integrated training programs.

This workshop discussed stakeholder feedback received on the two new units. It also explored the role that the skill set could play in VET practitioner professional development and collaborative approaches to WELL program delivery.

Louise Wignall has worked in the education sector for the past 25 years as a teacher, resource developer, policy advisor and quality assurance manager with a specialisation in adult literacy and learning in vocational education and training (VET), the community and the workplace. She is presently involved in a number of national and State-based LLN initiatives at both policy and implementation level. Her key interest is in ‘joining the dots’ between policy and practice and highlighting ‘what works’.

Anita Roberts has worked closely with Innovation and Business Skills Australia (IBSA) on many initiatives including commercial resource developments, professional development activities, scoping for qualifications and skill sets, and three environment scans. Anita is the project coordinator for IBSA’s project to develop a Foundation Skills Training Package and the Skill set for addressing foundation skills in vocational practice. She is also a member of the Victorian State Advisory Committee for the Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) program.

 

Successful VET and industry partnerships – industry panel discussion

Carter Holt Harvey Project

Steve Dixon, National Training Manager, Carter Holt Harvey

Wing-Yin Chan-Lee, Educational Manager, Workplace Education Service (WES), TAFE SA

Successful VET and industry partnerships  presentation

Following Carter Holt Harvey National Training Manager’s panel presentation, TAFE SA and Carter Holt Harvey shared experiences from implementing the Carter Holt Harvey national WELL project. The RTO and industry presenters highlighted insights, complexities, outcomes and collaboration strategies of implementing this national WELL project that bring Industry Skills Council, multiple RTOs, four states and multiple sites together to work with the enterprise at a time when timber industry is experiencing local and global challenges.

Steve Dixon is currently National Training Manager for Carter Holt Harvey. He has worked in a variety of training in industry and VET.

His previous roles include:

  • T&D Consulting business in NZ healthcare, Sydney Manufacturing and various financial organisations
  • Started own RTO and a TAFE teacher
  • Various Management and Project Management positions in a variety of industries.

Steve is always interested and passionate about:

  • Learning and performance in the workplace
  • Continuous improvement of both process and people
  • Intentional development of positive workplace cultures

Wing-Yin Chan-Lee is the Educational Manager of Workplace Education Service (WES) at TAFE SA and has had extensive experience in WELL since the program was instigated in 1991. Under Wing-Yin’s leadership, WES has built successful track record of delivering WELL training across a range of industries.

 

Villa Maria Project

Fotina Babalis, WELL Coordinator, NMIT

Carolyn McColl, General Manager Residential Services, Villa Maria

Working collaboratively with industry to contextualise, develop and deliver a quality WELL training program

  • Discussing the importance of building an effective relationship with industry and all key stakeholders
  • Contextualising WELL training that is for the entire organisation
  • How does a whole organisation approach then meet the needs of individual sites
  • Discussing  the pros and cons of multi site delivery
  • Hints and assistance for others
  • Answering key questions
  • Organising a program

Fotina Babalis, WELL Coordinator, NMIT. Fotina has 19 years experience in the WELL programs, of those 7 were spent as a WELL trainer across a variety of industries including –tourism and hospitality, manufacturing, engineering, food processing, pulp and paper, aged care, community services and horticulture. Since 2000, Fotina has been the WELL Program Coordinator at NMIT where she has project managed and implemented WELL training programs across a range of industry sectors. Fotina also holds the position of Victorian Representative in the WELL State Practitioner Network.

Carolyn McColl, General Manager Residential Services, Villa Maria. Carolyn holds a Master of Aged Services Management, Graduate Diploma of Health Administration, Graduate Diploma Health Education and is a Registered Nurse and Registered Midwife. Working for a not for profit values based organisation as the General Manager Residential Services she is responsible for the management and oversight of four residential aged care facilities. Carolyn has over 20 years management experience in aged care and has a passion for quality service delivery with a focus on improving aged care practice and outcomes. She has brought about operational development, organisational change and service improvements through specialised areas such as palliative care and dementia care, introducing Advanced Care Planning and End of Life Care Pathways into the service model. Throughout her career Carolyn has advocated for the development and professional growth of staff as means of addressing ongoing and future workforce issues in aged care.

 

Realising the potential of our diverse workforce

Amanda Cole, Hunter TAFE NSW

Cath McHugh, Hunter TAFE NSW

John Mills, Qantas Q Catering

Realising the potential of our diverse workforce  presentation

Following the industry panel presentation John Mills, National Learning and Development Manager Qantas Q Catering, and TAFE NSW Hunter Institute partners shared experiences and insights into developing and implementing the 1st stage of the Q Catering national WELL program.

This partnership incorporates Q Catering national managers and locations in 2 states, RTO, TAFE NSW Hunter Institute and the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council working together to realise the potential of 550 catering staff.

John Mills is an accomplished and integrity driven professional, offering over twenty years of leadership, management and professional experience on local and international levels with a strong concentration and success as Manager, Facilitator, Communicator, Teacher, Mentor and Advisor.

John’s role as National Learning and Development Manager, Qantas Q Catering, capitalises on his strong learning and development acumen and natural leadership. The role provides him the opportunity to mentor individuals as well as steer teams and companies in new directions to achieve positive outcomes.

John holds a Bachelor and Masters in Education and has a background in teaching and facilitating including English as A Second Language. His professional experience in a variety of roles including classroom teaching, Deputy Head, Cabin Crew Manager, Base Operational Manager, Customer Service Manager, Manager Cabin Services, Manager Learning and Development and Communications and National Manager Learning and Development, within Australia and Asia.

Key skills:

  • People Management/HR
  • Project Management and Design
  • People Development
  • Change Management
  • High Level Facilitation Skills
  • Learning and Development

Cath McHugh is Manager of the WELL Programs Hunter Institute and has worked in adult education in TAFE NSW over the past 30 years. The Hunter Institute has strong experience working with employers to identify and provide training to develop employees’ workplace literacy and numeracy skills.

Cath is an experienced workplace practitioner and program manager having worked across a broad range of industries with diverse training needs including catering, manufacturing, local government, aged care, child care and health support services. She is currently managing the national Q Catering training program across the Melbourne and Perth centres.

Amanda Cole has a Doctorate in English from the University of Sydney. She taught ESOL, Communication Skills and English literature for fifteen years as well as editing English Language textbooks before moving into the role of business consultancy and TAFE NSW commercial operations. She joined Hunter Institute in May 2012 and currently manages the Q Catering WELL Program in Tullamarine and the NSW Taxi Council WELL Program in Sydney.

 

Working with pre-level 1 learners in a culturally specific context case study: Aurukun

Nicole McSpadden, Head Teacher, The Learning Workshop

Deborah Lewerissa,EnterpriseBased Teacher, The Learning Workshop

Working with pre-level 1 learners in a culturally specific context case study: Aurukun  presentation

Aurukun is an Indigenous community located on Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland. Despite extensive adversity, culture remains strong in Aurukun as many community members retain the traditional Wik language as their dominant mode of communication. Indigenous Australians, as with the Wik people of Aurukun, have an oral tradition with no historical experience of written text.

Following a brief historical and political overview, the presentation explored the complexities and considerations faced by WELL practitioners working in Aurukun. Specifically, the challenges associated with being a non-Indigenous, female teacher working in a community faced with complex clan dynamics.

After the closure of the Presbyterian Mission in 1978, the community experienced a period of significant social unrest. This resulted in inconsistent and sporadic exposure to education for many people.

Aurukun provides a unique opportunity to engage learners unaccustomed to formal learning, and where learning is often steeped in shame and embarrassment. Overcoming these barriers has been critical to the success of the WELL program in this community. Individuals are now beginning to feel more comfortable and confident in their learning. This has enabled teachers to begin instructing students in small groups for the first time.

Using a problem-based learning model, participants collaborated to identify, discuss and devise effective interview, literacy training and assessment strategies for engaging non-native English speaking, Pre-Level 1 LLN learners. Participants then had an opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas with the whole group.

To conclude, the benefits of ongoing and consistent WELL provision in Aurukun, including helping to meet Closing the Gap initiatives and rising ACSF levels, were identified and several relevant resources for working with regional and remote Indigenous populations were highlighted.

Nicole McSpadden, Head Teacher for The Learning Workshop, has worked as the WELL practitioner for the Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council from 2010–2012, as well as delivering training as far afield as Mornington Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Deborah Lewerissa, Enterprise Based Teacher with The Learning Workshop, is an Enterprise Based Teacher with The Learning Workshop and has worked as the WELL practitioner for the Aurukun Shire Council since 2011, on a fly-in/fly-out basis.  

 

Starting out with WELL – Introduction to the WELL Program for new practitioners  Learn from four different industry case studies

Deborah Mullan, Training Th@t Works

Undercover industry secrets for the WELL Novice. Using a case study approach and in a facilitated workshop, Deborah facilitated 4 main groups that had a task to work on together and then presented interesting findings and common insights as well. Deborah used an active learning approach and guided task questions for each group to unravel and identify the key actions they used within the industry setting.

There was a case study for each of these different industries:

  1. Aged Care
  2. Manufacturing
  3. Transport/Logistics/Warehousing
  4. Construction

The insights: One size doesn’t fit all.  Some things are the same. Many things are different!

The outcomes: All participants had a framework of 4 possible ways to deal with the issues in various industries. They had insights into the dynamic role of the WELL trainer!

Deborah Mullan – Training Th@t Works. Entering her 21st year in WELL programs, Deborah has worked in every type of industry sector.  She has worked in every type of industry sector as an Enterprise Based Teacher, Program Manager, TAFE Department Manager, RTO Manager and Industry Consultant to Enterprises, private RTOs and ISCs.  Deborah has successfully written WELL applications and managed over 120 WELL projects during that time, and has plenty of hints and tips to share.  She has developed WELL resources for the Food, Plastics, Manufacturing and Construction industries and has contributed to many more.  Deborah enjoys networking and mentoring other WELL trainers to work as a team and is passionate about teaching training and assessment so that quality outcomes are achieved for new vocational industry trainers.

 

Core Skills for Work

Professor Rod McDonald, Managing Director, Ithaca Group

Core Skills for Work  presentation

For the past 18 months, Ithaca Group has been working on behalf of the Commonwealth to develop a new national, cross-sectoral Framework for Employability Skills.  The Core Skills for Work Framework is now complete and soon to be published.

The Framework, which contains 10 Skill Areas, has been developed to make more clear and explicit a set of non-technical skills, knowledge and understandings that underpin successful participation in work. It differs from other approaches to Employability Skills, by incorporating a developmental approach and by ‘unpacking’ what employers say they are looking for and presenting this in a way that makes sense to people in the education, training and employment services sectors. These unique features have been designed to help educators, trainers and those who work with job seekers to more easily assist learners to understand and develop these important skills.

Professor Rod McDonald is the managing director of Ithaca Group, a boutique consultancy which he established in 2001 after a long academic career in adult education and training. He was Australia’s first Professor of Adult Education, he spent some years as Foundation Dean of UTS’s Faculty of Education, and has run a national key research centre in vocational education and training.

Rod and his associates provide advice both to government and to private sector organisations on a diverse range of policy issues and assist them to develop strategic directions in skills and training.

 

Building bridges – Practitioners working together

John Molenaar, Manufacturing LearningVictoria

Building bridges  presentation

Looking at ways to break down barriers between the Social (Community) and Vocational applications of LLN training delivery. Can LLN training that is delivered in a vocational context have the same benefits as training with a social focus? What are the differences? Is one better than the other? How and when can the two interact and complement each other?

More Vocational trainers are taking up or being encouraged to take up active delivery of LLN in their classes. Is this a positive step? Can they do it alone? What are the barriers?

How can practitioners work together?

John Molenaar, Director, Manufacturing Learning Victoria (MLV), has managed a number of WELL related projects including WELL brokerage projects, the development of case studies, the development of professional development resources and the management of an NCVER research project – The professional development requirements of Workplace English Language and Literacy Program Practitioners.

Recognising the value of the WELL Program, John has facilitated workshops for WELL Practitioners for the past 15 years, with the aim of ensuring ongoing support for WELL Practitioners. John has been instrumental in inaugurating the first National WELL Practitioners’ Conference, and managing the conference for the past six years, and the establishment of the Australian WELL Practitioners’ Network.

 

Making the Connections – Using the Foundation Skills Training Package to integrate language, literacy and numeracy into training

Jane Newton, Research Manager, Manufacturing Skills Australia

Brian Cobb, Workforce Development Coordinator, Manufacturing SkillsAustralia

Making the Connections  presentation

This resource contains all the necessary material for the delivery of a professional development workshop for manufacturing industry trainers and assessors. It aims to support the introduction of the Foundation Skills Training Package in 2013 through developing awareness of the ACSF, language, literacy and numeracy issues within the manufacturing workforce and introduce trainers and assessors to some of the strategies that can be used to support learners with LLN issues in the training environment.

The resource can easily be contextualised to other industries. It has been packaged so that it can be delivered in a variety of alternate time frames (two day workshop, tool box-style meetings, etc).

Jane Newton, Research Manager, Manufacturing Skills Australia, has been at MSA since 2010, first as the research coordinator then as research manager. She has a background in training and education, mainly in health and community services. She has a particular interest in improving access to training for people from disadvantaged backgrounds and also in instructional design. Jane has a Masters in Adult Education with a focus on Vocational Education and Training.

Brian Cobb, Workforce Development Coordinator, Manufacturing Skills Australia, has been at MSA (and earlier at MERS ITAB a predecessor national ITAB) for over 10 years. He has a background in industrial relations, and adult education focussing on worker education, workplace change and VET implementation. His current work at MSA includes foundation skills project activities, and participation (with colleagues Jane Newton and Kathy Higgs) on promoting the WELL Program for increased take-up in manufacturing. Brian has a Bachelor of Commerce, and a Graduate Diploma in Adult Education.

 

Addressing numeracy as part of vocational competency

Michelle Ellis, Operations Manager, EE-Oz

Addressing numeracy as part of vocational competency  presentation

Michelle facilitated a workshop on the importance of numeracy to the highly technical industries under the ISC’s coverage and all industries generally.

Michelle Ellis is the Operations Manager with Energy Skills Australia, known as ‘EE-Oz’; the ISC for the Australian Energy Industries. Michelle   started her career as a Research Scientist and worked with the University of Canberra, the Bureau of Resource Sciences and the CSIRO prior to moving to Darwin and accepting a 6 month research position with the NT Electrotechnology, Utilities and IT ITAB.   Fifteen years and a number of ITAB and ISC roles later, Michelle is now the Operations Manager with EE-Oz. A key component of that role is managing the Skills Connect suite of funding programs on behalf of the ISC.

 

Putting the Jigsaw Together – Practical strategies for assisting apprentices with numeracy issues

Jane Newton, Research Manager, Manufacturing Skills Australia

Brian Cobb, Workforce Development Coordinator, Manufacturing Skills Australia

Putting the Jigsaw Together  presentation

This resource is currently in development. It builds on material from the Making the Connections resource in that it has been developed as a numeracy ‘tool kit’ for vocational trainers. Each tool kit contains a number of ‘tools’ to support the trainer working with apprentices with numeracy issues. The tool kit takes a problem-solving approach in that each tool kit contains a scenario that reflects a common workplace task. The underpinning numeracy skills within the task are unpacked. For each skill, a tool has been developed that provides the trainer with activities that can be used to guide the apprentice to mastery of the skill.

The resource can be easily contextualised to other industries.

The development of these resources has been funded by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science, Research and Tertiary Education under the Support strategies for the implementation of the Foundation Skills Training Package project.

Jane Newton, Research Manager, Manufacturing Skills Australia, has been at MSA since 2010, first as the research coordinator then as research manager. She has a background in training and education, mainly in health and community services. She has a particular interest in improving access to training for people from disadvantaged backgrounds and also in instructional design. Jane has a Masters in Adult Education with a focus on Vocational Education and Training.

Brian Cobb, Workforce Development Coordinator, Manufacturing Skills Australia, has been at MSA (and earlier at MERS ITAB a predecessor national ITAB) for over 10 years. He has a background in industrial relations, and adult education focussing on worker education, workplace change and VET implementation. His current work at MSA includes foundation skills project activities, and participation (with colleagues Jane Newton and Kathy Higgs) on promoting the WELL Program for increased take-up in manufacturing.

Brian has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Graduate Diploma in Adult Education.

 

Getting started with the revised ACSF

Philippa McLean, Escalier McLean Consulting

This workshop was designed for those with little or no exposure to the ACSF.  Philippa provided an overview of the revised ACSF, its underpinning principles and main components.  The workshop included examples of the application of the ACSF particularly as it relates to WELL Practitioners.

Philippa McLean has extensive experience in QA in adult education, with particular expertise in adult LLN.  She has extensive experience in delivering PD in a range of LLN settings, developing and delivering training and assessments and in resource development.  Philippa was a member of the project team that developed the initial ACSF and has worked on the review of the ASCF and has presented workshops around Australia over the past twelve months.

 

Understanding and using the Foundation Skills Training Package

Anita Roberts, Project coordinator IBSA Foundation Skills Training Package, IBSA

Understanding and using the Foundation Skills Training Package  presentation

The Foundation Skills Training Package is being developed by Innovation and Business Skills Australia to support the integrated delivery of foundation skills in vocational training.

This workshop introduced participants to the foundation skills units and qualifications and discussed ways that they can be used in WELL programs through contextualisation for the needs of individuals and the workplace.

Anita Roberts, Project coordinator, IBSA Foundation Skills Training Package, has worked closely with Innovation and Business Skills Australia (IBSA) on many initiatives including commercial resource developments, professional development activities, scoping for qualifications and skill sets, and three environment scans.

Anita is the project coordinator for IBSA’s project to develop a Foundation Skills Training Package and is also a member of the Victorian State Advisory Committee for the Workplace English Language and Literacy (WELL) program.

 

WELL Implemented – How to successfully implement a WELL training project

Tina Berghella, Director, Oggi Consulting

John Molenaar, Director, Manufacturing Learning Victoria

 WELL Implemented  presentation

This resource is designed to be used by any individual involved in implementing a WELL training project. It supports the building of competencies required to implement a successful WELL training project and covers planning, delivery and administration. It is a professional development resource that must not only be read. To obtain the full benefit, the resource must be engaged with actively by completing the reflections and activities. This workshop engaged participants in activities taken from the resource.

A companion resource to WELL Considered: How to Effectively Develop a WELL Training Solution and Prepare a Winning WELL Training Application, the resource will soon be available from the WELL practitioners’ website.

Tina Berghella is the Director of Oggi Consulting Pty Ltd, a consultancy formed in 1998 to provide quality vocational education and training consulting services. Tina has a background in manufacturing and project management and is an experienced researcher. Tina has worked on a range of WELL funded strategic, resource and training projects, and has a particular interest in workplace numeracy. She is an ISC QA Panel member and a WELL QA Panel member.

John Molenaar, Director, Manufacturing Learning Victoria (MLV), has managed a number of WELL related projects including WELL brokerage projects, the development of case studies, the development of professional development resources and the management of an NCVER research project – The professional development requirements of Workplace English Language and Literacy Program Practitioners.

Recognising the value of the WELL Program, John has facilitated workshops for WELL Practitioners for the past 15 years, with the aim of ensuring ongoing support for WELL Practitioners. John has been instrumental in inaugurating the first National WELL Practitioners’ Conference, and managing the conference for the past six years and the establishment of the Australian WELL Practitioners’ Network.

 

Seeking the N in LLN: The numeracy capacity of practitioners

Tina Berghella, Director, Oggi Consulting

John Molenaar, Director, Manufacturing Learning Victoria

Seeking the N in LLN workshop  presentation

The main purpose of this NCVER funded research report is to provide insights into the capacity of the vocational education and training workforce in relation to addressing workplace numeracy skills needs with a focus on the process manufacturing industries. It is a small study, the first of its kind in Australia, and it raises questions and highlights areas of limited understanding and needing further research.

This report is important because numeracy skills are a key driver of economic growth and yet nearly eight million Australian adults lack the numeracy skills to cope with everyday life and work. The vocational education and training sector is one part of the solution, but it is acknowledged that the vocational education and training workforce may be limited by its own skills gaps and skills shortages.

Based on the findings, it appears that there is a mismatch between the understandings, qualifications, skills and experience of VET practitioners and  that is needed to address workplace numeracy skills needs.

Tina Berghella is the Director of Oggi Consulting Pty Ltd, a consultancy formed in 1998 to provide quality vocational education and training consulting services. Tina has a background in manufacturing and project management and is an experienced researcher. Tina has worked on a range of WELL funded strategic, resource and training projects, and has a particular interest in workplace numeracy. She is an ISC QA Panel member and a WELL QA Panel member.

John Molenaar, Director, Manufacturing Learning Victoria (MLV), has managed a number of WELL related projects including WELL brokerage projects, the development of case studies, the development of professional development resources and the management of an NCVER research project – The professional development requirements of Workplace English Language and Literacy Program Practitioners.

Recognising the value of the WELL Program, John has facilitated workshops for WELL Practitioners for the past 15 years, with the aim of ensuring ongoing support for WELL Practitioners. John has been instrumental in inaugurating the first National WELL Practitioners Conference, and managing the conference for the past six years and the establishment of the Australian WELL Practitioners Network.

 

Meet the ISC WELL Brokers

This was an opportunity to meet the WELL brokers.

Topics covered included:

  • How to work with industry in creating and tailoring a WELL program
  • Step by Step Guide on how to fill in an application:
    • Answering key questions
    • Organising a program
  • Hints and assistance for new practitioners
  • How to work with a WELL broker
  • Examples of strategic partnerships

 

Industry Skill Council WELL Brokers

The WELL Broker can assist industry to create a training program according to enterprise needs, provide support to access funding, including taking a lead role developing the application, connecting to LLN providers and driving the process until completion.

ISC WELL brokers can also assist  with information about the National Workforce Development Fund (NWDF).

 

Reflecting on current practice

This session was conducted in an ‘open space’ style with several concurrent presenters.

Open Space Technology is an approach for facilitating workshops focused on a specific topic of interest to participants, beginning without any formal agenda and allowing for free flow of discussion and question.

The conference provided the opportunity for conference participants to meet in ‘open space’ forums to discuss the topics, issues, points of interest raised at the conference or of mutual interest to WELL Practitioners.  The points of interest, for discussion, were identified by the conference ‘socialite’ during the first day of the conference and promoted on the morning of the second day at the conference.

The conference ‘socialite’ Katrina Hegarty, informally communicated with conference participants throughout the conference, to obtain feedback on what is and what is not working well, clarify strategic directions for the AWPN and identify topics and presenters for the ‘open space’ informal sessions.

 

The revised ACSF – 12 months on

Philippa McLean, Escalier McLean Consulting

This workshop was designed for those who are experienced users of the ACSF.  It looked at the application of the ACSF in workplace assessment and the Framework’s capacity to identify specific learner needs.  Philippa looked in detail at the complexity of performance features.  She led participants in discussion around ideas on how to use the ACSF to  record and report learner progress in WELL Programs, including those of quite short duration.

Philippa McLean has extensive experience in QA in adult education, with particular expertise in adult LLN.  She has extensive experience in delivering PD in a range of LLN settings, developing and delivering training and assessments and in resource development.  Philippa was a member of the project team that developed the initial ACSF and has worked on the review of the ASCF and has presented workshops around Australia over the past twelve months.