Endeavour Awards, Features

Excellence in manufacturing skills development – Weld Australia

Weld Australia has taken out the excellence in manufacturing skills development award at the 2023 Endeavour Awards for the MEM Training Package Resources.

A combination of challenges led to the creation of this training.

Welders are more in demand than ever—labour shortages are inhibiting the growth of Australia’s welding industry. According to Weld Australia’s members, 50 per cent of Australia’s welding workshops are currently operating at 80 per cent of their capacity or below. When asked why this is, a lack of skilled workers was the overwhelming answer.

The Federal Government recently added an extra 39 occupations to the Australian Apprenticeships Priority List. The list has grown to encompass 111 occupations, as Australia continues to struggle with skills shortages across a range of different sectors—particularly welding and fabrication. 11 per cent of the occupations included in the Priority List are now related to welding.

Weld Australia has designed and created a suite of resources for delivery of the 12 welding and fabrication units of competency in the Manufacturing and Engineering (MEM) Training Package. The goal is to help ensure that high-quality welder learning is consistent across the country.

Our resources help simplify the learning process for students, teachers and training institutes and—most importantly—place the student at centre of the learning process.

Weld Australia believes that a national industry, which has a national learning package, needs national learning resources. Whether you’re an apprentice in Kalgoorlie, Ultimo or Davenport, you should have access to the same, high-quality training.   

South Metropolitan TAFE in Fremantle, Western Australia was the first training organisation to facilitate an official pilot. The feedback received from students and lecturers alike was extremely positive.

According to Jonathon Maile (Executive Director – Engineering, Transport and Defence, South Metropolitan TAFE), “The resources have been terrific, not only for our team here at South Metro TAFE, but we’ve also upheld these and shared these with some external customers as well. So from a  quality perspective, the resources have been tremendous.”

“Being able to link in with Weld Australia and other TAFEs, improved training outcomes—there is a better consistency from a technical perspective Australia-wide. It has improved our focus on digitisation and e-learning, and the increased the flexibility of how we deliver. We’re able to utilise these training resources in class to support lecturers. If apprentices miss classes, they can access the resources and catch up a lot more quickly than trying to reschedule another block later on.”

Benefits for Students

Anywhere, any time. The new resources are completely online and accessible via mobile device (like phones and tablets) or computer. This allows students to access learning at the time, place and pace that suits them best.

Easy to use. The platform on which all the resources are hosted features a simple, easy to navigate user interface where students can find what they need as quickly as possible.

Better use of on-campus time. With a comprehensive suite of resources at their fingertips, students can focus on developing their practical skills while on-campus, rather than reading through theory.

Unlimited access. Students have unlimited access to all resources, throughout their entire period of enrolment in the unit. This means students can go back and revise material if they need to.

Benefits for Teachers

Multiple delivery methods. There are multiple delivery methods available, including lock step, workplace delivery, institutional delivery, self-paced learning and distance learning. Every option is covered, for a flexible solution.

Avenues to provide regular feedback. Teachers can submit feedback which will be reviewed by Weld Australia’s team of experts and incorporated into the relevant resources as quickly as possible.

Save time. With a comprehensive suite of resources at their fingertips, teachers slash preparation and administration. Leaving more time to devote to students or reducing overall working hours.

Peace of mind. Teachers can rest assured that all units of competency are covered in full by the up-to-date suite of resources. Students will be fully prepared to pass exams and enter the workforce.

Benefits for Training Organisations

Cost savings. Organisations save costs on both the development and maintenance of resources. Resources will be reviewed annually and updated in line with latest technology and training packages.

Standardised. Training organisations can rest assured that all their teaching material is consistent across all their campuses, regardless of the staff involved.

Audited and accurate. All resources are fully mapped to the units of competency and independently audited by a team of experts. All resources have been vetted by a consortium of TAFEs nationally.

Easily integrated. The online platform that houses all the MEM resources is called Weldpool. Weldpool is a purpose-designed Moodle platform that integrates easily with your own Moodle, or a blackboard website.

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