A PIONEERING project in South Australia – trialling a new career path for mature-aged ‘tradies’ – has reached an important milestone with the graduation of 45 participants … and some already starting in their new careers.
Employment and Training Minister Paul Caica presented certificates of achievement and recognition to the tradies for completing their Training and Assessment Certificate IV.
Minister Caica says the Workforce Development Mature Age initiative has been inspired by the age-old problem of tradies reaching their physical limits in continuing on with their original trade.
“People working in the trades are frequently faced with the dilemma, in their middle-years, of needing to carve out a new career that is less physically demanding, just as they are reaching the height of their knowledge and experience,” he said.
“This pioneering project, jointly funded by the State Government and industry, is providing new career paths for older tradespeople to become the trainers of new industry recruits.
“This is a very smart way of addressing a number of workforce challenges at the same time: retaining skilled people in our workforce as our population ages, while at the same time drawing on their expertise to help build our future skilled workforce.
“This is a great model which can be used for mature-aged workers, regardless of the industry.”
While only just graduating, 11 of the 45 pilot participants have been snapped up, having accepted offers for new jobs as professional trade instructors, with either their current employer or with a new employer.
The pilot participants hailed from a variety of occupations, including air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics, electricians, stevedores, driving instructors, logistics specialists and freight and warehousing workers, high school teachers and technical instructors.
“Many of the people involved in the training program have unique and specialised technical skills”, Caica explained.
“This initiative has helped to capture those skills and provide participants with new skills sets to ensure they continue within their industry and take up new rewarding roles as mentors and trainers.”
The pilot for the vocational education sector was undertaken across two industry sectors embraced by Transport Distribution Training SA and the Electrical, Electrotechnology, Energy and Water Skills Board with the Business Services Industry Skill Board developing the learner model for the Training and Assessment Package (TAA).
Training was delivered by TAFE SA and two other Registered Training Organisations – Personnel Development Training and D J Foreman and Associates – in a variety of flexible training formats.
These included self-paced study, video conferencing and block training sessions to assist participants manage their work/personal commitments or geographic location.