Busy 1st term for VET in Schools at CDU 

Kununurra Area School students learn quad biking at the Katherine Campus

With a record number of programs receiving NT Government funding for VET in Schools, 2006 has seen Charles Darwin University (CDU) Lecturers busy delivering from Santa Teresa in the South to Docker River in the West, Lake Nash in the East, Groote Eylandt in the North and every urban centre in between.

CDU’s Senior Advisor for School to VET Programs, Lyle Mellors said: “With the push from Federal and Territory Governments to address the long-term poor perception of VET as a desirable career pathway among Australia’s youth and the resulting skills shortage, a real opportunity exists for CDU to expand VET training in schools to create legitimate pathways into job-ready careers.”

“Currently the University is receiving around $2 million per annum in VETiS funding and this is set to grow, with a new emphasis on School Based New Apprenticeships and the Darwin-based Australian Technical College commencing in 2007,” he said.

During February, the NT Department of Employment, Education and Training (DEET) in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce, conducted workshops in Alice Springs and Darwin for secondary school Career Advisors, VET Coordinators and Registered Training Organisations.

A large number of the University’s VET in Schools Lecturers were able to participate in these workshops and hear the current needs of industry first-hand.

 In addition, the opportunity to hear from DEET’s Curriculum Services Branch and Training Branch on its expectations of RTO’s and secondary schools was invaluable.

With the end of the first school term on Friday 7 April, VET Lecturers have been generating progress reports this past week.

Part of the University’s commitment to delivering vocational training to secondary school students is to keep the schools and parents up-to-date on their children’s progress.

Mr Mellors said preparing comments and reports for over 60 programs in the first term was an exercise in patience and perseverance.

“The process involves staff from Student Services, Faculty Support, School Support and most importantly the 60 Lecturers delivering the programs. It is one of my goals for this year to improve this process, as reporting is an essential part of delivering quality training,” Mr Mellors said.