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Competency and trying to maintain standards

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Do you know why the government went to the RTO system? I'll tell you why because it's cheaper for everyone involved and they pump out useless tradies in no time. I worked as a trade teacher in one of these establishments and quit within 3 months. I was working 14hr + days on a paid salary for a 38hr week. The govt pays for the first two lessons 1hr each per individual module, if the kid doesn't get it within the first 2x 1hr lessons, it then comes out of the RTO expenses to get them through or you fail the student. These are modules that normally take a week and sometimes a week and a half of full time days to teach in Tafes. You usually end up with less than half an hour with each student. You have to see management to get on site, and then you have to find the student which could be anywhere, sometimes it takes you 20 minutes just to park the car because there's a small number of parks in city CBDs. The employer doesn't want to pull the student away from work, sometimes you have to wait for them to finish a job.

I had students who were illiterate and others with psychological disabilities and then had workplaces that signed kids up just to get govt grants. Most workplaces treated the training as secondary to work, not many in the workplace wanted to teach them anything because in many cases of car dealerships they're used as cheap labour, once they finish their trade they're shown the door, and they only retain something like 5% of the apprentices. These kids are virtually no good to anyone because all they've done is pump up tyres and change oil for 4 years of their apprenticeship, the lucky ones may get to do a gearbox replacement or two. The sad thing is apart from the few ratbags, most of these kids are really keen to learn something.

Even when I went to TAFE in Qld for fulltime 4-week release blocks, everything they taught bar basic engineering principles was outdated junk, I was working on electronic fuel injected cars in the workplace and TAFE was teaching carburetors. The students were literally teaching the teachers because they had been out of workshops for so long and barely knew anything about new tech in cars.

That's my rant over for today.
At @TimeISmoney is spot on, competency standards were a U.S based system of training, they broke down the work requirement for each function and then where there was an overlap of skills and knowledge required, the functions were grouped together.
Then the companies could chose which skill sets they required their apprentices to have and tailor the course to suit.
Prior to this apprentices were tought the whole gambit of their trade and they were tested on the complete trade, so there was a minimum standard that all apprentices had to pass.

With competencies, the lines became blurred and the minimum standard became variable, the companies were happy because they didn't have to teach the apprentice skills and knowledges that they didn't require in their particular workplace.
The big flaw in the system is you need a huge amount of workers to fill all the holes that the lack of broadly skilled tradesmen left and Australia doesn't have a huge workforce, so you end up with a pool of tradespeople with limited skills.
The unions were very much for it, especially the electrical trade, because as they absorbed the instrument trade they received pay increases as they picked up more competencies.
But as with our education system it has become a race to the bottom, as people with a very limited scope of knowledge are being given certificates, which are now becoming treated with a lot of suspicion.
So the companies are taking on people as casuals or through labour hire companies and if they are any good they keep them, if they are useless they move them on, so the Govt is trying to plug that hole with the new laws.
As usual what started as a great idea has now turned into another brain fart.
In the early 1990's I was employed for a couple of years to help identify and construct the modules, at the time I said all we are doing is dumbing down and de skilling our trades, no one gave a hoot.
The companies were happy and the unions were happy, now we wear it.
The Govt is going to recognise overseas qualifications and because the companies only want the best tradesmen they currently pay them top money, but that leaves a lot of low paid tradies with limited skills difficult to find employment.
So to stop that they are bringing in laws where they will have to keep the worker and the Govt wants to bring back enterprise bargaining so that all tradies get the same money.
Which in theory is good, but in reality it just makes the top tradies less motivated and productivity drops down to the lowest common denominator.
As usual it is the result of unintended consequencies and fixing a wheel that wasn't broke in the first place.
This is the problem with dumb politicians and vested interests trying to come up with new wheels they always end up stuffed.
 

wayneL

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I see the malaise in my own field, 90% of those purportedly fully qualified are laughably incompetent and ignorant of what really matters.

The English have an amazing system (arguably best in r world) which could easily be copied here, but no.
 
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I see the malaise in my own field, 90% of those purportedly fully qualified are laughably incompetent and ignorant of what really matters.

The English have an amazing system (arguably best in r world) which could easily be copied here, but no.
We had a great system but as usual these morons stuff it up.
The same with everything they touch, the education system had a filter mechanism, where all the kids did an exam at year 10 and year 12, that allowed the kids to assess how they are going compared to their peers and allow them to make a choice whether to buckle down and catch up or leave and start a career at that entry level.

But no that was working, so lets remove the exams and pass everyone and all the levels fall to the lowest common denominator, but the FW politicians wont address the issue, so we end up here
With a failed apprenticeship system full of illiterate kids that can't cope, because the teachers and politicians said exams stressed the kids.

Well do they think the kids are less stressed because of the new system where they can't do the basics, what a mess. Lol

Yet the loony left just move on to the next project in their 'operation fluck up' in the name of all things good and righteous. Lol

"Onward brothers, lets find the next perfectly round wheel and make it square". What a hoot.

"Meanwhile chuck another $436million at teaching these kids how to read, write and do basic maths, the education system is too busy explaining to them what a dick is". Lol

"Now where was I, oh that's right, we have an aboriginal issue the department of indigenous affairs say they are too busy to fix, I'm sure we can sort that out". Lol


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IFocus

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Certainly some in the Left are looney, but which party have been in power for most of the last 10 years and let the system run ?

It hasn't happened in the last year.

SP has dark rose coloured Coalition glasses plus I am sure there is free alcohol on that ship.

Coalition dismantled the government system for trades contracting out training turning the whole thing into businesses that's where the rot started and finished.

Companies also stopped hiring apprentices instead they were also contracted out ( Coalition again) so companies were not that invested in good on the job training.

TBH the Elect Instrument Trades coming through were very good IMHO easily as good or better than my day.
 
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SP has dark rose coloured Coalition glasses plus I am sure there is free alcohol on that ship.

Coalition dismantled the government system for trades contracting out training turning the whole thing into businesses that's where the rot started and finished.

Companies also stopped hiring apprentices instead they were also contracted out ( Coalition again) so companies were not that invested in good on the job training.

TBH the Elect Instrument Trades coming through were very good IMHO easily as good or better than my day.

Well, its outside the field of my experience so I'll leave it to you and SP to sort out.

All I read is that there are RTO's engaged as contractors to provide training, these apparently emerged in the 1980's so would have been in the Hawke Keating era but subsequent governments did not alter the system apparently.

Whenever the government throws money at private enterprise to provide a "service" they actually have to be monitored to see that they actually provide value for money or else the government turns its back and says it's not their problem. This seems to be the case as all sorts of dodgy providers have sprung up offering bogus courses in everything from hairdressing to electrical trades. Going back to the old government run TAFES would seem the solution but that's not being contemplated apparently.
 
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SP has dark rose coloured Coalition glasses plus I am sure there is free alcohol on that ship.

Coalition dismantled the government system for trades contracting out training turning the whole thing into businesses that's where the rot started and finished.

Companies also stopped hiring apprentices instead they were also contracted out ( Coalition again) so companies were not that invested in good on the job training.

TBH the Elect Instrument Trades coming through were very good IMHO easily as good or better than my day.
There is only one of us with rose coloured glasses and I'm sure everyone is aware of that.
As for the inst/elect trade, they did indeed improve the quality of the trade and I was indentured in 1970 as a scientific instrument maker and repairer, then in 3rd year indentured as an electrical fitter, so was probaly one of the only people back then with both trade certificates.
But yes the competencies started at the ideal time for the electrical trade and at a State level a mate was heavily involved in the union implementation.
You really need to stop blaming the coalition for everything bad that happens, neither side are faultless, it is just some of the social agendas even though introduced for right reasons don't always have long lasting benefits.
By the way my days of heavy drinking are long gone, i'll leave that to you. Lol
 
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Well, its outside the field of my experience so I'll leave it to you and SP to sort out.

All I read is that there are RTO's engaged as contractors to provide training, these apparently emerged in the 1980's so would have been in the Hawke Keating era but subsequent governments did not alter the system apparently.

Whenever the government throws money at private enterprise to provide a "service" they actually have to be monitored to see that they actually provide value for money or else the government turns its back and says it's not their problem. This seems to be the case as all sorts of dodgy providers have sprung up offering bogus courses in everything from hairdressing to electrical trades. Going back to the old government run TAFES would seem the solution but that's not being contemplated apparently.
You are spot on, competency based training was started in the late 1980's under Labor, I was seconded in 1991 to write the mech fitting ones for our company, the electrical/inst were written by the shop stewards for those sections. I still catch up with one of them to this day.

The reasoning was sound it was to put on place an incentive scheme to encourage tradesmen to skill up, but as usual it was a double edged sword and because there was pay rises in it, no one would listen to the down side, as usual.

IFocus tends to re write history. Lol
Just blame the coaltion when both sides are up to their eyeballs in the mess we have and all you get is finger pointing, poking tongues out and name calling.
Tribal politics and blaming each other, rather than fixing $hit, meanwhile the rot continues.
The Govt is now going to recognise overseas qualifications, that will further erode our standards and guess what, in 10 years who do you think IFocus will be blaming? Well there is one thing for sure, we know who he wont be blaming. Lol
 
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From my knowledge and involvement, the wheels came off training in the electrical trade in Tasmania during the 1990's.

A combination of factors gave rise to it:

TAFE went to a module training system using interstate based modules, mostly NSW the odd one from elsewhere, that mostly but imperfectly aligned with various local requirements. Biggest problem is it shifted the focus from overall trade competency to passing an internal test ever few weeks - and those tests were ridiculously easy.

Major downsizing of manufacturing industry with the demise of Tioxide, the Electrona silicon plant, Port Huon pulp, closure of the Mt Lyell mine and many more not long after that plus pretty severe cutbacks just about everywhere else such that even when the business survived the apprentice training was mostly gone. Plus of course the big one in Tas with the Hydro getting rid of ~3000 jobs, two thirds of its workforce, over a short period.

Outsourcing of government work was another problem since whilst the various government departments trained apprentices, contractors mostly didn't. Public housing and the demise of the Department of Construction was a key one but not the only one.

Plus the federal government was sending an extremely strong message that anyone with even a shred of intelligence will be going to university.

Then to finish it all off, TAFE itself was basically gutted although it already was a shell of its former self by that stage anyway.

Politically both sides brought that about but ultimately it all comes down to the federal government losing interest in manufacturing. That's what made the rest possible - once they'd decided to blow up the manufacturing sector, well if you don't have factories you don't really need energy, trades training and so on to support them so you can get rid of all that too.

They're heavily intertwined. Energy industry at the center, manufacturing revolving around that, all the supporting things like trades training, transport logistics and so on ultimately reliant upon it all as well as various professions to some extent. Cripple either the energy supply or the manufacturing industry, kick that leg out, and the rest all becomes redundant.

Politically I'd blame both and to the best of my knowledge the trouble goes back as far as the last term of the Menzies government 1963 - 66. That's when the first cracks were driven by politics, then Whitlam drove a huge wedge in to widen the cracks, Fraser added another, then Hawke - Keating blew the whole thing up and Howard buried anything that was left. That's my understanding of it all, that's how we went from being a nation that makes things to a nation that digs holes and as a result let everything else slide. :2twocents
 

IFocus

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IFocus tends to re write history. Lol
Just blame the coaltion when both sides are up to their eyeballs in the mess we have and all you get is finger pointing, poking tongues out and name calling.

Not at all and note I am not defending Labor but you keep blaming Labor for Coalition policies
 
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Not at all and note I am not defending Labor but you keep blaming Labor for Coalition policies
That statement in this thread, just proves my point and at the same time undermines your credibility.
A shame really, but it does explain a lot of things, which come under the heading of responsibility and accountability and can cover many issues.
 
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Apprentices wages should probably be mentioned. They get paid dogsht.
Always have, but it has become a bigger problem since Australia became the clever country and kept kids at school till year 12, when they start their apprenticeships they are already taking out girls and driving cars.
When they used to start after year 10, they were still usually living at home and for the first couple of years mum and dad helped support the kid until they became useful to the company, by then they were paying their way.
Now the 17/18 year old needs a lot more money, many aren't living at home, but they are next to useless to the employer, so many are reluctant to put them on.
That's why untill the 1990's and privatisation the Govt services eg SEC, railway workshops, State Housing commissions etc used to employ thousands of apprentices every year.
It was a dumb global initiative that the Howard Govt followed and now we are importing tradespeople, while our kids can't get apprenticeships and are failing at uni.
Just another train wreck.
 

IFocus

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That statement in this thread, just proves my point and at the same time undermines your credibility.
A shame really, but it does explain a lot of things, which come under the heading of responsibility and accountability and can cover many issues.

Nope just telling it as it is and yes common across most threads here
 
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Whenever the government throws money at private enterprise to provide a "service" they actually have to be monitored to see that they actually provide value for money or else the government turns its back and says it's not their problem. This seems to be the case as all sorts of dodgy providers have sprung up offering bogus courses in everything from hairdressing to electrical trades. Going back to the old government run TAFES would seem the solution but that's not being contemplated apparently.

Unfortunately close to spot on. If you want to see A1 scaming and zero training check out your local Private Vocational provider. There may be honest, quality providers there. But then there may also be flying pigs.

TAFE as a source of quality training ? I think that is questionable. More likely than Private providers but I fear also liable to BS and poor quality education.

I suspect the good ol days of apprenticeships in places like the Railways and SEC offered the most reliable route to fair quality tradespeople.
 
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Certainly not at the moment, but I was talking about what they should be not what they are now.
Another issue that came about due to competency standards was the requirement for lots of pizz ant service providers that popped up to provide the accredited competency module training, that also took a lot of work off TAFE and it is was amazing which people started these 'accredited' training companies.
You would be stunned and it wasn't politicians.

But a lot of vested interests, have made a lot of money out of dismantling the apprentice training scheme of old, nothing these days is as it seems, everyone is pulling a scam even those who are supposedly on your side. Lol
 
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So how do we create a new cadre of versatile easily trained high quality workers ?

This review of how stunningly quick robots are becoming very competent at so many tasks offers the answer. Do we want to see it happen ?

 
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So how do we create a new cadre of versatile easily trained high quality workers ?

This review of how stunningly quick robots are becoming very competent at so many tasks offers the answer. Do we want to see it happen ?


Elon Musk, who until recently I never listened to or heard, gave a very good explanation as to how quickly AI is overtaking humans and how politicians need to start imposing regulations.
It is the only post of his I've listened and it was posted on ASF, very insightful.
 
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