The first ten students to benefit from a new initiative to use recognition for prior learning to gain a Diploma of Community Welfare Work were presented with their awards in Bathurst on Friday, May 16th.
TAFE NSW Western Institute worked in partnership with Bathurst Family Support to develop the program with funding from the Industry Enterprise and Skills Program within the Department of Education and Training.
The initiative developed a recognition of prior learning process to meet requirements of the Diploma of Community Welfare Work. The resulting recognition package, which was also launched on Friday, includes material to take candidates and teachers through the process. The recognition process emphasises each candidate's experience and the roles they fulfil in their current employment.
Adrian Mitchell, Director TAFE NSW - Western Institute said, "There is a critical need for workers with advanced training in welfare services and this initiative has provided an excellent alternative to classroom-based training.
"This demonstrates the way TAFE can enable people to gain appropriate qualifications with immediate employment outcomes by evaluating their knowledge, education and experience and offering training in their workplace."
To development the resources used in the new recognition process the Institute ran a pilot program for staff working in the Family Support Service Network, a non-government welfare agency that has offices in many communities across central and western NSW. Ten workers from five Family Support services (including four Aboriginal people) were able to complete the program in 2007 and have now graduated with a Diploma of Community Welfare Work.
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