Local students are benefiting from TAFE NSW - Western Institute's Fast Track program, giving experienced trades people the opportunity to have their skills and experience recognised and gain the formal qualifications they now need to meet Office of Fair Trading licence requirements.
Mike Gibson, Director Educational Delivery for the faculty of Manufacturing, Engineering, Construction and Transport, is pleased with the response from local trades.
"The urgent need for trade qualifications has seen the faculty provide information for over 150 tradespeople from a range of industries including painters, carpenters, bricklayers and engineers - metal fabrication and welding - to obtain formal qualifications," he said.
"Already 20 people are in the process of completing the Fast Track Recognition process in June and July for engineering, carpentry, bricklaying and painting and signcraft.
Before receiving a formal qualification each applicant will have gone through a thorough process to ascertain their industry involvement and skill levels.
The process includes an interview, completion of some extensive reading, a written theory test and a three day assessment workshop.
"The Fast Track service enables each applicant to be assessed for their previous work and experience, which in the eyes of the faculty must be extensive and cover all of the units normally studied in a trade qualification course."
"Western Institute's faculty of Manufacturing, Engineering, Construction and Transport has put special resources in place to assist teachers adjust to making assessment based on recognition of prior learning and existing workplace skills.
This innovative, customised FAST TRACK assessment process enables TAFE teachers to identify if an applicant needs to study particular areas that may not have been covered by their work experience or previous studies. If necessary, a program to enrol and complete extra TAFE units is recommended.