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How we changed the way we train VET teachers

10 Jan 2018

This year Melbourne Polytechnic’s  Training and Assessment course will direct more graduates into employment after changes to the course set prospective VET trainers up for success.

At the heart of the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment redevelopment is increased assessment over a longer period, which culminates in the creation of a hefty portfolio graduates can take to employers. “We decided the course should reflect the industry even more than it already did,” said Ramona Younan, Program Leader of Training and Education at Melbourne Polytechnic. “Students can walk out of our Cert IV with a strong portfolio to show prospective employers.” “If an employer says to them, ‘have you designed a learning program before?’ in the past they’d have to say, ‘no’, but with the portfolio, they can say ‘not in a paid context, but here’s the excellent learning program I developed while studying’.” The course gives students the opportunity to analyse and produce work specific to their industry, which means each portfolio will be unique to the students’ industry. Students will be able to complete the portfolio over the length of the 10 months course, one day a week, or 2 nights a week starting February 2018. Ramona says government policy has influenced the changes to the course. And, ultimately, she says the changes will improve the rate of employment for graduates, which is also likely to be affected by shortages in certain industries. “For instance, we find its very hard to find teachers that can either support or train students in Auslan.” There are also industry shortages in community services, aged care, child care and mental health services, which Romana expects will lead to a demand for teachers in these areas. But, she says there are plenty of people who could benefit from completing a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. She says those who are unable to work their trade or profession anymore due to injury or age are great examples. Visual artist, Annita Furey recently completed the Cert IV in Training and Assessment and became a teacher at Melbourne Polytechnic. Ramona says, “Annita didn't know what she was going to do with the course… she felt she was too old to be employed.” “She lacked confidence in her abilities, and any confidence there’d be any work at the end of the course and, now she is actually teaching for us. And, we get great feedback from the students, they love her.” “There was a real change in her once she started the course and meeting other people in the course and started building confidence, to the point now where she is actually knocking back work.” “There may be people who might not even think to take the first step and say, ‘Well, you know that’s it for me, I’m too old.” Whereas, actually, they probably have something to contribute, especially professionals or those with a trade that might not be able to do it anymore, for whatever reason.”

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a VET trainer take a look at the course outline here.