Grow Your Business Through Training

Studies show that staff are more likely to work harder and stay longer with employers who have provided them with a start to their career.
The recent McCrindle Report, prepared for the Skilling Australia Foundation, shows VET Graduates and Apprentices have positive and energising effects on incumbent workers.
Nick Bertoli from Bertoli Farm Equipment currently employs five Agricultural Mechanical Apprentices and sees the value in giving young people a chance at a career in his industry.
“They need to have a keen work ethic to start
with, be enthusiastic and want to learn. As long as they can show a bit of initiative and try their best, that’s all you can ask for out of anyone,” explained Mr Bertoli.
“The GOTAFE Trainers that I had when I was an Apprentice were absolutely fantastic. They were easy to get along with and had all been in the industry themselves so they knew what they were talking about.”
Apprenticeships and Traineeships may not suit every business, take Project Management for example. Damien Watson completed GOTAFE’s Diploma of Project Management (BSB51415) while working in the industry in order to validate his skills.
“I was working as a Project Manager but didn’t have the relevant qualifications. This course gave me the theory and the official title to progress in my field.”
Attending class one day per month for 12 months provided Damien with the skills to better implement plans and procedures into his business and provide better service to clients.
The research speaks for itself:
“When compared with employment outcomes for university graduates, VET continues to produce superior results and has proven itself to be a more flexible, accessible and adaptable platform for educating and skilling Australians than University education,” said Skilling Australia CEO, Nicholas Wyman.
GOTAFE offers over 250 courses including industry specific short courses. Visit or call 1300 GOTAFE (468 233) to find out more.

VCAL Art Exhibition at William Orr Barn

VCAL and ASHE students have been extremely busy cleaning and organising the barn at our William Orr Barn located in Shepparton in preparation for an art display, and to showcase activities and study undertaken throughout the year.

This event celebrates the awakening of this magnificent building, and to view the wonderful work and studies being undertaken by the VCAL and ASHE students.

$500 Raised for Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation

GOTAFE’s Nursing trainer Allison Derooy presented $500 raised from 2017 Regional Health Student Conference to Allen Turner, cofounder of Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation.

Allen Turner was a guest speaker at the event getting the word out about how important it is to have the discussion about being an organ donor. Allen’s Daughter, Zaidee was just seven years old when she passed away suddenly from a brain aneurism. Zaidee passed away in December 2004 and was the only child in Victoria under the age of 16 years to donate her organs and tissues that year.

The foundation is aimed at both Adults and Children to inspire them to think about becoming organ donors too.

Start the discussion and help save more lives.


GOTAFE Trainers Judge At The Great Aussie Pie Competition

GOTAFE Baking trainers, Stephen Pinnuck and Kim Banfield are busy in Sydney this week judging “The Great Aussie Pie” competition. It is the biggest pie competition in Australia.

Stephen and Kim have been very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to judge the competition for the past 15 years. The competition runs for four days with a judging panel of 12 people. They have a number of entries with each judge potentially eating 60 pies a day, so roughly judging around 240 pies for the whole competition.

“Pies get cut into quarters for us to taste. We nibble on the meat, pastry, aroma, the stability and all of those things that go towards it. And then we move onto the next pie. We nibble because there is no way we could eat a full quarter of 60 pies in a day”. Said Stephen.

“We first mark the pies cold. In this section we don’t eat the pies, we mark for symmetry, colour, pastry thickness, amount of filling, and if it is the gourmet section what sort of fillings have they tried. Whether it’s creative or not. When hot, we taste the pies and mark on stability, aroma, meat and fillings that they have used.”

Stephen’s idea of a good pie “one that is well constructed, it’s got good flavour but not over powering, the meat doesn’t run out everywhere, the pastry isn’t too thick. Just a good, consistent, stable pie.”

The competition is a great way for the Bakeries and the industry to get some more exposure. People travel far and wide to try the “Greatest Aussie Pie”.

“I think it’s good for bakeries. The bakeries that have entered all get feedback on their entries. If they don’t go as well as what they hoped they can improve with the suggestions on their feedback. People who act upon their feedback are the ones that eventually take out the big prizes”.


Free Meningococcal vaccine for young people aged 15 to 19 years old

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services asks for GOTAFE’s support in raising awareness of the Meningococcal ACWY Vaccine by encouraging our students aged 15-19 or staff with children aged 15-19 to get the vaccine whilst it is still free, before 31 December 2017.

GOTAFE would like to encourage our students aged between 15 and 19 years of age to get the free vaccine

In recent years the Meningococcal W strain has increased drastically across Australia, with Victoria experiencing 52 cases already in 2017, compared to one in 2013.

GOTAFE will post the informaiton on our social channels, website and other channels including on campus for students and staff so we can assist in preventing this life-threatening disease.

See below for the contents of the e-kit which includes frequently asked questions, key messages of the campaign and printable posters for your use.

Meningococcal Vaccine free for 15 to 19 year olds_fact sheet.pdf

Meningococcal Vaccine free for 15 to 19 year olds_poster for GOTAFE.pdf

From 18 April 2017 until 31 December 2017 immunisation providers (GPs and local councils) in Victoria can offer a free Meningococcal ACWY vaccine to young people aged 15 to 19 years old. The Victorian Government is funding this program to interrupt the spread of the disease.

GOTAFE Launch Youth IT Pre-Employment Course

On Monday 4th September, GOTAFE in collaboration with InfoXchange launched its new Youth IT Engineering pre-employment program, to be offered in 2018.

The launch was well attended by more than twenty key industry representatives including; Rural City of Wangaratta Councilors, council employees, employment agencies, local LLEN’s, business owners from engineering and IT fields, as well GOTAFE staff and Info Exchange representatives.

Attendees were given a presentation of the pre-employment program that aims to give students the IT programming skills they require to support their practical trade skills once they are working in industry. They were also given a tour of the relevant training facilities and the 3D Print Lab.

GOTAFE Executive Manager, Educational Operations (Acting) Brett Ambrosio said that the event was just the start of a number of activities designed to engage the community and seek their feedback.

“GOTAFE will host future forums and feedback sessions where we want to engage with industry, the local community, employers and key organizations to establish what they really need from this pre-employment program and then customize a training program that meets these needs,” said Brett.

“Today is just the start of building a capable and skilled workforce for the future.

“We know that our trades students need to have skills in computer programming, enabling them to operate machinery commonly found in workshops across a variety of industries.
“The course will provide successful students with a raft of transferrable skills that can be used across a number of trade disciplines.

“Local business owner Heath Lloyd from Wangaratta Engineering who attended today is a perfect example of someone who recognises that the way forward for his industry is in training his employees to have both practical trade skills and IT programming skills that enable them to operate computer numerically controlled (CNC) machinery.

“Having someone who has completed this new take on technology training in his workshop would enable him to produce computer aided design (CAD) drawings and the programming of CNC machinery to manufacture a wide range tooling, parts and equipment used in a whole range of industries both locally and around the country.

“The launch also gave us the opportunity to showcase our Print Lab and the type of equipment students might use in their first year of study.

“We also introduced attendees to InfoXchange, a not-for-profit social enterprise that uses technology to tackle the biggest social challenges of our time.”

The launch coincided with the Digital Innovation Festival.

For more information or to get involved contact Brett Ambrosio via GOTAFE.

Anyone can be creative

GOTAFE has launched their latest series of flexible short courses designed for art enthusiasts.

Exploring Portrait Painting, The Secret to Layers with Oils, Pushing the Boundaries with Drawing and Beyond Plein Air are all six week accredited courses on offer as part of a new suite of flexible learning programs at GOTAFE.

“Anyone can draw and be creative. Drawing and painting is a skill that can be taught and learned like any other activity,” explained GOTAFE Trainer Leonie Partridge.

For many years GOTAFE has provided a hub for local artist to meet, learn and exchange ideas. Many of the younger graduates have gone onto establish their own business.

“Former student Holly Tunstall is a great example of where art and design can take you. Holly now runs a successful design company in Melbourne after studying both certificates in Visual Arts and Design at GOTAFE. Another graduate Kate Gorman has made a name for herself as a successful practicing artist exhibiting regionally and regularly in Melbourne. We love staying in touch with our students, watching them grow and succeed,” said Ms Partridge.

GOTAFE is also featuring subject specific workshops focusing on specific elements to art and design include Processing Images in Photoshop and Printmaking.

“Portrait painting is one option where you can learn to capture family members and those magic moments. The course begins with the basic structure understanding and goes through to the application of a range of expressive paint techniques. Beyond plain air looks at a fresh approach to capturing the magic of selected north east locations such as the Warby’s, Winton Wetlands and the Ovens River,” explained Ms Partridge.

‘It’s all about meeting the community needs. Arts training like everything else needs to be flexible and timely.

“We want to offer flexible courses to allow people who are interested in art to pursue their passion further. Students may not have the ability to study full time; this new program allows them to study while they continue with their day job or while still seeing to their other interests and commitments. You might only be interested in completing one or two of these short courses, or you may choose to link them together to achieve a full qualification. Either way is possible.”

Due to popular demand, ‘Open Studio’ (SCOPSTUDIO) will once again allow local artists to use GOTAFE’s Art and Design facilities, brainstorm ideas with their peers and be assigned a GOTAFE Trainer as a Mentor. Open Studio will run daily between 10am and 3pm for eight weeks.

“Open Studio has been designed for those with experience who yearn to gather with like-minded people in a supportive studio environment to share work and ideas with, and get a little guidance from a qualified Trainer,” said Ms Partridge.

‘We have fantastic rooms and facilities. It’s a great opportunity for people to focus on a project and gain access to equipment that they may not have at home or in their own studios. It’s important that the community continues to access and to use these facilities.”

The short course program, based on Certificate IV in Visual Arts (CUA41315) commences in August. For more information visit our website, or call us on 1300 GOTAFE (468 233).


Donated engine to enhance Automotive practical skills

This engine was generously donated by Steve Bell of Mansfield Crushing after it was replaced in one of their mobile screens, Mansfield Constructions Pty Ltd, commenced operations in 1989 under the name of Steve Bell Earthmoving. Specialising in civil contracting works, Steve Bell Earthmoving quickly grew from a one-man operation to employing over 30 local staff and operating 25 pieces on plant.

In 2000, Steve Bell Earthmoving diversified its activities with the purchase of Mansfield Pre Mix Concrete. This included several quarry sites and changed its trading name to Mansfield Constructions.

During the next seven years Mansfield Constructions Pty Ltd continued to expand its quarrying and mobile crushing divisions and in 2007 made the bold decision to sell the civil contracting and the concrete divisions and focus future activities on quarrying, sale of quarry materials and contract mobile crushing and screening, including processing of hard and green waste.

In 2007, over 5 million dollars was spent on the acquisition of additional mobile plant, enabling the company to continue expanding and undertake a more diversified range of contract crushing works.

Mansfield Constructions sold the Mansfield quarries in 2013 to E B Mawson & Sons which saw the primary focus turn further towards mobile contract crushing and dry hire. Mansfield Constructions also operates an earthmoving and quarry support division.
In 2014, Mansfield Constructions Pty Ltd changed their trading name to Mansfield Crushing to better represent the company’s primary focus.

Mansfield Crushing Pty Ltd now operates four mobile crushing and screening crews as well as the earthmoving division. Mansfield Crushing has an extensive list of earthmoving equipment and crushing & screening plant, enabling it to provide a wide range of services and produce a diverse range of quarry materials, including Gravels, Sands, Aggregates and many more.

This equipment will be a valuable tool used to enhance the practical skills and knowledge of apprentice diesel mechanics completing their training at GOTAFE. This equipment will give our apprentices the opportunity to get hands on experience while complete a variety of practical tasks on a modern Caterpillar diesel engine. From the time the engine arrived at our workshop it has been put to good use with our apprentices given the task of designing and building a suitable engine stand and setting it up as a training engine in line with the practical task requirements of their training package.

Click here to learn more about GOTAFE’s Automotive programs.

Horticulture trainer wins second PCA award

Leigh Taig is a Horticulture trainer at William Orr, who facilitates GOTAFE’s Greenhouse Technical Management Course. According to Leigh, “The course is essentially a masterclass in Protected Cropping and is derived from Certificate IV in Production Horticulture (AHC40416).”

Leigh attended the Protected Cropping Australia (PCA) National Conference recently in Adelaide, where he was presented with the Industry Training Award for Greenhouse Technical Management Course. The PCA is the industries national peak body, of which it’s members include hydroponic farmers and allied trades dealing specifically with the hydroponic and greenhouse industry throughout Australia.

This is the second award Leigh has won, his first award was presented in 2009 for his early involvement in promoting training pathways within the industry.

Leigh’s award relates specifically to the GOTAFE short accredited course, Greenhouse Technical Management, a technical training course in greenhouse and hydroponic production. Since its inception in 2008, the Masterclass has been delivered in conjunction with industry to over 300 participants, in more than 15 locations throughout Australia.

GOTAFE is often invited by companies to deliver the course on-farm or the course is scheduled in regions of intensive horticulture such as Coffs Harbour, Bundaberg and Perth. The model of bringing the training to the regions, enables growers and allied trades the opportunity to easily participate in the course and also provides the opportunity to customise the course to meet local needs.

Recently the Masterclass was delivered to a cohort of 15 in Devonport Tasmania, with the next course scheduled at the Hawkesbury Campus at Western Sydney University (WSU). WSU have a recently completed training and research greenhouse and GOTAFE were invited by the University to deliver the course on site. This will mean access to a high tech facility for practical and instructional activities during the course.

Leigh says, “It’s through personal involvement with the industry, and creating essential contacts that has enabled this course to be driven by industry, delivered to industry, facilitated by GOTAFE and remain relevant.”

He continues, “There is a lot of new technology and information emerging, and one of the things we do is explore these changes in the growing environment and help participants to upgrade their thinking.”

The next Greenhouse Technical Management Course is being run at Western University Sydney (WSU) Hawkesbury campus 31 July to 4 August. GOTAFE is excited to be accessing the WSU’s brand new training and research greenhouse and to present one of the largest cohorts to date, with several participants travelling from South Africa and New Zealand.

See our website for more information about GOTAFE Horticulture or contact 1300 GOTAFE.

Verney Road School visit

This week, multiple study areas came together to showcase GOTAFE to the Year 10 students of Verney Road School. Organised by the GOTAFE Youth Engagement team, the students participated in a baking activity, beauty activity, automotive activity, building and construction activity and had a demonstration from our Robot (Robbie).

Our wonderful GOTAFE VCAL students assisted in taking the Verney Road students to their activities and also cooked a BBQ lunch.

The Youth Engagement team would like to thank the following staff who helped make this event possible:

  • Bill Evans
  • Vicky McDonald
  • Kim Banfield
  • Luke Bromley
  • David Czech
  • VCAL students