Engineering New Opportunities for Benalla


Aspiring engineers are invited to an information session at GOTAFE to discover opportunities available through a new workplace based training program.

Thanks to funds provided by State Government’s Regional Specialist Training Fund, brand new training opportunities are now available in the Benalla region, explained GOTAFE Partnership Engagement Manager Kate Storer.

“We’re working with local businesses to provide job candidates with workplace experience and training through the Certificate II in Engineering,” explained Mrs Storer.

“All of the businesses we’ve spoken to about the program have been very supportive. A number are actually desperate for skilled workers such as Welders. Everyone is very keen to support the local job market.”

The 12 week training program based in Benalla will offer students an insight into working in this industry. Three weeks of work experience is being provided by local businesses.

“Students will be given the basic skills they need so they can hit the ground running, whether that be through continued employment with their placement provider or when they progress onto a full Apprenticeship.”

“Each student will be mentored by our team along the way and fully supported through their learning experience.”

The first intake of students will commence in September. Students who demonstrate excellence in their training may be considered for permanent employment or potentially pathway into manufacturing or other trades.

More than $4 million was announced last month when the Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney visited GOTAFE. Funding will be used to provide 12 new courses to address community needs in growth areas such as agriculture industry expansion and innovation, community services, NDIS readiness and more.

“GOTAFE is vital to delivering quality training to people in Northern Victoria – that’s why we’re funding 12 new courses and boosting support for students,” said Minister Tierney.

“This funding means that more people will have access training closer to home and get the support they need to finish their course.”

If you would like to participate in this exciting project and help sustain the Benalla workforce for the future please contact Kate Storer at kstorer@gotafe.vic.edu.au or call 0400 611 465. To register for the upcoming information session held on Monday 13 August 2018 from 4pm to 5pm at GOTAFE Benalla visit http://www.gotafe.vic.edu.au/event/engineering-benalla-4pm-13-august/

Mentoring for Budding Electricians


GOTAFE Electrical Apprentices now have access to a two year mentoring and support program thanks to the National Electrical and Communications Association (NCEA).
NECA, along with the Federal Government’s Industry Specialist Mentoring for Australian Apprentices (ISMAA) have developed a specific two year Apprenticeship Mentoring Support program for GOTAFE Electrical Apprentices.

A Grade Electrician Adam Waterhouse from NECA, will act as a Mentor for students. Once an apprentice himself, Mr Waterhouse understands the challenges that come along with an Apprenticeship.
“You’ve got your TAFE teachers, your TAFE classmates but other than that you may only have your family to talk to and they might not have an insight into Apprenticeships.
“This program is designed to be an extra resource for Apprentices, someone who understands what it’s like being an Apprentice and who can answer any questions.
“Not all Apprentices make it through to be fully qualified, so hopefully the Mentoring program will assist students to work through the issues they come across during their Apprenticeships”

The NECA Mentoring Program includes:
• developing relationships with apprentices
• personalised meetings
• keeping apprentices informed about opportunities relating to their apprenticeship
• liaison with registered training organisations regarding training
• providing support and advice
• being available to talk to apprentices and trainees about any issues they are having.

As well as providing targeted mentoring and assistance, the mentoring program will support employers, many of whom do not have the time or experience to manage all of the issues that arise for apprentices.

NECA is hoping to see a reduction in the number of students who drop out of their Apprentices halfway through due to stress and other related pressures.
Allan McLean, GOTAFE Electrical Team Leader, believes this program will be very beneficial, not only for students but also the businesses they work for.
“Many of our Apprentices work for owner operators and those folk are very busy and are often time poor. When their Apprentices are at work, it’s the job they are focussed on, not necessarily discussing their day to day progress through the Apprenticeship”

For more information on NECA and the Apprenticeship Support Mentoring program, visit https://www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au/programs/industry-specialist-mentoring
For more information about becoming an Electrical Apprentice or to find out more about employing one, contact GOTAFE on 1300 GOTAFE (468 233), visit www.gotafe.vic.edu.au or email enquiry@gotafe.vic.edu.au

Auto Student awarded bronze in World Skill Competition


GOTAFE Automotive student Zaker Gulzari will be presented with a medal and Certificate of Achievement after winning bronze at the Regional World Skills Competition.

Zaker is employed by Woollards Auto body Works, Shepparton and took out third place in the Autobody Repairs section of the World Skills Competition.

Callum Ross, GOTAFE WorldSkills Project Officer said the level of skill showcased by all the students that competed was very high and this year there was a record number of competitions held for the Central Victorian Region.

“There was a total of 13 competitions held by GOTAFE for our region, the most ever,” said Callum.

“The competition is very demanding on the students, it’s stressful and fast paced and requires them to work on a variety of techniques within a specified timeframe, usually around 6 hours.

“The competitions saw students compete against their classmates and the clock in their chosen trade.

“After being involved in this competition for many years it is great to see Woollards and GOTAFE have once again produced a high performing apprentice in Zaker.

“In 2014, GOTAFE spray painting apprentice Billy Cowcher, employed by Woollards narrowly missed out gold at the National World Skills Competition in Perth after winning number one place at the state level.”

GOTAFE has had strong success at the World Skills Competition. And in 2016, two GOTAFE students represented the region at the National World Skills Competition in Melbourne. Automotive Apprentice Crystal McLaren from Wodonga placed third in the Paint and Panel category while Hairdressing Apprentice Eloise McCormick from Beechworth placed ninth. Their success has sparked interest from Trainers and Apprentices alike, with six departments involved in this year’s Regional Competition at GOTAFE.

From July to October the Regional World Skills Competitions were held at GOTAFE’s Shepparton and Wangaratta Campuses across a variety of fields including Building, Automotive, Plumbing, Retail Baking Bread, Retail Baking Pastry, Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy.

The winners from the Regional Competitions will be eligible for the selection process to attend the National Competition held in Sydney in 2018. Winners from last year’s National Competition are competing in the World Competition held in Abu Dhabi in October.

Prime Mover Lands at GOTAFE for Automotive Students


GOTAFE’s Heavy Vehicle Automotive Apprentices now have the ability to work on the newest release Cummins X15 performance Series Engine (2017), one of the first prime mover engines in available in Australia for students to work on.

A successful grant application secured the purchasing of the $120,000 Cummins Engine which is the newest engine to be released by Cummins and is now located at GOTAFE’s Automotive Facility Wangaratta.

GOTAFE Commercial Manager for Automotive Mark Ward said that the new engine gives our students a number of advantages over other Registered Training Providers (RTO).

“This engine that is now part of our suite of equipment in the automotive training facility that gives our heavy vehicle apprentices the opportunity to work on something that will soon be commonplace in the workplace.

“The X15 would be found in heavy vehicles like a semi-trailer or B Double so we hope to invite industry in for specialised training that would be conducted in partnership with Cummins representatives and GOTAFE trainers.

“This engine is special for a few reasons, firstly it is the only one of its kind in Australia to be located in a training facility, the others are actually in vehicles cruising around Australia,” he said.

“Secondly this engine is unique in that it has the latest emission control technology built in, the air comes out almost clean.

“The way for the future is reducing emissions and being more environmentally friendly, so we believe what better way to instil that into our students than to teach them with the newest technology.”

The engine is programmed by Insight Diagnostic that communicates with the engine through a computer or laptop.

Jeremy Connell Crowned Victorian Apprentice of the Year


On Wednesday 11 October, GOTAFE Engineering student Jeremy Connell was announced Apprentice of the Year at the Victorian Training Awards (VTA) Presentation night. The evening was held at the Crown Palladium, a venue befitting the achievements of the finalists.

After a vigorous selection process, Jeremy was one of three finalists and was announced as the Apprentice of the Year by the Minister for Training and Skills, the Hon. Gayle Tierney at the awards night. Jeremy was joined by his employer, Heath Lloyd from Wangaratta Engineering, his partner and his GOTAFE Trainer Greg Keane.

GOTAFE Engineering Trainer Greg Keane said he was delighted to attend the VTA Award Ceremony and see Jeremy up on that stage receiving the Apprentice of the Year award.

“When Jeremy’s name was called out as Apprentice of the Year, I couldn’t have been happier,” Greg said. “I have been lucky enough to be involved in Jeremy’s training since he started as a school-based trainee six years ago.”

“Throughout the entire time he stood out, his skills, his passion, his drive, the quiet way he went about his work and for me it was the way he always made time to help his fellow students, he often put their needs above his own.”

“From the start, I knew he was something special, so when he decided to go back to high school to finish Year 12, after finishing Certificate II in Engineering then come back to us to start his apprenticeship which is a slightly different path that a school-based trainee might take, I said to his employer Wangaratta Engineering, this young man is special let’s work with him to make it happen.”

“For our Engineering Department, Jeremy winning this award is affirmation we are doing great work here, we have great facilities, dedicated trainers and a commitment to our students and the broader engineering field.”

The awards recognise and honour the outstanding achievements of vocational education and training students, teachers, training providers and employers across 15 award categories with winners sharing a total prize pool of $65,000.

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. View all Courses or call 1300 468 233 to find out more.

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. http://www.vic.gov.au/digitalinnovation

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

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.

More than 70 GOTAFE apprentices employed at BF Panels


Since the early 80’s, B.F. Panels, one of the largest workshops in the Albury region have employed more than 70 GOTAFE apprentices. Recently, Mark Capito scored a Panel Beating apprenticeship with the family owned company.

Production Manager Reg Corbitt said every year he approaches GOTAFE Commercial Manager for Automotive Mark Ward for potential apprentices.

“Each year we employ an apprentice panel beater and spray painter, most of them have been through GOTAFE,” said Reg.

“So since the 80’s that means we have employed at least GOTAFE 70 apprentices, that’s a lot of young people who have been given a start by us.

“We have always had a good relationship with GOTAFE, in particular Mark Ward who is respected by industry and the apprentices and his background trade is spray paint so has industry experience, a good reputation with in the industry and always backs the apprentices he recommends.

“We have recently put on Mark Capito, who completed his Cert II Paint & panel pre-apprentice training in Wodonga at the Wodonga Secondary College and came recommended by Mark.
“Its early days but he is doing well, he is very enthusiastic, he has the right attitude, work ethic and is eager to learn.

“In one week alone we can have at least 50 cars put through the repair process, so for our 30 odd employees and especially our apprentices like Mark they get to work on a large variety of repairs each creating their own challenges and learnings.

“We have a points base pay system where our workshop staff have the opportunity to do more hours to earn more points, so the harder they work the better their opportunity to earn more money on top of their base salary, of course it’s all depended on output.

“I think Mark will do well on this system as he is already showing some good skills and the right aptitude to problem solving.”

Mark was almost a qualified carpenter before he made the switch to a Panel Beating apprenticeship and he is glad he did.

“I am currently a first year apprentice, employed by B.F. Panels,” said Mark.

“I completed a pre-apprenticeship with GOTAFE to see if I liked the automotive trade and from that Mark put my name forward to B.F. Panels when they were looking for an apprentice.

“B.F Panels were really welcoming when I first started, there are really good people here, it’s a good, safe environment to work in.

“It’s a family run business which is what I like and they make it work well, with Mark a spray painter by trade and Scott a panel beater.

“They trust you to do a good, quality job and work out the problem yourself but there is always someone I can ask, they have people on the lookout for you to make sure you do the job right and that is great to have that support and backup.

“It’s a big business and there are new cars in every day, so I am always working on something new and presented with a new problem to solve everyday.

“They also use water based spray paint which is better for the environment and better for those that use it so that was important to me.”

Mark works full-time and completes one week block training at GOTAFE, a total of seven during the year.

Completing a pre-apprenticeship like Mark, gives students essential trade skills so that if they land themselves an apprenticeship they already have good basic knowledge of the trade, it also gives the students a good opportunity to see if that’s what they want to do as a career.

GOTAFE is now offering mid year intake for paint and panel out of Wodonga Secondary College and also at its Wangaratta Campus. Contact us to learn more.

Joining the Furniture Making business


At just 19, Tammy Camilleri has almost completed her Certificate II in Furniture Making (MSF20313) at GOTAFE’s Seymour Campus.

Tammy completed highschool in 2015 at Whittlesea Secondary College in Northern Melbourne then commenced Furniture Design at RMIT University.  After six months, Tammy learned that the university course wasn’t designed for school leavers and decided to make the change to vocational education.  A friend suggested the GOTAFE Furniture Design course at the Seymour campus and Tammy took the opportunity to enrol in late 2016.

Living between Glenroy in Melbourne and Clonbinane, Tammy commutes to Seymour several times a week to finish off her course, which she describes “as a perfect fit for her.”

So far to date Tammy has completed an ornate chopping block, coffee table, blanket box, side table and a hallway table and has plenty of ideas for future projects to complete. She has also been asked on numerous occasions to make furniture for friends and family, however the lack of access to a workshop has limited the completion of these additional projects.

“I’m currently looking for an apprenticeship.  There appears to be many in cabinet making, but furniture making is what I want to do,” said Tammy.  Her father was a cabinet maker for more than 25 years, mainly with white box and kitchens, however had a real talent for solid timber so he completed special jobs. He always made things at home and Tammy would join in to help which helped her find her passion with furniture making.

Tammy has loved the course and Rob Freeman her teacher, has been incredibly supportive and allowed Tammy to be more creative with projects than the outlined design. “Tammy has been a wonderful student and very creative, she asks to make tweaks to traditional design and creates beautiful and interesting furniture with meticulous care,” said Rob.

Tammy is currently looking for an apprenticeship and would love to see more women in the industry.

Looking to start a career in Furniture Making? Why not enrol in this entry-level certificate to get you started just like Tammy.  Mid year enrolments are now open.

Go Places with GOTAFE.