Territory Stories

Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 November 1999



Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 November 1999

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Parliamentary Record 20


Debates for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Tuesday 23 November 1999 needed to run this program. The other thing is that perhaps the apprenticeship structures need to be revisited with the point of making this a more flexible environment for this type of approach to be repeated in other trade areas. The last thing was the general work practices. Why this is so unique is that the same students are existing within a school environment, a secondary school, as theyre adapting to a work environment, but because of the way it is structured they can transition from one to the other without quite the same amount of abrupt change that occurs in a normal apprenticeship arrangement. This is ground breaking work. It has proved that it can be put together even though its taken some time to do it. This pertains to a lot of things weve been saying earlier today. I wont obviously read this as it is in the earlier debate but I think that this is an example where a school shortage specific to our region has been addressed in a very innovative way. We need to be looking at a lot more of that work and these sorts of approaches, particularly in Alice Springs where we have to make the most of a fairly small resource base both in terms of the provider expertise, the number of qualified and skilled teachers, the capacity of businesses to support training in the form of apprenticeships. This is a very good way of combining those scarce resources into a powerful enough structure to deliver. To pick out some other details of it, obviously this arrangement required a dual accreditation between the NT board of studies and the VET sector, as it involved training from both sectors. There needed to be a balance struck between the practical skills learned on the VET side to the retention of some of the core areas, such as humanities and mathematics, in the year 11 work. Behind the structural arrangements that were made there was also the obvious need to support those apprentices personally and in an individual way. There was quite a large provision within the arrangements for, first of all, interviewing the students prior to enrolment and then with ongoing counselling and support as they moved into the arrangement. This role was played out by the TAFE council, the manager of Group Training NT and the NTC coordinator of the Centralian, so it was a good team there to support them. The support for the course also came from the industry ITAB because of the identified shortage of skills in that area. They were very keen to see some innovative new ways of perhaps meeting those shortages and so there was an ongoing supporting role from the ITAB. The final element was that the work was directly related back to the Australian qualification frameworks so that the trade training was immediately picked up in a modular fashion and related back to national standards. Its been a very thorough job of getting the different elements of the program together. I will just give a better idea of what the apprentices have been studying over the year - general English part 1, general English part 2, food and culture, physical recreation studies, practical art and craft, access mathematics, all of those 75 hours total, and then the certificate 1 automotive, the actual VET training, 240 hours total, and then the work placement itself within these businesses, 640 hours. I wish to acknowledge the apprentices who have been involved in the program: Ben Cartwright, Tony Connor, Joshua Thomas, Kris Stower, Vai Prior, Luke Miller, Joe Nelligan, Dylan Trindle, Peter Elston, Dominic Phillips, and Wayne Woodberry; and the businesses that have been acting as on the job centres for them and for carrying the apprenticeship: Centralian Motors, Mobile Larapinta, Shell Oasis/NT Fuels, AOne Mechanics, Elston Auto Repairs, RACE Motorcycles. I commend those businesses. I think theyve really shown the pioneering spirit of offering their training situation to a new structure for producing trained apprentices. Its showing a commitment to the youth in Alice Springs, and its showing some vision about doing something about our local training and skill shortages. The obvious other credits go to Group Training NT which has done a fantastic job in brokering this arrangement, along with Centralian College and the ITAB for giving the overall systemic support to the arrangements. I hope we see more of these kinds of attempts in other trade areas. I think there are a lot of trade skills that have been identified as in deficit in the Territory. We do need to extend these innovative processes further and wider. Its in line with other things I have seen at Gemco for the training of mine workers, and the accelerated apprenticeship work thats being done by the Northern Territory University. There are these quality spots within the provision of training in the Territory. They need to be applauded, and I hope this program goes on and prospers into the future. Mr MITCHELL (Millner): Mr Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise tonight to speak about a couple of constituents of mine. I start off by just commenting on what the member for Arafura commented on before with regard to Pedro

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