RMIT | Excellence and innovation in care economy higher apprenticeships

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The Future Builder Award

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The social services sector is facing unprecedented change including growing demographic demand for services and from requirements and obligations that have emerged from the findings of several recent sector-relevant royal commissions in Victoria. In that state alone, approximately 12,000 new workers will be needed by 2025.

RMIT developed a 70:20:10 approach to train 500 new workers under the Skills in Practice initiative. The initiative uses an innovative earn and learn model of teaching to encourage participation and prepare the workforce to hit the ground running.  

The initiative was also established to upskill 400 existing workers through the Higher Apprenticeships and Traineeships Extension Project to meet the need for more skilled and credentialled disability care workers. RMIT is on track to complete the project with 415 new workers, 385 existing workers and 40 key industry partners.

The programs have been developed and designed in close collaboration with industry, for industry.

Finalists - RMIT University’s College of Vocational Education and Workforce Innovation and Development Institute

“The skills you develop at the end of the day is beyond you. You can’tplace a value on it. It is exceptional and it is rewarding, not just for theprogram but in your social life, personal life, how you meet challenges, howyou solve problems, how you negotiate, how you collaborate. This program gave me a lot, I’m proud to say. Made me a better human being”.  

Uchechukwe (Uche)Precious Ishiguzor

Disability Support Worker

“Retention of staff can be really challenging in our industry, mostly because of the number of competitors that are out there. But having the RMIT and mentor program being a part of that, it was much easier to retain our staff because any issues we really faced head on and with the support of the mentors. It means the participants that we support have staff who have a better education and a better understanding of their direct needs. We are sending out people in the industry who have an actual understanding of what they are doing prior to doing it. I would absolutely recommend this model to other providers within the industry. It absolutely makes sense to have staff who are educated and qualified, who have a sound understanding and who go out with a level of confidence where they know that they’re supporting people with disabilities in an ethical way that’s respectful to them, and that meets standards, especially the NDIS practice standards”.  

Lola Nicolouleas

Executive Officer –Owner, Assist Ability Australia

“Yooralla, as a large provider of disability services, is confronting significant challenges in relation to workforce shortages and sourcing an appropriately skilled workforce. Our strategic partnership with RMIT through the Workforce Innovation & Development Institute has been critical in assisting us address these challenges. The SKiP project has provided innovative ways to be able to source and attract new candidates in the sector while also supporting the updating of these candidates through completion of formal qualifications. The ability of RMIT to effectively establish strong connections with partners and deliver outcomes is a testament to their commitment to supporting the disability sector and the clients we service. We are on track to increase the number of recruited Disability Support Workers by 25% in 2022 and will also increase numbers of qualified workers by 10% across Yooralla, which in large part is directly attributable to our partnership”.

David Thorsen

Executive Director, People & Culture , Yooralla

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