TAFE and BIA NSW sign MoU for marine industry careers

Susan Hartigan and Darren Vaux
BIA NSW
At the recent Sydney International Boat Show, the Boating Industry of Australia of NSW (BIA) and TAFE NSW signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), effectively forming a collaborative partnership to strengthen the sustainability of the industry through skills development; define clearer career pathways; and increase access to training and skills recognition options.

Members of the BIA employ between 6,000 and 9,000 workers at anytime in NSW and the sector is experiencing skills shortages across a range of trade, technical, and service-focussed fields.

'One of the primary objectives is to raise awareness of the full extent of opportunities that exist in what is an exciting and diverse sector. The partnership with TAFE NSW will increase access to training and skills recognition options. For example, using the TVET pathway, secondary school students can start TAFE NSW marine studies while still at school. Studying a TVET course can contribute marks towards a student’s school results and set them on the path to a TAFE NSW marine qualification,' said BIA General Manager Roy Privett.

For those planning to enter the marine industry fresh out of school, the benefit of a head-start through TVET is obvious.

This strategic alliance will also seek to provide improved options for workers with existing practical skills.

'People already employed in the industry with specific skills developed through practical application, are eligible to apply for recognition at TAFE NSW,' said Susan Hartigan, R/Deputy Director-General, TAFE and Community Education.

Simply put, a TAFE NSW trainer can conduct an assessment of the individual’s work experience, career history and any previous study to identify skills which may gain full or part credit towards a TAFE NSW qualification. If an assessment identifies skills gaps, additional workplace training or TAFE NSW study are some of the options available.

'Our sector has many highly skilled employees whose experience is valued by employers, and new skills and skilled people are always in demand. Our alliance with TAFE is all about improving pathways, for those entering the industry, and for those within the industry seeking to grow. We see this initiative as delivering real value to boating industry personnel, and the host of employers in the sector,' said Mr Privett.

Experts from BIA and TAFE NSW worked together at this year’s Sydney International Boat Show, (28 July to 1 August 2011 at Darling Harbour) to answer questions and provide advice on career pathways and TAFE NSW study options.

More at www.tafensw.edu.au