Category Archives: Workforce Development

Skills for All and Opportunities for You

By | Vocational Education and Training, Workforce Development | No Comments

Skills for All, the Strategic Direction for Vocational Education and Training in South Australia 2011-2014 has been published and was great weekend reading with the pink highlighter pen out!

What does Skills for All offer?

  • extra $194 million over the next 6 years for an additional 100 000 places
  • transition to a National VET Regulator in 2011
  • income contingent loans and concession fees for low income earners
  • Skills in the Workplace initiative to upskill employees in support of their workforce development – sharing the costs with government where more than 200 employees – at least 50%; 100-199 employees at least 25%; less than 100 employees at least 10%
  • independent and endorsed workforce development advisors
  • subsidies – full for Cert I and II; 80% for Cert III and IV; 70% for Dip and Adv Dip; up to 100% for priority qualifications, critical skills and specialised occupations
  • designated skills set training once/year based upon advice from industry
  • move towards fully contestable training market
  • from 1.7.11 the Office of TAFE SA will be formed
  • training information portal
  • plain language document on provider services and outcomes for students, awareness of opportunities to feedback concerns or complaints from students and regular info campaigns
  • $6.4 million in additional funding for foundation skills and Adult and Community Education (ACE)
  • reduction in VET cost per hour closer to the national VET average
  • Skills for All providers will receive subsidies for delivery in rural locations that reflect additional costs with thin markets
  • targeted professional development initiatives that address contemporary education and training and workforce development practice
  • nominated capability building initiatives to ensure good practice for providers
  • a new Employer Recognition Program initially recognising employers of apprentices and expanding over time for employers who are committed to developing the skills of their workforce
  • employers co-investment with Government in integrate workforce development plans, encourage industry uptake of workforce development, industry investment and skill development for new and emerging industries and technologies
  • workforce development support including toolkits, workshops and resources

So here’s some ideas on what to consider now so you are ready for the roll out:

  • training providers must demonstrate the demand for skills and jobs, links to industry and funding required – this means taking an evidence based approach and analysing workforce, industry and regional demand
  • registration and qualification requirements as a Skills for All training provider – this is additional to the minimum AQTF standards and you’ll need to be on the look out for when DFEEST releases the requirements
  • increased focus on recognition of prior learning and identifying student learning needs – think about RPL as opt out of not op in and who you can tap into for learner support
  • at enrolment students and their provider will develop a customised training plan – do you already have this in place or will you need to develop a template and tools?
  • the subsidy price will be paid monthly to qualified providers based upon module completions – how will your cash flow work and what systems will you need to put in place for reporting?
  • one website will have information about Skills for All providers – how will you keep this up to date and what about your own website, maybe time for review and some advice?
  • DFEEST will provide information to students – how could you maximise this promotional opportunity and do you need to rethink your marketing strategy?
  • ACE partners – who do you know?  who can you work with? do/can/will you deliver foundation skills?
  • VET costing – do you know all the inputs, all the outputs and the return on the investment?
  • Delivery in rural locations – get familiar with the Accessibility Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) to determine regional loadings and classify your target markets based upon industries, student cohorts and regions – locality, SLA and postcode are important data sets here
  • need to better engage and support SME’s – facilitate a workforce development style conversation and identify all their needs
  • employer recognition – what about the commitment of your own organisation to workforce development?  are you leading the way?
  • focus on workforce development – this is moving beyond training and assessment and workforce skills development towards a workforce planning approach

What’s next – have a look at the key implementation milestones with the Skills in the Workplace program due for August 2011 with most activities kicking off publicly from June 2011 through until 2012-13.

Make sure you subscribe for further updates and what you are looking forward to?

How to build a Competency Framework

By | Workforce Development | No Comments

First of all why do you want to build one?

Often it’s because people ask for training and development that may not be directly related to their job role, it may be dealt with ad hoc and often training needs aren’t aggregated at an organisational, project or team level.

Another reason could be that you are looking for an evidence based approach to assessing skill level and performance, you may be recruiting, looking at career progression or you may want to demonstrate your workforce capability for a tender, proposal, project or industry awards.

Whatever the reason, I suggest you start with the end in mind – what are you wanting as the out and outcomes and then work your way back.

Secondly, who needs to be involved to validate and who needs to be briefed and kept up to date with the framework as it develops.  Communication and consultation is absolutely critical so work out who are your audiences, what do you need to say, when and how often, and what communication methods will you use including existing communication channels.  Utilising a group of people representing their job roles, especially if they are well networked in their area is a good way to go.  Help them to know the purpose of the framework, what it will be used for and their knowledge, experience and understanding of the job roles in the framework to validate the competency and skills profiles.

Thirdly, think about the structure which needs to mirror the organisation or client (could be internal or external like a project) you are working with.  I like the structure of core competencies i.e. everybody needs these, functional competencies including leadership i.e. some people need different functions, and job specific competencies i.e. skills that make 1 job role different to another.  Draw a diagram of the competency framework and have the map to relevant skills sitting behind it.

Fourthly, what can we use the framework for?  Training and development needs analysis,performance management, competency based job descriptions and recruitment, career and succession planning, evidence against industry standards and for tenders, proposals, marketing and promotions.

A final word on who needs a framework – well it’s up to you!  I have developed a framework for a 1 person business up to a government department with 43 000 people because they had very real business reasons to build one in the first place.

Recognition

By | Human Resource Management, Workforce Development, Workforce Planning | One Comment

Yesterday I attended a CEDA luncheon with Hugh Mackay on his new book What makes us tick: The ten desires that drive us.

Hugh covered the ten desires including:

The desire to be taken seriously

The desire for ‘my place’

The desire for something to believe in

The desire to connect

The desire to be useful

The desire to belong

The desire for more

The desire for control

The desire for something to happen

The desire for love

Mackay asserts that the desire to be taken seriously is the most important one, “Not seriously as in ‘Oh what a serious person!’ but seriously as in ‘Please recognise and acknowledge me as an individual.’ (p.2)

So how does this apply to workforce management?  Well I’d suggest this desire relates to every aspect of working effectively with people – recognising their achievements, skills, performance, career aspirations, leadership, issues, ideas, work load, work-life balance and the importance of engaging people in decision making, problem solving and change implementation.  A good reminder really of the need to practice recognising people every day.

Workforce Development funding

By | Vocational Education and Training, Workforce Development, Workforce Projects | One Comment

So where to look for funding opportunities to support your workforce development project or training of your staff?  Here’s a couple of sites and links you might find useful with programs funded by the Australian Government:

Critical Skills Investment Fund

Workforce Innovation Program

Clean Sustainable Skills Package

Teaching and Learning Capital Fund

Workplace English Language and Literacy Program

Productivity Places Program

Industry Training Strategies Program

Jobs Fund

Innovation Fund

Applications for Training Grants

Family Centred Employment Project

Social Enterprise Development and Investment Fund

IBSA supporting Workforce Development

Ausindustry Programs and Grants

Enterprise Connect Services and Grants

Grantslink

Post your links of funds and grants you know of and look out for a new blog post with state and territory specific funding information soon.

99 Ways to Retain Good Staff

By | Human Resource Management, Workforce Development | One Comment

At a recent Enterprise Connect workforce re-engineering network meeting, participants took on the challenge of coming up with 99 ways to retain good staff.  Here’s the results – we got to 63 so what else would you add?

  1. Rubber chicken award – recognition of a job well done
  2. Clear career pathways
  3. Exchange programs – across the organisation, outside and back again
  4. Defined expectations from the team member and manager
  5. Understanding of the psychological contract and unwritten agreements
  6. Two-way, meaningful communication
  7. Performance – defining good and poor performance
  8. Input into decision making
  9. Empathy and understanding for issues outside of work
  10. Team discussions, meetings and planning
  11. Democratic workplace and included
  12. Birthday leave – leave day for your birthday
  13. Flexibility with work commitments – early/late start
  14. Professional development
  15. Events, dinners and industry functions – BBQ’s, Melbourne Cup, lunches, Christmas
  16. Conferences and travelling
  17. Boss willing to work alongside staff
  18. Nice work environment
  19. Positive atmosphere
  20. Health and well being programs, flu shots, checks
  21. Free drinks machine, tea, coffee and biscuits
  22. Years of service awards
  23. Bring your partners along to special events
  24. Gifts, thank you, pressies and awards
  25. Transport provide for special occasions
  26. Know your staff well – personal interests, partner and kids names
  27. Balance in the team – experience, knowledge, skills, generations
  28. Find out what people want to be known for
  29. What do people say and think about you?
  30. Accommodation and housing
  31. Project based opportunities
  32. Exciting work
  33. Clear about future directions
  34. Access to the boss
  35. Multi skilling
  36. Find out what work people want to do
  37. Share management duties such as chairing meetings
  38. Activities to support charities and volunteer
  39. Public acknowledgement
  40. Massages, mini breaks
  41. Listening
  42. Photos, video of career history
  43. Wellness programs
  44. Work sports teams and leagues
  45. Manage the poor performers
  46. Toolbox chats
  47. Social and environmental responsibility initiatives
  48. Competency based recruitment and selection
  49. Match ethos and values
  50. Attitude over aptitude
  51. Set goals and review regularly
  52. Build your own training centre – pride and joy to conduct own training
  53. Ask why do you stay?
  54. Immaculate facility
  55. Social club and activities
  56. Demonstrate good management in the tough times with clear communication
  57. Internal mentors
  58. Mid-career opportunities – networking of similar cohort across the organisation
  59. Higher education opportunities – complete a Masters degree as a group
  60. Phased retirement
  61. Surprises – nice ones
  62. Exercise program – Pilates as a group
  63. Gym program to support physical requirements of the job

Temporary Work as a Retention Strategy

By | Workforce Development | One Comment

It might seem counter intuitive?  More temporary work is being offered as short-term contracts ranging in length from a few months to around 18 months as a retention strategy for some employees.  The contractor and project-based temporary workforce is responding to employer needs for staff who have specific skills and knowledge.  Employees can also develop expertise in a set of skills, be involved in particular projects or work for key employers to boost their resume and career.  A temporary contract is particularly popular in defence and mining industries and for major infrastructure projects in civil construction and rail.  The trend seems more towards a pool or group of people working together around a project and a specific contract rather than temping doing general kind of work.  These opportunities are very much around project-based expertise.  People tend of want that flexibility as well because it gives them experience in different areas.  Project management gives them different skills sets.  Temporary work allows employers to match their workforce to the projects that have on the go at any moment and ramp up projects quickly.  Some staff are juggling multiple projects or jobs and gaining work through word of mouth in their personal or professional networks, rather than being employed by a temping agency.  Temporary contracts also allow workers to have extended mini breaks between jobs which means they work hard and have limited work life balance during the life of the contract.  But it allows them extra time off between projects.  There are extra benefits rather than pay and employers are using temporary work as a retention strategy.

As interviewed by Cara Jenkin, CareerOne Editor and published in The Advertiser, CareerOne section on 30.10.10 p. 3

So You Think about your Workforce

By | Human Resource Management, Workforce Development, Workforce Planning | No Comments

Today’s result in the 2010 Melbourne Cup with all the hype about So You Think as the absolute favourite (who then came third) goes to show you can’t make assumptions.

Often I get asked these questions – What’s going to happen to our workforce?  Will our key people be leaving soon?  What will help to retain our staff?  Don’t make assumptions about these important answers.

Now I know horses don’t talk, so why don’t you ask your staff what they want, what their plans are into the future and what can you do to retain the people you need for your business success.