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Australia: Research on effective traineeships

Australia, 26 October 2009: Australian National Centre for Vocational Education Research publishes report on identifying what works in traineeships across varied industries.

The researchers performed case studies of traineeships during 2007 and 2008 in cleaning, child care, construction, retail, finance and insurance and meat processing.

From the executive summary:

To assist with the creation of favourable environments for traineeships, the research has suggested a number of new policy options worth consideration:

  • Marketing traineeships: governments could conduct a marketing campaign for traineeships similar to that for apprenticeships. This would not only raise awareness of their availability but dispel any doubts about the value and quality of traineeships. Employer and employee peak bodies, skills councils, peak bodies for registered training organisations and state education systems all have a role to play and in many cases need education themselves about the nature and benefits of traineeships.
  • Support for traineeship quality improvement: this could occur through more rigorous application of state training authority audit functions. It is also suggested that these bodies provide independent advice and assistance vis-à-vis traineeships. Registered training organisations would benefit from good practice examples of traineeship delivery. Employers should be mentored and otherwise encouraged to develop ‘traineeship management’ skills so that they provide better on-the-job training and support for trainees.
  • Training packages: these should include better articulation pathways for both career progression and to higher-level qualifications. State training authorities should review the suitability of individual qualifications for traineeship delivery more rigorously.
  • Teaching and training qualifications: governments and peak registered training organisation bodies should consider improving teaching and learning by requiring higher-level training qualifications for trainers and devoting more resources to high-quality learning resources, rather than relying on training package support materials.
  • Funding: there may be a case for a traineeship funding model flexible enough to accommodate the diversity of traineeship environments. For example, it can be argued that an on-the-job traineeship in a rural or remote area where the typical learner has literacy problems should receive markedly different funding from an off-the-job traineeship in a metropolitan area.  Traineeships specifically targeted to particular client groups are also more expensive to service and should receive greater amounts of funding.
Australian National Centre for Vocational Education Research


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