Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the top employers who have employed and trained apprentices to build their businesses and address skills shortages in a ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra on 18 August. VU affiliated City West Water and The Schiavello Group were among the winners.
City West Water was awarded the Minister’s Award for Excellence for their Technical Officer Development Program, a leading industry training program that was launched in early 2009. The program is an accelerated cadetship that is completed over five years. The program includes on-the-job rotations, internal training, Certificate III Business qualifications through an Australian Apprenticeship and a Diploma in Engineering Technology through Victoria University, with the option to complete the Advanced Diploma in later years.
The Schiavello Group, which is internationally renowned for the design and manufacture of highly intelligent office systems and occasional furniture, has received the runner up Minister’s Award for Excellence as employers of Australian Apprentices. The award acknowledges Schiavello Group as employers who are leading the way in providing outstanding workplaces for apprentices and trainees. The Schiavello Group currently employs 60 Australian apprentices, some who don’t have English as a first language, and most of this group come from VU. In 2008 Schiavello made the decision to send all of their apprentices for off-the-job training to one training organisation. This means that from 2010 all of Schiavello’s apprentices will be trained at VU. Some of the advantages for the apprentices are consistent training and assessment, flexibility to conduct training on site with best practice and real to life situations and provide the opportunity for Schiavello apprentices to learn together and share their learning.