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Apprenticeships, Employment & Training Provider | VERTO

VERTO is an award winning, not-for-profit organisation assisting businesses and individuals with all their apprenticeship, employment and training needs. Our expertise covers a range of areas including Aboriginal services, Australian apprenticeships services, disability services, employment services and vocational training to help businesses, individuals and local industry to thrive. Our mission is to positively impact the lives of individuals and communities and we’ve built a track record of exemplary customer service over 35 years, built around an ethical approach.You'll find the team in over 40 locations across New South Wales.

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Community Programs

VERTO offers a number of community programs that focus on assisting and supporting disadvantaged individuals with their search for employment and managing daily life issues.
Indigenous Services

Indigenous Services

Tenants' Advice and Advocacy

Tenants' Advice and Advocacy

Disability Services

Disability Services

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Why you should consider a career in agrifoods

Why you should consider a career in agrifoods

By Ron Maxwell - CEO

The Australian agrifoods industry, which encompasses food production, processing, and logistics, (essentially every step from paddock to plate), is worth $200 billion and employs around 900,000 Australians. And this number is only set to grow, as the Agrifoods Industry Skills Council works with the federal government to create 600,000 new training placements across the industry. 

Unlike many of our other large-scale employers, agrifood operations aren’t typically centred in major cities – they are right here, in our regions. With many regional areas experiencing higher unemployment rates than our cities, it may be surprising to note that there are skills shortages across this growing industry. 

In Central West New South Wales alone, we have a number of large-scale producers and processors, including Moxey Farms, the largest single-site dairy farm in the Southern Hemisphere and Cowra Meat Processors, which employs around 200 people. Many of these job opportunities are given to transient workers, like backpackers and even 'grey nomads', because it's increasingly difficult to source local workers.  

With so many jobs available across the country in our regional and remote areas, the agrifoods sector is well place to respond to the challenges of regional population decline – if we can encourage more people to take a look at the opportunities.

Whether you are just starting out in your career, looking for a new challenge, or transitioning to a new career, now might be the time to consider a career in our growing agrifoods sector. 

It's a diverse industry 

Some of this, in my opinion, relates to the misconception that all of the jobs are menial. While it's true that you do need a level of physical strength and a strong stomach to work in the boning room of an abattoir, for example, there are many jobs that require different skills, including maths, science, and computing. 

Like every industry, automation, robotics and technology are playing their part in agrifoods too. So much so, that it has given rise to a sub-industry, called Agtech. As the production lines in our food processing plants become increasingly automated, there are opportunities for technicians and engineers.  On our farms, growing crops and raising cattle and sheep have become just as much about the science as the labour, with a whole host of jobs focused on making the process more efficient and more environmentally friendly

The mix of skilled and unskilled employment demand in the industry makes it a great opportunity for lots of different types of people. There are opportunities for those with qualifications and a higher level of education, as well as for those looking to get a start or forge a new career.

Meat processing offers an opportunity

For some, meat processing qualifications can be a great way to get involved in a regional industry. Across Australia, there are skills shortages in the industry, and we are seeing a decline in the number of people undertaking these qualifications. This is leading to a significant increase in job opportunities and potentially even wage growth, as demands outstrips supply.

Working in a meat processing plant is not going to suit everyone. It can involve heavy lifting, and of course, it involves working with animal carcases, something that is not for everyone. If you do have the fortitude to work in this environment, it can be a great place for those without higher education to get a start in a career that can lead to stable employment and a good salary, with an average salary of $1202 per week.  

Powered by sustainability 

With the current concerns about environmental issues and global population growth, sustainable food production is a hot topic and a trend that is bringing a host of new job opportunities. Biodynamic and sustainable farming practices are offering new opportunities to join the agrifoods industry while helping Australia become greener. We are even seeing an increase in the production of meat alternatives, an industry that is predicted to employ more 6,000 full-time workers by 2030.

We will always need to produce food for both local and exports markets, so it's an industry that will continue to grow. There are numerous vocational qualifications that can enable you to find employment in this booming industry. If you are interested in finding out more about these opportunities, I encourage you to contact our Training Services team on 1300 4 VERTO. 

 

Thinking about a career? Here are three reasons why you should look at an apprenticeship

Thinking about a career? Here are three reasons why you should look at an apprenticeship

By Jason Foster - General Manager Apprenticeships and New Business

Picking the right career is a big decision. When you’re in your final years at school, the options can seem endless; one of the huge benefits of today’s technology-driven, fast-paced world. With so many options, however, comes the pressure to pick the right one. 

Often the pressure comes to choose a certain path, such as a university degree. There’s been plenty written about the perceived university ‘bias’ in our education system, and that, in itself, can put pressure on students to make a decision that leads down this path.

Apprenticeships have sometimes been seen as the poor cousin to university, however, the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. With the skills shortage facing us, apprenticeships are absolutely crucial to a solution. And given that scenario, it can often mean better opportunities and wage conditions as well!

Given our work with apprentices and the employers that employ them, we see this on a daily basis. Being an apprentice provides you with so many opportunities and, as a career option, is second to none. Here are my top three reasons why you should consider an apprenticeship:

1. A lifetime of opportunities

Completing an apprenticeship gives you a formal qualification and a career path for life. Regardless of which apprenticeship you choose, the ability to build a career across a trade or specific occupation is something that is not always available on other paths. 

It provides you with a formal qualification, with study forming a part of your working life. These qualifications are recognised nationally and internationally, opening up a huge range of possibilities. It’s also worth noting that many trades and occupations where apprenticeships are available are not tied to our major cities, giving you a range of lifestyle options. As your qualifications are internationally recognised, you can still use your skills if you’re looking to do a stint living overseas too. 

If you do decide to change paths later in your career, it's something you can always fall back on if required. For example, if you qualify as an electrician that skillset stays with you, even you decide to try your hand at something else. It’s something you can always return to and find employment opportunities.

2. There’s a skills shortage…we need you! 

As mentioned above, Australia is in the grip of a skills shortage and it’s getting worse. It’s a fact that 9 out of 10 occupations that face a skills shortage require a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification. It’s vital to our country's economic future, and in some industries, their viability long term, that we address this shortage. 

The upshot of a skills shortage means that there’s a huge demand. That demand means that wage growth in a number of these industries is strong, giving you great future employment and earning potential. Many trades and VET occupations also give you the opportunity to run your own business, something that is quite unique. 

3. You’re part of a community 

While it may not be the most obvious point, something I’ve always found rewarding in this space is the community that exists in many of these industries.

By completing a VET qualification, you’re often joining a community that provides huge opportunities. The networking and friendship opportunities are fantastic and become a really attractive part of working in these industries. These bonds often extend for the life of your working career.

In the end, there are so many positives to a VET career path that it really pays to take a look. At VERTO, we provide many opportunities to test the water, from our online CareerGate tool to our “Meet the Tradies” open days. If you would like to see what a VET career could do for you, contact us to discuss your specific options

How to find the right apprenticeship

How to find the right apprenticeship

By Ron Maxwell - CEO

It's that time of year when school-leavers and their parents are weighing up career options. It's an exciting time, but also one that can be stressful as you make a decision that can have a long-term impact. 

If you haven't considered an apprenticeship, there are many reasons why it should be on your radar. From diverse career options with high job vacancies, to learning while you earn, it can be the start of a fulfilling career. With skill shortages in many trades, you'll be on a pathway with many opportunities and the likelihood of increasing wages. In many industries, opportunities to work for yourself also abound, so those with an entrepreneurial spark can put it to good use. 

Apprenticeships are often wrongly considered the option for those who didn’t make the cut to university, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In the digital age, many trades that used to rely on elbow grease are now more about technology, computing and maths; such as automotive, (cars today are more like computers), or even plumbing, where the rise of smart devices is changing the industry

When it comes to finding the right apprenticeship, it's important to explore your options, and with a proactive approach you can put yourself on the pathway to a great career. Here are my top tips to finding the right apprenticeship. 

Speak to your career adviser 

Your career adviser is there to support you to reach your career goals, and they can put you in touch with some great programs, like "Try a Trade", where you can spend time working with tradies in different industries to get a feel for the realities of life on the job.  

Consider a school-based apprenticeship

If you haven't heard of a school-based apprenticeship, you're probably not alone. In my opinion, this program doesn’t always get the airtime it deserves. It offers the opportunity to start your apprenticeship in Years 10, 11 or 12, delivering on-the-job experience in a paid position and a head start on your apprenticeship while still completing your HSC.  This makes sense. More and more trades are relying on a HSC level of mathematics and computing so leaving in Year 10 isn’t always the right pathway. 

Talk to an Apprenticeship Network Provider

An Apprenticeship Network Provider, like VERTO, is a great place to start. At VERTO, we start by asking you to take an online survey to match you with a career path based on your skills and interests.

We've seen many people come through our doors who were sure they wanted to do a particular trade, only to find out they were better matched to one they hadn't even considered. Making sure you are well-matched to the right job will set you up for a long-term, fulfilling career. 

Your provider can also help to match you with the right employer in your area. At VERTO, we partner with many local employers to match candidates to vacancies, and this gives us a great understanding of not only the opportunities, but the cultural fit too. For example, if we have a highly extroverted employer, we probably wouldn’t match them with an extremely introverted candidate.  A good cultural match is critical to the success of the apprenticeship, so working with a team who understands you and your prospective employer can give you the competitive edge. 

Attend local events 

Each year, VERTO offers "Meet the Tradie" events, a chance to ask tradies the real questions and get a candid feel for life in that trade.

We usually run these as part of National Skills Week, and this is a great chance to learn about potential career paths as there are a host of events around the country. But even if you have missed the boat this year, talk to local providers as there may be other opportunities coming up. 

Talk to tradies  

If you have a tradie in your family or social network, this is a great opportunity to talk to someone in detail about the job, so make use of it.   

Even if you don't, take a proactive approach and contact a local company in your chosen field. 

Many tradies would be happy to answer a few questions, and, by taking the initiative, you are showing your interest – so if an apprenticeship opportunity were to arise, you just might be in the box seat.

The choice you make now will play a role in at least the next few years of your life, if not the next few decades. Taking the initiative and proactively exploring options will give you an opportunity to evaluate whether a particular trade is right for you, connect with potential employers and find a career you enjoy.

Apprenticeships offer a diverse range of fantastic career opportunities, so if you haven't considered one before, now might be a great time to take a look.  If you are thinking about an apprenticeship and want to explore your options, I encourage you to contact our Apprenticeships team on 1300 4 VERTO or visit https://www.verto.org.au/what-we-do/apprentices.

Why disability employment works for everyone

Why disability employment works for everyone

By Ron Maxwell - CEO

With a long history of working in employment services, I've witnessed first-hand the many benefits of employment for people with disability – for both the job seeker and the employer. Recently, we've seen a spate of good news stories about VERTO clients and employers building mutually rewarding partnerships, and it’s something we need to put front and centre.

Disability employment works on so many levels. Employers benefit from a capable, loyal and hard-working team member, and the job seeker from increased confidence, financial independence, and greater self-worth.  Despite this, some Australian employers remain reticent to hire people with disability, and the unemployment rate for job seekers with a disability is twice the national average.  

Education is key

For me, much of this comes down to misconceptions about how, why and what a business can expect from hiring a person with a disability.  Australians with disability make up around 18 per cent of the population, (around 4.3 million people), and of these, one million are working age and employed or looking for employment. It's time to start a conversation, break down some of the misconceptions and focus on the many positive outcomes 

A common misconception I hear is that hiring someone with a disability will be expensive. There is often a misunderstanding that it will always involve extensive access modifications, investment in new hardware or software, or a significant change to the workplace. It’s simply not true. Disabilities vary in type and severity, and often require minimal modifications or changes to workplaces that are barely noticeable.  Additionally, where modifications are required, employers can often access government funding to make the necessary adjustments. 

Employers who are willing to invest just a little time into finding the right employee will reap the rewards.  Contrary to another popular misconception, employees with a disability do not need more sick leave than any other employee. In fact, research shows the opposite; employees with a disability take less time off work than those without one.  The same research also indicates that people with a disability connect well with customers, boost overall team morale, and perform as well as every other employee. Recently, we asked some of our Disability Employment Services clients what they would say to employers who are thinking about hiring someone with a disability, and you can watch the video here.

It's about finding the right fit

The key when it comes to disability employment, and the reason VERTO has so many success stories, lies in matching the right job seeker with the right employer. It's critical to assess the needs and interests of the job seeker, look at any barriers that may exist, and create an individual plan to overcome them.  

Our team, who are disability employment specialists (and more importantly, incredibly passionate about what they do), really focus on this. In fact, last year the team won the Open Employment Award at the National Disability Employment Excellence  Awards, after being nominated by a job seeker who found long-term employment and a new passion working at a winery. 

Making sure there is a great fit will ensure there is a sustainable and mutually-beneficial relationship.  This is important from a business standpoint, and if an employee remains in the job for 12 months, there are also extra financial incentives on offer. Of course, our goal from the start is to place our job seekers with disability in positions where they will work for many years.  

Sustainable employment builds self-worth

For individuals, finding long-term employment in a job that matches their interests and abilities will build confidence and a stronger sense of self-worth, as well as contributing to financial independence.  Sometimes this is about reskilling; for example, for someone who has worked in a trade but due to an injury or accident now has a physical restriction, it might be about reskilling them to work in admin in the same industry, working in with their existing interests and knowledge, but in a new way. 

We work with people on an individual level to find the training and employment solutions that best fit them. It's not about ticking a box; the right employment can be life changing. One recent example that comes to mind is the story of Kerri, who due to her medical conditions, struggled to find employment.  We were able to not only match Kerri with a suitable job, but also develop her confidence to succeed at interview and in the workplace more generally. Kerri credits the role with giving her purpose, reducing bill stress, and helping her to be a positive role model for her son.  It really is about so much more than just a job.

At the end of the day, ensuring our labour force is inclusive is a great thing, and the many success stories we see day in, day out at VERTO really highlight the benefits. We have many happy employers and job seekers who have both reaped the rewards. We are continuing to focus on educating employers and sharing our good news stories, and I welcome and encourage businesses to contact our Employment Services team to explore this fantastic opportunity.

What our
clients say . . .

  • "Our local VERTO group of consultants have been in the business for many years now and have a very strong knowledge of the requirements of our apprentices and trainees. The team are always available to answer any questions that may arise, making their customer service excellent. It is with their commitment and dedication that we as a large company are able to achieve an above average completion rate for our apprentices and trainees."

    Mark Smith, Director - Masterfoods
  • "VERTO’s highly professional and dedicated Careergate™ team have been immensely conducive to our Post School Options Program. We were fortunate to have them as Guest Speakers at a work readiness program preparing students for the world of work. VERTO have gone above and beyond their commitment to our students, delivering information about apprenticeships and traineeships, and helping develop their knowledge about the job seeking cycle."

    Suza Puljic, Specialist Teacher Student Services - Catholic Education Diocese
  • "THE VERTO team are fantastic and we appreciate their expertise and support. They always go the extra mile in everything they do…. nothing is ever too much trouble."

    Samantha Palise, Pathways Program Manager - Mid Coast Connect
  • "VERTO provide great advice and support throughout the entire recruitment process, from assisting with the position description and advertising, receiving applications, to providing office space for interviews. Friendly professionalism, courtesy and prompt responses all added to a positive result – which our organisation greatly appreciates."

    Jenny Bell, Manager - Cowra Tourism Corporation
  • "VERTO care about my wellbeing and helped me find a great job! I now work outdoors with a friendly bunch of people, for a local employer that treats employees with compassion and understanding. I’m now looking forward to a long term future in the workforce."

    Liam McFarlane - Former Job Seeker
  • "The disability employment services team are very caring. They take time with me and for me and are very understanding. They go above and beyond to help me in all aspects, not just employment."

    Stephen - DES Client
  • "VERTO has been very flexible and helpful with my training needs. The consultants and Trainers have been fantastic and there is always someone around to help me when I need support."

    Natasha Kauri - Learner
  • "VERTO responded professionally and efficiently to all requests for help. I cannot thank the organisation enough for their positive and professional manner."

    Rachael Jefferson-Buchanan - Tenancy Client
  • "Our VERTO consultant provides exceptional customer service, expertly handling all our traineeship needs and being available whenever we need information or advice."

    Kay Dhami, Managing Director - My Kindy Early Learning Centres
  • "Our VERTO Consultant has demonstrated significant industry knowledge and developed a tailored approach to our business needs time and time again."

    Jordan Shoveller, Duty Manager - Davistown RSL

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