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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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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.
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Indigenous Services

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Tenants' Advice and Advocacy

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How we can prepare the next generation for many careers

How we can prepare the next generation for many careers

By Ron Maxwell - CEO

The future of work is a highly debated topic, and while there are many uncertainties about what's next, many agree on one thing: those entering the workforce today are likely to have higher job mobility than ever before. It’s not just about jobs either; younger generations may have multiple careers too. 

To accommodate this changing world, and to keep Australia competitive in a global job market, we need to rethink how the we prepare for the future of work.  Our education systems are typically set up for a single career model; that is, you choose a career when you finish school, you get your degree or qualifications, and you work in this space until retirement. 

This new world of work means that up-and-coming generations will need to continually upskill and reskill, to stay ahead of the game. They will also need a strong foundation, and a grounding in work-ready skills like critical thinking, creativity, teamwork, leadership and communication.  

It starts in our schools 

In my opinion, our schools need to be focusing on the skills that will enable students to navigate a diverse career. I've talked before about how career guidance is no longer about helping a student choose a career path, it's about giving them a toolkit to manage a diverse career.  

It’s about developing the skills that make a person employable across industries and roles. The most valued skills in a workplace are often not the technical ones, particularly as these change at a rapid rate, but the so-called ‘soft skills’. The ability to solve problems, think critically, and work well with others will always be sought after.

Higher education needs to be more agile 

Our higher education system needs to change too. We should be developing educational solutions that meet the demands of industry, with the agility to adapt as fast as the technologies that are shaping them. For me, the answer lies in shorter, more focused learning experiences.

VET could be the solution 

The Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector is well-placed to provide a solution. Its competency-based nature means students are building the required competencies and with integrated work placements and on-the-job learning opportunities, they are also building practical and social skills. However, for the sector to meet industry demand, some challenges will need to be addressed.

The highly regulated nature of VET can stifle innovation, and the slow turn-around time on changes to training packages may be leaving Australian trainees and apprentices behind. I have seen many examples where the technology or equipment used as part of a training package is outdated before the student graduates, and this is a big problem in a world that moves as fast as ours.  

The other issue is money. To get the latest technologies into our classrooms, the sector desperately needs adequate funding. Current models vary wildly, with most being inadequate to meet the demands of today, let alone those of tomorrow. 

These are certainly obstacles, but they are not impossible to overcome, and with the stakes so high, it's important that we start addressing the issues now.  

The stakes are high

I recently read a report that categorised the high demand jobs of 2030 in three ways: high tech, jobs requiring specialist knowledge, high touch, hands-on jobs, such as plumbing, and high care, jobs requiring emotional support, such as aged care or childcare. Many of the jobs in these areas, particularly in the high touch and care categories, require VET qualifications.

We need to get the system right if we are going to deliver these critical services. Imagine a world where we don’t have people to care for our elderly, for example. This would impact everything, from quality of life to the economy. This is a real issue. With current aged care shortages, we could be looking at patient-to-carer ratios of up to 400:1 in some areas by 2031.  

Industry must play a role 

There is much talk in the media about how employers can support higher job mobility, such as the recent debate about industry-based long service leave, but in my mind the first shift needed is in attitudes to training. 

In many industry sectors we see employers relying on government incentives and funding for training. Organisations need to collaborate more closely with education providers to ensure employees have the funding for, and ongoing access to, the right training opportunities to succeed in the longer term. 

When job mobility is high, it can be easy for employers to dismiss the value of this – a mindset of ‘they won't stay long enough to see a return on investment'. This needs to shift to seeing the wider value, and that it is an investment in the future of the industry. 

At the end of the day, from individuals to organisations to the wider economy; we all stand to benefit from stronger industries. With any major change, comes great opportunity, but to realise the benefits, it is critical that our governments, education systems and organisations work together to stay ahead of the game.


Five main pathways in the transition from school to work

Five main pathways in the transition from school to work

15 July 2019

A new analysis reveals five main pathways taken by young Australians as they transition from school to further study and work, according to a report released today by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

The report School-to-work pathways also identifies factors that influence the chance of young people aged 16 to 25 in taking a particular pathway, offering potential policy cues.

“This study shows us that pathways young people choose to take post-school are growing increasingly diverse, individualised and complex,” said Simon Walker, Managing Director, NCVER.

“This highlights how important it is that we gain a better understanding of the youth transition process.”

The report uses data from the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth to provide a dynamic view of young people’s transition experiences over a 10-year period, from 2006 to 2016.

It reveals five main transition pathways out of school:

  1. Higher education and work
  2. Early entry to full-time work
  3. Mix of higher education and VET
  4. Mixed and repeatedly disengaged
  5. Mostly working part-time.

“Factors shown to influence which pathways the students followed included studying VET subjects at school, individual school achievement and socioeconomic issues,” Mr Walker said.

“VET was involved in several pathways and emerges as an important avenue in the school-to-work transitions that culminate in work at age 25 years.”

In Pathway 2, VET provided an ‘express pathway’ to employment via a short spell of post-school education or training that led to full-time work approximately one year after leaving school.

Almost half had undertaken apprenticeships or traineeships, with the highest occupation group being 'technical and trades'. This pathway resulted in 97.4% being in work at age 25 — the highest proportion of any of the pathways.

Pathway 2 was characterised by more males, while females who undertook VET had more often followed Pathways 3 and 5 and were also mostly in work at age 25 (91.7% and 90.2% respectively).


The report School-to-work pathways and a data visualisation demonstrating the paths young people take are now available on NCVER's Portal: https://www.ncver.edu.au/publications


As published by NCVER, July 15 2019

VERTO Chief Executive Officer appointed to ITECA Board

VERTO Chief Executive Officer appointed to ITECA Board

July 10, 2019

VERTO has announced that its chief executive, Ron Maxwell, has been appointed to the Board of Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA). Mr. Maxwell will focus on ITECA’s New South Wales (NSW) operations as part of this appointment.

ITECA, formerly the Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET), is a membership-based peak body bringing together independent providers in the higher education, and vocational education and training sectors. Members of ITECA share a commitment to providing students and their employers with quality outcomes through education and training. The body also focuses on representing its member’s interests in legislative and education reform.

Mr. Maxwell said he was honoured to be joining the Board of ITECA.

“It’s exciting to be a part of ITECA, especially at a time when the business is moving through a period of change.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to work with the ITECA team into the future,” he said.

For further information about ITECA please visit https://www.iteca.edu.au.

Why money isn’t necessarily the only solution to the regional education challenge

Why money isn’t necessarily the only solution to the regional education challenge

By Ron Maxwell - CEO

I've always been a big believer in education as a catalyst for change; the right opportunities can help individuals and economies to thrive. But in many of Australia's regional areas, where skill shortages, unemployment, population decline, and mental health issues are on the rise, access to education has long been a challenge.  

This past month has seen the announcement of an inquiry into regional education in Victoria, and a Regional Youth Taskforce in New South Wales, which got me thinking. There is a huge disparity in access to education between our regional and metropolitan areas and it has been an issue for as long as I can remember. Over that time, there have been a number of government initiatives designed to address the issue, but we haven't found the right solution yet.

Education is vital but there are barriers

Access to education and training is vital for the health of individuals, communities, and even the broader economy. We regularly see the impacts of long-term unemployment on individuals and communities, from immediate mental health issues to creating a long-term cycle of unemployment that can negatively impact on future generations. One of our clients, Kerri, comes to mind, who knew she had to find employment not only for herself, but to break the cycle and set a good example for her teenage son. 

Improving access to education can also resolve skill shortages, which can present a much greater challenge in our regional areas. I recently discussed aged care skills shortages, and these are certainly exacerbated in many of our regions, such as Conargo Local Council, who are facing the prospect of a staggering 400:1 patient-to-carer ratio in the near future. 

In our regions, there are many barriers to education that don't exist or are far less prevalent in our cities. Some of these include a higher proportion of disadvantaged students, intergenerational unemployment and of course, distance and reduced access to courses. Even the courses that are available tend to be poorly funded and don’t adequately acknowledge many of the barriers to entry in the community. 

Understanding communities is critical

As a regional Australian myself, I think unsuccessful initiatives are defined by two things; an uncoordinated approach between different levels of government and a lack of understanding about life in our regions. While there is no denying that it costs more to deliver education in our regions and current funding doesn't cover that shortfall, simply throwing money at the issue isn’t the answer.

Decisions that affect education in our regions are often made by policy makers in our cities, who typically have little or no knowledge of life in the communities they are impacting. Without a first-hand understanding of the challenges, it's always going to be difficult to find an effective solution. 

The reality is this; life in our regions is substantially different to life in our cities and I see this first-hand, leading an organisation that operates in metropolitan, regional and remote locations. It also differs region-by-region; just like living in Sydney or Perth offers different lifestyles, benefits and challenges, so too does living in Bathurst or Townsville. 

The differences can be driven by the mix of local industry and farming, socio-economic and cultural factors, and distance to a major centre, to name just a few. So, when we lump these communities together and try to solve the challenge state-wide or even nationally, we see a disconnect. An initiative that does address a challenge in one region may not even break the surface for another. 

It didn’t surprise me that at a recent summit, local community leaders and citizens called for four major things; investing in 'soft infrastructure' such as education, closer collaboration with government,  policy that reflects the identity of their region, and a change in the way we talk about our regional areas that recognises the diversity and value of these communities. 

Locals need a voice

While money and policy always has a role to play, building an understanding of our regions is critical to ensuring they are employed in the right way. 

Community consultation, not just with activist groups, who often stem from the city – coming in with good intentions but little actual knowledge of life in the community - but with the individuals who make it what it is. The school and vocational educators, local leadership and the families facing the challenge must have a voice in decisions. After all, they live with the issues today and will live with the outcomes of policy decisions tomorrow.  We've seen before that money invested in our regions can be a short-term solution that can make the underlying challenges worse when the band aid is ripped off. 

Our regions are a significant contributor to our economy, producing much of the food we eat and the products we export, so it should be important to all of us to get the solution right and invest in these communities. 

It is my hope that programs and inquiries like those announced this week, will take a different approach, to truly understand the communities they are serving. In this way, we could break down some of the barriers, and ensure regional Australia gets the right investment in education, that will reduce unemployment and develop a strong economy. 


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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