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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

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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Bradley's Journey to Work Through Indigenous Placement Program

Bradley's Journey to Work Through Indigenous Placement Program

The team at VERTO is constantly inspired by the ability of our Indigenous job seekers to overcome adversity, turn their lives around and find employment. Bradley Flick, 42, is one such person.

When Bradley came to VERTO in early 2018 he had been out of the workforce for almost seven years. Bradley had spent this time caring for his ill mother, and was keen to get back into work. As an Indigenous client, an opportunity arose for Bradley to apply for an employment program, Resourcing the Future, run by Diversity Dimensions in Partnership with Woolworths. This program involves matching potential employers and job seekers, allowing the two to work together for a period of time, with the aim of securing ongoing employment if there is a match. 

Woolworths has partnered with Diversity Dimensions to deliver a tailored approach to engage and employ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders into their business and create meaningful and sustainable employment for the community.

In Bradley’s case, he undertook theoretical and practical training while completing work experience with Woolworths. Woolworths has been a huge supporter of the Diversity Dimensions program.

At the end of the program, Bradley was offered a part time paid position. He has now been a team member for five months and is loving his new role. “The program was great, and I now love going to work,” Bradley said.

Store Manager for Woolworths Bathurst City store, Michael Toholke said, “Bradley has shown great personal growth in his time employed with Woolworths. Brad came on board and was apprehensive about his ability to perform the tasks required, and how he would integrate himself into the team.

“Brad has cemented his position within the business during his time with us becoming a reliable, punctual and contributing member of our team. His desire to be successful in his role by seeking feedback and utilising the knowledge of those around him has helped us guide Brad to become the valued team member he is. Brad has taken the challenges of our business in his stride and continues to grow both personally and professionally,” Michael said.

VERTO’s Team Leader, Stacey Callan, said VERTO was proud to see Indigenous men in the local Bathurst community do themselves and their families proud.

“Bradley’s resilience, ability to get back into the workforce and to become financially independent is a credit to his strength of character,” Miss Callan said.

“I’m so proud to have been a part of his journey and to see him grow to be a role model for young Indigenous men in the local area.”

Woolworths also employed two other fantastic team members from the community with Bradley in the program. Store Manager for Woolworths Bathurst City store, Michael Toholke says both Halley Maree Kane and Stormy Rae Whalan are also excellent team members and are doing extremely well alongside Bradley.

For more information about the Australian Government’s jobactive program, or how the VERTO team can help you, call 1300 4 VERTO, visit verto.org.au or find us on Facebook.

Why investment in education is critical to Australia's aged care industry

Why investment in education is critical to Australia's aged care industry

By Ron Maxwell - CEO

Following a spate of horrifying stories about the state of our aged care system, the government launched the Royal Commission into Aged Care and Safety to investigate and make recommendations for the future. The commission is expected to hand down its initial findings in October 2019, and there are many reforms we are hoping to see. For me, one of the key areas is investment in education. 

An ageing population meets an ageing workforce

In Australia, our population is ageing, and, in the aged care industry, the workforce is rapidly ageing too. The average age of a worker in the Australian aged care sector is currently 46, and, for in home care, that rises to 52. Essentially, this means in the near future, we are going to have the most elderly people requiring care that we have ever had, and the least workers to provide it.  

One study in 2016 found that theaverage patient-to-carer ratio could escalate to an average of one carer to fifty patients across some regions by 2031, with shortages accelerated for some, such as Conargo Local Council, where this is likely to be one carer to over four hundred patients. 

When patient-to-carer ratios are stretched to the limit, the quality of care naturally decreases. As it currently stands, a report by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Foundation (ANMF) found that residents in aged care facilities should be receiving 258 minutes of care each day to be adequately supported, but are currently receiving just 169. 

And while these facts don't account for abuse, they do help us to understand why the quality of care is decreasing and we are seeing a rise in unintentional neglect. Currently, in Australia, there are no compulsory ratios, and this is an issue many hope the Royal Commission will address. However, the challenge still lies in finding the right people to fill the roles.  

It's about attracting the right people

 While some efforts have been made to incentivise people to consider a career in aged care to address skills shortages, we really need to be attracting the right people to care roles. 

Care roles can be incredibly rewarding, but they can also be demanding and require patience, dedication and commitment. For the right person, a career in aged care can be a very fulfilling one, but it’s not an industry for everyone. A lot of the work is very manual and includes things like helping with toileting and bathing, which is simply not for everyone. 

Putting people who are not suited to the work into care roles is not fair on the individual worker or the patients they will be caring for, and it can lead to neglect or abuse situations. 

This is where, in my opinion, reforms and increased investment in education could really make inroads into some of the industry's key challenges. 

VET providers have a role to play 

At VERTO, we employ a screening process when it comes to aged care qualifications to ensure the students choosing this path are well-suited to working in the industry. Our courses also include work placements to give students an opportunity to experience the work first-hand. 

This is something we choose to do because it aligns with our mission to positively impact the lives of the individuals and communities we serve – it’s in the best interests of the student and the community alike. However, this is not mandatory, there are currently no standards or requirements for matching people to care roles. Some providers choose to do it, but not all.

Aged care can look like an attractive option because there are many jobs available, but it is critical that only people with the right mindset, patience, and commitment to caring for others take on roles if we are to lift the quality of aged care.

It’s about the right qualifications too

Today, the unofficial industry standard for a person entering the aged care industry is the Certificate III in Individual Support, but the key word here is unofficial. There are no industry standards to enter the industry. Essentially, this means your loved ones could be cared for by people with little or no industry qualifications. 

In my opinion, aged care education and workforce development desperately needs reform and funding. We need to see mandatory standards for screening and qualifications across the industry. In fact, there is a recognised misalignment between the skills required for direct care and the current educational framework. There are no two ways about it; investment in improving education standards and pathways is critical to lifting the quality of care and attracting the right people to the industry.

There is no reason the aged care sector in Australia can't have a brighter future. The Royal Commission will hopefully lead to increased standards across the industry, which will lead to better care for patients and increased pay and conditions for sector workers. If we are to drive long-term change, investment in education is critical, and something we should all hope to see in the Commission's findings. 

VERTO welcomes New South Wales Government’s commitment to apprenticeships and training

VERTO welcomes New South Wales Government’s commitment to apprenticeships and training

June 19, 2019

VERTO chief executive, Ron Maxwell, today welcomed the New South Wales (NSW) Government’s commitment to apprenticeships and training in the 2019-2020 Federal Budget.

Mr. Maxwell said VERTO has been continually calling for renewed investment into the vocational education and training sector (VET), and stimulus measures to boost dwindling apprenticeship and traineeship numbers.

“We welcome the NSW Government’s commitment to creating 250,000 new jobs over the next four years Mr. Maxwell said. 

“I am also pleased to see the NSW Government commit to $71 million over four years to fund its commitment of 100,000 additional free TAFE and VET courses.

“Of these 100,000 places, 70,000 will be for traineeships and 30,000 for mature aged people re-entering the workforce,” Mr. Maxwell said.

This means that over four years, the NSW Government will provide a total of 700,000 free TAFE and VET courses.

Mr. Maxwell said he was also pleased to see the NSW Government will fund two pre-existing high schools to become specialist vocational education schools in Western Sydney and the North Coast. Each school will offer training in the skills most needed by local employers.

“We need to be doing a better job of supporting high school aged people who are interested in undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship, and creating more specialist vocational education schools supports this,” Mr. Maxwell said.

Is sending your kid to uni really worth it?

Is sending your kid to uni really worth it?

Louise Roberts

As published in The Daily Telegraph, June 12, 2019 6:00pm

 

The dilemma of whether their child should pursue a university degree is front of mind for many Sydney parents with HSC mock exams on the horizon and career anxiety turning up a notch.

But it’s not just the exorbitant cost involved.

I’m convinced that uni education should now come with a warning — don’t expect your time here to prepare you for life. Or a job.

There’s no doubt our halls of higher learning have suffered some serious reputational damage, must of it self-inflicted.

Only last week this newspaper revealed that some Sydney Uni students are campaigning to tear down a statue of William Wentworth — a pioneer of this great city who came from convict stock — because he is a “known racist”.

Wednesday night, on Sky News, Sydney University student Will Jeffries explained how “equity officers’ were crucifying debate in the classroom to the point where students had to state their pronouns (I’m she or her for the record) before stating their arguments.

When I think of my 15-year-old son’s education going forward, I often recall his first day of school.

Dressed in scratchy poly-cotton uniform and top-heavy with a backpack, he stood before me so excited that my heart swelled as I saw his educational future stretching out before him as a glorious highway of opportunity.

Just think what they’ll be when they grow up, you daydream while cutting another cheese and Vegemite sandwich.

A few scraped knees, maths tests and swimming carnivals later and like me, you now identify as a high school parent.

And that’s when the fear sets in. After HSC, what’s next?

A university degree, yes that’s it. The marker of achievement. Well done, instant and continual employment to follow. Right? Not so fast.

Lately, my fellow parents and I are having conversations of a different vein with our teenagers, our sons to be specific.

They are raising with us — rather than us with them — the issue of employability and relevance with a BA or some such after their name.

Or as my son asks: how do you know that the debt acquired and time spent at university will get you a job?

A valid point requiring a deep-rooted re think of how we used to worship the concept of university education.

Perhaps it’s time for an overhaul so our kids are incentivised also consider vocational education — plumbing, electrician or building — before tackling the traditional white collar degree with an eye towards a profession like law, medicine, or banking.

We are churning out kids from a system driven by student demand.

Degree ticked off, the belief is they will be able to secure roles in their chosen field. Tertiary education should meet the needs of industry rather than training as many students as possible on a conveyor belt to career oblivion.

But that is not happening, of course.

The Federal Government surveyed more than 120,000 university graduates last year. Pharmacy (97.2 per cent) and medicine (94.9 per cent) degrees had the best job prospects. They are the exception.

Creative arts graduates were at the bottom with only 52.2 per cent full-time employment in the short term.

Anecdotally, I’m being told people involved in hiring panels are saying they don’t actually want to talk to these uni kids any more. “The quality is miserable, I’d rather someone from the real world that hasn’t gone through all that nonsense.”

Sobering, isn’t it?

Yet Gary Workman, Executive Director of Apprentice Employment Network which employs over 30,000 apprentices and trainees says that there is still a stigma attached to trade.

Kids in year 9 and 10 who are ‘pushed’ towards plumbing, carpentry, and the like are made to feel they are not smart enough despite 95 per cent of trade graduates being hired full time, he says.

However in Europe, and especially Switzerland, from year 9 they do a school based apprenticeship plus traditional subjects so they leave school with practical and academic skills plus a trade qualification. A gift to employers, illustrated by youth unemployment rate of two per cent compared to ours which can be as high as 25 per cent in some areas.

Going to uni does not future proof your kids, no matter their aspirations or yours.

Part of the problem is career advisers who have been to uni themselves, and for whom higher education is the path they are comfortable talking about.

Workman says: “The automotive industry is overlooked by career advisers because we don’t manufacture cars here anymore even though there’s plenty of future-proofed jobs like autonomous cars, such as 3D printing and so on.”

“Parents need to be realistic — focus on what practical skills your kids can learn rather than prestige degrees.”

“Kids are being pushed to university thinking that is the panacea for life after school and aged 23 or 24 wondering why they can’t get a job.”

I have a colleague whose son is planning a uni course in materials science and engineering but at age 17 is savvy enough to recognise the value of getting a trade qualification — in this case welding.

His father says that coming from a family of middle-class professional degree holders, the idea was initially shocking, until his son explained his logic.

“He said that way he would have money to go to university, and a skill, and understand what he was doing when he went to uni.”

“He said the thing that worried him was friends going to university for arts degrees who won’t necessarily be able to get a job and he just didn’t want to have to have that problem.”

The question for you and me as parents is this: Would you rather your child get a degree that you can brag about and potentially be unemployed or be out actually learning and using a skill that’s going to be in demand so he or she will likely always have a job?

Our children deserve that answer — and in their interest, not ours.

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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