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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.
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Indigenous Services

Tenants' Advice and Advocacy

Tenants' Advice and Advocacy

Disability Services

Disability Services

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Why the hospitality industry needs our support

Why the hospitality industry needs our support

By Ron Maxwell - CEO

Australians love to travel and eat out. Our hospitality industry is a vibrant one and our restaurants and hotels are world-class. The industry is growing rapidly, and job opportunities abound, so it can be hard to understand why the sector is in the throes of a skills shortage.

Many operators report having difficulty attracting and retaining skilled workers, and changes to the 457 Skilled Migration Visa in 2018 had a notable impact for some. However, for an industry that offers such a wealth of opportunities, it seems like we should have a thriving local labour market.

So why don't we? In my opinion, it's because the hospitality sector has an image problem. From being seen as a job, not a career, to casualisation of the workforce and reports of underpayment in the media, it's an industry that needs an image makeover.

A great career choice, not just a job

For many, hospitality is seen as a stop gap, a job to do while travelling or studying. This is leading to the industry becoming a transient one, employing backpackers and students, which in turn, is increasing the 'stop gap' perception. It's creating a difficult cycle.

I've talked before about the tendency for school leavers to be pushed toward university career options and, in my opinion, hospitality is one of the industries that has suffered as a result.  Often, vocational education and training (VET) options aren't given the same airtime and this can make career choices like hospitality appear to be a 'poor cousin.' 

In reality, hospitality is an excellent long-term career choice. It's an industry that offers a wide range of career opportunities, and the potential to live and work almost anywhere in the world. It's a fast-growing industry too, with 91,000 new jobs expected in the next four years, and a range of roles, from barista to event organiser, in high demand.  

It's also an industry that operates in our regions, not just in our cities. Many of Australia's regional areas have thriving tourist industries as well as local food scenes that need qualified employees.   

Reality, not reality television 

Another issue for the sector is the rise of programs like MasterChef. Although these programs should be great for generating interest in the industry, in my opinion, it's contributing to the misperception that you can start from the top. 

These types of programs make it seem simple to go from someone who likes cooking to a celebrated chef. Well, the reality is very different. Like any career, it takes time, dedication and hard work to succeed and in hospitality, this can often mean working unsociable hours and doing the more menial tasks to begin with. 

At VERTO, we've had great success matching the right people to care roles in Aged Care by offering opportunities to experience a day in the life of a carer. In my mind, this could work for the hospitality industry too. By giving prospective students an opportunity to see what life is really like, we can match the right people to the industry – giving the individual the best chance of a fulfilling career and the industry access to great long-term candidates. It's a win/win.

A changing workplace 

Hospitality can be an unpredictable, and often seasonal industry and to cope with this, many operators are casualising their workforce. Combine this with media reports of underpayment that have been casting a shadow on the industry and it becomes easier to see why hospitality is getting overlooked by school leavers and job seekers.

In my experience, however, appropriately qualified workers are easily able to find stable and long-term positions with many career development opportunities. Many operators are running with a largely untrained workforce because finding qualified staff is a challenge; one Deloitte study estimates that the shortfall of workers will reach 123,000 by next year.  

We need a strong hospitality sector 

 It's an industry that employs almost 7 per cent of the entire Australian workforce, is the backbone of our tourism industry, and plays a part in creating a good lifestyle for many Australians. We have a vibrant restaurant and bar scene in Australia, and many of us enjoy time with family and friends over a great meal regularly.  

In my opinion, if the skill shortages continue at their current rate, we will see restaurants closing in even greater numbers, and the flow-on effect could impact our tourism industry.

It's about a level playing field 

One part of the solution, in my mind, is to showcase hospitality as a great long-term career. We need to get better at educating young people about what an entire career in the hospitality industry can look like. Encouraging more school leavers to consider hospitality will certainly help the industry, and it might just also help some students to find a fulfilling career too.

It's also about creating a level playing field when it comes to funding within the VET sector. Many hospitality qualifications come under traineeships, rather than apprenticeships and are funded differently as a result. In my opinion, there isn’t a great deal of difference between the two and ironing out inconsistenciesto support students through traineeships could make hospitality a more attractive option.  

How employers can help apprentices stay engaged and complete their qualification

How employers can help apprentices stay engaged and complete their qualification

By Ron Maxwell - CEO

Australian apprenticeship completion rates remain low, despite many new government incentives to address the issue. While some areas do buck the trend, the national average sits around the fifty-five per cent mark, and with skills shortages upon us or looming in many industries, it’s critical that we find a way to address this issue. 

I've talked before about the need for the right incentives, funding and support at a government level and, of course, training providers have a role to play too. At VERTO, our completion rate sits considerably above the national average, and in my opinion, this is because we work closely with industry, employers and our apprentices. 

However, training and government incentives are only part of the puzzle, and not necessarily the most important pieces. The National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) has identified that the most common reasons for not completing an apprenticeship are employment-related, from interpersonal conflict to not liking the realities of the job.

An apprentice is an investment

Employers have an opportunity to play a significant role in engaging apprentices and increasing completion rates. In my mind, the key to this lies in ensuring an employer sees their apprentice as a worthwhile investment for their business. There is no denying that the right apprentices will strengthen a business, but it will take some time and financial investment to develop them.  

In my experience, there is often a mindset that the government should fund apprenticeship training in Australia, and it is largely left to Vocational Education and Training (VET) providers to deliver. However, in countries like Germany where employers invest heavily in apprentices, completion rates are high, youth unemployment low and industries strong.

I often hear the argument around why you would invest in additional training for an apprentice when they may leave, and to that I always respond, like the old adage says,: what if you don't invest in training and they stay? There are examples here at home, like Westrac, who invest heavily in cutting-edge training facilities for their apprentices, because they see the long-term value for their business.

It's more than money 

Finding the right apprentice often starts with managing expectations; having a discussion about the realities of the job before the apprentice commences can save stress, time and money later - and it's free.

The world is changing, and younger generations want to know why they are doing something, as much as the how and when of it. They want to feel valued and as though they are contributing to the business, and this may take a mindset shift for employers who did their own apprenticeship at a time when the apprentice was the one who swept the floor. Employers should be providing apprentices with opportunities to learn, develop skills and contribute. Equally, apprentices must be prepared that they are there to learn and this is about starting from scratch. Every industry involves some level of menial work and apprentices will need to take on these less engaging tasks too.  

VERTO offers 'Meet the Tradies’ experiences, where potential trainees are given the opportunity to ask qualified people all of their burning questions about a particular trade or profession. We do see some students choose different career paths as a result, but for me, this is a good thing. Overcoming skill shortages is not just a numbers game; managing expectations upfront is critical to get the right people in the right industries. 

Relationships are crucial 

It's also about building rapport and a good relationship from the beginning. Once issues arise or the risk of friction is identified, mentoring services are available, but often these come into play too late. If a working relationship is fractured, it can be difficult to get back on track.

Making time to talk to apprentices and giving them an avenue to approach their supervisor if something is going wrong is important.  This might sound like providing an opportunity to 'have a whinge' but it's far more serious than that. For the business, having an early heads up if an apprentice is not happy is a win; providing an opportunity to address the situation before it becomes untenable. For the individual, it can be critical, from workplace issues that may see them quit their apprenticeship, right through to those that can cause serious mental health issues. 

It might sound like additional work on the surface, but it is a worthwhile investment for the business in the long and short term. Best of all, it’s something employers don't have to take on alone. Providers like VERTO, offer no cost services that support both the employer and the apprentice, maximising the chances of a successful long-term relationship. 

At the end of the day, an employer takes on an apprentice to invest in the future of their business. It isn’t an investment that an employer can simply "set and forget" but rather one that must be nurtured to get the best outcomes. Employers who are prepared to invest in training, developing, and supporting the right apprentice will reap the benefits and in doing so play a part in increasing apprenticeship completion rates and reversing skill shortages.

Apprentice and trainee completion rates decrease

Apprentice and trainee completion rates decrease

Completion rates for apprentices and trainees who commenced training in 2014 have decreased to 56.7% (down from 59.9% for those commencing in 2013) according to new data released today by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

The completion rates for individuals who commenced in trade occupations in 2014 decreased to 54.5% (down 4.7 percentage points from those commencing in 2013) and to 57.7% for non-trade occupations (down 2.0 percentage points).

Completion and attrition rates for apprentices and trainees 2018 tracks the outcomes of apprentices and trainees from when they started their training, recognising the time it takes to complete an apprenticeship/traineeship.

It includes data for both individuals and contracts, as an individual may complete their training under more than one contract due to a change in employer or a break in their training.

Completion rates vary considerably by occupation. For individuals who commenced in 2014, the completion rate for ICT professionals was 94.7% and for food trades workers 41.2%.

Australian VET statistics: Completion and attrition rates for apprentices and trainees 2018 is now available from: www.ncver.edu.au/publications

For more in-depth information on apprentices and trainees, visit the National Apprentices and Trainees Collection on NCVER's Portal.

The 2019 Apprentice and Trainee Experience and Destinations Survey, last conducted in 2010, is currently underway.

The survey collects information on employment outcomes, reasons for non-completion, satisfaction with training, further study destinations, and on-the-job experiences of apprentices and trainees who completed or left their training in 2018.

A report on the results of this survey will be available on www.ncver.edu.au in late 2019.


As published by NCVER, 25 July 2019

Cowra Local Named as Finalist for National Award

Cowra Local Named as Finalist for National Award

2019, July 23

VERTO’s Cowra Team Leader, Annie Crasti, has been named as a finalist for the National Employment Services Association’s (NESA) Employment Consultant of the Year award.

This award is for employment services professionals who demonstrate excellence in helping disadvantaged Australians to achieve employment inclusion. Annie is one of four finalists from across Australia who will progress to the next round of judging.

Annie was nominated due to her passion and commitment to the Cowra community, and her work with disadvantaged job seekers. In 2018, Annie helped establish the Agrizone Initiative which is an interagency that connects drought impacted farmers with free business services, resilience workshops and donated goods. In June 2019, in response to the growing number of tragic suicides in the local Cowra area, Annie helped to design a project to run local suicide prevention training workshops through VERTO. Annie’s work helping Indigenous job seekers to enter sustainable employment has also been recognised.

Commenting on the announcement, VERTO chief executive, Ron Maxwell, said Annie was an outstanding employment consultant.

“We are extremely proud of Annie and are thrilled that her hard work has been recognised by this national award nomination,” Mr Maxwell said.

“She consistently demonstrates a commitment to her clients and the wider Cowra community on a daily basis.”

The national winners of the NESA awards will be announced at the Gala Awards Dinner on August 13, 2019 in Melbourne.

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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