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National Apprenticeships, Employment & Training Provider | VERTO Skill to Transform

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 30 years, built around an ethical approach.You'll find the team in 26 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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Housing affordability and employment: They really do go together

Housing affordability and employment: They really do go together

By Ron Maxwell - CEO

There have been plenty of column inches devoted to housing affordability. Given that your home is one the largest purchases you’ll make in your lifetime, it’s not surprising that house prices dominate discussion for many of us. 

It’s particularly tough in our major cities. Even with Sydney recording a drop in housing prices of up to 7%, it’s coming off such a high base that it’s not making a difference in terms of housing affordability when the median house price is still around $1m.  

What can be overlooked is the impact housing affordability has on employment and the general wellbeing of the community. For many occupations, high house pricing means long commutes and a complete inability to live close to where you work. This is becoming such a problem that it will begin to impact the choices people make, both young and old, in terms of what career they pursue. 

Have we reached a crisis point?

There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that housing unaffordability has already become a crisis, particularly in Sydney. 

I read an article from earlier this year, talking about how many core professions – such as nursing, teaching, and emergency services – now find it so difficult to locate appropriate housing in the areas that they work that it has led to extremely long commutes. The knock on effect of that is clear: Long commuting times lead to a poor quality of life and long term health impacts, especially for those with a family. 

And it’s not just the jobs mentioned above that are impacted: It’s widespread. There are plenty of careers where the salary being offered just cannot keep pace with the price increases we’ve seen in the property market. 

It can even be argued that some of the property slow down we’re seeing is from the overheated market, leading to people making decisions to leave Sydney and live in other areas, often regional. In fact, given that I’m living in regional NSW, I’ve seen plenty of friends and former colleagues who have moved to Sydney, tried to make it work, and purely due to cost of living pressures have moved back to regional towns. This often leads to a career change, with people looking at undertaking mature age training to re-enter the job market. 

Youth employment has seen the biggest impact

For our youth it’s become a real challenge. Housing affordability in somewhere like Sydney, without significant support from family, is now a near impossible goal for many, especially if you want to live close to the CBD.  

Add in the impact of the gig economy and the overall casualistion of work in general, and you can see why it’s never been harder for young people to own their own home. For my generation, the knowledge that if you studied hard or gained the right training full time employment was an option, is now a thing of the past. Our young people today face intense competition for jobs, coupled with less full time employment. That all leads to further barriers to entering the property market. It’s incredibly difficult to gain finance if you don’t have fulltime work.  

While I’m certainly not trying to make excuses, it needs to be recognised that this kind of change means that people have to make different career choices. Even my family has been impacted: I have a child who is in their early 20’s, living and studying in Sydney. The cost of living, even with support, is astonishing. Just rent alone is a frightening prospect. I can understand the frustration our younger generation feels. 

The solution may be a change in focus

Rather than argue the merits of tax changes or other measures to alleviate the problem, I will look at our areas of expertise - employment and training, to find a potential solution.

Housing affordability and general cost of living pressures, are influencing career choices. Our youth in particular may not see the benefit of moving to a major city, and may look at more options locally. University, while always a viable option, may not be the best way to enter a career path, particularly with the glut of candidates fighting for entry-level positions. This makes vocational education and training (VET) even more attractive, particularly as more employment options require a VET qualification than ever before

Rising property prices will also lead to more people making a career switch to match a tree or sea change. The attractiveness of living in a big city will always be there, but at what cost? I believe more and more people will make the decision to live and work in areas where they can afford property. With remote working on the increase, it’s not a stretch to imagine more people moving to areas like the Central West and North/South Coast NSW. 

For many it comes down to a choice: The impact on family life, caused by increasingly long commutes, will surely mean that many people will make a decision to move away from the corporate grind in the city. It will be interesting to see how employment opportunities and demand will change as a result. 

VERTO Supports AccessAbility Day 2018

VERTO Supports AccessAbility Day 2018

14 November, 2018

VERTO has today announced that it is supporting the upcoming AccessAbility day. An Australian federal government initiative, AccessAbility day allows employers to connect with jobseekers with disabilities. The initiative is a voluntary activity that involves employers hosting a jobseeker with disability for a day.

VERTO believes this a great opportunity for local employers to gain an insight into the benefits of hiring people with disabilities, and for jobseekers with disabilities to gain valuable work experience in a workplace or role that aligns with their career interests.

Commenting on the initiative, VERTO CEO, Ron Maxwell, said “We are excited to support the upcoming AccessAbility day. We have a long history of helping those with disability into the workforce, and initiatives such as this are designed to connect both employers and those with disability in a way that enables both parties to gain experience”

“There are 2.2 million Australians living with disability who are of working age, but they are under-represented in the workforce. In fact, the employment rate for people with disability is almost half compared to those without a disability.” Maxwell added.

The initiative is being held from Monday 26 to Friday 30 November 2018. Participants and employers can be involved in AccessAbility Day on any day of that week and it is open to any jobseeker registered with a Disability Employment Services provider.

To register interest in taking part in AccessAbility Day, or to find out more information, employers and jobseekers can contact VERTO on 1300 4 VERTO or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

How we can give our graduates the skills that employers want

How we can give our graduates the skills that employers want

By Ron Maxwell - CEO

With the labour force rapidly changing, there's no denying our education systems must shift to meet the changing demands, but it's also incumbent on the individual to recognise the skills they need to succeed, if Australians are to remain competitive in a global job market.  

With so many conflicting predictions out there on the future of work, it can be hard to determine what skills will actually be needed – but amongst the mountain of research, in my mind, one thing is emerging:  Practical workplace skills will always be highly-valued by employers.

I read an article recently about some homegrown research on the skills employers want, and it found something interesting – there is a sizeable gap between the skills graduates think employers want, and the ones they actually do.   

Students looking inward, employers outward

Recent graduates ranked 'creativity' as the number one skill that employers want, employers, on the other hand, went down a far more practical route:  Problem solving. And although on the surface this might seem like a small problem, the disconnect can have a flow-on effect, impacting the courses a student chooses, the way they learn, and ultimately, their efficacy in a workplace. 

It didn’t stop at creativity; other skills graduates ranked in the top five included organisation and leadership, where employers listed communication and adaptability.  The disconnect here is clear; graduates are looking to the skills that are inwardly focused – all about themselves, but employers are looking for the outward-facing skills – all about working with others. 

In my opinion, this is influenced by a world increasingly driven by online interaction, immediate response and instant gratification.  As a result, younger generations can be more focused on leadership competencies and how to get to the top quickly, rather than the basic skills that will ensure they succeed long-term.

Educational systems need review

I've talked before about how our educational systems, from schools to tertiary, are failing our students in these practical areas, particularly those communication-based skills that all employers want, and in my opinion, the shift to digital learning may exacerbate this. 

While moving to an online learning model has advantages in terms of speed and access to education, it is further reducing the interaction needed to build these critical skills. With much of our world, from shopping to socialising, increasingly occurring online, we are reducing human interaction and so it's easy to see why we are losing these core skills. 

In any review of our educational system, it is imperative that regulators work closely with industry to ensure that any curriculum, whether delivered online, face-to-face or as part of a blended model, is closely aligned to what employers need.  If we fail in this as a country, increases in unemployment and skills shortages are potential outcomes. 

Developed in the real world, not a classroom

Although all levels of our education system must adapt if we are to be more forward-thinking, VET does have an advantage. From certificates to diplomas, VET courses are designed to build practical, real-world skills that ensure a graduate is employable, particularly through work placements that enable them to prepare for the realities of the workplace. 

Many VET students also have the opportunity to participate in workplace mentoring as part of their traineeship or apprenticeship, and this is another great opportunity to foster and develop the skills that will make them more employable – across roles and industries. 

At the end of the day, these skills aren't learnt in a classroom – they are developed through experience in the real world, so individuals and education providers alike, need to look at ways to increase interaction and opportunities to learn on the job, whether through work placements or internship models.

These skills will help us navigate an uncertain future

If researchers are correct, emerging generations will have higher job mobility, so setting them up with skills that aren't industry or role-specific is key to success in the longer term.  

I recently read an article that somewhat contradicted this, suggesting Australians are staying in jobs longer, and while thinking about this, I realised something fundamental.  Whether or not young people have many jobs or careers, or stay in the same one, we live in a world where change is a constant, so whether you are in one industry, one role, or many – the environment will change around you, so these skills still remain critical for success, no matter what. 

Whatever the future of work looks like, with youth unemployment on the rise in many communities, young people facing a tougher job market than ever before, and skills shortages threatening some of our key industries, one thing is certain: Building solid foundations for workplace success is a must.  

VERTO Welcomes Apprenticeship Wage Support Program

VERTO Welcomes Apprenticeship Wage Support Program

31 October 2018

VERTO, an award-winning, not-for-profit organisation assisting businesses and individuals with their apprenticeship, employment and training needs, today welcomed the new Federal Government trial program for wage subsidies support for regionally based apprentices, called the Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy.

Having been headquartered in the Central West NSW for more than 35 years, VERTO has a strong focus on regional Australia, with the vast majority of our 40+ offices located in regional areas. As more and more employment opportunities become concentrated in major capital cities, this announcement is a welcome boost to regional employers and apprentices.

Commenting on the announcement, VERTO Chief Executive Officer, Ron Maxwell, said, “We support wholeheartedly the Hon Senator Michaelia Cash’s announcement to further support our regionally based apprentices. Supporting apprenticeships is core to our organisation, and an incentive for employers to take on apprentices in regional areas is exactly the type of program that will boost employment” Maxwell said.

“As a Bathurst local myself and an active member of the Central West community, I know how important employment is to our region. As we operate across NSW, this trial program gives all regions the chance to improve the opportunities available for apprentices in their chosen field” continued Maxwell.

The Australian Apprentice Wage Subsidy trial is available to employers who sign-up and commence a new worker (Australian Apprentice) from 1 January 2019 and until 1630 sign-ups have occurred (based on rural and regional population distribution per State/Territory).  

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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