Registered Training Organisations help those who need it most

By Darren Foster - Training Services Manager 

During the past few months, I’ve had the chance to review our training figures for the past financial year (FY). Its something that all the service areas at VERTO do as a part of our annual reporting and it always gives me a chance to reflect on not only the performance of our business, but also the employment opportunities our training programs can deliver.

This past FY has been a challenging one. COVID-19 meant that we had to reassess how we deliver our programs and think of innovative ways to put more content online to help both our existing students and those looking to increase their skill set in what is a challenging employment market. To say I’m proud of the efforts of both our team and our students to make this happen is a massive understatement.

What is interesting, on reviewing the statistics, is the number of cohorts we’ve trained that can face barriers to employment. I want to share some of those stats and discuss their importance. At a time when the press around RTOs isn’t always positive, I believe it’s important to point out the number of people helped by training who could otherwise fall between the cracks.

High female participation

We run a variety of training courses across many disciplines. What’s been really encouraging for us has been the high number of women undertaking training – 54% of our students in 19/20 were female.

While some of our courses are in career paths that have traditionally high participation from women, these stats have been good for us in areas where women don’t usually take up study. At VERTO, we’re incredibly focused on opening up vocational career options to as many women as possible and over coming the barriers for them in gaining employment. Our recent research, conducted with Year 13, shows that women often feel that there are barriers to a range of career options. High participation in training plays a role in changing that.

Strong increase in our Indigenous participation numbers

There has been a huge amount of press around the Federal Government’s Closing the Gap program in recent times, and rightly so. Employment opportunities are a key pillar of this program and VERTO works closely with Indigenous communities to provide pathways through Vocational Education and Training (VET).

What was really pleasing to see last FY was a significant jump in the number of Indigenous Australians completing training. This has benefited from the fantastic efforts of our subsidiary Western College, who deliver courses in Western NSW from our Dubbo operation. The more pathways we provide, the better chance we have of giving those facing disadvantage in the employment market an opportunity to find work. We have seen other programs in areas like Western Sydney achieve some fantastic results, and we will release more information on this in the coming months.

Strong representation from those with a disability

Another interesting statistic was the consistent numbers of people with a disability completing training; around 17% of all VERTO students have a disability. VERTO runs a tremendous range of programs helping those with a disability find meaningful, paid career opportunities and our training service provides a key tool to enable people to gain the skills to find work. We’ve seen some fantastic success stories from these programs.

Mature age students

COVID has meant that many people with previously secure employment have faced an uncertain future. For mature aged workers, it can be an even tougher job market to find a new career opportunity.

Our courses have always had a strong participation rate from mature aged learners, and that continued in FY 19/20, with 30% of our student base classed as mature aged. It shows that while there is a stigma attached to mature age workers, it is completely untrue and given the opportunity to grow their skills, they can provide experienced, highly skilled workers.

We’re proud of our programs helping those facing disadvantage to gain the skills to build a new career. To find out more, visit our website