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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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How we can encourage more women into trade apprenticeships

How we can encourage more women into trade apprenticeships

By Ron Maxwell - CEO

I have certainly seen anecdotal evidence of this at VERTO, but I was pleased to read recently that women are taking up more apprenticeships in the electrical trades than ever before, and in some areas, outpacing their male counterparts

I've long been a supporter of increasing female participation across our traditional trades, for a number of reasons.  

There are many positive outcomes 

First and foremost, increasing gender diversity is a positive for any industry; it brings different perspectives to a workplace, and can change outdated cultures for the better. There are also numerous studies out there that suggest gender diversity increases productivity across the workforce, so it can be a win on that front too. Industries and businesses will benefit from attracting a wider range of applicants, particularly with skills shortages upon us in many trades.  

From a job seeker perspective, encouraging more women into trades will open up a wider range of career prospects for female applicants. At a time when youth unemployment is high in many areas, and university graduates report finding it hard to get a job, opening up new career paths is certainly a good thing.  

I also read with interest recently a study by Cornell University in the US, that found the difference between occupations and industries in which men and women work accounts for more than half of the gender pay gap.  

There are many reasons why we should encourage more women into apprenticeships; the challenge lies in how we overcome social perceptions and encourage industries to make cultural changes that will see more women choose and go on to have successful careers in our trades.  

Perceptions need to change

In my mind, one of the biggest barriers to female participation in our trades is social perception. Some industries are still viewed by wider society as being 'masculine', and this is impacting the career choice of female school leavers. There is research out there that suggests, in some cases, parents are actively talking their daughters out of taking on trades, with the main reasons cited being added risks in a male environment, 'dirty' work and heavy lifting.  

While these shouldn’t be barriers anyway, it is worth noting that our trades are rapidly changing. Cultures are in transition, and the actual work itself is different to what it was even ten years ago. There is more and more technical equipment involved and trades increasingly require a level of mathematics, technology and computer skills. Just think about the car, for instance, what was once fixed with a wrench, is now an onboard computer that needs a different skillset to solve problems. 

I talked recently about the importance of parents talking to their teenagers about the wide-range of career options out there and this certainly applies to young women and trades too.  There are some fantastic stories out there of women who choose trade apprenticeships. One that comes to mind for me is the story of Rachel Dudok, who achieved excellent marks at school, but didn’t want to go down the university path. She instead decided to take on an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer apprenticeship. It’s clear when you watch the video of Rachel talking about her role, that she loves her job and has a very fulfilling career.

Industries and businesses must support this transition 

It's important that our traditional trades look internally to see why they aren't attracting more female candidates and understand what can be done to level the playing field. It's true that women are underrepresented in most, if not all, of these industries, so putting additional structures in place to support and grow female participation makes sense. 

There are some great examples of recruitment programs out there, such as the Ausgrid Bright Spark program, which actively encourages female electrical apprentices, resulting in 75 per cent of a recent intake being women. These large-scale programsare something we should grow, but smaller businesses can support female tradespeople too, through one-to-one mentoring programs. 

An example that comes to mind is a VERTO client, Rebecca Anne, who undertook a mechanical apprenticeship with a car dealership. To help her on her journey, she was mentored by an experienced female mechanic, who could act as a sounding board and help her navigate the challenges women in male-dominated industries can face.  

Ongoing mentoring and creating an environment that supports women are key, in my opinion. I've spoken before about the power of mentoring for any apprentice, and I think this is truer than ever when it comes to women working in our traditional trades. 

At VERTO, we see a number of female tradies who have rewarding and fulfilling careers in trade industries. An increase in gender diversity will only be a good thing for traditionally male-dominated industries, and I hope we can see more employers getting on board with programs that both attract and retain more female tradies now and into the future. 

Interested in an apprenticeship? Click here to find out how VERTO can help! 

VERTO Helps Seniors to get ‘Tech Savvy’

VERTO Helps Seniors to get ‘Tech Savvy’

March 14, 2019

Seniors within the Bathurst region will be able to get up to date with the latest technology through VERTO’s Tech Savvy Seniors course. The course is aimed at providing seniors with the opportunity to develop the skills and confidence they need to use technology for socialising, accessing important services or conducting personal business.

The course involves seven sessions that include information on computers, smartphones, tablets, social media, cyber safety, the internet, email and online banking. Participants are able to bring their own personal devices to become familiar with processes they will then use at home.

Bathurst local, Elizabeth Inwood, has enrolled in the Tech Savvy Seniors course and explained, “I am excited to update my computer, phone and tablet skills and find out how to use technology I have never used before. These days, things change rapidly, and I want to keep up.”

Commenting on the course, VERTO chief executive, Ron Maxwell, said, “It is great to see so many seniors developing the skills they need to be able to keep in touch with family and friends, and retain their independence.”

The training is delivered through a partnership between the New South Wales Government and Telstra. The course is free of charge for eligible participants (participants must be over 60 years of age).

Program Dates: 15, 22, 29 March 2019 and 3, 10 May 2019

Session Times: 1.00pm to 4.00pm

Training Location: VERTO Bathurst, 227 Howick Street

For more information or to enrol in the course, contact VERTO on 1300 4 VERTO or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

VERTO highlights Kerri's story for International Women's Day 2019

VERTO highlights Kerri's story for International Women's Day 2019

On International Women’s Day for 2019, we thought it would be appropriate to highlight the story of Kerri, who is one of our VERTO clients. Her journey into work hasn’t always been easy but her strength and determination is inspiring to us all... 

Life for forty-eight-year-old Kerri hasn't always been easy.  Diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Airways disease, diabetes, depression and a spinal disorder, finding suitable work in her home town of Bathurst, NSW, has long proved a challenge.  

In 2017, Kerri came to the VERTO team feeling disheartened about her chances of finding long-term employment.  "I felt like there just wasn't a job out there for me, and it was affecting my whole life. I wanted to find work and be financially independent and set a good example for my teenage son," she said. 

The VERTO team assessed the skills that Kerri would need to secure employment, and noticed that for Kerri, confidence was a key issue.  Over several months, the VERTO team took her through mock interview training and confidence-building activities to help Kerri find her feet and feel confident in herself.  "After the training I felt like I could go to an interview and do well," she said. "It gave me the confidence that I could speak up for myself and answer their questions."  

In October 2017, Kerri secured an interview with BIG W, the first professional interview she had attended in a very long time.  "It was a bit scary," she recalled.  "I wasn't sure I would do well, but I kept thinking back to what I had learnt and reminded myself I could do it."  

Almost eighteen months on, Kerri still wears the BIG W uniform with pride.  She enjoys her job in customer service and has more confidence at work and in everyday life, where she says she now feels comfortable to voice her opinions in a professional and polite manner. 

Employment is big contributor to a person's feelings of self-worth, and this is no different in Kerri's case.  Now living independently, and no longer receiving income support payments, Kerri says that having a job and her own income has made her feel like she can participate in and enjoy life more fully.  "It gave my life purpose, and means I have less stress when it comes to the bills." 

Kerri says that when you have been unemployed for a long time, it can be hard to know where to turn or how to ask for help.  She says if she could give any advice to other unemployed people who may be struggling to find work, she would tell them to believe in themselves. "Don't doubt yourself, and never give up.  It's okay to ask for help, and there are services, like VERTO, who can help you, not only with finding jobs, but having the confidence to go out and get them. Just believe in yourself." 

To learn more about VERTO's programs to help you find the right employment opportunities, please click here

How parents can help their children make the right career choice

How parents can help their children make the right career choice

By Ron Maxwell - CEO

There is no denying that Australia is a country that values education and most parents would agree that their children's education is a top priority for them. And when it comes to career choice, parents have a big influence.

While children are influenced by a number of aspects; from what their parents do for a living to the family's value system - most parents, at some point, have a direct career discussion as their child enters the latter years of their schooling. 

Studies around the world tend to show similar results; parents put more weight on university degree options. In one British study, 76% of students said their parents encouraged them to choose university, and 73% said their parents never discussed alternative options at all. It's this latter statistic that is most concerning for me - and really should be concerning for us all. 

VET is key to jobs of the future

It's widely recognised in job market research that vocational education and training (VET) qualifications will be paramount for many of the jobs of the future. In fact, it is estimated that 9 out 10 jobs of the future will require them.We are also seeing increasing reports of university graduates struggling to find work, with an oversupply of graduates in many sectors. 

When you look at the numbers, VET qualifications make sense for many career options, particularly those in the growth industries of healthcare, hospitality, construction and childcare. So why are parents leaning so heavily towards university degrees for their children? 

In my mind, this comes down to two core things - the parent's own education and career experiences, and a raft of common misconceptions about VET qualifications.  

The labour market is changing 

If the parents went to university, we know their child is even more likely to choose a university pathway. But if there is one thing we can all agree on, it's that the world of work is changing at a rapid pace. Where once a four-year degree was the beginning of a career in a single profession, we now know that the younger generations are likely to have five careers over their working life. This high job mobility demands shorter, sharper learning experiences that deliver practical, targeted skills development.

Being competency-based, VET is a great choice in this environment.  VET courses are closely linked to industry skill demand, and students have to show they have the practical capabilities to do the job, before they can graduate.  

Misconceptions are influencing choices

There are also many misconceptions about VET qualifications that often lead parents to view them as the "poor cousin" to a university degree.  

One of the major misconceptions is that university graduates have more job options and higher salaries. The reality is in stark contrast; in fact, upon completion of their respective courses, VET graduates earn $2,000 more than their university counterparts on average; and 78% are employed in their industry, compared to 69% of university graduates.

Given that our school system is geared towards the Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR), school career guidance programs tend to reinforce these misconceptions by encouraging students to choose university options.  However, the relevance of this score has come into question, with experts saying that the subjects needed for a high score aren't an accurate reflection of the skills, knowledge and capabilities required to succeed in today's job market.

Another major misconception is that VET qualifications are for those who can't get the marks to enter university.  This is simply not true – VET is the right choice for those who want careers outside the typical university professions.  Often, when thinking about VET, people think of our traditional trades, but VET is a pathway to careers in such a diverse range of industries, from healthcare and construction to tourism and even niche professions, like microbrewing and wine-making.

Finding the right pathway should be the goal

It can be hard when, as parents, we get caught up in the daily grind to find time to research options. I know, first-hand, how stressful the Higher School Certificate years are, when your child is making a huge life transition, but I would urge parents to do some research. 

There are some great resources out there, and I encourage parents to take a look at websites like MySkills and Year 13 to find out more about the broad range of opportunities available. It can also be helpful to talk to people who have made a career in different industries – if you have tradespeople or those with other non-university careers in your social network, talk to them about their job.  

VERTO held "Meet the Tradies" events in 2018, and we found some people were surprised when they discovered that many tradespeople are making considerable money – and more importantly, love what they do.

At the end of the day, this is not a university vs. VET argument, it’s about finding the right pathway that will suit your child's abilities and interests and give them the best chance at a fulfilling career.  Study and career decisions made when leaving school can impact your child for a long time to come. All parents want their children to succeed, and one of the ways to facilitate that could be in considering a wider range of career and study options.

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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