• Skilling South Australia

Upskilling workers key to sector growth

Educare program participant Lina Ashe. Picture: Mike Burton/The Advertiser

Courtesy of The Advertiser.

The State Government has announced funding for two new Skilling South Australia projects to help meet the demands of the growing child care sector, build capacity in its existing workforce and create career opportunities for future employees.

Child Care Services Training is looking to upskill 15 existing workers from their current Certificate III qualification to the Diploma in Early Childhood and Care or the Diploma of School Aged Education and Care, marking an important change in traditional training within the industry to one that recognises the value of traineeships in building a workforce equipped to deal with the demands of a constantly expanding sector.

“The industry will soon require thousands of additional educators with Certificate III and diploma-level qualifications, driven partly by the 120 new childcare centres proposed for South Australia over the next 18 months,” Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni says.

“These projects have been established to enable the use of apprenticeships and traineeships in a field where these training models have not historically been used.”

Lisa Tregenza, executive director of Child Care Services Training, predicts almost 1000 vacancies for diploma-qualified educators in these new child care centres, which is why advancing the skill sets of those already within the industry is so important.

“We want to have good people within the service,” she says, adding that leadership opportunities exist for those completing their diploma. “If this is really what you want to do and you study hard, there are plenty of opportunities.”

For prospective new child care employees, the South Australian Government is also funding an Educare Childcare Pre-Traineeship Program, a four-week training course created in consultation with industry and delivered by Hessel Group’s training arm, Enhance Training.

“We aim to help participants gain a foundation in the early childhood sector,” says Darrel Tan, operations manager for the Hessel Group. “We provide a mix of accredited units from the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care, as well as four non-accredited units in areas such as nappy changing and bottle-feeding which will help participants gain a practical understanding of the child care sector.”

Lina Ashe left a career in insurance to embark on the pre-traineeship program in April.

“Because of my age and because I’d been in industry for such a long time, I wasn’t sure how I would go with studying, so it was a good taster course to see if it was something I would enjoy and was capable of completing,” says Ashe, who is now studying for her full Certificate III qualification. “It gave us a good understanding of what we would be getting into if we were to go into that career. I’d absolutely recommend it.

“Now I’m looking for volunteer work because I want to experience what I’ve learned within the crèche environment. I’ve also decided to become a volunteer with children’s protective services – it has really lit a fire in me.”

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