GTOs engage with students for upcoming ‘test and try’ courses

Students in south-west Sydney and the North Coast of NSW have shown huge interest in taking on a pre-apprenticeship or pre-traineeship course through a Group Training Organisation (GTO), following a recent recruitment drive in both regions.

17 November 2021
Image: Group Training Organisations present opportunities to students

When we caught up with Sue Kennedy who leads the GTO ‘test and try’ initiative in June this year, she was focused on improving the initiative - in particular the level of engagement between GTOs and schools, to get the best outcome for both the GTO and our students.

As COVID restrictions eased across schools in Term 4, Sue used that opportunity to put her plans in place. She worked closely with the GTOs and Head Teachers Careers to roll out successful recruitment drives for the initiative.

“We knew it wouldn’t be possible to have the GTOs visit the schools in the early weeks of students returning to face-to-face learning, so we created opportunities for engagement that would help promote the GTO courses to our students,” says Sue.

With 8 GTOs offering courses in south-west Sydney, the three Head Teachers Careers hosted a virtual ‘market day’ on Wednesday 3 November. The market day gave each GTO a chance to introduce students to their industry and the various career path options they could explore.

If the number of Expressions of Interest (EOI) submitted by students following the market day is anything to go by, it was a huge success.

“On the same day as the virtual event one school had already received 15 completed EOIs,” says Rose Vujcic, Head Teacher Careers for the Campbelltown cluster, who was instrumental in the coordination of the day.

On the North Coast, two GTOs are participating in the ‘test and try’ initiative and promotion for the courses has just kicked off. Head Teacher Careers for the Ballina cluster, Deborah Page-Thomas, says she is expecting a high level of interest from students.

“We have been working with GTOs in this program for over a year now and we already have some great student success stories. I’m confident that we’ll see continued enthusiasm for the courses on offer in 2022,” says Deborah.

Once EOIs close, formal student interviews and a student selection process will take place with a Head Teacher Careers and a representative from the GTO, after which successful students will be offered a place on their chosen course.

“It’s important that we run the recruitment process like it would be done for a paid job,” says Rose Vujcic.

“It not only gives students an opportunity to practice their interview skills and techniques, it also allows both the GTO and the school to recruit students who are right for this opportunity,” she adds.

By completing one of the courses on offer, students can expect to complete 3 to 4 units of competency that can be credited towards further qualification based training. It can also lead to a School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship (SBAT) or direct employment into an apprenticeship or traineeship.

“Building relationships with employers while gaining valuable skills is what makes the GTO initiative within the Educational Pathways Pilot Program so appealing,” says Sue Kennedy.

There’s no shortage of opportunities for students either, with pre-apprenticeship or pre-traineeship courses available in a range of industries including automotive, business services, IT, hospitality and construction pathways, just to name a few.

For more information on the GTO ‘test and try’ initiative, email the team.

Group Training Organisations (GTOs) who have partnered with the Educational Pathways Pilot Program to offer courses for Terms 1 and 2 in 2022 include:

South-west Sydney:

  • Automotive, Apprenticeship Careers Australia
  • Automotive - Light Vehicle, MTA Apprentices Plus
  • Business Administration, Hunter Valley Training Company
  • Business Services or Civil Construction, MG My Gateway
  • Civil Construction,Yalagan Group
  • Construction - Carpentry, Master Builders Association
  • Hospitality, Hospitality Training Network
  • Information Technology, MEGT Australia

North Coast

  • Civil Construction, Yalagan Group
  • Construction Pathways, Novaskill
  • Business (Customer Service), Novaskill


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