How to fix Voc. Ed. & Training comprehensively – Issue Four

(C) Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.

Intellectual Property of Dr. Bruce D. Watson, DEd Melbourne, FAIM, MACE,

For Private individual use and comment.


Rebuild the public service and stop unnecessary outsourcing to “Yes” Consultants


There has been a practice for government, in particular, to outsource to consultants what should be the legitimate work of the public service.

Do more to ensure that public servants can do their job better. And one of the ways to do that is to make sure they do the work that is their core responsibility, as opposed to outsourcing everything.

Banks, for example, bemoan the decline in the number of public servants with the necessary quantitative and analytical skills. There is also varied quality and motives of consultants involved in developing policy. While there are highly professional consultancies and consultants, there are also consultants who cut corners, provided superficial reports and second-guess what ministers wanted to hear, not what they should be hearing.

It is of huge concern that a person with only a Certificate IV in Assessment and Training is deemed sufficiently capable of managing a private business offering vocational education and training, particularly when they have access to public funding. This belies the type of capabilities and skills that are necessary for successful management of educational services, and support to training staff and students. In addition, it is important not to overlook the ethics and morals that are part and parcel of being a member of a publicly funded Nation-wide System such as Voc. Ed. and Training.

Gina Abudi says, “In working with clients over the years to develop programs for new supervisors/managers – there are some skills, knowledge and competencies that rise to the top of “must haves” for someone in a management role. These are in no particular order, but all are of equal importance to be successful in a management role:

  1. Finance 101: Understand the basics of finance; know how to read a balance sheet, understand how to create a budget.
  2. Feedback: Learn how to give constructive feedback; provide those who report to you with feedback on a regular basis about how they are doing.
  3. Influence: Effective managers can persuade others to accomplish the organisational goals; just telling someone what to do doesn’t work – even if they report to you. The most successful managers are able to influence others to move in the direction they need them to go.
  4. Interpersonal understanding: Managers must understand those around them; not just their staff, but their managers and the other department heads/employees. The ability to understand how others think and what’s important to them helps to ensure success in accomplishing your goals.
  5. Motivate: Learn how to motivate those around you – what’s important to your staff? Not everyone is motivated by the same things and a good manager understands their staff and what motivates them to come to work each day and do a good job.
  6. Team leadership: Team leadership requires ensuring the team – whether your own staff or others – understand the mission, goals and objectives before them. A strong team leader builds effective teams that can accomplish the goals of the organisation and enables the team to move toward a common goal.
  7. Planning: The ability to effectively plan projects is important for any manager. This requires sharing the vision with others, getting them on board, creating plans to implement the vision, and ensuring timelines are met and budgets are managed.
  8. Problem solving: Effective managers know how to understand a situation completely – they plan, they don’t react. Understanding the root cause of a situation is necessary in order to effective problem solve the issue.
  9. Communication – written and verbal: Strong communication skills is required of everyone, and especially of managers. The ability to effective and efficiently communicate changes, plans, next steps, the direction of the organisation, etc. is required to ensure that staff understands where they need to head and how to get there. Effective communication builds trust.
  10. Organisational awareness: It’s important to understand how things happen within the organisation and how things get done. What are the informal paths involved in meeting goals. What is the culture of the organisation? How do departments work with each other? This “insider knowledge” about the organisation is key to the effectiveness of the manager and ensures the ability to get things accomplished.

In addition, no matter what your role – there are some core values that are of importance for everyone, including:

  • Honesty and integrity
  • Focus on the customer
  • Respect for others
  • Cultural awareness” …..[]

Why shouldn’t we expect formal evidence of the above from all RTO Managers, public and private? Completion of a Certificate IV in Assessment and Training does not achieve that. In fact, “a little bit of knowledge is considered dangerous”.

Video: To the managers and Leaders of Today and Tomorrow

Continued: Issue 5


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