Category Archives: VET in Australia

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Virtual-Reality 2

How virtual reality is set to reshape education

By Adam Wadi

In this increasingly technological world, no industry is immune to disruption. Airbnb has given hospitality a wake-up call. Uber has rocked the taxi trade. Menulog revolutionised the way we order home delivery. These innovative start-ups listened to customers and have dramatically changed established industries.

In the same way, tertiary education is crying out for modernisation and a better customer experience, especially for students who are mid-career. Adult education is a unique opportunity for the next major industry disruption.

The needs of adult students are different to those going to university straight from high school. When I started my first diploma I had a full time job and a family to support. There are plenty of others in the same boat. They may want a qualification to help obtain a promotion, a payrise or to change industries, but face big barriers in obtaining the appropriate certificate, diploma or degree.

The two most significant barriers for adult students are:

  • The cost of a qualification
  • The amount of time involved in study

If we want to continue to prosper as a smart country, we must allow people to obtain qualifications in a way that is both cost and time-efficient, without sacrificing quality. So how do we do that? I see two major disruptions set to shake up the education industry:

  1. A customised course structure for every student

It is no longer appropriate to present potential students with an old-fashioned one-size-fits-all pathway to gaining nationally recognised qualifications. We all seek customisation in everything from phone plans to holidays to cars. Students are the customers of educational services; so how long will they accept demands that they fit into a uniform learning and assessment regime?

It is the institutions that need to adapt to meet the needs of individual students, not the other way round. Half of this challenge is recognising the prior experience of a student and converting this into advanced standing (through Recognition of Prior Learning). The other half is delivering educational services at a time and place, and in a manner, that suits the student, rather than the provider.

  1. Real collaboration in the virtual classroom

Physical classrooms are old hat. There is little reason to be physically present in a lecture theatre in order to learn. People returning to study later in life usually value flexibility over the benefits of attending class. They don’t need the clubs and social activities, and are likely to be able to motivate themselves to study.

But online learning does have its drawbacks. It can be impersonal and isolating and may not provide the opportunity to interact with other students and share ideas. Many people like the traditional classroom experience that you just don’t get online, but they are unable or unwilling to fit into a typical university schedule.

That’s why there’s a race to see who can perfect the online classroom experience. Clever education providers are investing in creating the ideal ‘virtual classroom’ to attract and engage students.

The VR classroom overcomes many of the obstacles that prevent people from chasing a qualification. It provides remote and overseas students an opportunity to participate in world-class education. International students can easily attend Australian classes. People in remote areas will have the same experience as their classmates. Students can collaborate on projects, teachers can provide feedback in a custom-built virtual environment and everyone can ‘attend’ sessions hosted by guest lecturers and specialists without leaving home.


Addressing the pain points: The future of adult education

A combination of RPL, flexible delivery and improving the online experience for students will deliver lower cost, more time efficient study. The lower overall cost comes thanks to exemptions from some units of study (where appropriate). The reduced time commitment is a result of fewer subjects and less travel time to the virtual classroom.

I started GQA with an ear to the ground and an eye for innovation. Now I have 40 partner institutions offering 400 nationally recognised qualifications across 29 different industries. Personally, I am always driving the team at Get Qualified Australia to be the improvement we want to see in the industry. We will forever be developing and refining our products and services with a view to making sure as many Australians as possible can get the qualifications they deserve.


University Pathways: How to Move From the VET Sector to University

The road to educational attainment and accreditation never did run smoothly, however the once singular path has, in recent times, fragmented itself into multiple lanes, all travelling along a one-way highway toward the attainment of formal recognition and national accreditation.

Facilitating pathways to and through various formal qualifications, and providing a link between Vocational Education and Training (VET) and university sectors, the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) has made it possible for people to access university degrees through vocational qualifications.

Composed of various levels of educational achievement and the standards of those qualifications, the AQF removes boundaries between educational sectors, and merges them into a singular framework composed of national, quality-assured qualifications, and multiple cross-sector pathways.


Skills Recognition & RPL has made it easier than ever for skilled and experienced candidates to move up the AQF structure without needing to engage in additional classroom study, take valuable time away from work, and learn what they already know.

In fact, converting one’s existing skills, knowledge and experience into a Nationally Recognised Qualification via Skills Recognition & RPL can help individuals attain nationally recognised VET qualifications that are aligned with the depth of their work and/or life experience, whilst also enabling a direct cross-over into university study.

These cross-over options are comprised of 3 primary pathways.

University Pathway Options

Bachelor’s Degree Pathway
Attain a Diploma in your industry discipline and get an exemption of up to a 1 year from your Bachelor’s degree.

– Master’s Degree Pathway
Attain an Advanced or Graduate Diploma in your industry discipline and get an exemption of up to 1.5 years from your Master’s degree.

Doctorate Pathway
Attain a Graduate Diploma in your industry discipline and get an exemption of up to 2 years from your Doctorate degree.

Whether you’ve got a Certificate IV and are looking to attain a Diploma, or have a Graduate Diploma and wish to apply for maximum credit exemption on either your Master or Doctorate degree, you can move up and through the various levels of the AQF with considerable ease through Skills Recognition. The road to educational attainment may not always run smoothly, but at least there is a direct path to getting there.

Think you have what it takes to make the leap? Schedule a free Skills Review Consultation with a Skills Recognition & RPL Specialist today, and see whether you’re eligible for your desired university pathway option.


Can you achieve trade recognition through RPL?

One might think that achieving trade recognition through RPL sounds way too easy and good to actually be true, however, the facts speak for themselves – it’s very possible for Australian tradies to attain formal recognition using RPL, and they could be achieving it in weeks.

You might already be working in your industry. You’ve probably dedicated years or decades to your trade, are skilled in what you do, and do it for a living. However, despite your extensive experience and skill sets, you might not have the formal qualification to go with your expertise.

This is a common struggle for many skilled yet unqualified Australian workers – the knowledge that despite doing the work of a tradesperson, they aren’t formally recognised as such, having never completed an apprenticeship or acquired a qualification. Many in the industry consider them labourers who aren’t “real tradespeople”. Others simply accuse them of not “doing their time”.
However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Having accumulated years (or even decades) of experience, they’ve dedicated just as much of their time, if not more so, than their qualified counterparts. Fortunately for them, there are options available for achieving formal recognition without the need for 3-5 years of classroom study, learning what they already know.

As the process through which skills and experience are assessed by a panel of industry and educational experts, ‘trade recognition’ allows workers who have skills and experience in a trade but have never completed an apprenticeship or gained a certificate, the opportunity to be awarded a trade-related certificate.

Instead of being a replacement for apprenticeships and training courses, however, skills or trade recognition merely provides another avenue for already skilled and experienced Australians to achieve formal recognition in a time and cost-effective way, acknowledging the extensive experience and service an individual has dedicated to their industry, without the need to spend tens of thousands of dollars studying.

While applications are considered on a case by case basis and eligibility requirements differ from qualification to qualification, the completion of a Certificate III in the related trade is usually the minimum requirement. This may be accomplished through Recognition or Prior Learning (RPL).

Introduced by the government in the 1990s, RPL has made is easier for Australians to achieve formal recognition through the issuing of Nationally Recognised Qualifications, bypassing unnecessary modes of study which aim to develop skills and knowledge that the candidate has already developed through experience.

Because these qualifications are usually issued from Certificate III and above, it is very possible for candidates to use these RPL-acquired qualifications to apply for formal trade recognition, especially when the qualification’s units verify that the candidate has proficiency in the required core and elective units.

You can find out more about attaining trade recognition through RPL here.

Think you have what it takes to achieve trade recognition through RPL?

Take our free skills review to see whether you’re eligible.

Looking to get licensed in your trade? Find your relevant state licensing body.



Top Earning Trades in 2015!

Increase your earnings in 2015 through RPL & Skills Recognition

Australia is one of the most expensive countries to live in. Scratch that – Australia is the most expensive country to live in, having been ranked as such for the fourth year in a row by the Deutsche Bank in their annual Mapping the World’s Prices report. In fact, only 4 cities are more expensive than Sydney in terms of cost of living.

Yes, that’s right. Australia’s bucks are bringing in the least bang.

With high transport and accommodation costs, achieving a high paying job is important for Australia’s working population, including its blue collar workers. While it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact amount Australian tradesmen earn, as this differs between trades and the structure of employment (i.e. sole trader, contractor or sub-contractor), Trade Risk have pooled together their resources to highlight the top earning trades in 2015, as based on average income.



(Graphic by Trade Risk)

Taking the top three spots, boilermakers, electricians and plumbers have topped off the list for the second time in a row. However while these tradies are earning the biggest bucks, it’s the cabinetmakers, bricklayers and painters who have experienced the highest increase in average income, with a 10% rise in earnings.

What’s more, the average income for tradies has increased from $68,900 in 2014 to $70,500 in 2015.


If one were to gather anything from these findings, it would be that our Aussie tradies have a world of opportunities to earn bigger dollars in 2015. We’ve identified two strategies that tradies could implement to bring in a bigger return in the year ahead – moving to a higher earning trade, and converting their existing skills to a qualification.

Upping Your Trade

In their time, many tradies have worked across dual or multiple trades, successfully acquiring a range of different skill sets through hands-on experience. Rather than being limited to one trade, they have directed their efforts towards learning the features of each trade, and effectively transferred these expert skills between them.

Making the move to a higher earning occupation in which the tradie is qualified, could open up new opportunities for the tradie to earn more money. Take John Cheakery for example.

After working as a carpenter for fifteen years, and applying his woodwork skills on large structural projects like housing frames and decking, John became interested in concentrating his efforts on more intricate constructions and trim carpentry. Sharpening his skills, this more concentrated focus on finer details led John to complete a large number of internal fitting jobs, creating tables, kitchens and cabinets over the course of six years. Shifting his efforts to cabinet making, John decided to cross-over into this specialised trade, upping his annual earnings in 2015 by a whopping $8,210.

Qualifying Your Trade

In view of the above scenario, should John have acquired all the necessary skills to work as a cabinetmaker in Australia over the course of his 21 years of experience, he would be eligible for a Certificate III in Cabinetmaking.

In addition to his increased earnings, the process of having his skills, knowledge and experience qualified through skills recognition or RPL would not only give John the minimum requirement to achieve trade recognition for Cabinetmaking in Australia, but also help him secure future jobs, roles and promotions, thus increasing his earning potential.

Qualifying your skills, knowledge and experience, especially if you’re competent in all industry units and have the required experience, is a great way of boosting your salary and job prospects as a formally recognised tradesperson. Find out if you can achieve formal trade recognition through RPL with this simple 2-3 minute free skills review.

Remember, it’s never too difficult or late to increase your earning potential. Moving to a higher earning trade or qualifying your skills through Skills Recognition or RPL are only two of the possible ways to go about this in an effective manner. The opportunities , however, are endless. 



Can’t work anymore? The trick to staying employed.

Sometimes life happens.

Perhaps you’ve sustained an injury that has rendered you incapable of performing your current duties. Perhaps your physical capacity for executing tasks is no longer enough to get the job done. Age may have taken its toll on you and, in effect, slowed down work you were once able to do with the flick of a switch. Maybe you’re simply nearing the end of your career, and are struggling to find employment opportunities, but would love to help someone begin theirs.

You might no longer be cut out for the work you were once able to do, but this doesn’t mean that you are no longer cut for work, especially within your industry. All you need to do is relocate your efforts in a different but related lot, and all it takes is one simple, yet valuable qualification.

Staying employed in your industry with a qualification in Training & Assessment

You’ve probably worked so long in your industry that you know it like the back of your hand. If this is the case, then teaching others the skills you’ve already acquired, whilst also assessing skill sets and levels of proficiency, might be a viable option if you’re looking to stay employed within your industry, albeit in a different capacity. You could become a vocational education teacher; training adviser or training needs analyst; or an enterprise or RTO trainer and/or assessor. Each of these can help ensure that you continue to work within your industry, even whilst no longer able to physically perform the work.

Sound good? It really is, and you could be using it for work within any vocational education and training (VET) industry.


To be able to deliver training and assessment services in the VET sector, you’ll need a few things first.

  1. A Certificate IV in Training & Assessment would come in handy, and by handy we mean it’s a requirement as per Standard 1 in the Australian Quality Training Framework’s Essential Standards for Registration. This qualification is also great if you’re already engaged in the delivery of training and assessment of competence in the workplace, as part of a structured VET program.
  2. The above qualification is not for everyone, and in order to be considered eligible, you must be able to pass certain units of competence. Amongst others, these include:
  • Planning assessment activities and processes as well as assessing competence
  • Participating in assessment validation
  • Planning, organising and facilitating group-based learning, particularly in the workplace
  • Designing and developing learning programs
  • Using training packages and accredited courses to meet client needs.

To find out if you’re eligible for a training and assessment qualification, take this quick 2-3 minute Free Skills Review, or match your skills against the full competency requirements.

  1. You’ll also require evidence of the above units of competency. This can take the form of:
  • Resume/CV
  • References
  • Performance appraisal
  • Portfolio/work samples
  • Photographic and videoevidence
  • Education, training and qualifications
  • Job Description
  • Policies and procedures
  • Workplace communication
  • Bookkeeping and financial records

Perhaps you’re a little more advanced and looking for that little, something extra. If that’s the case, then you might be able to try your skills at the Diploma of Vocational Education and Training or Diploma of Training Design and Development.

Get ready, get set, teach!  

Once you’ve acquired your qualification, you’re all set to make the transition from employee to trainer, developer and/or assessor within your current industry. It’ll ensure that you’re still able to work within the industry you’ve dedicated your entire life to, while making use of your existing skill sets and experience. It’s the perfect way to hold onto the past by remaining employable in the present, and well into the future.

Get your Certificate IV in Training and Assessment using only your existing skills, knowledge and experience with Australia’s leading Skills Recognition & RPL Specialist, Get Qualified Australia. Enquire today on 133 775.



Where to construct your efforts in 2015: Employment outlook for the Building and Construction industry

“You cannot build a dream on a foundation of sand.”

― T.F. Hodge

The future of Australia’s construction industry may seem doom and gloom amid mining fall-backs, declining investment levels, and rising pressures on resource-related project activity, however calamity is not upon us. Knowing where to invest your employment efforts, and in which sector more precisely, is key to maintaining and increasing your job prospects within the building and construction industry in 2015.


The value of residential building work is set to rise from $46.2 billion in 2012/13 to 60.9 billion in 2015/16. Of the 183,000 projects expected during this period, the apartment building sector is likely to witness the highest level of growth, with a 6.3% increase in projects.


Rising at a rate of 3.2%, sustained growth is anticipated within the commercial construction industry. Majority of this growth is expected to occur through private building efforts, including offices, retail premises, and recreational buildings.


Despite experiencing declining activity in electricity, sewerage, drainage, water supply, and pipelines, the future for infrastructure construction looks favourable, with an expected growth rate of 5%. Following an increase in investment, primarily from the NBN network, the telecommunications sector seems most hopeful (8.2%), while the Federal and State infrastructure plans for road and rail are expected to witness a revenue lift by 6%. This is followed closely behind by civil projects (5.2%), including port expansion.


If you’re a job seeker looking to invest your efforts in solid soil, then knowing where all the activity is happening proves crucial. Fortunately for New South Wales natives, their resident state will be home to a large portion of building and construction activity. This is followed moderately by South East Queensland, and Victoria, and understandably so. States not as exposed to declining mining-related construction, such as NSW and VIC, have greater opportunities.


As one of the 16 industries expected to experience increased job offerings between 2015 and 2018, employment within the construction industry is set to grow by 137,900 jobs (13%). While outlooks for heavy and civil engineering construction are projected to suffer marginally, small home builders and occupations with greater exposure to the detached housing and apartment buildings sector, such as bricklaying, plastering, tiling, residential landscaping, and site management, appear to have the most to gain. Of these sectors, the greatest opportunities exist for off-site and sub-contract work.


1. Invest in the booming sectors

There’s no logic behind placing structures in sinking soil. Instead, you should focus your labour on burgeoning sectors. These include residential (apartment buildings), commercial (offices, retail, recreational buildings), and infrastructure construction (telecommunications, road and rail, and civil) industries.

2. Consider off-site and subcontract work

With demand for off-site and subcontract tradesmen eclipsing that of on-site work, it seems more beneficial to take on jobs under these arrangements. While such agreements may not work for you, they might be worth looking into.

3. Up your qualifications and get your trades license

It’s a tough and competitive world out there, and to secure a lot for future employment, you need a solid foundation on which to build. Having all the required qualifications and trades licenses to meet industry requirements and one-up your competition, can increase your chances of getting a job substantially, especially if you’ve got a superior line of skills locked in your tool-kit.
If you can’t afford to take any time off work, then you’ll be happy to know that you no longer have to. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) has made it easier than ever to turn your existing skills, knowledge and experience into Nationally Recognised Qualifications which may then be used to acquire your trades license. For more information about licensing requirements, click here.

If you’ve already got a qualification, it might be useful to consider merging into a more burgeoning sector of your industry by obtaining a qualification within that area too, especially if you’ve already got all the skills required to prove your competence. The following qualifications might help you increase your chances of landing a job in 2015.

Diploma Of Building And Construction (Building)
Certificate IV In Building And Construction (Site Management)
Certificate IV In Building And Construction (Building)
Certificate III in Bricklaying
Certificate III in Solid Plastering
Certificate III in Wall and Floor Tiling

Australian Industry Group, 2014, Construction Outlook


Recognition of Prior Learning Made Easy

Do you have skills and knowledge gained through career experience, prior training or study and even voluntary work, but you don’t have the piece of paper to prove it?  Then Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) could put you on the fast track to obtaining a Nationally Recognised Australian Qualification without having to complete additional classroom study.

RPL Explained

RPL is a simple no stress process of assessing how your skills and experience match Units of Competency within the Australian Training Packages for various industries.  Evidence is submitted in the form of scanned documents that are sent via our secure encrypted file transfer system and the whole process is conducted using online services and phone calls.  Even if your industry experience was gained working overseas, this is still relevant to an Australian RPL application.

Read more about RPL

Benefits of RPL

Get Qualified Australia aim to assist Applicants to develop their current ‘employability skills’.  This is one of the key elements of the RPL process and a focus of Get Qualified Australia is ensuring that individual industry expertise formalised.  RPL speeds up the process of achieving Qualifications.  You don’t have to do further study to prove your experience and the Qualifications are issued quickly once the RPL process is completed.

By listing a Nationally Recognised Qualification on your Resume / CV, it will show that you have professional credentials to match your career and work history.  This will increase your chance of promotions and increases the standard of your skills when you are applying for a new jobs or seeking internal promotions.

Evidence Required

An extensive range of evidence can be used to verify and assess competency of applicants.  This includes contracts of employment & job descriptions, details of training & inductions, performance reviews and appraisals, references from current and past employers, work samples and examples of work you complete ‘on the job’.

Work examples can be presented as documents such as checklists, schedules, reports, emails and correspondence or notes.  But you can also use photos, videos and recordings to show yourself working on the job.  This is particularly useful for applicants using RPL for to complete qualifications for ‘hands on’ jobs such as Hospitality and Trades.

Qualifications Available

Get Qualified Australia offers RPL options for over 400 qualifications across an extensive range of professional industries including Commercial Cookery & Bakery, Tourism & Hospitality, Business & Management, Finance, Marketing, Human Resources, Education & Training, Project Management, Child Care & Age, Transport and Logistics, Trades and many more.

Tertiary Qualifications ranging from Certificate II to Advanced Diploma level can be issued using the RPL assessment process.  Once all your evidence has been sent to GQ Australia and is checked to make sure you are competent, the Qualification Certificate will be issued within 2 to 4 weeks of completion.

If you currently hold an Advanced Diploma and have extensive Department Manager or Executive level industry experience, you can also use established ‘pathways’ to complete Higher Education Qualifications at University level using the RPL process.  You can firstly obtain a Vocational Graduate Certificate or Diploma using RPL, then you can apply for Credit Transfer and exemptions towards Australian MBA programs.

Get Qualified Australia also have partnerships with University Enrolment Consultants that can assist you with finding the right pathway to achieving Higher Education Qualifications.

The RPL process

Professional Industry Skills Assessors from Get Qualified Australia can complete a FREE evaluation of your Resume / CV and suggest suitable qualifications matching your skills and experience.  All you need to do is contact the GQ head Office first and chat to one of the friendly helpful staff so they can give you more information on the RPL process.

You can be assured that the service you will receive is the highest standard.  Get Qualified Australia assessors all hold Australian Training Qualifications and have worked at Executive Management level in their industries and fields of expertise.  They have also worked as trainers and assessors in industry and also at colleges in the lecturing environment.  Because of this experience, they can provide valuable recommendations, advice and guidance to help you achieve a Qualification.

When you complete RPL with Get Qualified Australia, you will be provided with detailed information on how to prepare and submit evidence to support the RPL application.  Your assessor will give you support and guidance throughout the RPL process and assessors are available to talk with you at any time to answer any questions that you might have.

Use Your Current Qualifications

If you already have qualifications attained from previous study, you can use this as evidence to support your Application.  If your qualifications were issued by an Australian RTO, the Academic Transcript which provides a full listing of all the Units of Competency that were successfully completed can be reviewed by RPL Assessors.  If any of the Units are the same is those included in the qualification that you are seeking you will be given Credit Transfers and will not need to complete these Unit.  This ensures that you only have to provide evidence for a reduced number of Units to complete the Qualification successfully.

International Qualifications and Experience

If you have International Qualifications they can be used for RPL, but this Credit Transfer process cannot be completed unless you have had the Qualifications verified by Australian Education International.  This is an Australian Government organization that can assess overseas qualifications in higher education, post-secondary technical and vocational studies and match them to the Australian equivalent.

Any industry experience that you have gained outside of Australia is still relevant for an RPL Application.  However, references need to be written on company letterhead, in English or translated, plus verified by a Justice of the Peace.  Referee contact details are also essential for conducting reference checks to verify your skills and experience.  They will need to be fluent in English so that they can be contacted via email or phone.

Australian Education International can assist you with assessment of overseas qualifications

Getting Started with RPL

For all enquiries please contact Get Qualified Australia on 133 775 and talk with one of our Industry Skills Assessors.  They will ask you to send a copy of your current resume / CV for review and can provide detailed information on RPL.