Daniel Bonnici is a ‘Trade Teacher of the Year’ winner and a very good advocate for construction courses run at Victoria University, who tells us about how TAFE and university are coming together in skilling Aussies.
There are three stages of VET (in-school study), Certificate II in Building and Construction and then Certificate III - Apprenticeship in Construction. The biggest draw card for the course is students can build, learn and work on real houses. The full-size homes the students build exposes them to the process of constructing real life projects.
The philosophy of 'live work' is used at all levels at VU, from VETis to apprenticeship. Advanced building (Diplomas etc) is delivered at the Newport campus, so these students are able to access realistic projects at various stages of construction for the purpose of inspections, engineering requirements etc. They can also track the construction sequence of one particular building, which compliments their theoretical learning.
VU is also the only TAFE delivering boatbuilding in Victoria and Tasmania.
The School of Construction offers an extensive range of TAFE courses, providing pre-vocational, vocational and diploma training for individuals and industries. These courses align with the Australian Qualifications Framework and originate from the following trade areas: Boatbuilding, Bricklaying, Building Design and Supervision Carpentry and Joinery, Furniture Painting and Decorating, Plumbing, and Gasfitting.
The School maintains strong links with industry. A considerable number of full-time and part-time staff work within company operations. All staff attend internal and external workshops to keep them tuned in to current educational and technological developments. Assisting individuals and companies in the workplace is a major part of construction industries' business. Using flexible training materials, companies are able to utilise Victoria University expertise and their own qualified staff to deliver training that dovetails with individual training schedules.
The School of Construction Industries provide on-the-job training, both short and long term, in a broad range of industries. With specifically developed programs for the new apprenticeship system (subject to an agreed training program), traineeships can now be completed totally within the workplace. Study options are available for mature-age students entering into the workforce or upgrading their existing qualifications, or school leavers wishing to begin a career in their chosen field.