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A measured approach sees perfect placement and fit

For more than a decade, TAFE Queensland and shopfitting business Open Projects have enjoyed a successful relationship involving apprenticeship training and upskilling through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Recently they also opened their doors to offer placement opportunities to international cabinet making students.

For more than a decade, TAFE Queensland and shopfitting business Open Projects Group have enjoyed a successful relationship involving apprenticeship training and upskilling through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Recently they also opened their doors to offer placement opportunities to international cabinet making students.

“With skilled industry labour difficult to find at the moment it [vocational placement] opens the door to potentially hiring personnel who have also trained with your business and gotten to know the operation’s practices,” said Jodie Wood, General Manager of Open Projects Group.

“It’s been wonderful to observe our skilled tradespeople sharing their knowledge with the students, and our business also appreciates being able to train potential employees who understand our operations.”

Established in 2008, Open Projects Group design, manufacture and install custom shopfitting and joinery solutions for commercial businesses varying from small cafes through to full restaurant, club and pub fit outs.

In the past year, two international vocational groups have participated in the placement process, with some students also offered an additional 20 hours per week of paid employment.

“We've found the students to be eager and appreciative of the opportunity. They work well as part of our team and all of the students have fitted in perfectly. Their skill levels have improved far better than we initially expected, and they have become a valuable part of our organisation. Some of the students we have also do some paid employment hours with us now in addition to their placement days,” Ms Wood explained.

“Being such a diverse group of nationalities and personalities, it's great to see everyone adapt and work together so well.”

A third group of international vocational placement students will commence with Open Projects Group later this month.

“We're very satisfied with how our relationship with TAFE Queensland and the students has worked, so at this point we would definitely look at future opportunities to continue our association with TAFE Queensland,” Ms Wood said

Vocational Placement is vital in linking the knowledge and skills acquired during students’ training at TAFE Queensland with real workplace applications in industry.

It assists students in the transition from training to work and provides substantial benefits to both the students and the provider.

“We're constantly working closely with industry to shape our training products and delivery modes to keep up with industries growth and the occupations likely to develop in the future. We want to ensure we have job-ready graduates in growth sectors and occupations, and assist employers to future-proof their businesses,” Director of Trades on the Gold Coast, Liane Maneckshana said.

“We align our training with the needs of Queensland’s industries, designing new programs in areas of emerging need and industry transformation, while ensuring traditional trades’ educational practices are contemporary.”

“Vocational placements are also an important part of that. They provides students with the opportunity to apply the skills they learn on campus in a supervised, structured, real-world workplace environment,” she said.


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