**IN THE NEWS** Youth Unemployment Crisis

Page 3, April 7

Wallan Secondary College connecting employers and and schools.

Mitchell Shire has been identified in the Hume region as one of 10 hot spots across Australia in need of urgent attention with a youth unemployment rate of 17.5%. Click on the link for more information.

** IN THE NEWS ** Our Kitchen Rules

Our Kitchen Rules ASSUMPTION College has taken vocational training in hospitality to another level for its students with the Marlhes Restaurant.

Hospitality students are trained in all facets of restaurant functions and by obtaining the relevant work authority certification during the course, such as Responsible Service of Alcohol and Food Handlers Certificate, are able to find work immediately at a variety of venues.
The student staff are courteous professional and more than capable of handling their roles thanks to their expert tutelage from Head Chef Nigel Engel, once of Australia’s most highly decorated chefs and local restaurant manager Peiter Siebel.

Chef Engel is a life member of the Australian Federation of Chefs, a life member of the Chaine des Rotisseurs, an international association of professionals in Gastronomy from over 80 countries dedicated to fine dining and a member of Les Toques Blanches, a worldwide recognised association of executive chefs.

While the Marlhes Restaurant is at Assumption College, with 19 ACK Year 10, 11 and 12 students undertaking study, both tutors are enthusiastic in ensuring all students within the district are given the opportunity to undertake training there.

Wallan Secondary College also has five students participating in the program and both Chef Engel and Mr Siebel are hopeful other schools will also take advantage of the exceptional facilities avaiable for students interested in a career in hospitality.

“It has always been the outlook that the Marlhes would be a local hub for hospitality training and expand to include other schools in the district,” Mr Siebel said.
“Video conferencing facilities are in the works so that students can attend classes via remote access and this is hoped to be operational from next year.”
“We aim to give all students a broad range of knowledge in service, from fine dining service, to café service to buffets. We aim to prepare all the students for what the industry is really like,” Chef Engel said.
“It is not just for those students who wish to enter this profession , it is also trains students in skills they can use and be employed in during their further study of choice.
“Hospitality also teaches people to work sequentially, how to study, how to work as a team and handle pressure and deal with difficult customers and errors, all skills valuable in any workplace.”
All students work under strictly regulated conditions. Wear full chef uniforms in the kitchen, smart and precise front of house uniforms, follow food safety guidelines, including the storage of food and cleanliness of workspaces.
“I am also very strict on their work ethic. On a day the restaurant is open, work begins at 1pm. That means they must be here, dressed and ready to start work at 1pm, not here, but still to get dressed and having a chat. That wouldn’t happen in a real workplace and this is “real world teaching” and that is why it is successful. These students learn in a kitchen that is the same as a real commercial kitchen.
They know how to use the equipment, what the rules are and that is why they can start work at any restaurant once their training is complete,” Chef Engel said.
Students in Year 10, 11 and 12 can undertake Vocational Industry based training at the Marlhes Restaurant.

Front of house operations are covered in subjects VET 1 & 2, with an introduction to kitchen operations, and kitchen service and cooking is covered in VET 3 & 4.
Chef Engel and Mr Siebel have nothing but praise for their VET students, with Chef Engel describing his return to cooking after years away from the craft as “a passion that has been reborn thanks to the energy and commitment shown by his students.”

The Marlhes Restaurant is named after the region in France the Christian Brothers originated from. The restaurant is open every fortnight on a Wednesday evening, with bookings available on the Assumption College website via the Trybooking program.
Bookings are full for all evenings of operation in term 2. Keen diners are encouraged to get in early for Term 3 openings.

Article source: Newspaper House Tuesday 24th March 2015 

Assumption College & 3 students finalists in the 2014 Victorian Training Awards

Assumption College Kilmore LOGO

Assumption College is proud to announce that three of our students are finalists in the Victorian Training Awards as well as Assumption College being a finalist in the VET in Schools excellence category.

Olivia Bennetts is completing a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery at the Hidden Valley Restaurant, Joel Brincat is undertaking a Certificate III in Plumbing with Laidlaw Plumbing and Drainage and Caitlin Maher is completing a Certificate III in Aged Care at Blue Cross Willowmeade. All are finalist in the category of Victorian School-based Apprentice of the Year.

Assumption College is also a finalist in the VET in Schools Excellence Award. This year the College has 367 students studying a VET (Vocational Education and Training) programme in a choice of 26 different industries as well as 41 students enrolled in a SBAT (School Based Apprenticeship and Traineeship) in 17 different Industries. Mrs Carol Fisher has been the VET/SBAT Coordinator at the College for the past eight years.

The Victorian Training Awards, now in their 60th year, promote and reward outstanding achievement and innovation in vocational education and training. They also acknowledge the strong partnerships between training providers and Victorian businesses which are vital to providing a strong skills base for Victoria.

Winners of individual awards each receive a $10,000 fellowship and the opportunity to represent Victoria at the 2014 Australian Training Awards in Adelaide. Winners of the VET in Schools Excellence Award also receive prize money of $10,000 each for investment in their training programs.

The Victorian Training Awards will be presented in the Palladium Room at Crown Casino on Friday, September 26.

Assumption College Kilmore student 2014 SBAT finalists L-R Caitlin Maher - Aged Care, Joel Brincat - Plumbing & Olivia Bennetts - Commercial Cookery

Assumption College Kilmore student 2014 SBAT finalists L-R Caitlin Maher – Aged Care, Joel Brincat – Plumbing & Olivia Bennetts – Commercial Cookery

ACK Finalist Pic

Assumption College Kilmore 2014 finalists L-R Caitlin Maher – Aged Care, Mrs Carol FIsher VET/SBAT Coordinator ACK & Olivia Bennetts – Commercial Cookery Back Row: Joel Brincat – Plumbing



2013 Australian Vocational Student Prize and Prime Minister’s Award for Skills Excellence in School

Congratulations to Assumption College past student Lauren Parkinson (Alumni 2013) on being awarded:

  1. VCAL School-based Apprentice/Trainee for 2013
  2. 2013 Australian Vocational Student Prize
  3. Prime Minister’s Award for Skills Excellence in School in the Victorian State category

The Australian Vocational Student Prize recognises the achievements of students who completed their senior secondary studies while undertaking vocational education and training in schools or an Australian school-based Apprenticeship.

The Prime Minister’s Award recognises the student’s determination and commitment in achieving outstanding outcomes while completing their qualification, along with their involvement in the community and their leadership qualities. These awards promote the benefits of vocational education and reflect the commitment of schools to making vocational learning a valuable and rewarding experience for students. The PM’s Award has been awarded to no more than 20 students annually since 2005. This really is a wonderful achievement for both the student and the school.


Picture: Mr Michael Kenny, Principal – Assumption College Kilmore, The Hon. Martin Dixon MP, Minister for Education and Miss Lauren Parkinson.

Lauren Parkinson is someone with a lot of experience providing care to others. She used the illness of a family member to inspire her – to undertake nursing and, in her words, to “bring dignity and respect to people” needing nursing. She trained in care and assistance for the elderly at the Seymour Memorial Hospital in Seymour, and later at BlueCross Willowmeade. “Lauren is a very empathetic carer who is passionate about delivering person-centered care to our residents” boasts BlueCross Willowmeade. It was there she picked up a Top 4 Trainee in Aged Care award at the industry annual awards ceremony in 2013. As she studied for her School Based Apprenticeship in Aged Care, Lauren was equally active on the sports field. She not only completed a Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance and a Certificate III in Aged Care, she also undertook a Certificate II in Sport and Recreation.Her teachers and nominator agree – Lauren is a remarkable young woman. As she starts out on her Bachelor of Nursing at RMIT in 2014, she will no doubt continue to inspire with the sensitivity and compassion she brings to those needing care.

2013 Australian Vocational Student Prize

Congratulations to Mikeala Bennetts (Alumni 2013) Assumption College for also being awarded an Australian Vocational Student Prize for 2013.  This award recognises the achievements of students who completed their senior secondary studies while undertaking vocational education and training in schools or an Australian school-based Apprenticeship.

NB: Original content of this article taken form Assumption College website

Highlights from the VISTA Youth in VET Conference

CRLLEN attended VISTA’s Youth in VET Conference in Melbourne on Friday 21 March. VISTA is a not-for-profit association for VET professionals that aims to provide a forum for professional discussion on a range of policy, funding, pedagogical and research issues affecting the VET sector. This one-day conference focused on government strategies and academic research about keeping young people engaged in education and training. Speakers from government, not-for-profit and private sectors came together to discuss the complexities associated with youth engagement in VET and policy implications. Although the presentations focused on policy and research specific to Victoria, much of the discussion had national relevance. Here are some of the highlights from the conference.

The first speaker for the day was Daryl Sutton from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA). Daryl presented issues related to VET policy for secondary schools, particularly for VET in Schools and School-Based Apprenticeships programs. VET in Schools is impacted by changes to stipulations around volume of learning requirements under the Australian Qualifications Framework. Students are allocated a certain amount of time during the school week to attend VET programs, and are required to attend classes for their VCE subjects throughout the rest of the week. Changes to volume of learning requirements will impact many students by altering their timetables and, in some instances, requiring them to attend VET courses outside of normal school hours in order to meet volume of learning requirements for their VET qualification.

VET in Schools is also impacted by the inclusion of ‘assessor conditions’ in the new training package design model. Wherever assessor conditions are stipulated in the Assessment Requirements document, this is auditable by the VET regulators. Many VET in Schools teachers delivering competency-based training lack industry currency because they spend the majority (if not all) of their time in teaching roles. Where the assessor conditions state that an assessor must have a given number of years of current industry experience, this will greatly impact secondary schools in relation to compliance. Potential solutions were discussed, such as releasing teachers from teaching duties into the industries they train in for a specified amount of time so that they can maintain the required amount of industry currency.

The second speaker for the day was David Murray from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. David presented on the Victorian Government’s Youth Engagement Strategy. Recent government research has found that, every year, approximately 25,000 students leave school before completing Year 12. Sadly, 10,000 of these students disengage from education completely. 7,000 move to the VET system; however, 6,000 of these students disengage from VET within 12 months. Recent school inclusion policies have failed to adequately re-engage students who have disengaged from the school system.

David discussed a new reform agenda that entails greater state accountability for keeping young people engaged in schooling. The agenda includes a School Performance Framework, Principal Performance and more stringent reporting to government on student attendance, retention, suspension, expulsion and academic progress. Part of this new reform agenda is a Services Connect program, which aims to connect schools with local community services to provide additional support to students at risk of disengagement. More about the new reform agenda will be announced shortly in a Victorian Government policy statement.

After morning tea, the discussion shifted from policy to research. The third speaker for the day was Louisa Ellum from BGK LLEN, a local learning and employment network specifically targeting the needs of children and young adults between 10 and 19 years of age. Louisa spoke about a research project undertaken by BGK LLEN on issues of connecting youth with schools, Learn Local services and RTOs. The project was conducted in two phases, with the first outlined in a report entitled A Different Journey. The findings of the second phase of the research have been encapsulated in a subsequent report, entitled The Next Journey.

The first report, A Different Journey, provides a comprehensive picture of the young people who are accessing education at Learn Local organisations across Southern Melbourne, as well as the variety of arrangements used to facilitate program delivery for these young people. The report found that there are systemic issues relating to youth disengagement from education and training, including:

  • disability and learning difficulties
  • mental health issues
  • alcohol and other drug dependency and substance abuse
  • family background – many disengaged young people are carers providing care to a parent with a disability, and/or they may be experiencing homelessness or violence at home.

The report also found three common levels of disengagement among young people, including:

  • behavioural – poor participation and attendance at school
  • emotional – poor sense of belonging and connectedness with the school community
  • cognitive – lack of student investment in their own learning, often due to not being able to find education purposeful.

The second phase of the research project was completed in early 2014. The Next Journey report reviews how student pathways and transition planning is managed in alternative and flexible learning organisations (such as Learn Locals, TAFEs and RTOs) across the Southern Melbourne Region. Such organisations deliver a diverse range of programs to hard-to-reach learners and play a critical role in supporting disengaged young people to re-engage with learning in a non-mainstream environment, positively impacting on their future pathways.

This report found that, although organisations track student progress throughout enrolment, there is a lack of follow-up with students once they complete their training to find out how what they are doing and whether they need further support and/or training. The report also found that there are a range of partnerships between training organisations and other support services such as Job Services Australia, Youth Connections and Disability Employment Services to provide integrated support to keep students engaged in learning. There was a discussion about a need for more funding in the sector to provide comprehensive follow-up and integrate support services.

The fourth speaker for the day was Joann Fildes from Mission Australia. Joann presented the findings of Mission Australia’s National Youth Survey 2013. The National Youth Survey investigates young people’s career and employment aspirations and the values and concerns that young people aged 15–19 have about their lives and futures.

The survey asks students what they plan to do after they finish schooling. The majority indicated that they want to go to university. The second most common response was to get a job, while the third was to travel or have a gap year. The fourth most common response was to go to TAFE, while the fifth most common response was to get an apprenticeship. The least common response was that students felt they had none of the aforementioned options available to them. The findings suggest that TAFE and apprenticeships may not be as highly valued by young people as other post-school destination options.

Some other interesting findings from the survey were that the most desired industry for future employment by young people was the medical and healthcare industry. More than half of the respondents stated that they had been involved in some form of volunteer work in the past 12 months, indicating that there is strong representation of young people in volunteering roles. Of the young people who are in current employment, 42% of respondents said they worked in retail, followed by 40% who stated that they worked in hospitality. Young people are, therefore, very well represented in these sectors, although they tend to work part-time in conjunction with studying.

The presentations were followed by a panel discussion led by practitioners from youth and indigenous services, focusing on practitioner experiences of implementing youth engagement strategies and government policies. There was plenty of healthy debate throughout the day on how the VET system can better engage young people and support their transition from school to work and university. A fantastic day for all!

Transfield Services partnership for Community Engagement & Industry Placements

ts logoCRLLEN LogoCVGT logo

Central Ranges LLEN and Transfield Services have been working closely together on ways to increase local young peoples knowledge and understanding and experience of the various career pathways within Transfield Services, especially at Puckapunyal Military Base.

Late in 2013, CRLLEN facilitated a meeting that was held at Puckapunyal military base. Representatives from each secondary school within the Lower Hume VET Cluster along with GOTAFE heard what was available at Transfield Services Puckapunyal site and how Transfield could provide services within schools & training facilities.

Many questions were asked and attendees were very excited about the possibilities & opportunities for their students.

The meeting concluded with a tour of one of the largest kitchens on base so that teachers, trainers and support staff could experience the large-scale operation which provides the total catering requirements of the military personnel.

Since this meeting Transfield & CRLLEN worked together to create a systematic approach for students applying for a practical placement experience onsite at Transfield Services Puckapunyal Base.

A combination of work experience and training opportunities along with mapping of Transfield Career Pathways for local schools saw the development of an online application being created to manage school & TAFE applications. The local Workplace Learning Coordinator program has been used to manage the application process between Transfield Services, Schools & RTO’s to provide quality industry based placement and training opportunities to students.

The same application process is set up for managing requests from schools & TAFE to have Transfield Services involved within the community for things such as Career Day/Expos, Mock Interviews, OHS seminars, Group Placement Training, Camps and School Based Apprenticeships etc

This process is likely to increase employment opportunities for local young people within Transfield Services Puckapunyal Base.

For more information regarding the partnership, please contact CRLLEN on (03) 57 811 014

Marlhes Restaurant at Assumption College – Open for bookings

Assumption College Kilmore LOGO

The Marlhes Restaurant at Assumption College is fully licensed training facility, run by VETis Hospitality students and overseen by renowned chef and trainer Mr Nigel Engel.

Open to the public, this provides students the experience of cooking and serving within an operational facility with ‘real’ customers and underpinning theory learnt in the classroom.

The restaurant is now open Wednesday fortnightly begining 5th March 2014 during Terms 1 & 2. Bookings close by 5pm on the Monday before the restaurant is opens.

To secure your booking please click here

Alexandra Secondary College – Trade Training Centre – opening!!

The Central Ranges Trade Training Centre’s Alexandra Secondary College site has been officially opening on 13th February 2014.

Whilst the building has been in use for 18 months, the official opening to the public was today.

The Central Ranges TTC’s Alexandra Secondary College site delivers Vocational Education and Training in School courses in Hospitality and Building and Construction, to compliment the Automotive facilities at the school.

Local student now have access to excellent facilities, especially in Hospitality to deliver Industry level training.  These facilities can also be used by the community as well as local school students when training programs are offered.  If you are a Training Organisations, Youth or Employment Agency and would like to enquire further – please contact Andrew Johnston Principal of Alexandra Secondary College.


Macedon Ranges VET Cluster Develops RTO Checklist

image002With significant changes to the Vocational Education & Training (VET) system in 2012 and 2013 there have been increasing numbers of Registered Training Organisation (RTO) delivering Vocational Education & Training in School (VETis) courses across Victoria.

As a lead up to the annual RTO/TAFE presentation day the Macedon Ranges VET Cluster developed a Checklist to enable them to ask specific questions of the RTO’s to assess the quality of the service they could potentially provide.  In the lead up to final selection of RTO’s to deliver courses in 2014 the checklist was used by schools in making final decisions about the most suitable provider.

Feedback received from schools was that the Checklist for Assessing Quality RTO enabled them to make informed decisions about a potential RTO to deliver a quality course for students.


Careers in the Racing & Breeding Industry – Racing Victoria & Darley promote opportunities

On Wednesday 27th November, thirteen people from local agencies and secondary schools came together for a whole day at Darley’s stud at Northwood Park to learn about the many varied career paths within the Racing and Breeding Industry.

Racing Victoria spoke about the great opportunities within the racing and breeding industry and the career promotional department within Racing Victoria who offer many different programs to schools along with providing their own work experience and apprentice jockey program.

Natalie Welsh – Victoria’s Learning & Development Manager for Darley said “As an organisation we have a vital role to play in raising awareness and lifting the profile of careers within the sport and associated industries”.”Racing is full of highly skilled workers are there are many opportunities for people and we want to get that message out to potential employees”.

People were given a presentation on the variety of roles in racing, heard first hand from industry local industry guest speaker Penny Reeve from Seymour Racing Club, listened to training provider NCEE – National Centre for Equine Education regarding pathways of courses and opportunities for training. They then had the chance to watch a full Darley stallion parade, tour of the facilities, a demonstration from the equine dentist and enjoy a delicious lunch in the Darley Homestead.

A highlight of the day was a visit with the 2000 Melbourne Cup winning horse, Brew where people had an opportunity to meet him and have a photo taken whilst enjoying the beautiful lawn garden and sunshine.

Seymour Telegraph – Darley Dec4 2013