Fighting for Potential with Tom Moore

The WorkED Podcast – Fighting for Potential

Tom Moore is a man on a mission – and it’s not about making you comfortable. A self-described ‘monster’ since childhood, he has put his confrontational character to work for good as the founder of WithYouWithMe, which supports veterans transition back into work. His approach has been so successful that Tom’s squad have turned their minds to the wider skills and workforce ecosystem.

What Tom offers is a radical approach to understanding potential and re-skilling informed by his career in the Australian Army. By dissecting the transition-to-work experience and record of veterans, he has set about reinventing training and workforce skilling from the ground up to successfully support veterans into meaningful work.

WithYouWithMe’s model has built an enviable track record in digital skills, with success training people fast into seemingly complex roles like cybersecurity and software development, based on potential, data and creative training models that are taking employers and educators out of their comfort zone.

It is clearly a disruptive approach, and it led to WithYouWithMe being named #1 on the Deloitte 2019 Asia Pacific Technology Fast 500 index for a staggering rate of business growth.

    • What can we learn from the military about transitioning young people to a fast-changing workforce?
    • How can we better use data to match candidate potential and capabilities with workforce skills gaps?
    • And what’s possible when an individual decides to accept responsibility, stand up, and ‘be fierce’?

Listen to Tom’s captivating and confronting take on these questions in conversation with ReadyTech CEO Marc Washbourne.


worked podcast

Talking to young people about the jobs of the future

future of jobs

How can we talk to young people about the future jobs when it’s never been more difficult to give advice or certainty around the availability of opportunities?

The learning and work environment Australia’s young people are entering now is as opaque as it’s ever been. In fact, this was one of the Business Council of Australia’s arguments in a recent review of the VET sector where it said more robust career advice for young people was clearly needed.

“The first problem is the approach potential learners take to making decisions about their future, and the lack of information available to help them make good decisions,” the BCA wrote. “This starts in schools with career counselling and the information we give young people, but is even more prevalent for adults in the labour force or looking for work who struggle to find relevant and helpful information.”

With the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, many of today’s young people find themselves finishing courses or training with more limited job opportunities available. The statistics showed that those in work (often to support study) were among the hardest hit early in the crisis. ABS data for May showed payroll jobs worked by those aged under 20 suffered the largest falls (-14.6 per cent).

Young people’s dreams are being placed on some shaky foundations – at least in the very short-term. They rightly want to know where the jobs are likely to be found today as well as tomorrow.

But can we answer? Mega-trends like automation and globalisation are already sweeping through the world of work. They are leading to change that is significant, fast-paced and unpredictable.

With a range of predictions about what impact these forces might have in the coming years, young people can be forgiven for experiencing a lot of doubt, anxiety and insecurity about the future.

Is there a way we can talk to young people about the jobs of the future?


The beginning is not the end

Listen to Year13 founder Saxon Phipps’ full interview with ReadyTech CEO Marc Washbourne about the jobs of the future at the recent 2020 Careers Expo.

Year13 is one organisation that tries to make sense of the options available to young people. At its recent 2020 Digital Careers Expo, ReadyTech CEO Marc Washbourne shared his own career story, from his entrepreneurial beginnings mowing lawns at age 15 to heading an ASX-listed tech company.

His advice? “The beginning is not the end.”

While it’s a very challenging time to be thinking about a future career or entering the workforce, Marc told Year13’s audience that with a patient, long-term approach to learning and work, young people could be confident of finding genuinely fulfilling careers in the years to come. “COVID-19 has thrown a spanner in the works… but we will recover and there is a lot to be optimistic about.”

Amid the uncertainty, Marc said there are some certainties young people can use to guide them.


Expect the unpredictable

A lot of careers progress in highly unpredictable ways. While our culture often promotes the idea of linear journeys of learning and work progress via a single career choice, in many cases, those who have found fulfilling work have had ‘messy’ and meandering paths that involved falling into unexpected areas of work. Sometimes involving failure, ultimately they can end up exploring interests and talents and using those experiences to hone in on things they are good at and enjoy.

“I studied History at university,” Marc said. “You might ask how did a guy who studied history end up running a technology company? It seems quite random, but that is quite common in many people’s career paths. In the first few years, young people are layering experiences; you can start to understand what you’re good at and what you enjoy, what your strengths are, what you have a passion for, and once you have that it will be recognised in others.”


Fine tune the 4 C’s

The first few years of any working life should be about trying things out rather than landing that high-paying job right away, Marc argues. Part of that will be learning and flexing the ‘four C’s’, or those more human skills that are likely to continue to be highly translatable and transferable across industries and different workplaces in the future. Carrying the four C’s – creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication – will allow young people to bring valuable employability skills with them in addition to technical knowledge that will support them in the future of work.

“We are seeing the continual rise of more computerisation and that is taking some of the tasks and the jobs that we were doing previously. As a result, we are seeing employers increasingly looking for human skills that computers can’t perform and they will be among the most sought after skills in the future. With technology changing things so fast, we need those creative people, those critical thinkers, to help manage that change – and the technology is not going to go away,” Marc said.


Bring a (positive) attitude

As an extension to human skills, the right attitude can help young people improve their employment prospects in the short and long-term in a competitive world. Though there may be less opportunities available, the willingness to put themselves forward with a positive approach and seek out new work experiences – even through volunteering – are signs that they have what it takes to make it in paid employment. While no one is entitled to a job, the right attitude can go a long way to ensuring young people make the most of opportunities.

“We take a range of people in at ReadyTech – in our customer service team on our support desks for example, they could have a range of qualifications, including in VET. We value people who have done some work experience placements, internships or volunteering – I think that shows really great promise in that young person. We look for a positive attitude, a can-do attitude. People who are willing to take the initiative, go the extra mile. There is some competition out there and you have to stand out, so being positive and having a good attitude is the trait I would value the most.”


Identify your strengths and passions

The word “passion” can get overused at times, but it is a crucial element in individuals finding work that sustains them both financially and with meaning and purpose over time. By experimenting with work opportunities that both pay the bills and integrate some elements of their strengths or their interests, or even cultivating a passion, young people are more likely to experience a state of flow, be curious about their work and love what they do, which will help them excel in their careers.

“I tell my kids who are 13 and 10 to be curious and ask questions – I think that’s really important.  I think that the ability to engage in lifelong learning is a fundamental trait, and I encourage them it’s important to continue to learn. I would also push them to follow passions that play to their strengths and their purpose – when you work to your strengths you get into a state of flow and it doesn’t feel like you’re working, time flies. As they say, if you love your job you’ll never work another day in your life.”


The future is out there

There will be a lot of opportunities for today’s young people in the workforce. Even if COVID-19 has changed the landscape in ways that may make it more difficult to get a start or move forward in the short-term, the Australian economy will continue to yield new opportunities in the years to come. However, worrying probably won’t solve anything, and Marc suggests that just by getting out there, asking for opportunities, you might be surprised what will come back.

“Don’t worry. The things I was worried about at 18 or when I left university at 21 seemed incredibly important at the time, but looking back, they are a lot less important. Don’t worry what peers and others think about your chosen career path – you have to choose the career because it is for you. Follow your gut instincts and you will find your place in the world, and when it gets hard, keep going – challenging times are good times to flex your muscles and become better,” Marc said.


Listen to the full interview with ReadyTech’s Marc Washbourne on Jobs of the Future now – click here.

NEAS endorses JR Plus for international student management

NEAS, a leader in Australian international education quality assurance, has endorsed ReadyTech Student Management System JR Plus for use across Pathways, ELICOS and CRICOS education.

ReadyTech’s Student Management System, JR Plus, has become the only Student Management System to be endorsed by quality assurance body NEAS for use in Australian international education.

NEAS is the peak body for quality assurance in Australian English Language Teaching (ELT), where it seeks to establish and uphold high education and service standards across international education.

JR Plus was recently reviewed by NEAS under its Quality Assurance Framework, a matrix that assessed the end-to-end capabilities and service offered by JR Plus in international education.

The NEAS assessment concluded with an official endorsement of JR Plus, citing benefits including the system’s adaptability, market-specific features, ISO 27001-level security and strategic focus.

“NEAS would like to congratulate ReadyTech on achieving NEAS Quality Endorsement of JR Plus, an international student management software system for Pathways, ELICOS and CRICOS providers.

Elicos student management system
JR Plus – International student management software for Pathways, ELICOS and CRICOS providers.

“Their product is an all-in-one solution, which eliminates multiple competing software and creates a solution for their client of exceptional quality,” the NEAS endorsement to its members says.

NEAS added that the integration of research, analysis and ‘state-of-the-art’ software design into the JR Plus student management demonstrated the high quality solution it provided for clients.

JR Plus is the only Student Management System that is officially endorsed by NEAS against the Quality Assurance Framework for use by providers of international education in Australia.

 “ReadyTech is pioneering many exciting developments in international education technology, all focused on evolving student management and student experiences for a brand new decade,” said Trevor Fairweather, ReadyTech’s General Manger of Student Management Systems.

“We’re delighted to receive this official quality endorsement from NEAS. While we’re in the midst of a challenging time in international education, we look forward to working with the Pathways, ELICOS and CRICOS community to support quality international offerings into the future.”

Apprentice of the Year a firm believer in value of skills

ACT Apprentice of the year 2019

The winner of last year’s ReadyTech ACT Apprentice of the Year Award is still benefitting from ongoing learning and the transferability of his skills across building and construction.

When James White won the 2019 ReadyTech ACT Apprentice of the Year Award a year ago, he was an apprentice carpenter who believed he might one day start his own carpentry business.

With a passion for building, carpentry and woodworking, he was working towards a Certificate III in Carpentry at the Canberra Institute of Technology while learning on the job with ACTPRO Group.

But in the fast-changing world of work a lot can change in a year.

James now has a new role, a new employer and some brand new goals. What hasn’t changed is his foundational belief in the value of continual learning and the skills you pick up along the way.

“My experience is primarily with construction-based apprenticeships, but what I’ve seen there is that those skills I’ve learned tend to be applicable in a lot of different industries,” James says.


Moving on up 

James is now a site supervisor with ACT Steelworks. Headhunted from his fully-qualified carpentry role at ACTPRO after 4 months, he is now responsible for managing a team of six on anything from major structural steel installations, to steel fences, bollards, balustrades and other construction-related steelworks.

While the timber structures he used to work with could support a couple of tonnes, James is now more likely to find himself in the middle of Canberra supervising a crane lifting steel beams that weigh in at nine tonnes, and that are destined to support a full 200 tonnes of concrete.

“The stuff I’m doing at the moment is really enjoyable for me. It’s something different and I never really like to stop learning. When you start working with things like those big steel beams, doing crane work and working on elevated platforms and boom lifts, it makes things really interesting.”

James says his carpentry background and other skills have proved invaluable.

“There’s been some challenges where my carpentry skills have really helped,” James explains. “I tend to get put on the jobs where we’re not quite sure how it will work, or what the outcome should be; the jobs where how we are going to get there requires some thought.”

For example, James has made the decision to use timber structures creatively on some jobs to support part of a construction so that work on the site could continue. “There’s been a number of jobs where I’ve had to do that – think outside the box,” he said.


Living to learn

James is a firm believer in the value of learning and skills. Prior to his apprenticeship, he had already completed a Bachelor of Systems Engineering and a Diploma in Leadership and Management, while getting hands-on experience in the field in maintenance, carpentry and managing people.

This attitude fits right in at ACT Steelworks. Supported by a strong learning culture, James has already accrued a number of trade tickets that are making him more skilled across the breadth of his role, including rigging and scaffolding, working in confined spaces and crane driving.

“ACT Steelworks is all about professional development. If we come across a problem we can’t solve, our boss’ mentality is ‘we need training’. We always have people doing courses,” James says.

“Since I’ve been here, I’ve also done tickets in excavating machine equipment – like bobcats. I was never actually qualified in those, and now I’m their primary machine operator as well.”


The past is the future 

James considered launching his own carpentry business last year but opted for the opportunities on offer at ACT Steelworks. While he still does private carpentry jobs on the weekends, he believes that building and construction project management could be where his role eventually takes him.

He encouraged apprentices or those considering one to realise the value of skills.

“The skills you learn – at least in building and construction – are applicable to a lot of different industries,” he says. “For example, the skills I bring from carpentry apply in the steel fabrication and fixing industry. Different skill sets can actually be very valuable – bosses like it,” he said.

Finishing a qualification – and being able to offer the skills that come with it – immediately boosts employability, because it shows a person is able to stick it out. James says they’ll also be able to carry that with them into the future.

“The good thing is that once you’ve got a trade it’s yours – no one can take it from you.”

ReadyTech is a lsupporter of the ACT Training Awards and a sponsor of the ACT Apprentice of the Year Award since 2017. For more information, click here.

ReadyTech to celebrate skills in the ACT, Tasmania

ReadyTech will join the ACT and Tasmanian VET industries in celebrating workforce skilling success as a sponsor of this year’s Australian Training Awards.

ReadyTech will sponsor the ACT Training Awards for a fifth year in 2020 and extend its national involvement to include the Training Awards in Tasmania to support vocational education (VET).

ReadyTech has been a long-term participant in the annual ACT Training Awards celebration, where it has been a platinum sponsor of the ACT Apprentice of the Year Award since 2017.

Together with its VETtrak Student Management System, ReadyTech will also sponsor the Tasmanian Training Awards this year, where it will present the Training Provider of the Year Award.

“The Training Awards recognise the inspirational effort and achievement happening every day around Australia in vocational education and training,” said Trevor Fairweather, ReadyTech General Manager of Student Management Systems.

“ReadyTech systems are very much a part of the fabric of vocational education in the ACT and Tasmania, so we’re honoured to be contributing towards showcasing best practice and success.”

The Training Awards will be held on 10 September in the ACT and in October in Tasmania.

The Unique Student Identifier explained for higher education

The Unique Student Identifier, or USI, was uniquely disruptive when introduced into vocational education and training in 2015. Will it be any easier for higher ed?

There’s nothing new about the Unique Student Identifier – at least to Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) providers. Having managed and reported on students using the USI since January 2015, it’s now an integral part of the VET compliance milieu and embedded in technology that supports student management.

Higher education is different. The Australian Government only recently announced the rollout of USI across higher education beginning in 2021. Though VET is usually on the receiving end of ideas tested first in higher education (think student loans), in this case higher ed providers will need to adapt using best practice insights from VET.

What can higher educators learn from the VET USI experience? And how can they ensure they transition to the USI regime at pace with a minimal amount of pain?


What’s a Unique Student Identifier (USI)?

A USI is a 10-character alphanumeric code that uniquely identifies an individual learner for life and allows a single source of truth for all accredited competencies achieved in VET studies.

Applied for just once by students undertaking study or training at a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), as an apprentice or trainee, or in a school VET program, it is carried with them across all Australian jurisdictions, providers and all nationally recognised training.

For students and educators, the USI means access to a full transcript of recognised qualifications undertaken across an individual’s learning lifetime. For regulators, training authorities and policymakers, it means more coherent data informing the development of our education system into the future.


Is the USI coming to higher education?

Yes. The Australian Government recently announced it would expand the USI regime into higher education, where it will be mandated for all providers and students.

To be rolled out in stages from early 2021, by 2023 all higher education providers will need to ensure that all of their students have a USI, whether they are new enrolments or commenced their study prior to 2021. At the same time, the Commonwealth Higher Education Student Support Number (CHESSN) will be completely phased out.

There is an expectation the USI will also be introduced into Australia’s K-12 education system in the near future, so students will carry one identifying number with them throughout their entire learning lifetime.


Why is the USI being rolled out for higher ed? 

The USI has a number of stated advantages for participants in Australian education.

For students, it will provide an online, centralised record – called the USI Transcript – of all nationally recognised training. Securely housed and easily accessible, students will be able to refer to this record for different purposes, such as when applying for a job, seeking to transfer credit into new courses at other providers, or when they are about to enter a new course and need to show they meet the required pre-requisites.

For higher education providers, the use of a single identifier for the entire tertiary education journey – whether in VET, higher ed or both – will ensure information available on students will expand, potentially streamlining student management. With more and better-quality data available on students throughout their education journey, educators will be able to better service their aspirations and refine the student lifecycle.

For regulators, the USI will eventually provide a single source of truth for student interactions with the education system across Australia across different education channels. By housing and analysing USI data across cohorts of students, policymakers will be more informed about what the education journey really looks like and how they can be facilitated through measures like funding and student support measures.


What will the higher ed rollout look like?

The government is taking a staged approach to the rollout of USI across higher education. First, from 2021 all new higher education students (both domestic and onshore international) will be required to apply for or hold a USI before course census date. Students applying for new Commonwealth financial assistance will also need to use a USI from 2021. By 2023, all tertiary students will need to have a USI in order to receive their award, including those who commenced their study prior to 2021.



Will it be easy to manage USI?

That depends. While the Australian USI system is well and truly functional in 2020, the USI has been described as ‘the single most disruptive compliance requirement’ ever introduced into vocational education and training. This is a result of two factors:

    • Providers in VET could enrol and deliver training to students from 2015 without a USI, but because they were no longer able to issue a Statement of Attainment or Certificate at the end of a course without one (a compliance requirement in VET-regulated training), the USI became an immediate, ultra-critical aspect of the student administration equation. Many VET providers choose to no longer proceed with enrolment until a student has a USI, because of the compliance risk of them finishing without one; and
    • It is students themselves who need to apply for a USI, rather than education providers. This put it, for the large part, out of educators’ direct control.

This resulted in immediate and widespread impacts on tried and tested workflows developed over time to manage student admissions and admin. In just one example, short course admissions were put under stress. With the requirement for a fast turnaround at the front-end, the insertion of new steps around obtaining and verifying a USI slowed down the onboarding and enrolment of students. While longer courses like those that dominate higher ed had more time, it still caused disruption, with new processes and communications needed to manage USI with the required efficiency.


The current USI experience

The VET market’s use and reporting of USI is now relatively mature. After five years of students applying for USIs, and providers collecting, verifying and reporting using the USI, the initial headaches that came with another ‘number’ requirement during the admissions process have been minimised. Much of that is enabled by Student Management Systems like JR Plus, that can automate much of the USI process.

For example, using a Student Management System like JR Plus, education providers can locate an existing USI if they have certain information about a student, verify a USI when acquired through direct integration with the government’s USI web service, and even facilitate the creation of a USI themselves in collaboration with individual students through the system or student self-service portal, enhancing provider management.

This results in advantages for education providers. For example, the verification of student details and identities against the USI record ensures that key details they have for particular students (like name, date of birth, and gender) are correct, and that the individual in question exists in other government databases. Providers also have the growing advantage of being able to access (with permission) the USI record of someone singing up, making the Credit Transfer process and student profiling easier and more valuable.


How can technology help with USI? 

Student management technology built to understand and operate efficiently within a USI environment will be critical to higher education providers looking to navigate this compliance transition from 2021. While the launch of USI into VET required technology providers to develop customised solutions alongside the staged rollout, this time around higher education providers have the benefit of fully-fledged, USI-capable offerings like JR Plus that are able to manage the full set of USI requirements off-the-shelf.

For example, the JR Plus Student Management System can comprehensively service the end-to-end student management requirements of higher educators, including all USI requirements. It includes a centralised USI Manager that includes a single consolidated view of all USI activity so higher education providers can track and action follow-ups using in-built workflows as needed. Fully integrated with the USI Registry, it can also interact with all open web services to make USI management simple.


USI: Past, present and future 

The USI system as it exists in VET today is far from perfect. One drawback is that, at the time of writing, the USI data accessible to students in their USI Transcript often lags real-time learning activity, and can appear out of date when students log-in to view or print. This is a result of RTOs only being required to report quarterly. (This is unlikely to be the case in higher ed, which has already adopted event-driven reporting with TCSI).

Likewise, the USI will for some time remain only a patchy reflection of someone’s true learning journey. Though the USI will expand to encompass learning through higher ed, it will not capture the spectrum of qualifications that our existing workforce have already obtained prior to the USI’s introduction into both tertiary education markets. This makes it of more value to younger learners who are in the earliest stages of their careers.

However, we can expect the USI will be a force for positive change in the medium-to-long-term; by beginning to bridge the gap between higher ed and VET, the USI brings what have until now been largely two separate channels for learning into closer alignment. This can only serve to benefit providers and students, as workforce realities and employability outcomes rise to prominence as more powerful influencers on the role and conduct of Australian education.

The power of the 10-character USI code will also rise in time. As more students (from K-12 right through to tertiary education) enter and complete learning and training that is captured by the USI registry, educators of all types, including higher educators, will have more information available to them. They will be able to enhance their services for the learning generations of the future, while making their student experience increasingly personalised and relevant.



Compliance named biggest RTO challenge

Compliance has been named the single most challenging aspect of running an RTO in Australia for the second year running, indicating the function continues to burden education and training providers at a time when the needs of end employers are shifting at an increasing pace.

Compliance (43%) remains by far their greatest administrative or business challenge in 2019 and beyond.

ReadyTech’s Voice of VET: RTO Industry Australia Report 2020 found a significant proportion – or 43 per cent of RTOs across Australia – identified compliance as their biggest administrative or business challenge heading into the calendar year 2020, increasing from 36 per cent in 2019.

Compliance was nominated ahead of other key challenges including maintaining staff capabilities (nine per cent), accessing funding (nine per cent) or cuts to funding (four per cent), competition from other RTOs (seven per cent), and maintaining or increasing student numbers (seven per cent).


Change and regulation

When asked to think holistically about one thing that should change in the VET sector, compliance was also top of mind. Nineteen per cent of RTOs were requesting a ‘clearer, more helpful ASQA’, closely followed by the 14 per cent who wanted ‘simpler compliance’ or ‘less red tape’.

In related findings RTOs had mixed feelings about the role of government and regulation and VET. There was significant dissatisfaction with the Federal Government (46 per cent), with a perception among respondents it was not supporting RTO businesses, particularly private and small operations.

State and territory governments similarly were only seen as positively supportive by 21 per cent of RTOs, while ASQA, VRQA and TAC received a mixed report, with about a third (35 per cent) saying they were satisfied with their state regulatory body, and 33 per cent saying they were dissatisfied.


A question of focus

ReadyTech Education Products Committee chair Sam Benson said Voice of VET’s 2020 findings were an indicator of the difficulties that many RTOs still faced in managing their ongoing compliance obligations, despite having strong technologies and systems available to support the process.

“The aims of our VET system in Australia are clear. We are here to deliver quality education and training to students and learners that meets the skills needs of employers – who need to grow their businesses – and individuals, who rightly aspire to fulfilling work in their areas of interest.”

“The findings in Voice of VET ask us to assess again whether it is desirable that training organisations are dedicating so much time, focus and resources toward compliance. While maintaining quality and standards is absolutely critical, the future of work demands we find ways to become more nimble.”


Ready with REPS

The ReadyTech Education Products Standards Committee (REPS) ensures providers across Australia’s VET industry benefit from market-leading compliance standards in technology products that are based on the experiences and feedback of 1400+ clients and ReadyTech’s own internal expertise.

However Sam Benson said REPS also supported ReadyTech clients and the broader industry with innovative thinking around compliance challenges, so that the management of information can better influence student experiences and outcomes as well as VET provider success.

“As the leading provider of Student Management Systems in Australian VET, we have a unique opportunity to advocate on behalf of this industry through engagement with regulators, industry bodies and the media to ensure compliance efficiency and quality education and training.”


Download the full Voice of VET: RTO Industry Australia 2020 Report for more data and insights into the management, regulation and business of RTOs across Australia in 2020.

ReadyTech to support future of employment services with NESA partnership

ReadyTech has become an official Industry Partner of the National Employment Services Association (NESA), the peak body for Australia’s employment services industry.

ReadyTech has joined forces with the National Employment Services Association as an official Industry Partner, to support the employment services industry and peak body in its ongoing efforts to provide the dignity of work to job seekers right across Australia.

NESA is the peak body for employment services providers in Australia. It helps its member providers offer quality services to job seekers – including disadvantaged job seekers – so that they are able to deliver opportunities to everyone through employment and inclusion.

ReadyTech is the home of a family of technologies purpose-built for employment services. These include JR Live, a leading provider management system, and Esher House, which provides behavioural science-backed assessment, analytics and intervention technology.

Together, ReadyTech’s systems work to better enable employment services providers to achieve positive outcomes for job seekers and their employers. As a result, ReadyTech is deeply committed to supporting the industry’s ongoing evolution and success.

ReadyTech CEO Marc Washbourne said the employment services market had worked hard to evolve the service it provided to job seekers, making Australia into a global leader in the provision of employment services that achieved real work outcomes for participants.

“ReadyTech, through JobReady and Esher House, have invested over the long-term in building the efficacy of the employment services industry through innovation, so it can continue to do the very important work of supporting more Australians into work.

“Being a NESA Industry Partner is a symbol of the foundational relationship we have with the industry. While it faces unique circumstances right now, we are firmer than ever in our conviction that technology will support providers in their aims now, and in the future.”

NESA CEO Sally Sinclair welcomed ReadyTech as a new Industry Partner for the future. “We look forward to working together to advance NESA’s member services,” she said.

About ReadyTech:

ReadyTech (ASX:RDY) is the leading Australian provider of technologies for managing the complex human journey through study, work and between-work transitions. Bringing together the best in student management, apprenticeship management, payroll and HR administration, employment services and behavioural science technology, ReadyTech supports the development and success of tomorrow’s workforce. 

For more information contact:

Ben Abbott
Communications Lead
+61 468 787 803


Joyce Review receives positive welcome

Joyce Review

Education and training providers had optimistic feelings about the impact of the Joyce Review at the beginning of 2020, a mood that is likely to have been enhanced by extended Government support during the COVID-19 period.

The Joyce Review’s six-point plan for VET was largely welcomed by education and training provider respondents in Voice of VET, marking a shift in mood that may have been accelerated by positive Government sentiment during COVID-19.

Rating the Review

The Voice of VET: RTO Industry Report 2020 found that, of the six action points announced by the Review, four were viewed positively by more than 50% of the RTOs surveyed in late 2019.

Most welcomed by providers was the prospect of a simplified funding regime and enhanced skills matching, with 63% of providers saying this should have a positive impact on their business.

The Review last year recommended the Government adopt simplified and nationally consistent funding in VET and that a National Skills Commission be created to link funding to skills needs.

Providers were also positive about recommendations to speed up of VET qualifications development (53%), strengthen quality assurance (51%) and provide better careers information (50%).

The Review in context

There was less obvious satisfaction with Government when it came to prevailing regulatory regimes at the time the survey was conducted late last year.

In one example, 46% of RTOs surveyed said they are ‘quite’ or ‘very dissatisfied’ with Federal Government support at the time, while 32% are dissatisfied with their state or territory government. Providers were split when it came to rating their satisfaction with ASQA; as many were ‘satisfied’ with ASQA (35%) as were dissatisfied (33%), while 32% remained neutral on the point.

However Government support through COVID-19 (including the recently announced JobTrainer package, which is worth a total of $2.5 billion in wage subsidies for apprentices and new courses in VET) are likely to have buoyed positive RTO feelings around the Joyce Review over the last six months. 

Compliance and opportunity

ReadyTech General Manager of Student Management Systems, Trevor Fairweather, said that regulation and compliance had been in the past a consistent area of challenge for providers in the RTO sector.

“Voice of VET 2020 shows that the biggest administrative of business challenge faced by RTOs is ‘compliance’, with 43% of providers naming it as their top challenge at the end of 2019. This is consistent with Voice of VET’s 2019 findings, when 36% named it their biggest challenge. It follows that regulatory regimes, any changes to regulation and the resultant efforts to comply with that regulation garner significant attention among the provider community.” 

However, the response to the Joyce Review is notable in that it indicates a level of optimism for these future changes, he said. “The added financial support and focus during COVID-19 is likely to shift many RTO attitudes on Government  regulation further into optimistic territory over the coming 12 months.”

Download the full Voice of VET: RTO Industry Australia Report 2020 now.

RTOs expanding student outcome support

Student completion rates and job outcomes are becoming more of a focus for RTOs

RTOs are moving in bulk to support student completion rates and job outcomes through a range of measures designed to help their students progress through the education and training lifecycle.

Voice of VET on completion rates

The Voice of VET: RTO Industry Report 2020 has found the student completion rates of providers surveyed is currently ranging between 71% to 91%, depending on the type of RTO provider.

Government and TAFE providers are achieving the highest completion rates (91%) closely followed by private RTOs (81%), while enterprise (75%) and community RTOs (71%) have less success.

Providers are moving to tackle the completion gap. The majority of providers (61%) indicate they are taking action to identify at-risk students and intervene where it will help them complete training.

Flexibility is proving to be a key mitigator of student failure, with 39% of providers actively altering training and delivery times and 37% able to shift their training delivery modes (including to online).

Providers are also getting better at assessing this risk at the outset, with 37% of providers looking to better qualify their students at the enrolment phase on the suitability for the specific course.

Further measures include providing extra support, individual mentoring and more time with at-risk students (13%), as well as improved student communications, engagement and mentoring (9%).

Voice of VET on job outcomes

A full three quarters of RTO providers surveyed said they were actively engaged with their industry to ensure the qualifications they were delivering specifically matched the needs of employers.

In addition, 66% of all providers are either directly connecting graduates with potential employers or actively seeking employment opportunities on behalf of their students during their course.

Some RTOs offer further support for graduate careers, including career pathways, resumes, exam support and training (15%), or work placements, internships and work experience (6%).

Many could do better at tracking their graduate outcomes to know if courses result in employment. At present, only 30% of RTO providers do any form of employment outcome tracking

ReadyTech General Manager of Student Management Systems, Trevor Fairweather, said Voice of VET showed a growing alignment between education and training and employment outcomes.

“Student completion rates have proved to be an ongoing challenge for providers in vocational education and training, despite past efforts to close the completion gap from many providers.

“We are now witnessing an even stronger push to support students across the sector through their learning journey with a range of measures, including the willingness to be flexible in their delivery.

“Measures in place to connect completing graduates with real-world employment are also key for RTOs today, who are aligning their training ever more closely to the skills needs of employers.”

Download the full Voice of VET: RTO Industry Australia Report 2020 now.