The Employability Hurricane with Mark Pettitt


The WorkED Podcast – The Employability Hurricane

A university education used to be about higher learning rather than getting a job. That conversation has turned upside down, with universities now caught in the eye of a new employability ‘hurricane’.

ReadyTech CEO Marc Washbourne sits down with the founder of education consultancy Edified, Mark Pettitt, to unpack the state of employability and discuss how educators can up their employability game – across higher education and vocational education and training (VET).

From the viability of teaching experiential learning and soft skills at university, to the brave new world of virtual internships, WorkED looks at the past, present and future of student readiness for work.

Do employers think today’s students are employable? Should universities double down on teaching employability, and how? Or is employability a part of the higher education lexicon that is destined to disappear?

Listen to this episode of the WorkED Podcast to find out.

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The Gig Economy and Remote work with Andrew Joyce

The WorkED Podcast – The Gig Economy and Remote Work

The gig economy once promised to set workers free from office cubicles and give businesses a way to engage flexible workforces at will. But is the reality short-changing employees and employers?

ReadyTech CEO Marc Washbourne sits down with the co-founder of app-based job platform Found, Andrew Joyce, for an investigation of the gig economy reality, open plan offices and remote work.

Is the gig (economy) up? Are we right to question the open plan office? Is remote work still the future?

Listen to this episode of the WorkED Podcast to find out.

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ReadyTech’s Daniel Wyner to support Vinnies CEO Sleepout

ePayroll and Aussiepay General Manager Daniel Wyner will aim to raise $5,000 for the cause of homelessness by participating in this year’s Vinnies CEO Sleepout. We sat down with Daniel to talk about why he’s braving the cold on the longest night of the year and how you can help him reach his target.

For some, $505 might seem like a small amount. For others – in particular, a homeless family looking for crisis accommodation – it’s the dollar figure that might just get you off the street.

That’s one reason why ReadyTech’s Daniel Wyner is participating in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout this year. An annual event that asks senior executives from the business sector to sleep out for one night, it aims to ‘break the cycle of homelessness’ experienced by almost 120,000 people across Australia.

As a father of two, Daniel says he can imagine how desperate he would feel if he was ever in a situation where he wasn’t able to provide a home for his kids to be safe, secure – and warm.

“I grew up in Melbourne where it can be bloody cold in winter. I’d hate to be in a situation where I had to put my kids through that experience because I wasn’t able to put a roof over their heads. If there’s anything I can do raise funds and awareness to help support families in need, that’s great.”

To help Daniel raise $5,000 for 10 families in need of crisis accommodation click here

So what will the CEO Sleepout be like and what can we do about homelessness? ReadyTech sat down with Daniel to talk about homelessness, challenging our perspectives and how everyone can help.

CEO Sleepout Q&A: Daniel Wyner, ReadyTech

How did you get involved in the Vinnies CEO sleepout?

The Vinnie’s CEO Sleepout has been around for quite some time now. I’ve been looking at it over the years and thinking that, when I do get to a stage in my career where I could use my position as a point of influence to help beyond my working role, then I’d want to do something like this.

Thankfully, I’ve got that chance now.

 So that’s why you decided to get involved this year?

There’s a couple of other reasons. I have two kids myself, so family is really important to me. When I saw one of the statistics from Vinnies that said for every $505 dollars raised via the CEO Sleepout they could fund temporary accommodation for a family, that really hit home. I think it’s important to break the stigma of homelessness and realise that people can be helped through the situation.

The other thing is that, throughout my life, I’ve always learned through doing and experiencing. I’m an experiential person. If I can walk in someone else’s shoes and actually see – it’s only a glimpse, of course – but if I can understand how it actually is, it can change your perception of reality.

Have you ever experienced homelessness up close?

I’ve been very fortunate throughout my life. I’ve never been homeless, or known anyone close to me who has had that experience. As a school kid though I did live for a period of time in Thailand and I saw there just how dire a situation can become when you don’t deal head on with homelessness; it’s a hell of a lot worse in Thailand than it is in Australia, even though in Australia it’s not that good.

That experience has always been in the back of my mind.

What do you think you’ll find challenging about the experience?

I guess one challenge is it’s an all-weather event, so if anything happens you just need to go through it. Part of me thought, ‘What happens if it rains?’. But so what if it rains, you’re really just experiencing it like everyone else on the street that doesn’t have shelter and a home to go to. 

There’s also the fact it’s being held on the longest night of the year at White Bay Cruise Terminal in Rozelle, Sydney. We’ll be sleeping on the wharf which is right on the water, so it’s going to be cold.

From that perspective, it’ll be difficult. But from about 6pm to 10pm in the evening, Vinnies will be running programs where we’ll have people talking to us about what Vinnies do and hearing real life stories. Again, hearing those stories and experiencing that I think will really help me to connect to the situation that some homeless people face for much longer than just one night of the year.

What impact would you like to have?

There’s two things. From a fundraising perspective, I’d like to hit a target of $5,000, which would mean that 10 more families are funded for temporary crisis accommodation when they need it.

I’d also like to build awareness. Too often, we all walk past homeless people in the streets, and we don’t think about it, we just walk past them and we don’t think twice about it. My hope is that through participating in the CEO Sleepout I can build a little bit more awareness around the severity of the situation for many people in Australia and that a little bit can really help.

It doesn’t have to be donating. In our office in Parramatta, we’ve been doing fundraising internally for our local soup kitchen, so we’ve had different fundraising events for that. At a group level ReadyTech has been a long-term supporter of both OzHarvest and the CEO Cookoff, and when we have our lunches in Parramatta and we have excess food we also donate that to the same local soup kitchen.

There are plenty of ways we can connect more and help so I want to use this to raise awareness.

How can people help you help the homeless?

The best way to support the cause is to donate to the Vinnies appeal. For everyone that can donate even a little, the funds really go a long way to help break the cycle of homelessness.

But I’m an experiential person, and walking in someone else’s shoes helps me connect to the reality of the situation. So I’d encourage anyone who can’t donate, to do something to help out those in need. Instead of throwing out excess food, look to donate it. If you have furniture or clothing, look to donate that. Or go out and volunteer to support the many organisations that do such great work in supporting what is unfortunately a growing number of homeless people in Australia.

Vinnies CEO SleepoutThe Vinnies CEO Sleepout is on 6pm Thursday 20 June 2019 to 9am Friday 21 June 2019. To help Daniel Wyner reach his fundraising target of $5,000 please click through to donate now.

The WorkED Podcast – The Millennial Mind with Saxon Phipps


The WorkED Podcast – The Millennial Mind

What do millennials really think about education and work and are we failing to support their success? In this episode of WorkED, ReadyTech CEO Marc Washbourne sits down with Year 13 co-founder Saxon Phipps for a challenging conversation about millennials, meaning and the future of work.

Exploring the school-to-tertiary education transition, as well as the way our culture and systems could better frame career choices at this formative time, Saxon draws on deep insights from eight years working with young people to build new connections between work and individual purpose.

Want to understand the millennial worker and the generations that follow them? Listen now!

ReadyTech to assist Government and PwC with jobseeker pilot

Marc Washbourne, ReadyTech CEO, with Federal Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher and JobReady’s Head of Product Chris McMillan.

ReadyTech has been selected to assist the Federal Government and PwC with a $3 million jobseeker trial in South Western Sydney that aims to help 250 older jobseekers find and sustain employment.

ReadyTech has been selected to assist the Federal Government with a $3 million jobseeker trial in South Western Sydney that aims to help 250 older jobseekers find and sustain employment.

The ‘Career Skills for New Jobs’ trial, announced this week by the Federal Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher, will provide jobseekers with access to an online Career Management Tool and tailored support and training designed to improve their confidence and skills for work.

ReadyTech will develop and deliver the new online Career Management Tool as well as provide behavioural science-backed technology and human intervention services via Esher House.

The trial will be led by PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia (PwC) in Sydney and involve collaboration between ReadyTech, claims management service provider EML and TAFE NSW.

Federal Minister Paul Fletcher said the online Career Management Tool that ReadyTech will develop to anchor interaction with jobseekers for the trial will “enable connected, tailored support and training to improve jobseeker confidence and skills in finding and keeping a job”.

“The Morrison Government is absolutely committed to making sure that employment opportunities remain open for mature age Australians,” Fletcher said.

ReadyTech Chief Executive Officer, Marc Washbourne, said the collaborative project for older jobseekers was an exciting example of the innovation that can happen when business, government and technology providers come together for social good.

“Older jobseekers often face significant barriers to finding employment, including anything from the need to learn new and relevant skills and structural barriers in the employment market, to deeper issues like discrimination from employers and the loss of confidence and self-esteem,” Washbourne said.

“The technology we offer currently allows jobactive and DES employment services providers and jobseekers to identify and overcome barriers to employment, including older jobseekers. We’re excited to collaborate on this targeted project for older jobseekers.”

The mature aged job seekers will all be recipients of the Newstart Allowance and aged 50 years or over. They will receive one-to-one tailored career support through career practitioners, access to appropriate vocational education and training, as well as health and financial services. 

The jobseekers involved in the trial will be:

      • Matched to an experienced career practitioner for tailored career management support;
      • Provided with access to career diagnostics and behavioural assessments so they can identify skills, interests, behaviours, and barriers to employment;
      • Connected to further education and training to support their skills development;
      • Linked to services and whole-of-person resources to support them into work.

The project is expected to begin recruiting jobseeker participants from mid-2019. It is funded through the Federal Government’s $96.1 million Try, Test and Learn fund.

VET review, Budget signal changes to system


The release of the Federal Government’s expert review into vocational education and training and the Federal Budget have recommended changes to the VET system. Read on below for a summary of key recommendations and funding as well as ReadyTech’s full submission to the review.

The Federal Government’s wholesale review of the vocational education and training sector has now been released, with recommendations for a number of significant changes to the way the VET sector operates. Some of these recommendations were formalised in this week’s Budget announcement.

ReadyTech has welcomed the opportunity to help shape the future of VET. In our submission to the review, we argued a robust and modern VET system – working together with higher education – is critical to providing the skills individuals need to navigate and succeed in the future of work.

Download ReadyTech’s submission to the Vocational Education and Training Review

Recommendations from the VET review

The VET Review outlines hopes that, by 2025, Australia can build on what we have to create a VET sector that is a highly regarded pathway for students seeking applied training for a range of careers, and for employees seeking to upskill or transition to new occupations. It is expected industry would have a central role, ensuring students can gain relevant skills and a direct pathway to employment.

To make that transition, the recommendations in the VET review include:

      • Changing the leadership of the VET system;
      • Strengthening quality assurance;
      • Speeding up qualifications development;
      • Simpler funding and skills matching;
      • Better careers information;
      • Clearer secondary school pathways;
      • Greater access for disadvantaged Australians.

The review nominated a number of ‘early actions’ for the Federal Government including:

      • Reforms to strengthen Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) and quality assurance;
      • Piloting a new business-led model of Skills Organisations for qualification development in areas like digital technologies;
      • A new National Skills Commission to start work on developing a new nationally consistent funding model as well as a revamp of apprenticeship incentives;
      • A new National Careers Institute to provide a single source of careers information, a marketing campaign for VET careers and new vocational pathways for use in secondary schools.

Measures announced in Federal Budget 2019

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced a ‘Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow’ package as part of the Federal Budget 2019. The measures and funding announced this week include:

      • $525 million in total funding for the total vocational education and training skills package;
      • Expanded apprenticeship incentives including $8000 in incentive payments for employers who take on apprentices and $2000 payments for apprentices. The beneficiaries will include occupations with skills shortages including bakers, bricklayers, carpenters and plumbers;
      • $4 million for the creation of a new National Skills Commission;
      • $36.3 million over four years for a National Careers Institute and National Careers Ambassador;
      • $67.5 million over five years for the creation of 10 training hubs for school-based VET in regions with high youth unemployment;
      • $62 million to upskill workers with low-level language, literacy, numeracy and digital skills.

Towards 2025: The vocational education and training review’s roadmap

The full review report, Strengthening Skills: Expert Review of Australia’s Education and Training System, is now available here. ReadyTech’s full submission can also be downloaded here.


ReadyTech teams conquer Oxfam Trailwalker

ReadyTech Oxfam Trailwalker

Four teams from ReadyTech hit the trail for the Oxfam Trailwalker in Melbourne in March, working together to raise over $10,000 and overcome all the challenges that come with walking 100kms.

The Oxfam Trailwalker is Australia’s original charity team endurance event. With the aim of raising funds to tackle poverty around the world, it brings together hundreds of teams in Melbourne over two days in March, setting them the significant challenge of walking 100kms for a good cause.

This year ReadyTech entered four teams of four in the Melbourne event. Raising over $10,000 in total, the 16 staff from ReadyTech, JobReady, VETtrak and HR3 who took on the elements (including hail) to participate this year have not only done well to support Oxfam, but have a great story to tell.

So what was it like to walk the walk? We sat down with JobReady’s Brendan Miller for a debrief.

Q&A: Brendan Miller, Customer Experience Officer, JobReady

Brendan Completing Oxfam TrailwalkerWhy did you decide to take on the Oxfam Trailwalker? 

I was initially just doing the training walks with some of the team on weekends for fun. Because of some leave restrictions I had no plans to walk in the actual Melbourne event on the day. When someone from ReadyTech’s Team 4 unfortunately had to drop out ahead of the event, some strings were pulled and I was asked if I wanted to join. Oxfam’s poverty mission is also a cause that meant a lot to those involved from ReadyTech – it’s just a really great charity event to get out and support.


How did the ReadyTech teams do?

Everyone did fantastically well – everyone was really determined. Even the people who eventually had to make a decision to drop out put everything they could into it. There were four out of the original 16 that had to retire due to some really rough deals – serious blisters for example. There was one person on my team whose knees literally gave up on him, meaning he had to use his walking poles as crutches for a while. People just put in an amazing effort, and it was a great chance to meet and bond with people from other ReadyTech offices. Together we were able to raise over $10,000. A big thanks to the amazing support team – without them we wouldn’t have been able to get through it.

What were the highlights for you?

Definitely crossing the finish line together with ReadyTech Teams 1, 2 and 4. While Team 3 managed to finish a little quicker than the rest of us, completing that final leg as a larger group was a fantastic feeling. Other than that, there were some harder sections getting to Checkpoint 2 – there were quite a few hills and inclines very early on – and it felt pretty good to get to the top and put those behind us.

What about most challenging moments?

The longest part of the trail was the 19kms between Checkpoints 5 and 6, which we did between 3am and 8am in the morning. It turned out to be really bad rainy weather – so it was dark, cold and with the constant rain absolutely everything was wet, including our shoes and socks. We even had a short burst of hail. Morale was not very high. I personally started listening to music to keep myself sane, and unfortunately, it was at Checkpoint 6 where some of our people needed to retire.

How does walking 100kms actually feel?

It really didn’t feel that long. I guess because you’re awake for it from beginning to end – aside from the short sleep some of us had at Checkpoint 5 – the whole thing goes by really quickly. The worst part was that most of the latter part of the route was concrete – a lot of walkways and tarmac, rather than the bush we had at the beginning. It really ruins the feeling in your feet – it makes everything numb. I managed to finish without any blisters and my muscles weren’t too sore. I live about 3kms away from the office, and although it was only two days after the event, I walked to work on Monday morning!

The big question: would you ever do it again?

Yes! I’d definitely think about doing the Sydney Oxfam Trailwalker. Apparently it’s the hardest route out of the three events in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, so I’d be keen to give it a try. Hopefully for that we’ll be able to another group of ReadyTech teams together!

The WorkED Podcast – Reinventing education with Sara Caplan


The WorkED Podcast

In WorkED’s first podcast, we sit down with leading workforce skills and education thinker Sara Caplan. Sara is the current national skills lead at PwC. In this episode, we take on on higher ed around the world, the resurgence of vocational education, and Sara’s call for employers to get busy playing a role as the reskillers of the future.