09/04/2008 - 22:00

Cadetship on course

09/04/2008 - 22:00

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In an effort to combat an industry shortage of metallurgical technicians, Central Tafe has introduced a cadetship program offering on-the-job and formal training.

Cadetship on course

In an effort to combat an industry shortage of metallurgical technicians, Central Tafe has introduced a cadetship program offering on-the-job and formal training.

The course is designed to take a traditional traineeship to a more professional level, with graduates receiving a diploma in metallurgy after two years.

The program mirrors the workplace-based training system used by Central Tafe in other engineering industry areas, such as mechanical drafting.

Under the program, cadets are placed with an employer and receive training on and off the job, including one day a week at Tafe.

Employers receive an incentive payment from the federal government to cover training costs.

Central Tafe’s Advanced Materials Technology Centre advisory group chairman, Greg Harris, said the course would help to address increasing demand from industry.

“The resources boom has created a huge demand for metallurgists to work in the mineral extraction side of the industry and also in the manufacturing, maintenance and materials testing side that supplies the resources industry,” he said.

Mr Harris, who is also RCR Engineering operations manager, said cadetships were useful in attracting new students and offering a higher level of training.

“(In) the current labour market, there is a shortage of front line supervisory workers who have an in-depth knowledge of processes, materials and capabilities,” he said.

The cadetship training model was originally designed by Central Tafe to meet demand for associate professionals and skilled technicians in engineering.

According to Central Tafe learning portfolio manager for engineering, David Zanich, the organisation is hoping to roll out the cadetship model in other areas, like electrical drafting.

Mr Zanich said there was a similar program for civil engineering but, due to a shortage of lecturers, Tafe had struggled to offer the course.

The organisation is also about to implement a new project, promoting engineering as a career for women at a number of Perth high schools with engineering courses.

About 20 schools will be included in the pilot project.

Central Tafe, which has about 25,000 students enrolled at its seven Perth campuses, is the only provider of metallurgy training in WA.

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