14/11/2006 - 21:00

Not for profit: Training offers mutual benefit

14/11/2006 - 21:00


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Demand is mounting from some industry sectors for the allocation of additional places in education and training courses as the skills shortage bites businesses statewide.

Demand is mounting from some industry sectors for the allocation of additional places in education and training courses as the skills shortage bites businesses statewide.


One part of the training equation often forgotten is the role that charitable and non-government, not-for-profit organisations have in providing education to the wider community.


These organisations use training programs to educate staff in-house, but also offer external, accredited programs to the community, which generate valuable revenue for their primary activities.            


Newly elected president of the YMCA WA board, Lorna Long, said the organisation’s training program started just over 12 months ago.


“We’re moving into the delivery of accredited training programs, which will be used to train our own staff internally but also provide a wide range of training to others,” Ms Long told WA Business News. 


“This will include training in children’s services, recreation, youth services and community services.


“The training program is fairly significant. We would look to it becoming a revenue raising activity that would allow us to underwrite the programs we offer, particularly to disengaged youth and the big brother, big sister program.


“These are programs that we don’t have funding for and that aren’t attractive to fund.”


One of the programs currently available is the out-of-school-hours care certificate four, which has been identified as an area of need by the state government, and receives funding as part of the government’s critical skills training program.


Andrew Ballam, project manager for training at the YMCA WA, said the training program was quite lucrative for the organisation in the eastern states.


“In Victoria, the training department alone is worth close to $1 million per year, and it’s getting that way in other states,” he said.


Next year, the organisation is looking to offer certificates three and four in fitness, which have generated a significant amount of income for the organisation in other states.


Mr Ballam said the training in children’s services would benefit existing staff members who work within out-of-school-hours childcare centres, of which the YMCA is the biggest provider in Perth.  


“It makes sense with the skills shortage to train your own,” he said.


Another organisation offering training to both internal staff and external clients is Nulsen Haven, which cares for people with profound and severe disabilities.


The external courses provide training in first aid (basic resuscitation and basic workplace), manual handling and duty of care, among others. 


Nulsen Haven administration officer training and development, Lisa Eveson, said while the organisation was presently running courses for several external companies, training would become a more significant part of its work next year.


“It’s certainly something we’re looking at developing,” she said.


“At the moment, we’re only doing manual handling and first aid for clients outside Nulsen Haven, but it will be developed into other areas.


“There’s always a need out there in the sector.”


The Australian Red Cross is one of the larger providers of training in the charitable sector, although its training program is regarded as more of a community service.


The organisation’s first aid courses make a small contribution to the revenue generated by its other fundraising activities, and the revenue generated is invested back into programs to benefit the community. 



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