26/11/2008 - 22:00

Push for more e-learning

26/11/2008 - 22:00

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GREATER use of online technologies is a vital component in improving efficiencies in apprenticeships, according to Verriers Engineering Services co-director Craig Verriers, who last week received a major national award.

Push for more e-learning

GREATER use of online technologies is a vital component in improving efficiencies in apprenticeships, according to Verriers Engineering Services co-director Craig Verriers, who last week received a major national award.

The Bassendean-based machining and fabrication company received the Prime Minister's Small Business of the Year award at the Australian Training Awards gala presentation, held in Darwin.

"It's great to be rewarded for the work we've been doing for 20 years and it's good to be in a position where we can put ideas forward. I think the award could assist with people taking more notice," Mr Verriers told WA Business News.

Mr Verriers and his wife, Cathy, have been involved with Tafe's Industry Working Group to reform the apprenticeship system and improve recognition of on-the-job training.

"Changes to apprenticeships have to move with the time, the system hasn't catered enough for new generations and the e-technologies," Mr Verriers said.

"Younger generations are now speaking their own language. What they're doing now is e-learning, with students sending their assignments to the lecturer over the internet. The lecturer can see the progress and other students can talk about it through a blog."

Electronic assessment has been adopted in carpentry and automotive apprenticeship programs and will be introduced in the metals trades next year.

"It will speed up apprenticeship completion, which is what we want in a skills shortage situation," Mr Verriers said.

In 2004, the business broadened its apprentice-training program, which had targeted high school graduates for more than 10 years, to include mature-age employees.

Mr Verriers said that implementing a faster system allowing flexibility and individual assessment would be beneficial for mature apprentices because they already were work ready.

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