Advancing Apprentices and Trainees through a range of Sustainability focussed Vocational Education and Training options.
Mercedes Benz in partnership with WPC Group was awarded at the Victorian Training Awards the Victorian Employer Award for Apprentice Development. The award was presented by the Victorian Skills Commission and Skills Victoria. The Minister for Higher Education and Skills Peter Hall congratulated all winners in their achievements at the glittering ceremony at Crown Palladium “Much of Victoria’s competitive advantage comes from its highly skilled workforce and high quality industrial sector” said Mr Hall.
From auto open days, an accelerated apprenticeship program and track days at the Formula 1 Grand Prix, Mercedes-Benz Melbourne’s three-phase initiative - Attract, Retain and Develop - is about finding great candidates and holding on to them. This being done with the support of WPC Groups experienced Apprentice Mentors means employers like Mercedes-Benz are not in it alone, they have someone to turn to when the times get tough and in this case someone to celebrate with when awards are won.
Mr Hall said “These awards not only celebrate achievement, they also play a key role in fostering excellence in vocational education and training, which itself leads to amore highly skilled workforce”
The 3 phase initiative in collaboration with the 3 partners Mercedes-Benz, WPC Group and Kangan Institute means that these apprentices are mentored and supported through their entire apprenticeship to ensure a smooth transition to becoming a qualified trades person which in turn makes an impact on the critical skill shortage issue we face today. WPC Group and Mercedes Benz will remain a joined force attempting to stamp out the skills shortage in the automotive industry moving into the future.’
‘Green jobs’ are the jobs of the future – and vital for transitioning to a lower carbon economy. A systemically green approach to industry and commerce brings environmental benefits and may encourage disengaged and unemployed young people to enter the workforce. Green jobs are often understood to be those that have a direct impact on our environment. For example, in reducing carbon emissions, developing alternative energy sources or reducing water usage. In fact, green jobs are those embracing ‘skills for sustainability’ and with an inbuilt sensitivity to the needs of the environment. Such skills should be embedded in all jobs in all sectors in the 21st Century. In Australia, every one of the country’s 450,000 apprentices and trainees (including those in automotive and construction) has at least one sustainability module embedded in their training programme. Within the next 10 years, every job, regardless of whether or not it is within the environmental sphere, should incorporate sustainability skills: every industry has the potential to be greener.
Like many countries, Australia faces high youth unemployment and disengagement. It has had limited success creating awareness amongst employers and educational institutions about the importance of skills for sustainability. There is still a gap between the needs of the environment and the country’s economic drivers. Young people are amongst those most motivated to protect and preserve the environment; does skilling for sustainability present an opportunity to employ and engage more young people in work they will find meaningful and fulfilling? Finding apprentices and trainees with an interest in skills for sustainability enables employers to develop the people they need to help them face the challenges of an increasingly green economy. Committing to developing skills for sustainability and creating greener jobs that attract and engage young people is the way forward for the economies that will lead the world tomorrow.
I would like to invite you to join this very exciting initiative. The ‘green economy’ will require both new skilled occupations and skills development in traditional occupations. The ‘green economy’ will grow through the creation and expansion of innovative organisations that offer solutions based on new cultures, new skill sets, and efficient technologies.
There are three drivers for this innovation: global warming and measures to address climate change - decarbonisation of the economy; customer demand for products and services that minimise their environmental footprint - supply chain solutions for mitigating risk and enhancing reputational value and; the need to restore and rehabilitate environmental mistakes of the past. These drivers will give rise to real employment opportunities.