WPC Group Chairman recognised for contribution to VET sector

WPC Group Chairman Frederick J Maddern OBE has been recognised for his 40+ years of valuable contribution to the vocational education and training (VET) sector.

Mr Maddern was presented with the Apprenticeship Employment Network (AEN) Lifetime Achievement Award at the AEN Awards Night in Melbourne on November 22.

AEN is the peak industry body representing not for profit group training companies across Victoria. The Award recognises an individual, for their contribution to vocational education and training and the advancement of Group Training in Victoria.

Mr Maddern says he feels “humbled” and “grateful” to have been recognised.

“It is a great honour to receive an award like this. I am tremendously thrilled with the support I have been given over the years, and I couldn’t have achieved half the things that I’ve done without the teams I’ve had behind me,” Mr Maddern says.

Having enjoyed a wide-ranging career, Mr Maddern has held foundational and significant roles with numerous government and community organisations, including Councillor and Mayor of the City of Footscray, President of the Municipal Association of Victoria and President of the Australian Local Government Association.

Mr Maddern’s involvement with the VET sector goes back to 1974, when he was the CEO of the Western Region Commission (WRC), which was formed to address the high level of youth unemployment in Victoria’s Western Suburbs.

In 1983, Mr Maddern worked with the WRC Board to develop Western Region Group Training (WRGT), the first community based GTO established in Victoria. This GTO officially relaunched in 2007 as WPC Group. As Chairman, Mr Maddern worked with his team to strengthen the traineeship and apprenticeship models, at a time where there was a lack of focus and lack of funding. Fred worked hard to reinvigorate group training, repositioning WPC Group for the 21st century, never losing focus of the apprentices and trainees and the communities he had set out to help. Mr Maddern continues this work, still Chairman of WPC Group today.

Mr Maddern also chairs the Skilling Australia Foundation and is actively involved in supporting its activities. Set up in 2012, the Foundation works in innovative ways to support young Australians facing disadvantage to forge their own career pathways through training and employment.

Fred says he is proud that the work done by the Western Region Group Training Company (now WPC Group) and Skilling Australia Foundation has allowed thousands of young people to pursue meaningful careers.

“That in itself is a very rich reward,” Fred says, “to know that you have been a very important part of young people’s lives.”

‘Aussie Benz apprentices land US scholarship’ – GoAutoNews Premium, Online

August 8. 2018 | Robbie Wallis | GoAutoNews Premium Journalist

THREE young automotive apprentices working for Australian Mercedes-Benz dealerships have been granted a scholarship to travel to the United States for a cultural and career development tour that has been funded by the Institute for Workplace Skills and Innovation through Skilling Australia Foundation.

The scholarship will see the three recipients complete a two-to-three-day observation visit to a Mercedes-Benz dealership in either Los Angeles or Kentucky in September to observe first-hand how the car-maker’s American arm approaches automotive skills, and to bring back knowledge and skills they can share with co-workers.

Winners include 23-year-old Mikaela Lawrence and 20-year-old Fearghus Von Prott – both light vehicle mechanical apprentices – and 23-year-old Bianka Chiodo, a parts interpreting apprentice.

The three winners work for Mercedes-Benz Brisbane, Mercedes-Benz Sydney and Mercedes-Benz Melbourne respectively, and all started their apprenticeships within the last two years.

All three apprentices had help finding work through WPC Group, which connects prospective apprentices and trainees with employers and industries to facilitate job creation, and since 2000 has worked with Mercedes-Benz to find employment for 266 apprentices, mainly in the field of light vehicles but also in areas such as spare parts and spray painting.

To qualify for the scholarship, apprentices must have at least 18 months of experience in the automotive industry, and Skilling Australia Foundation – the philanthropic arm of WPC Group – has picked the three winners due to their high potential and performance in their roles.

The Workplace Institute, which works with numerous companies to address skills shortages, will fund the trip by covering expenses of all flights, transfers, accommodation, meals and insurances, as well as providing winners with a US-based mentor, uniforms and protective equipment.

Apprentices have been receiving the scholarship yearly since 2016.

All three Mercedes-Benz dealerships involved with the apprenticeship program are owned by Lei Shing Hong (LSH) Automobile, a Hong Kong-based conglomerate specialising in retailing vehicles, particularly from Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Lamborghini. Last year, Daimler AG purchased a 15 per cent stake in LSH Auto International.

LSH Auto Australia managing director John Good said promoting and developing apprentices was an important part of its business.

“Skill development is one of LSH Auto’s core brand values and we work very closely with WPC Group to ensure that we are supporting, educating and developing young apprentices looking to break into the automotive industry,” he said.

Original article: https://premium.goauto.com.au/aussie-benz-apprentices-land-us-scholarship/

WPC Group could get you into gear for a rewarding apprenticeship with luxury car dealer, Mercedes-Benz Melbourne, Sydney or Queensland, a member of LSH Auto Australia. You’ll need to be serious though, as competition is turbo-charged. For more info, visit here.

‘Job-readiness program plants seeds for Connor’s career’ – Berwick Star News

As a 19-year-old high school graduate, Connor Noonan had no idea what career path to explore.

“Apart from not wanting a desk job, I had no real idea about what I wanted to do. I was just applying for any job that would take me, and figured something would come up,” Connor says.

At an interview, Connor was told about the Citi New Recruits Program. Having never been employed before, he saw the program as a valuable experience that would look good on his resume and open up job opportunities, so he signed up.

“I found the program incredibly helpful,” Connor says, “it taught me a range of important skills and gave me more confidence when going in for a job – it was really worth my time.”

One year on, the 20 year-old Berwick resident is thriving as a parks and gardens apprentice at Haileybury College in Keysborough.

And just last week he was announced as one of four scholarship winners on 11 July who will travel to Sydney for a cultural and career development experience for a week.

“I was very surprised but also excited because it’ll give me a good opportunity to expand my knowledge on what I’m currently learning at TAFE and work,” says Connor.

“It’ll be a good opportunity for me to branch out from what I normally do day-today. I think it’ll be really beneficial to help out with my apprenticeship.”

The Citi Foundation scholarships are awarded to young people who have completed a three-week Citi New Recruits job-readiness program and have since excelled in their traineeship.

Connor plans to finish his Certificate III in Parks and Gardens at Holmesglen TAFE in Glen Waverley, then upskill further so he can become a qualified gardener and landscaper.

While Connor says “gardening was the furthest thing from my mind when I graduated”, over the past year he says he has grown to love it.

“I find it therapeutic in a way. I like to work with my hands and love working outside in the sun, rather than stressing out behind a desk.”

Why Investing In Apprenticeship Makes Good Dollars And Sense #Forbes

1st November 2016  |  forbes.com  |  by Nicholas Wyman  |

In a highly polarized election cycle, it is hard to find a topic on which presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump agree. But there is at least one area of common ground: both candidates know that the strength of the economy depends on getting more people into good jobs.

Whether it’s creating more jobs or filling the millions of job vacancies that exist, tackling unemployment depends on effective training and education. As Clinton stated in her acceptance speech at the Democratic convention, “College is crucial, but a four-year degree should not be the only path to a good job. We’re going to help more people learn a skill or practice a trade and make a good living doing it.”

Clinton’s workforce and skills agenda  specifically calls for a tax credit for businesses that hire apprentices, and a bonus on that credit for hiring people under 25. Apprenticeship is a time-tested career-training model that is seeing more and more bipartisan support.

While Trump has never presented a formal agenda on workforce development, he has promised to increase access to higher education and skills training, and to invest in job training and education for veterans.

Read more.

New Age Automotive Skills Training Program Wins National Training Award


NISSMAP, an innovative automotive skills partnership program was announced as the winner of the 2016 Australian Training Awards “Australian Apprenticeships Employer Award” last night in Darwin.

The Nissan Mentored Mentorship Program (NISSMAP) is a partnership between WPC Group and Nissan Australia that places Automotive Technician Apprenticeships throughout Australia.

WPC Group General Manager, Andrew Sezonov said “we are delighted with the recognition and spotlight on advancing the cause of skill-based education through mentored apprenticeships.”

The NISSMAP program offers a competency-based accelerated apprenticeship qualification which can be completed in 2.8 years (most automotive apprenticeships are completed in four years), and is delivered in state-of-the-art TAFE facilities across the country, in conjunction with the Nissan Learning Academy.

Before commencing training, the NISSMAP apprentices are matched with a dedicated one-on-one mentor from WPC Group. With deep industry experience and counselling skills, these mentors have made the difference between success and failure for both the apprentices and Nissan dealer network. The Australian Training Awards Judging panel based their decision on factors such as leadership in vocational education and collaboration with stakeholders.

About WPC Group

WPC Group is one of Australia’s largest employers of apprentices and trainees, with over 600 apprentices and trainees currently working with more than 200 host employers. NISSMAP – the Nissan Mentored Apprenticeship Program is a world class mentored apprenticeship program.