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DR JOHN MITCHELL JOHN MITCHELL & ASSOCIATES 2013


TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Foreword: The importance of SWSi innovate

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systematic approach is a clear demonstration of the Institute’s seriousness about being flexible and responsive in serving our students and clients.

Innovation is critically important for TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute (SWSi), as we support the vast range of individuals, communities, businesses and industries located in this fast-growing region to grow and prosper. Innovation means we are being customer focused and are developing new approaches and new solutions for diverse industries and communities.

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

This publication consists of sixteen powerful examples of innovation in which SWSi is a major partner. These sixteen stories are in addition to the ten case studies set out in the publication Improving Workforce Capabilities: How SWSi effectively assists organisations to develop their workforces (2011). Notably, the sixteen stories were selected from 72 innovations the Institute has been involved in over the last few years and which we have tracked and documented. The evidence in this publication shows that SWSi has its own unique way of developing innovation, captured in the SWSi innovate model. SWSi innovate is simultaneously based on two fundamental activities: developing collaborative partnerships with other stakeholders; and using this collaboration to jointly create value for our customers. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our partners and the stakeholders who work with the Institute to bring about the types of innovations described in this publication. Another feature of SWSi innovate is that it is systematic, in the sense of being deliberate, planned and thorough. As you read through the exemplars in this publication, you will notice in every case the innovation was not a coincidence: it was pursued and achieved. This

One further feature of SWSi innovate captured by this publication is that innovation is a continuous process. Once the first version of a new approach or new service is developed, the innovation is improved and the experience generates new ideas. SWSi innovate means we are continually enhancing innovations, refining them, sharpening them and adding creative new elements leading to further innovation. I thank everyone portrayed in the stories in this publication for their dedication and inventiveness. I also thank the staff who are not mentioned and who work behind the scenes to assist the innovations that occur at SWSi. I acknowledge again our clients and stakeholders who work with us to improve people’s lives, to support business success and to aid community prosperity. I am confident that these stories of collaboration will inspire further innovation in vocational education and training.

Peter Roberts Institute Director


TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Innovation means we are being customer focused and are developing new approaches and new solutions for diverse industries and communities.

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TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Table of contents

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Foreword: The importance of SWSi innovate

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Project background and theoretical framework

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Key findings

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The strategic context for SWSi innovate

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Section 1. SWSi innovate case studies

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1.1

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Case study: Indigenous Pre-Recruitment Course, Department of Defence

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

1.2 Case study: Genting Star Tourism Academy, Manila, Philippines

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1.3 Case study: Carrington Care

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1.4 Case study: Blue Tongue Recruitment

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1.5 Case study: Telstra

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1.6 Case study: Seqwater

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Section 2: Exemplars illustrating the dimensions of innovation at SWSi

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2.1 Innovation exemplar: Towards sustainability

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2.2 Innovation exemplar: Beautifying Bonnyrigg

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2.3 Innovation exemplar: Signing Art

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2.4 Innovation exemplar: Online assessment for automotive

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2.5 Innovation exemplar: ‘Stories of practice’ in community services

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Section 3: Exemplars illustrating staff capability underpinning SWSi innovate

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3.1 Innovation exemplar: Flexible butchery training

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3.2 Innovation exemplar: Pathways for young people

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3.3 Innovation exemplar: Skills for Somali women

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3.4 Innovation exemplar: E-learning for building and construction

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3.5 Innovation exemplar: RUReady

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4.

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Conclusion: the SWSi innovate model


Project background and theoretical framework

Background Prior to this project the Institute had won an award for its capability development program ‘Bright Ideas’, conducted for three years from 2009-2011, which aimed to increase the skills of SWSi staff in innovation. However, the Institute believed it was time to use the staff skills developed by that program, and other initiatives, to drive innovation throughout the organisation.

Project aims This 2012 project built upon the skills, achievements and success factors of Bright Ideas; a program which revealed the depth of innovation in the organisation and the enthusiasm of staff to make a difference and add value to the lives of their students and clients. The 2012 project deliberately tapped into the goodwill, enthusiasm, capabilities, confidence and products of the participants in Bright Ideas. The project aimed to convert the staff strengths demonstrated within the Bright Ideas program into a much larger movement within the Institute; a movement towards whole-oforganisation innovation in creating and adding value. The project also built upon other projects and initiatives within the Institute in recent years including a significant project ‘Increasing Qualifications Completions’ and the development of a Change Leaders’ Network.

This project involved the development of a model of innovation that summarises key features of SWSi innovation. It is • an inclusive model, indicating that every member of staff, not just the training side, has a role internally in creating value • a client-driven model: the value is added externally, to and with the client. The model will deliver many ongoing benefits. It will provide a strong frame of reference for the proposed way forward for SWSi, it will support the achievement of SWSi Strategy 2015, and it will provide every member of staff with a rationale for collaborating and innovating.

Project methodology To achieve the project aims, the following project methodology was developed and followed by John Mitchell, in collaboration with SWSi: Project liaising and collaboration. As the project required considerable applied research and staff engagement throughout the project, John liaised and worked collaboratively with, and sought guidance, input and support from the Associate Institute Director – Strategy and Development, to achieve the project aims. Communication strategy. John developed, in collaboration with the Associate Institute Director, the communication strategy. It was developed in two iterations and stages: at the

1 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

There is a weight of documentary evidence of capability in and enthusiasm for innovation in SWSi in various evaluation reports prepared for Bright Ideas, from 2009-2011. Those reports showed that many success factors contributed to the outcomes of the Bright Ideas program, including the support from management, the input by specialist internal units and the commitment of participants.

The model also built upon the framework of TAFE creating value internally and adding value externally, as set out in Dr John Mitchell’s 2011 report for TAFE NSW, Creating and Adding Value. That framework showed how TAFE staff create value often behind the scenes and normally in collaboration with clients, and then add value to and with clients, in the way the TAFE services are provided and the client relationships maintained.

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

In mid-2012 TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute (SWSi) commissioned a project around innovation, resulting in this report and the development of a model of innovation, because it wanted to take the next step in embedding innovation within the Institute.


Project background and theoretical framework continued...

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commencement of the project, to identify and promote key messages about the benefits for staff of being involved in the project to develop the SWSi innovate model; and near the end of the project, to promote key messages about the benefits to staff and stakeholders about using the model and this publication.

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Engagement strategy. John met with small groups across the Institute, and conducted a series of workshops to engage staff in the model building. He also visited some selected groups that are profiled in the publication. These steps assisted engagement through the transparency of the processes and the intrinsic value of the meetings and workshops.

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Key data collection strategy. John drafted a data collection instrument to collect raw data about examples of innovation at SWSi, suitable as vignettes (short descriptions) or case studies. The instrument helped identify the type of innovation, the origin of the ideas behind the innovation, the drivers of the innovation, the skills used to achieve the innovation, a description of the innovation process and identifiable outcomes of the innovation. Model dimensions. A special feature of the data collection and analysis, and of the model building, was the use of a checklist to identify 20 dimensions of each SWSi innovation. Development of the model. John liaised with the Associate Institute Director on the development of a unique SWSi model, which was also workshopped with representative SWSi staff.

Selection of vignettes and case studies. Following consideration of a wide range of possible innovations that could be profiled in the publication, SWSi selected and provided John with very brief descriptors of possible vignettes and case studies and the names of SWSi and industry interviewees. Targeted data collection and analysis strategy. For each case study, John prepared and conducted phone interviews with the relevant SWSi staff member and an industry, community or client representative. Drafting of the publication. John then drafted this case study document.

Definitions of innovation In popular folklore, innovation is associated with light bulbs going on. That is, innovation is seen by some people as being about the initial inspiration and excitement, not the perspiration and stamina required to develop a new service, product or organisational approach. In folklore, innovation occurs occasionally, is fluky and can’t be managed. In contrast, reputable international literature on innovation, as quoted below, shows that innovation can be generated on an ongoing basis, often can be handled in an orderly fashion and certainly can be managed. Think about the large telephone manufacturers, continually producing new versions of their smart phones.

Intentional, beneficial innovation This publication was influenced by the following definition of innovation by King and Anderson (2002): • an innovation is a tangible product, process or procedure within an organisation • an innovation must be new to the social setting within which it is introduced, although not necessarily new to the individual(s) introducing it • an innovation must be intentional not accidental • an innovation must not be a routine change • an innovation must be aimed at producing a benefit • an innovation must be public in its effects (pp.2-3). In particular, King and Anderson (2002) view innovation as “intentional not accidental” and “aimed at producing a benefit”. These two characteristics of innovation are particularly relevant to SWSi which has a strategic aim of embedding innovation in the organisation. SWSi intends that innovation will become a normal activity. SWSi also intends to develop innovations that have ongoing benefits. To achieve these goals, innovation within SWSi needs to be systematic, in the sense of thorough, involving all the steps required to produce an effective innovation.


A researcher who has underlined the importance of systematic innovation is Drucker (2011), who found that a commitment to the systematic practice of innovation was the hallmark of successful entrepreneurs: “What all the successful entrepreneurs I have met have in common is not a certain kind of personality but a commitment to the systematic practice of innovation” (p.207). Drucker defined innovation as “the effort to create purposeful, focused change in an enterprise’s economic or social potential” (p.208). He acknowledged that light bulbs sometimes flash, but this is the exception not the norm: “There are, of course, innovations that spring from a flash of genius. Most innovations, however, especially the successful ones, result from a conscious, purposeful search for innovation opportunities” (p.208). Drucker set out some principles of innovation that are demonstrated by SWSi people and clients throughout this publication:

All of the case studies and exemplars in this publication demonstrate the “hard, focused, purposeful work”, not only of SWSi staff but of their clients as well. Drucker concludes with the point that “the very foundation of entrepreneurship is the practice of systematic innovation” (p.224). As demonstrated by the case studies and shorter exemplars in this publication, SWSi innovation meets Drucker’s (2011) concept of systematic innovation and King and Anderson’s (2002) concept of ‘intentional’ innovation. Hence, for this publication and for SWSi, systematic innovation means innovation that is: • conscious, deliberate, intentional • based on a combination of knowledge and effort, commitment and perseverance • focused on and targeted at producing benefits.

In all of the case studies and exemplars set out in this publication, SWSi staff have analysed the source of new opportunities, which in contemporary vocational education and training (VET) are often industry demands or market changes. In many of the case studies the external client has approached SWSi with a need that they hoped SWSi could help meet. These clients deserve commendation for being key external drivers of SWSi innovation.

References Drucker, P.F., ‘The Discipline of Innovation’, in Harvard Business Review (2011), Inspiring and Executing Innovation, Harvard Business Review Press, Boston, Mass., pp. 207-224. King, N. & Anderson, N. 2002, Managing Innovation and Change, Thomson, Australia.

Acknowledgements: Terri Connellan, in the Associate Institute Director – Strategy and Development role, led the project for SWSi with key, additional input provided by Debra Jolley, Oriana Romano, Rosemary Lasaro, Belinda Kynaston, Jennifer Harding and Sylvia Arthur.

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• “Purposeful, systematic innovation begins with the analysis of the source of new opportunities” (p.222).

• “Innovation is work rather than genius. It requires knowledge. It often requires ingenuity. And it requires focus. …What innovation requires is hard, focused, purposeful work. If diligence, persistence and commitment are lacking, talent, ingenuity, and knowledge are of no avail” (pp.223-224).

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Systematic innovation


Key findings

This report documents examples of best practice in innovation across SWSi. It also identifies the elements of SWSi’s systematic model of innovation; a model that is based on deliberate, targeted and ongoing actions.

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Foreword and lead interview: Intentional, strategic pursuit of innovation

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Section 2: Exemplars illustrating the dimensions of SWSi innovate This section contains a range of exemplars of innovative activity at SWSi, mapped to the SWSi innovation framework; a framework that identifies 20 dimensions of innovation at SWSi. This section not only records a range of innovations at SWSi, but also shows that innovation has become embedded in various areas within the Institute, drawing upon and moving beyond the examples generated by the Bright Ideas program and described in the 2011 publication Improving Workforce Capabilities.

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

The Foreword from Peter Roberts, SWSi Institute Director, and the lead interview with Terri Connellan, Associate Institute Director Strategy and Development, provide the strategic context for this publication and for innovation across the Institute. Both Peter and Terri note that innovation is a high priority of the Institute; and that it is actively pursued and highly valued, not left to chance. They want to help create the conditions in which innovation will flourish.

This section shines a spotlight on the capability developed and used by SWSi staff to bring about and sustain innovation, including skills used by managers, practitioners and teams. Based on exemplars, this section emphasises the skills in innovation that help underpin the depth and breadth of innovation in the Institute.

Section 1: Case studies illustrating the benefits of SWSi innovation

Section 4: Full description of the SWSi innovate model

This section contains six case studies, with each featuring an interview with the client and the relevant SWSi staff. The case studies highlight the impacts of SWSi innovation on industry, community, clients and individual students.

This final section summarises the SWSi innovate model that is based on the evidence provided in sections 1-3 of the publication.

Each of the six case studies contains lengthy interviews with SWSi clients, and all the interviews confirm the three core elements of the SWSi model for innovation: Relationships built. To implement an innovation, the clients and SWSi people worked collaboratively over an extended period; and the development of goodwill, openness and trust was pivotal to achieving the aims of the client. Value created and added. The clients worked collaboratively with SWSi people to ensure the service provided by the Institute fully met the client’s need. Systematic process. The clients described how the collaboration with SWSi was focused on the clients’ needs, and that all the steps taken over a period of time were intended to satisfy these needs.

Section 3: Exemplars illustrating the staff skills underpinning SWSi innovate

The diagrammatic model meets the aim of the SWSi innovate project that the model be inclusive, be client driven and capture the creating and adding of value. The model also fits with the international definitions of innovation; in particular, that innovation by organisations is rarely the work only of people working solely within the service organisation; and that innovation involves a systematic process that requires skills, effort and perseverance. Overall, this publication highlights SWSi’s inclusive model of creating and adding value; a model that provides every member of staff with a rationale for collaborating and innovating; a model that links staff effort and client benefits.


The strategic context for SWSi innovate

Why is innovation important for TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute? In an increasingly competitive environment, it is critical that South Western Sydney Institute continues to work on our customer focus and develop creative solutions. That is what we have based our strategic directions on heading towards 2015. Our driving principle is that we want to support customers to develop skills, and in developing skills our customers will build community capacity and assist job growth. That’s our key driver and that explains our tag line for the Institute, Innovate-Educate.

As an Institute, we’ve been on a journey for some time with the Bright Ideas program (2009-2011) which was about building capability in innovation. Bright Ideas was primarily internally focused and a critical first step; now it’s about how innovation within the Institute can become more customer focused. And that’s where our focus is with this publication: looking at what we have achieved in terms of customer focus, where we’re up to and how we can move forward. After reading the draft of this publication, what do you think are some of SWSi’s current strengths with regard to innovation? Reading the stories it is clear, first of all, that our courses and programs begin with our customers’ needs: we are very much client driven and we have an ability to listen, to understand, to contextualise and adapt.

Third, innovation is about outcomes and I think that’s really important. Innovation is solution focused: whether it be individual student or industry clients, the benefits are important. And finally, innovation at SWSi is inclusive, requiring contributions from the team, from leaders, from managers, from support staff. For example, in many of the stories there are administration issues that are resolved. In many of the examples of innovations there are a number of faculties involved, so we’re bringing the best of our business from across a range of areas to develop innovations. This whole-of-organisation approach enables us to build the skills needed for innovation, from the technical skills, to the team skills, to the customer skills, to the knowledge management skills. After reading this publication, what are some of the key messages you would like to promote to SWSi clients about innovation? I would like them to know that we’ve been on an innovation journey for some time. That, to date, our focus has been on building our capability, and our capability is now well honed. And that it is the value-creating relationships with clients that we are documenting in this publication. We have also developed professional development programs based on our journey of innovation that create and communicate our new ways of doing things. That professional development is based on an understanding of requirements and solutions. And it is outcomes focused.

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It is critical that we embody innovation and that we know what it means, both for ourselves and for our customers. We see innovation as very much about bringing together our breadth of resources and our experience to meet our clients’ needs.

Second, innovation at SWSi is about that combination of staff knowledge and effort, commitment, perseverance and hard work, working as a team with our clients. And a theme that comes out of the stories in this publication is that our customers also make an input into the cycle of creating and adding value.

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Interview with Terri Connellan, Associate Institute Director – Strategy and Development


The strategic context for SWSi innovate continued...

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

There is a whole range of outcomes for clients arising from our innovations, whether it be high levels of student completion, recognition of existing skills, workplace learning, or ensuring the programs have become part of the enterprise. Another outcome is the raised profile enterprises can achieve by working with TAFE, such as in the aged care case study where Carrington Care is presenting nationally about how TAFE fitness training can assist in aged care facilities.

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After reading this publication, what are some of the key messages you’d like to promote to SWSi staff? I will promote the creating and adding value we achieve, and how powerful we are, when we connect all our resources and our people. When we’re able to harness all the skills and resources of the Institute, we are extremely agile and able to meet the needs of our clients very successfully. The SWSi innovate model describes how we can do that, and what can be achieved when we bring the best of our skills together.

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

I will also promote the fact that we can document the skills that we use for innovation. They’re not random. That they can come together, we can work out what they are and better value our own skills in innovation. I will also promote the value we create for others. I want to recognise what value we can add to other people, whether it be customers, enterprises or communities. We’re a key part of that process of adding value and making a difference. How do you intend to use the report and the model? Internally, the value will be around promoting the SWSi innovate model of innovation the Institute has developed, and the systematic approaches that we’re using and the language of how we work. SWSi innovate is a very useful model of skills and partnerships and also outcomes that we’re producing.

Externally with partners, and with potential partners, I will use the report and the model to communicate how we work and our culture and our perspective. I found with the previous publication (Improving Workforce Capabilities 2011), showing it to our national and international clients, it helps to show a narrative about how we work and the outcomes for our partners, expressed in their words rather than in our words. For our overall marketing, the publication provides a narrative about our culture, our strengths, our ways of working and our outcomes which add value to others. In what ways will the SWSi innovate model be useful? The model shows that identifying needs, creating the value, listening, understanding and adapting, is very much part of our repertoire of skills. All those things are part of how we work. Documenting that approach will enable us to be more aware of our current repertoire of skills and how we can extend that way of working to other areas of our work. That awareness of our skills will, in turn, enable us to be more creative about the solutions that we develop. The SWSi innovate model also creates a platform for recognising and celebrating achievements. Our innovations are not incidental or accidental achievements: they are the result of the values that we enact for our customers, whether they be individuals or enterprises. What do you hope will happen in the next few years regarding innovation at SWSi? I hope that innovation will become the platform for us to move forward, based on the strengths we’ve already built, around that capability development we achieved with Bright Ideas, towards becoming more systematic in what we do around innovation; and that we build a wider and deeper repertoire of skills for innovation. I hope that we become more aware of the skills that make innovation happen, so we can develop those skills in others. I hope that we continually develop our workforce capability in order to increase the scale of innovation to meet customer needs.


Section 1. SWSi innovate case studies

The interviews with SWSi clients confirm these three elements of the SWSi model for innovation: • Relationships built. The clients and SWSi people worked collaboratively over an extended period, and the development of goodwill, openness and trust was pivotal to achieving the aims of the client. • Value created and added. The clients worked collaboratively with SWSi people to ensure the service provided by the Institute fully met the client’s need.

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• Systematic process. The clients described how the collaboration with SWSi was focused on the clients’ needs, and that all the steps taken over a period of time were intended to satisfy these needs.

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

This section contains six case studies, with each of the case studies featuring an interview with an industry or community representative, and interviews with relevant SWSi staff. The case studies highlight the impacts of SWSi innovation on industry, clients and individual students.


1.1 Case study: Indigenous Pre-Recruitment Course, Department of Defence

This case study illustrates core elements of the SWSi innovate model:

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Relationships built: Since 2009 the partnership between the Department of Defence and SWSi has strengthened, with the Institute now offering a national version of the Indigenous Pre-Recruitment Course (IPRC). Value created and added: The partners in the project have worked together to provide Indigenous young people with a richer learning experience, online learning options, increased mentoring support and access to a Certificate III qualification (formerly a Certificate I). A systematic approach taken: Over a four year period, the partners in the project have been focused, targeted, thorough and persistent in continually improving the program.

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Description of the innovation The Indigenous Pre-Recruitment Course (IPRC) provides a pathway for Indigenous candidates seeking to enlist in the Australian Defence Force (ADF). In partnership with the Department of Defence, since 2009 TAFE NSW - South Western Sydney Institute (SWSi) has delivered this course not only in South Western Sydney but also in Tasmania and Western Australia. Additionally, the Institute has worked closely with the client to continually improve the program including the co-development of a national version of the program in which participants travel from around Australia to the Institute. The IPRC is designed for Indigenous men and women who indicate an interest in joining the Australian Army, Navy or Air Force and are identified in the Defence Force recruiting process as requiring development in one or more areas, in order to become competitive for enlistment. Following the formation of the partnership in 2009, six IPRC programs have been conducted by the Institute: two in South Western Sydney in

2009, one in Tasmania in 2010, one in Western Australia in 2010 and two nationally in 2011 and 2012. In these national programs, the Institute also offered follow-up Indigenous Employment Provider (IEP) services. In 2012 the national program attracted Away From Base (AFB) funding, providing financial assistance for interstate students with flights, meals and accommodation, enabling them to travel to and complete their study at SWSi, in Sydney. In the first phase of the 2012 program, students completed six weeks of training in Sydney. After this block of training participants continued training in their home location and received ongoing support over a 26 week period. This training and support was delivered through online tools such as Moodle – a web application for producing internet-based courses – and was offered to those who did not secure or take up an offer of enlistment with the Australian Defence Force. The main objectives of the 2012 national project were to improve employment outcomes for the participating Indigenous students through facilitating their completion of a Certificate III in Employment and Training, increasing their chances of placement with the Australian Defence Force, opening up pathways into further vocational study, and assisting students with finding employment if they were not offered a place with the Australian Defence Force.


David Roberts, SWSi’s Aboriginal Development Manager, believes the success of the program has strengthened the partnership with the Australian Defence Force. “This is evidenced by the fact that the program has been conducted six times, with programs conducted beyond NSW.” David considers the innovation has a number of special features. “To begin with, it is a national program. It has been delivered in other states around Australia and the most recent delivery of the program involved bringing students from other states into Sydney for the training.” Another way in which this program is unique is that the Institute now has a dual role in delivering the program, says David.

Furthermore, this program is innovative in that it has a high level of involvement from the industry partner, the Australian Defence Force. This means, says David, that the program can engage students in “an authentic, real-life training program which gives them a taste of what it would be like to work as an employee of the Australian Defence Force”.

The external strategic drivers of the innovation include the desire of the Commonwealth government to attract entrants to the armed forces, provide increased opportunities for people with disadvantages and increase the overall proportion of adults in the workforce. This program focuses on contributing to the Commonwealth government's agenda to Close the Gap in Indigenous disadvantage through improved employment options and supported pathways. Some strategic drivers within TAFE NSW helped drive the innovation, notes David Roberts. This initiative addresses the following strategic objective of the TAFE NSW Strategic Plan 2011 – 2013: “to work with individuals, local communities, schools and other organisations to improve outcomes for people facing disadvantage”. The IPRC achieves this outcome by increasing participation and completion in vocational education and training by Aboriginal people. The initiative also addresses another objective of the TAFE NSW Strategic plan 2011 – 2013: “to improve employment and further study outcomes for our students”. The achievement of this objective, says David Roberts, is demonstrated by “the number of students who go on to pass the Australian Defence Force entrance examination and who are offered positions”. David believes that “one of the fundamental strengths of the program is that it is an Indigenous program by Indigenous people for Indigenous people”. Additionally: The intentional focus on using positive Indigenous role models across a range of professional disciplines inspires the students. We had involved high ranking Indigenous military personnel, we had Indigenous managers, we had Indigenous educators, we had Indigenous social workers, we had Indigenous politicians, we had Indigenous community leaders.

“The intentional focus on using positive Indigenous role models across a range of professional disciplines inspires the students.”

9 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

In addition to its role as the registered training organisation, TAFE has become an Indigenous Employment Provider. This has meant that, in recent deliveries of the program, SWSi provided mentoring and organised other aspects of the program such as accommodation and flights, in addition to delivering the training.

Drivers of the innovation

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Since the commencement of the Institute’s involvement in the program in 2009, 140 students have enrolled and 90% of students have successfully completed the program. This partnership has also provided a pathway into Certificate III for those students who wanted to continue with further studies at the Institute.


1.1 Case study: Indigenous Pre-Recruitment Course, Department of Defence continued...

David adds that a great strength of the program is that it’s more than bipartisan: It is a combination of TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute , a number of Commonwealth Government departments and Indigenous community organisations, coming together to work collaboratively on an excellent Closing the Gap strategy.

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Defence keeps saying, and quite rightly so, that it is eminently well placed to contribute to the government’s Closing the Gap agenda and this course is one of the specialised pathways to employment programs.

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Steps in the innovation process

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

For David Roberts and his SWSi colleague, Karen Davies, Aboriginal Coordinator, two of the key steps in supporting the IPRC within the Institute were to maintain good communication with the client, the Department of Defence, and to manage relationships with other faculties within the Institute. David describes the management of the groups of internal stakeholders: In addition to the partnership with the Australian Defence Force, we have managed multiple internal stakeholders. Internally, the Aboriginal unit is a broker with an institute-wide focus, which gave us the capability to draw on the expertise of multiple faculty areas. Essentially, what we have done is as follows: we listened to the client's needs and what they required, then Karen Davies and I constructed a map of potential units to cover the requirements of the training, then we brought in content specialists from the faculties. When we first ran the program there were four different SWSi faculties involved.

Besides managing four faculties, considerable planning was required to improve the flexibility of the delivery methods. “Innovation can also be seen in the delivery methods used, especially in the most recent delivery of the program which involved blended delivery,” says David. Students participated in the program through a combination of faceto-face training with TAFE teachers for the first six weeks and they can complete their course work and assessments online using Moodle. The online Literacy and Numeracy screening tool RUReady was piloted in 2012 as a tool to assess the skills gaps of the participating students and to provide resources to address these gaps. The delivery methods are continually improved, says David: “We're constantly refining the delivery.”

Skills used by SWSi staff The members of the project team include the following people, each of whom brings specialist skills to the program: • Project Sponsor: Faculty Director Maryanne Munro • Aboriginal Development Manager David Roberts • Aboriginal Coordinator - Karen Davies • Adult Basic Education (ABE) Head Teacher – Anne Smith • Aboriginal Support Officers – Jody Lively and Keira Edward • Teacher – Greg Tuchin. Other TAFE staff involved in the program include Adult Basic Education (ABE) teachers and fitness teachers. David Roberts believes that the program has benefited particularly from the internal partnership between the Aboriginal Unit, the Employment Preparation and Social Inclusion Faculty and the Community, Health and Personal Services Faculty.


David adds that there are teachers involved in the program, including ABE support teachers, who have volunteered to join the groups for the ‘boot camp’ component, which requires them to do military style physical exercise in tough outdoor terrain. In addition to training delivering skills, SWSi staff use evaluation skills to monitor progress of both the training and the employment service. “We conduct a whole series of evaluations,” says David.

Identifiable outcomes of the innovation

• Some of the responses students gave regarding what they enjoyed in the course included: travel, fitness, hard work, teamwork, opportunity to learn, making new friends, seeing others succeed, going to different bases, almost everything [about the course]. The program has a clear impact on students in terms of completing the course and articulating into employment, if not with the ADF then with other employers. At least 140 students have enrolled to date and 90% of students have successfully completed the program. The participants identified the sense of achievement and an improvement in their self-esteem as key outcomes on completing their qualifications and progressing to employment. The impacts of this project extended beyond the students to their families and community, says David Roberts. There was a high level of participation and support from individual parents, extended families and community elders as demonstrated by the attendance at program launches and graduations. For example, a graduation that was held on the 26th July, 2012 for 16 students was attended by 100 people.

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David Roberts sums up the benefits for students: Of all the programs we run, we see the biggest shift in the students with this program. When they walk out they are more respectful and very driven in the direction they want to take. Students are prouder about their identity and want to make their lives better but also the lives of the community that they come from.

“There was a high level of participation and support from individual parents, extended families and community elders...”

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

David Roberts believes the project has successfully met the needs of its target audience and the Institute’s partner, the Australian Defence Force. He considers the ADF’s satisfaction with the program “is demonstrated by continuation of the partnership over the past three years”. Student feedback has been positive and an evaluation completed with one of the recent groups of students included the following feedback:

• 27 of 28 students would recommend the course to others. Reasons given included that it was life changing, developed their confidence, opened doors, and they met new people.

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Since the inception of the program in 2009, teachers involved in the program have had to be increasingly flexible in trying out strategies specifically targeted for the young indigenous participants in the program. A highly intensive program, it is very demanding on teachers’ time and commitment. However those who have been involved in the delivery of the program have been so inspired by the impact it had on the participants that they want to continue their involvement.


1.1 Case study: Indigenous Pre-Recruitment Course, Department of Defence continued...

Interview with SWSi client: Col Watego, Warrant Officer Class 1, Australian Defence Force Senior Indigenous Recruitment Officer

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Could you please describe the background to the Indigenous Pre-Recruitment Course (IPRC)?

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The service provided by South Western Sydney Institute is a consequence of a relationship that we developed some time ago in the early days of the Indigenous Pre-Recruitment Course (IPRC). Initially the IPRC program was run in Townsville, and I recognised when I came on board with the program in Newcastle that the training the young people were receiving was not formal: they weren’t receiving any formal recognition. The young people were doing the work, but because they weren’t getting formal recognition, it wasn’t actually helping them in the Defence Force recruiting process.

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Initially, the Indigenous Pre-Recruitment Course was a strategy developed by Defence in consultation with other civilian organisations to meet the COAG [Council of Australian Governments] requirement for an increase in Indigenous employment in the workforce. COAG wanted to see a 2.7% increase in the Indigenous workforce in government jobs, and that included Defence. So Defence developed what they called the Australian Defence Force Indigenous PreRecruitment Course. Defence then brought on board civilian organisations who were responsible for conducting this program, with advice or expertise provided by Defence personnel. I identified at the end of the Newcastle course that the education levels of our young people who were coming through weren’t up to the standard of Australian Defence Force recruiting. TAFE was not involved in the Newcastle course, but we needed to set up a program in Sydney at short notice. So I contacted TAFE through our headquarters because I was familiar with Dave Roberts and his team, the Aboriginal Education Training team, who had links with the Indigenous community.

We started talks and then established that we could meet several needs by working together. One is that we would have access to recruits through TAFE’s Indigenous networks. Two, by engaging TAFE at the same time we could meet the education requirements, if we could map the training that we were delivering to recognised VET competencies and a training package qualification. Was the business need mostly for the participants to undertake academic education? The business need was to help our young people meet the requirements of the Australian Defence Force recruiting process. Defence is not just about an academic education. There is definitely a high academic standard required, but education is not just academic. Education is also about life skills and self discipline. And SWSi contributed to these broader skills, in mapping the Training Package to things like skills in the workplace. Another area of business need is physical fitness, which is of paramount importance in Defence. Part of the education we deliver is sport and recreation and SWSi now bring in their physical training instructors and teachers and they work with us. The young people are doing the physical aspects of training to prepare for the minimum physical testing that the Defence Force recruitment requires. Through SWSi’s Aboriginal Education Training Centre at Miller College we also include Aboriginal culture in the IPRC program. Because we were bringing young people in from all over Australia, from different Aboriginal jurisdictions and Torres Strait Islander locations, not all of them were 100% up-to-date with their Indigenous culture. We believe that it’s really important that our young people have a rounded education in that area, if they’re going to be Indigenous men and women serving in the Australian Defence Force.


SWSi brings to the program a holistic approach towards the individual. Ultimately, with the life skills training, with the educational training, with the physical training and with the cultural education, irrespective of whether the young people decide at the end of this program to join Defence, they are in a much better situation in their own personal journey. An aspect of the IPRC which is unique is the mentoring and the opportunity for the young person to be one-on-one with the TAFE trainer. We’re very selective about what people are involved in delivering the program, in any role or capacity, and we build rapport with our young people. It’s a safe place to learn and some great breakthroughs happen as a consequence of that. So it’s a truly holistic program, which SWSi contributes to. How did SWSi find out your business needs?

Who drove the initiative on the Defence side? I’m a firm believer in acknowledging people. In the early days it was Defence Director of Indigenous Affairs Soozie Parker’s vision and initiative and strategy, working within Defence and externally, that got a lot of things up and running. The person now in that role is Donna

Many other people have contributed. The person who was first involved with me in the early days was Major Christopher Duffy. Other key contributors were the Deputy Director Indigenous Affairs, Community Engagement, Michael Rowe and Warrant Officer Class 2 Darren Moffitt. In the most recent program some key people were Major Stuart Ralph and Warrant Officer Class 1 Brendan Greaves. The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) and the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) and Inspire Community Services also played key roles. What were the key actions taken by SWSi staff to ensure the innovation succeeded? When the IPRC was first designed, the participants received a certificate of attendance as opposed to a qualification, so I approached TAFE to assist to change that situation. TAFE needed to map what they did to what we did. It is really a collaborative partnership: it’s a group of people working together for a common cause. That’s what makes it so valuable. TAFE staff have contributed more than they may understand, because the program has really changed the lives of these young people. What is the impact of the IPRC on the participants? In many cases it changed their lives and the lives of their families and has impacted on their peer groups and broader communities in a very positive way. Many are now in the Australian Defence Force but even among those that haven’t gained entry, as yet, many now have great jobs and life skills that have equipped them to do better things.

“When the IPRC was first designed, the participants received a certificate of attendance as opposed to a qualification, so I approached TAFE to assist to change that situation.”

13 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

It evolved over time. The IPRC started off with a Certificate I, and then it went to a Certificate II and now we’re looking at a Certificate III with online training which obviously makes our candidates more employable, or more competitive for employment, because they’re increasing their education qualifications at the same time as they’re getting the life skills. TAFE’s involvement has changed significantly from the beginning when they were just providing training: in the last two courses they were also the Indigenous Employment Provider (IEP).

Boulton. Many organisations have played an integral role in the process: all the STEP ERS [Structured Training and Employment Projects Employment and Related Services] for instance; in Townsville it was Bindal Sharks and in Newcastle it was Alliance People Solutions. In Sydney a key group was Gandangara, the local Aboriginal Land Council, in Tasmania it was Campbell Page and in Western Australia the key stakeholders were Unity of First People of Australia and Fairbridge.

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

What is innovative about the SWSi service?


1.2 Case study: Genting Star Tourism Academy, Manila, Philippines

This case study illustrates core elements of the SWSi innovate model:

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Relationships built: In 2010, Genting Hong Kong selected SWSi to assist it in delivering hospitality training at its new Genting-Star Tourism Academy (GSTA), in Manila, the Philippines. The partnership has deepened since then, following the successful provision of programs. Value created and added: Working together, the two parties have developed flexible, innovative training programs that meet the expectations of Genting Hong Kong, resulting in hundreds of staff undertaking programs that lead to Australian national qualifications which are also recognised internationally. A systematic approach taken: A characteristic of this project is Genting Hong Kong’s clear vision of what it wanted from the partnership, and the focused way Genting Hong Kong and SWSi have realised that vision.

14 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Description of the innovation In 2010 TAFE NSW - South Western Sydney Institute (SWSi) entered a collaborative partnership with Genting-Star Tourism Academy (GSTA), a tourismcentric training academy in the Philippines. GSTA is a joint venture between Travellers and Genting Hong Kong. Genting Hong Kong is a leading enterprise in global leisure, entertainment and hospitality, in both land and sea-based businesses, operating the well regarded cruise lines Star Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Lines, as well as Resorts World Manila. GSTA purpose-built a state of the art training facility in Manila that reflected five-star hospitality facilities for both ship and resort properties training and, following Genting Hong Kong’s own analysis of Australian providers, invited SWSi to deliver training in the Academy. The aim of the partnership is for SWSi to develop and deliver tourism training programs at GSTA that will add value to the workforce recruitment and training for Genting Hong Kong. SWSi provides training and

assessment in Australian nationally accredited hospitality programs within the hospitality training package, aligned to job roles within Genting Hong Kong’s hospitality properties. The program provided by SWSi meets the recruitment and training needs for Genting Hong Kong’s ship fleet and resort needs worldwide, and provides participants with job and career pathways. Graduates of the program increase their prospects of a satisfying career in the global tourism and hospitality industry. SWSi staff provide training for GSTA staff in the Certificate II and Diploma of Hospitality and the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, through recognition of prior learning services and gap training. By late 2012, 20 students had enrolled in the Diploma of Hospitality training and 200 students had enrolled in the Certificate II in Hospitality. The program started in September 2011 and, as at May 2012, a total of 85 Genting Hong Kong/Star Cruises employees had received the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.


Steps in the innovation process

A key driver behind Genting Hong Kong’s desire to establish a relationship with SWSi was the increase in tourism and customer service expectations, specifically in the cruise industry. Within Genting Hong Kong, the project was driven as a recruitment and workforce development strategy to train and upskill staff to ensure that customer service demands were met. By establishing GSTA and providing qualifications recognised in Australia, Genting Hong Kong sought to create a pool of trained staff to recruit for its many business operations.

In 2010, Christine Williamson visited GSTA in the Philippines and later she met with Genting Hong Kong’s Andrea Chan in Australia to discuss some options. Subsequently, teleconferences were conducted weekly to ensure the project milestones were achieved in a timely fashion, leading to GSTA staff being trained and upskilled by SWSi, resources developed and programs conducted.

In 2010, Andrea Chan, Genting Hong Kong’s Executive Vice President, Corporate Planning, conducted a three-month examination in Australia to identify an appropriate Australian training provider to meet the company’s workforce development goals. Genting Hong Kong eventually selected SWSi as the vocational education and training (VET) provider and the partnership has grown from there.

Christine continues to be impressed by Andrea Chan’s vision, high expectations and pursuit of quality: “There was no doubt in my mind that Andrea had a vision, and she wanted to see whether we could capture that vision. At the start, we were on trial to see whether we knew where she was going.”

SWSi recruited and trained internationally experienced staff as both ship and resort-based trainers within GSTA. SWSi mentored GSTA staff in delivery and assessment strategies and in the development of high quality resources in different levels of training and across strands such as food and beverage, cookery and accommodation services. SWSi staff also conducted a quality audit of GSTA training and provided professional development in training and assessment techniques and customised resource development. In addition, SWSi developed an online platform customised to meet the specific needs of the school and Australian audit requirements. The platform offers online training solutions for students from Certificate II through to Diploma in Hospitality. The platform also offers online enrolment and provides staff with access to all policies and procedures.

SWSi developed an online platform customised to meet the specific needs of the school and Australian audit requirements...

15 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Christine Williamson, SWSi’s Director, Tourism, Hospitality, Primary Industry and Arts Faculty, is enormously impressed by Andrea Chan’s approach to this collaboration, such that SWSi nominated Andrea Chan for an award: “Andrea was so innovative in wanting to support and move the ideas here, we nominated her for a leadership award in international education.”

To establish the GSTA program and train staff in the compliance requirements, SWSi appointed a local SWSi Director of Studies. This director gained insight into the business requirements of Genting Hong Kong, enabling SWSi to better customise the programs to suit the needs of the company’s occupations and career pathways.

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Drivers of the innovation


TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

1.2 Case study: Genting Star Tourism Academy, Manila, Philippines continued...

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Skills used by SWSi staff

Identifiable outcomes of the innovation

GSTA together with SWSi were able to collectively leverage their previous experience to develop and deliver training in hospitality in the Philippines. The foundation of the partnership with Genting Hong Kong is based on the shared search for a high level of standard in the hospitality industry. To meet Genting Hong Kong’s special requirements, SWSi staff needed to use skills in project management, technology management, product development and knowledge management, as well as in training and assessment and professional development.

Under the GSTA and SWSi educational cooperation agreement, the students can enrol in SWSi – Certificate II to Diploma of Hospitality Management in four different streams: food and beverage services; frontline and accommodation services; culinary arts; gaming and casino management. The first intake of students occurred in October 2011. By late 2012, 20 students had completed the Diploma and 200 had enrolled in the Certificate III. The programs include structured workplace learning with Genting Hong Kong’s cruise lines and resorts.

Christine Williamson emphasises that it is not just a matter of SWSi staff using skills, as SWSi and Genting Hong Kong learn from each other: “In terms of relationship building, there’s a lot of healthy respect for each other, and about future growth and where we could go.”

The GSTA programs’ structure and standards serve as the model for the establishment of new and upcoming GSTA facilities around Asia. In 2011, the development of GSTA Indonesia commenced, following the established GSTA international education brand. Discussions are currently in progress with SWSi to have a similar arrangement to the GSTA Manila arrangement with GSTA Indonesia. The same model is expected to be used, as Genting Hong Kong moves further in building the GSTA brand.

Ellen Roach, Business Consultant, Tourism, Hospitality, Primary Industry and Arts Faculty, describes how the two organisations work closely together:

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

We have a weekly teleconference with the management team at Genting Hong Kong. The relationship has developed through the tracking system: we ran a tracker for this project to ensure it came to fruition. Everything had to be timetabled very carefully as we work in two different countries and that in itself creates issues. All the Genting managers have Christine’s telephone number and they know they can phone her directly and get an answer. So they know they can contact us here and our response will be immediate. The differences between computing networks in the two organisations meant that SWSi needed to modify some of the online learning resources to fit the Philippine environment: “The electronic framework in the Philippines is not the same as here. So we had to source products that met their requirements and then customise them,” adds Ellen. Another example of flexibility modelled by the SWSi staff was their response to the fact that the Philippine academic year extends from July-March, says Ellen: They operate right through our major down period of December-January. Meeting that challenge was a huge shift for us and we had to make sure that we had coordinators available during that time so that they were constantly able to answer questions and guide them through the processes.

On-board training options are currently being discussed for the hundreds of Star Cruises staff to upskill and gain accreditation. A variety of delivery options are being discussed with SWSi such as distance learning packages with on-board mentors, tablets with all course materials uploaded, and online training to facilitate independent learning. SWSi now provides an opportunity for Genting Hong Kong students to continue their training in Australia. SWSi has also developed a double Diploma program for local and international students to undertake in Australia which provides an opportunity for internships with Genting Hong Kong. Christine Williamson is pleased that Genting Hong Kong has introduced SWSi to Genting’s partners: The fact that they’ve introduced us to other partners, and they want us to do programs in other locations, and they’ve had us talk to a number of different organisations, shows that they would like to continue. They have trust and respect and belief that the programs we’re running suit where they’re moving to.

SWSi now provides an opportunity for Genting Hong Kong students to continue their training in Australia.


Interview with SWSi client: Andrea Chan, Executive Vice President, Corporate Planning, Genting Hong Kong

We are their first partner in the Philippines to launch a TAFE diploma program, and our first batch of students graduated in January 2013. How much time did you spend in establishing the partnership with SWSi? I spent three months in Sydney in 2010 setting up meetings with the Institute and with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and preparing the internal documents, agreements and contracts. The signing ceremony in Manila in 2010 was covered by about 200 international media personnel. We also had a signing ceremony with UTS. Why did you select as partners TAFE NSW and UTS? I wanted to take our training academy to the next level and that’s why we wanted to work with an institute like SWSi and a university like UTS.

“The collaboration with SWSi aligns with our mission and our desire to be the centre of excellence in the delivery of quality competencybased hospitality training...”

I wanted to provide a pathway for students in terms of identifying their prior learning or skills, a pathway in terms of providing them with further education or training, and also a pathway for a career. The pathway will depend on the individuals’ aspirations. Some will probably want to have some qualifications for employability, so they can find a job. Perhaps a few years later when they have some work experience, after they consolidate their skills, they may want to embark on higher education. In being awarded a qualification by one of our partners or even by our own school, their further education will be recognised. How do you want SWSi to relate to Genting? I suggested to them that they should see us as not just as an education partner but more like an employer. I put it to them that Genting Hong Kong, in its cruise business, has more than 4,000 crew members working on ships and more than 1,000 people working on-shore. At the same time we have a joint venture in the Philippines called Travellers International Hotel Group, and this joint venture also is an employer in the Philippines for more than 5,000 employees. I invited the Institute to see us an employer and to consider providing continuous education and also recognition of prior learning for our crew and other staff. We have ships in Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and China, and we have a ship every day in Hong Kong. Our business will continue to expand considerably in the near future as we are making a US$1b investment in the Philippines. What was your business need that drove this collaboration with SWSi? We wanted to elevate the qualifications of our crew and our employees, basically our employees, by providing an avenue to international qualifications. We also wanted to improve staff credibility and to improve the individual’s self-esteem.

17 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

I am the Executive Vice President of Genting Hong Kong. Our headquarters are in Hong Kong and we are a listed company on the Hong Kong stock exchange. I see the partnership as between Genting Hong Kong and TAFE and UTS: profound education and academic institutes. The reason I wanted to work with TAFE of course is its reputation – it is recognised internationally – and also because TAFE provides a pathway between TAFE and UTS.

Why is a pathway important?

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

What is the service offered by TAFE NSW - South Western Sydney Institute?


1.2 Case study: Genting Star Tourism Academy, Manila, Philippines continued...

The collaboration with SWSi aligns with our mission and our desire to be the centre of excellence in the delivery of quality competencybased hospitality training. We want to pioneer changes in hospitality training and to contribute innovations to the global hospitality industry.

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

How did the TAFE staff find out about your needs? I spent three months in Sydney in 2010 working with TAFE and also UTS, meeting different people and also with the faculties. We also have a memorandum of understanding between TAFE and ourselves. Christine Williamson, the Director Tourism, Hospitality and Primary Industry and Arts Faculty, visited our operations in the Philippines several times and I went to SWSi in 2011. We also held a series of regular teleconferences to launch the program and to maintain the relationship.

What were some of the key actions that SWSi took to ensure the relationship succeeded? They developed a good understanding of our requirements. The faculty also provided assistance in terms of documents and other information which made it much easier for us. They basically provided resources to us and also supplied the experts. What impact has the innovation had on your clients and your organisation? The innovation that we introduced together will further strengthen and expand the experience of our staff, whose service is integral to creating delightful holiday experiences for our customers. At the same time the innovation will provide better career options for our graduates and our staff. It will also provide continuous learning in our group of companies and our affiliates.

18 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

“The innovation that we introduced together will further strengthen and expand the experience of our staff...”


1.3 Case study: Carrington Care

This case study illustrates core elements of the SWSi innovate model:

Value created and added: The programs offered by the TAFE students are continually improved to provide optimum benefits for the aged care residents and for the students. A systematic approach taken: This collaboration is thoroughly planned and well executed, exceeding initial expectations.

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Relationships built: Since 2010 SWSi Health and Fitness staff have worked closely with the staff of Carrington Care to provide innovative work experience for SWSi students while assisting aged care residents to improve their fitness.

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As a result of collaboration between the Health and Fitness section of TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute (SWSi) and Carrington Care in Camden NSW, a ‘Resident Health and Fitness Initiative’ was developed. The initiative underpins residents’ wellbeing by enabling them to be active while having fun. SWSi’s Health and Fitness section delivers training from the national Health and Fitness training package with students graduating in the following vocational areas: Certificate III Fitness, Certificate IV Fitness, Diploma Fitness and Diploma Remedial Massage. Carrington Care is a highly regarded and long-standing aged care provider in the fast-growing Macarthur region of NSW with over 300 residents living in its residential care services. Its outstanding service was recognised recently when it won a number of national awards in Aged Care. Beginning in 2010, the two parties have worked in partnership to provide health, fitness and rehabilitation programs for Carrington residents in low care, for young disabled residents in high care, and for high care residents with dementia living in the residential care services.

The innovation enables TAFE students studying the Certificate IV and Diploma in Fitness to complete the practical work experience component of their Older Adults, Rehabilitation and Project Management studies at Carrington, on a weekly basis. The teachers and students work collaboratively with the Carrington Diversional Therapy team to tailor one-on-one and group exercise programs for those residents who have the approval to participate from their general medical practitioner. Under the supervision of qualified TAFE staff, Diploma students mentor and lead the Certificate IV students through a structured exercise routine for the residents. In this way, Certificate IV students aiming to become personal trainers with an additional ‘older adults trainer’ qualification, obtain hands-on and practical experience as part of their learning program. Similarly, the Diploma students aiming to be qualified fitness specialists benefit from working with the Carrington Diversional Therapy team, Physiotherapy Aides and other Allied Health Professionals.

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Description of the innovation


TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

1.3 Case study: Carrington Care continued...

20 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

SWSi Head Teacher David Cencigh says that although similar programs to this have been attempted between other Fitness RTOs and Aged Care centres, the innovation in this collaboration lies in “the scale of this program”.

Prior to this collaboration with SWSi, Carrington had conducted several health and wellbeing programs in the centre. However, the partnership with TAFE opened up new opportunities, as David Cencigh explains:

Every student who enrols in a fitness course at SWSi’s Macquarie Fields College has the opportunity to gain the experience and exposure offered by this program. There is arguably no better way to assess competency based training than to have access to real life people and situations. Additionally, the students not only grow as fitness professionals, but they also grow as caring individuals.

Up until the new arrangements started with the Institute, the Carrington recreation activities staff had delivered exercise and rehabilitation to small groups or individuals. Given the ratio of activities staff to residents, it would not have been possible for so many residents to have access to these services on such a regular basis, as they can now.

Drivers of the innovation David Cencigh explains that the fitness industry has seen dramatic changes over the past decade, in responding to the needs of Australia’s ageing population. “Health, fitness and rehabilitation training for older adults will become a very large component of future demand in the industry”. Similarly, the aged care sector is constantly challenged with the need to maintain or improve frail aged residents’ levels of health and wellbeing in the areas of strength, mobility, flexibility, rehabilitation and general fitness.

David sums up the mutual interests of the two parties: “Carrington wanted a larger program for their residents and our section wanted better ways of delivering for our students”. He believes that local connections and relationships were other drivers of the innovation: It happened because it was a Greater Western Sydney geographically determined concept. It happened that Carrington is in our area, our teacher Michelle Kelly now lives and her parents previously lived in that area; her mother was a resident at Carrington; and all those connections were based around that geography.


Steps in the innovation process

Skills used by SWSi staff

David Cencigh says that SWSi’s Macquarie Fields Health and Fitness Section “is constantly coming up with new and innovative ways of delivering training to our students, rather than being focused on simpler classroom based facilitation”. Hence, Michelle Kelly, who teaches for the section, made the initial contact with Carrington’s Chief Executive, Mr Raad Richards. David Cencigh says that Mr Richard’s interest in the possible partnership was two-fold: “he wanted to bring more fitness-related activities into his care program to assist the residents with their overall health status, and he also wanted to see more interaction with younger members of the community to assist the residents’ mental and emotional wellbeing”.

In addition to the skills required to plan the project and prepare, as described above, “logistically some hurdles needed to be overcome”, says David Cencigh.

David believes the initial idea was radical but since then the parties have made continual improvements to the idea: “It started as a radical idea, but it’s certainly been incremental since them. The whole concept kept evolving and getting better.”

Identifiable outcomes of the innovation David Cencigh considers that the students involved in the Carrington project are now “coming away not only as better fitness professionals, but they are also seeing themselves grow in confidence in their abilities and getting new direction with their futures within the fitness industry”. The program the students undertake is ideal: “Effectively the program gives our students a far better real world experience of what to do when they have their qualification and leave TAFE.” David believes the Carrington staff are seeing marked improvements in the health and wellbeing of their residents. “By having access to such a large pool of skilled ‘assistants’, it gives them the opportunity to grow and develop their existing health and wellbeing programs, and to go on to develop new and innovative ideas for future implementation.” There are other benefits for the Institute, says David: From SWSi’s organisational point of view it is innovative in the sense that it involves engaging with an industry partner and it is a very good collaboration between the two. The two effectively are inseparable and both are working as productively as they can.

“There is arguably no better way to assess competency based training than to have access to real life people and situations.”

21 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Coordinating the initial stages of such an innovative idea presented numerous challenges from both TAFE and Carrington’s perspectives. David Cencigh says that, “on both sides, there was considerable preparation, paperwork, and work health and safety and legal issues that needed to be agreed upon prior to the commencement of the program”.

The solution to this equipment issue was straightforward, explains David. Carrington provided a classroom set-up in one of their conference room areas which also served as a safe equipment holding area. The TAFE students were then programmed to spend their whole day of learning at Carrington, so that once they were finished the sessions with the residents, they were able to continue with their next lessons in a suitably equipped classroom environment. SWSi’s Health and Fitness section provided the necessary training equipment for the sessions, and it was then conveniently stored away in the classroom, rather than having to be transported back and forth from the campus on each day the sessions ran.

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Many meetings and discussions followed and the pilot program commenced in August 2010. The program is now conducted over two eighteen-week semesters according to the TAFE fitness course program. After each session there is a debriefing between the Carrington staff and the TAFE staff and students, and any feedback is taken into account for implementation in the following sessions. The program continues in this format throughout the semester, with two sessions being held each week for different sets of residents.

TAFE students had to be convinced that the 30 minute commute to and from Carrington was a worthwhile extra component of their learning, and Carrington had very little program specific equipment for the students to have access to when training the residents.


1.3 Case study: Carrington Care continued...

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Interview with SWSi client: Katherine Perkins, Organisational Development Co-ordinator, Carrington Care

22 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Could you please describe Carrington Care, in brief?

What is the innovative service that SWSi provides?

Carrington Care provides residential care, independent living and community care. We have 310 residents living on site in our residential care facilities, and about 450 people living independently on site. We provide care to clients in their homes all the way from Silverdale and on to Wollondilly to Glenfield, for about 360 clients. We’ve been in operation for over 100 years and we’re a well-known provider in the Macarthur region of NSW. We have about 435 staff and our motto is ‘enabled to care’.

Every Monday and Wednesday SWSi students come to our four residential facilities and provide one-on-one and group fitness and exercise programs to our residents in both low care and high care. The goal of that program is to improve the residents’ general fitness, resulting in a reduction in falls and challenging behaviours, and providing an opportunity for social interaction between the generations, thus resulting in an enhancement of our diversional therapy program.

Why did you form the partnership with SWSi? Carrington looks on it as a community partnership that supports our resident lifestyle program in the areas of leisure and health, with the aim of improving our residents’ mobility, flexibility, strength and social wellbeing. The relationship was formed out of a mutual need. We formed the partnership to benefit both the students through work experience and then our diversional therapy program by incorporating a fitness type program that we were conducting, but not to the same degree as what bringing in 60 students a week will do.

What is innovative about the SWSi approach? We know that it’s innovative because no-one else in New South Wales is doing it. It’s the first initiative of its kind. We launched it in 2010 as a pilot to see how it would grow; and now it’s 2012 and many residents are participating in the program. It’s going from strength to strength and we’ve won the national Better Practice Award for Innovation for this program. This award is given by the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency, which is the aged care industry’s governing body. We also won the Idea of the Year Award for Innovation through the Aged Care Channel, which is an Australia based satellite television program.

“It’s going from strength to strength and we’ve won the national Better Practice Award for Innovation for this program.”


We had a need to improve our lifestyle and leisure program in the area of general fitness. We have seven recreation activities officers currently on staff and that equates to about two per 100 residents. So there was a need to physically get people in to assist our recreation activities officers to provide the fitness component of their overall program. It was a bonus that we got in people [through the SWSi partnership] who were seeking qualifications and additional competence in the area. What did SWSi staff do to find out your needs? The SWSi staff – David, Michelle and Mark in particular – went out of their way to work collaboratively with us. To find out our needs initially we had a scoping meeting together with the key stakeholders: SWSi, myself, recreation activities officers and our Director of Care. Then we involved the residents themselves: Michelle and her Diploma students had one-on-one time with the residents to develop plans and personal goals for their fitness program. The TAFE staff worked closely with our recreation activities officers and our physiotherapy aides to make sure that they were complementing their therapy and pain plans and enhancing those along the way. On an ongoing basis, they work with those staff and review progress and falls and pain management strategies to make sure that they’re meeting the residents’ needs.

I think firstly they orientated themselves to aged care and to our approach. They met with the Chief Executive Officer and the key clinical care team. We’ve bedded down an orientation program for all their students, which the teachers participate in as well, which talks about Carrington values, a respectful approach to care and our expectations of the students. We also have milestone meetings and progress meetings.

What impact has the innovation had on your residents? It has had a huge impact on our residents. The program is growing every year and the involvement of the residents is growing every year. There has been an improvement in the general fitness of participating residents. There has been a reduction in falls and challenging behaviours. And socially we can see a reduction in the number of dementia residents who don’t participate in activities, as the students are engaging them while they’re here. We’ve also had feedback from families when they come in sometimes and watch and hear the stories about the benefits of the program for their loved ones. And in addition we’ve had recognition from the industry about the program. Most of the work experience students are Gen Y, the future nexus, and definitely the missing generation from aged care. We’ve already oriented over 200 students to the program and I would say only about 15-20 of them have been in aged care before. So there was valuable social interaction between the generations as well as the fitness side of it. What impact has the innovation had on your organisation? For Carrington it has raised our profile across New South Wales and Australia. Michelle and I were invited to speak at Better Practice Aged Care conferences in Adelaide, Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney about this initiative. It has definitely raised our profile.

23 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

What were the key actions taken by the SWSi staff to ensure this innovation succeeded?

On the social side, when we orientate the students and start new students on the program we have barbeques and ‘meet and greets’ with the residents. That socialisation is the key to the program’s success. With elderly people you need to involve them emotionally and socially, because fitness really isn’t their thing; to get them interested you’ve got to do all those peripheral things right.

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

What was your business need that drove this collaboration with SWSi?


1.4 Case study: Blue Tongue Recruitment

This case study illustrates core elements of the SWSi innovate model:

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Relationships built: Blue Tongue Recruitment and SWSi formed a partnership in 2011, in which SWSi provides intensive training for existing tradespeople requiring a second trade qualification to work in the Western Australia mining industry. The partnership has strengthened, with SWSi conducting five programs for Blue Tongue by late 2012. Value created and added: SWSi staff work with all stakeholders to ensure the training meets the needs of the eventual employers and the learning styles of the students. A systematic approach taken: Blue Tongue and SWSi staff have carefully planned this innovation, focused on meeting the specific requirements of the mining industry.

24 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Description of the innovation This case study involves TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute (SWSi), as contracted by Blue Tongue, training existing tradespeople to upskill so they can work in the fast-growing mining industry in Western Australia. The participants in the upskilling program normally acquire their new trade qualification in one year. The innovation commenced when the Institute was approached by Blue Tongue, a leader in supplying unique workforce solutions to the Australian Heavy Mobile Equipment industry, to assist with an accelerated program for enabling tradespeople with a Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanics to acquire a Certificate III in Heavy Vehicle Mechanics. The approach to SWSi from Blue Tongue was understandable because the Institute previously had conducted a successful 12-month program to retrain car mechanics who had been employed in the heavy vehicle industry but who had no heavy vehicle qualifications.

The thriving Australian mining industry needs skilled workers, and Blue Tongue’s passion is “providing solutions to the critical skills shortages that exist in Australia’s heavy maintenance sector”. Its website continues: Through our upskilling program, Blue Tongue allows dedicated individuals to learn highly demanded specialist knowledge and skills, while establishing themselves in one of the most highly sought after trades across the Australian Mining and Heavy Automotive Industries. Our up-skilling program involves pre-job placement training and ongoing employment placement, leading to a career in the expanding and prosperous mining industry. (http://www.blue-tongue.com.au/upskillingfor-trades.html)


SWSi’s Phillip Cue, Head Teacher, Plant and Heavy Vehicles, believes this package of customised services is an example of incremental not radical innovation:

While it is an incremental innovation, Phillip believes the approach is highly innovative: “We’ve brought all sorts of different components into the mix to cater for the end user.” Fellow SWSi Head Teacher Andrew Cochrane agrees and adds that the innovation is characterised by flexibility in approach to the training package by SWSi: “We have flexibility. We focus on core units and compulsory units, and then after that we can mix and match, in building whatever the customer really wants in the program.”

The immediate external drivers of this innovation are the need for skilled tradespeople in the mining industry across Australia and especially in Western Australia, and the direct request from Blue Tongue that SWSi assist Blue Tongue in meeting this need. Prior to the approach from Blue Tongue, the Institute had been approached regularly by individuals wanting to upgrade their qualifications so they could secure work in the mining industry. Phillip Cue explains: We’ve had many electricians and light vehicle mechanics come to us, asking to be allowed to join our apprentice classes. We fitted them in with our day classes where we could, then we tailored a program at night time. Blue Tongue came to us with a business need that required us to build on that experience. The SWSi staff were also driven by a desire to accommodate the learning styles and preferences of the tradespeople seeking a second trade certificate, says Andrew Cochrane: When these guys walk in the door they’re practical people, they’re used to pulling things apart to learn, so we’ve got to have a good variety of equipment for them to work on. You can’t sit them down and give them PowerPoints: they need to have the opportunity to actually practice on the equipment, so they are job ready when they get to the new workplaces. Phillip Cue describes how the teachers satisfy the participants’ need for hands-on practice: The first group from Blue Tongue rebuilt 12-litre Cummins engines in their first week. The engines weren’t working and we got them up and were able to run it. When these car mechanics saw the 12-litre engine shaking and rattling and rolling, they got a real buzz out of that. Phillip acknowledges the key role of Blue Tongue in its selection of the most appropriate participants: “They’re always looking for tradespeople who have good diagnostic skills and reasonable teamwork qualities, and so far the groups have been very cohesive, they’ve worked together, they’ve progressed together.”

“SWSi staff were also driven by a desire to accommodate the learning styles and preferences of the tradespeople...”

25 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

I don’t see it as a radical change: it’s incremental to train current trades people for another industry where they understand, for example, what an engine is, but they certainly don’t know what a 61 litre engine looks like. We also have to prepare them for all of the safety and the technical changes and the different types of components that they’re going to be experiencing in the new trade.

Drivers of the innovation

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

The partnership between the Institute and Blue Tongue commenced in 2011, and as part of this collaboration, by late 2012 over 60 tradespeople had been trained at SWSi’s Wetherill Park College. The innovation directly addresses a skills shortage in the mining industry. SWSi’s key role in the partnership is to provide an intense block of training, now for eight weeks – up from five weeks in the first iteration of the program – for groups of 12 tradespeople at any one time. Once the participants complete the training they stay connected with the SWSi lecturers and continue their learning online via the web application for producing internet-based courses, Moodle. Additionally, workplace supervisors, in Western Australia, monitor and log the participants’ development on the job.


TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

1.4 Case study: Blue Tongue Recruitmentcontinued...

26

Steps in the innovation process

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

The innovation arising from the collaboration between the Institute and Blue Tongue was built upon the previous experience and knowledge of the two parties. Andrew Cochrane believes that the innovation basically involved a reshaping of an earlier approach by SWSi, based on an understanding of what Blue Tongue’s clients wanted. This understanding was greatly assisted by Blue Tongue flying from Western Australia the eventual employers of the participants in the program. Andrew summarises: While our industry knowledge laid behind the Blue Tongue program, we also spoke to some of the end users to determine the job destination for the students and what items that they would like us to specialise in. The program that we have run over the last few years was redesigned to fit the needs of the destination of these new workers.

Andrew Cochrane describes how the innovation is continually improved, with the first cohort undertaking two blocks of training six months apart, but the approach has shifted to an eight week block: Because of the issues of getting them [students] released from their host employers, we’re doing eight weeks straight with them and then we collect work evidence afterwards. So it’s moved along, and we’re changing the units that have been required as well. Phillip Cue recognises the important role performed by Blue Tongue, including being able to place the course participants in jobs in the Western Australia mining industry: “It is quite difficult to get into a mine on your own, whereas Blue Tongue can take you to the right places and get you started.” Blue Tongue is also a key to the success of the program because “there’s more and more competition to get a job in a mine. It used to be easier: if you were a technical person you could get in, but now the push is about ‘show me the qualifications’.”

Skills used by SWSi The innovation also required some redesign of the workshop space at Wetherill Park College, says Phillip Cue: We freed up some space in our existing building which allowed us to tailor a workshop area and a classroom to match the needs of the participants and give the teachers the flexibility to have people working on many projects at the one time.

Within SWSi, Phillip Cue believes that the success of the program is in part due to committed teachers and supportive colleagues: The driving motivation of the two teachers that are running the program is critical, because they’ve changed it each time. We’ve run five programs, so that’s 60 students, and no two programs have been identical. Gary Martin and Robert Rigby have been the main two teachers. We would class them as team leaders. But on the back of that, the whole section has supported the program.


The two teachers got together to package it up. They said: ‘This is how we’re going to deliver it over this period of time and this is how we would timetable these aspects, and we’re going to bring these couple of other resources in and we’re going to introduce extra workplace health and safety because we know where these guys are all going’. Andrew Cochrane acknowledges that we have “a range of people in the section that like new challenges, so it’s worked well for them. They’ll grab hold of something new.” The management challenges of timetabling for irregular groups who require a workshop non-stop for eight weeks are considerable, but the bigger management challenges met by Andrew and Phillip are to liaise with Blue Tongue and its host employers in Western Australia, and to monitor the students’ ongoing learning when their working on the other side of the continent. Another successful strategy is the welcoming attitude the Institute has extended to both Blue Tongue and its clients, says Phillip. “We’ve been open with both the hosts of the candidates and the employer, Blue Tongue, inviting them to come in and meet with the participants regularly.”

It’s very brave of the guys. Some of them have given up businesses or fairly prominent positions in their workshops. They’ve got mortgages, they’ve got families and all those sorts of things, but so far everybody has attended the whole program.

The Institute staff carefully monitor a range of success indicators, from attendance to completion rates, to student and client satisfaction. After the first five groups, consisting of 60 participants in total, “the attendance record for the SWSi blocks of training is 100% and the completion rate, once all the group complete the required steps, looks like being 100%,” says Phillip Cue. The feedback from the candidates is exceptional, says Phillip Cue: “They love what they can do here in the workshops. They come in and concentrate on the technical side and they’re really thirsty for the information; they’ve been good to work with.” The feedback from Blue Tongue is also positive: “They feel that we are very flexible in adapting to their needs”. All stakeholders win, says Phillip: The mining industry wins and light vehicle mechanics gain career options that were previously unavailable to them. They change their skill base and their career base and gain a new lifestyle and they also end up with an increased salary. And Blue Tongue can supply workers for the mining sites and manufacturers. The SWSi staff also benefit, says Phillip: We’ve now got the ability to adapt quickly and respond to the requests of a commercial opportunity and build a course and get it up and running to satisfy customers’ needs across the board. A 300% increase in commercial funding through the section this year would be a conservative estimate of what we have achieved.

“The mining industry wins and light vehicle mechanics gain career options that were previously unavailable to them.”

27 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Andrew Cochrane also pays tribute to the courage of the participants who often have to resign from good jobs or close their businesses and relocate to Perth:

Identifiable outcomes of the innovation

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Phillip describes how the two teachers responded initially:


1.4 Case study: Blue Tongue Recruitmentcontinued...

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Interview with SWSi client: Tully Young, Managing Director, Blue Tongue

28

What is the service provided by SWSi to Blue Tongue?

From your point of view, what is innovative about the SWSi service?

We do all the recruitment and selection and hiring, then we deliver to TAFE the successful people who go to TAFE as full time employees of Blue Tongue. TAFE then conduct RPL [recognition of prior learning] with them. That RPL streamlines the process because they are already tradespeople; they’re not like starting apprentices. After the RPL they do gap training, to take them through the units of the heavy diesel qualification.

Their approach is innovative in that they can make it a simulated working environment, not just a classroom. They can simulate a work environment so the participants are put under pressure and they learn real life job skills. The SWSi staff know what environment the participants are going into, so they incorporate that in their training.

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

There’s a big focus in the training on the practical things that they have to know. It’s not a theoretical exercise: the TAFE staff are giving them practical, real life, hands-on skills that allow them to hit the ground running when they start in the workplace. The goal is to create a simulated working environment (of a repair workshop) at TAFE. That’s effectively what SWSi does for us. Why did you partner with SWSi? We researched training providers and we found SWSi’s attitude to partnering with us, with our unique requirements, was most definitely a factor. They were very flexible and innovative: we needed a partner that can think outside of the square a little bit because there is an old school system in place with a lot of apprenticeships. We needed a forward thinking, dynamic group of people and that’s certainly what they are. We do work with a few TAFEs and I would say that they’re right up there with that partnering approach. They had done some work with a lot of mobile equipment companies in New South Wales so they already had some track record with mobile plants.

They are innovative in their ability to provide a large block of training up front rather than over a few years. That’s a totally innovative model. Usually apprentices attend TAFE one day a month for three or four years; but this way they’re getting a lot of RPL up front, and they’re also getting a huge block of training. Rather than getting fragmented training over a long period of time, they’re getting a lot more upfront, and that’s very innovative. What was your business need that drove this collaboration with SWSi? We have a need to provide mechanics to our customers around Australia: they need people who are more advanced than just the standard light vehicle mechanic. We needed to take the headache out of the process for our clients and deliver a solution to meet their needs. We needed to offer innovative solutions to the skill shortages that our clients face.


They listened to us, they listened to what we wanted to achieve and what we wanted them to know. They consulted with us about what our clients wanted. They were flexible and they changed things according to what we needed. It took them some work to get the right model for how much they would do in TAFE, before the students would go out to the work sites. They were very flexible and there was to-ing and froing on how to get it right. They’re partners with us, and they’re happy to talk to our clients as well. What were the key actions or steps taken by SWSi staff to ensure the innovation succeeded?

What impact has innovation had on your clients and your organisation? It has had a huge impact on us. The federal government chose us out of 54 projects that they had approved for this type of program: we’ve been chosen in the top six for a story on how it’s all worked. It has allowed our organisation to become known for its innovation and providing a unique solution that is desperately needed. Our clients as well have really embraced it, as it’s fairly unique for the industry in WA. They see it as a critical solution to their long term need for people: they can upskill people from Australia; they don’t have to go overseas to get them. Is there anything else that you’d like to say about this partnership with SWSi? The partnership side of it is huge: without us working closely together, this sort of program doesn’t succeed. They’ve been very flexible: they accommodate different numbers of participants or any changes of market circumstances. If we need to delay a project for a few weeks, they’ve been accommodating on start dates. It is an excellent partnership and certainly the type of partnership that we need to make this program successful.

“SWSi had the right trainers on board and the trainers were happy to partner with us.”

29 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

SWSi had the right trainers on board and the trainers were happy to partner with us. When our clients came across from WA to see the set up at Wetherill Park College, one of the things our clients liked was that SWSi had the right people, the right trainers, behind it. Andrew Cochrane had a lead role in communicating to the clients about what the participants would learn, and the two trainers, Robert and Gary, were very passionate about the whole program. Without the consistency of the trainers, the program would be much less successful.

The key action they took was to allocate the right technical team to it. And they gave them the authority to be a stakeholder in the whole project. They also facilitated the client days that we have. They are always very accommodating and they have a good sense of marketing the program as well. Rather than just be a school or a TAFE, they actually have a very strong understanding of what is required to market and put on one of these days where clients come across to NSW from WA. They always look after our clients and ourselves when we have these days and these days are very successful.

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

What did the SWSi staff do to find out your needs?


1.5 Case study: Telstra

This case study illustrates core elements of the SWSi innovate model:

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Relationships built: The relationships formed between Telstra and SWSi not only involved formal mechanisms such as a steering group to oversee the pilot program and a project control group to oversee the operational aspects of the initiative, but also a range of informal mechanisms such as regular teleconferences. Value created and added: Telstra sought and SWSi then developed a flexible, online, on-the-job approach to recognising the current skills and learning of Telstra’s technical staff. A systematic approach taken: To ensure the innovative venture was successful, the provision of the services was closely monitored and the pilot project thoroughly evaluated.

30 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Description of the innovation The Telstra Technical Career and Qualification Pathway initiative is a joint venture between Telstra Operations and TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute (SWSi). The broad aim of the initiative is to recognise and refresh the skills of Telstra’s technical workforce using the new Integrated Telecommunications Training Package. The long-term outcome from the initiative sought by Telstra is that its technical workforce will have further success in delivering information and communication technologies (ICT) services and solutions to its customers. The venture involves the provision of ICT qualifications, with each unit of competency mapped and contextualised to Telstra’s day-today work activities and job functions across their seven lines of business. The pilot program in 2011 serviced a total of 428 participants, involving six qualifications ranging from Certificate IV in Telecommunications to the Advanced Diplomas in Telecommunications and Project Management.

The service provided by SWSi for Telstra since early 2011 is fully online, uses a range of web-based tools, and concentrates on recognition of the participants’ prior experience and current workplace skills. SWSi’s online contact with the students is assisted by the Telstra participants’ managers, sometimes in a mentoring capacity, encouraging their staff to engage with and reflect on the learning taking place.

Driver of the innovation Sylvia Arthur, Director of the Electrotechnology, ICT and Design Faculty at the Institute, believes the key driver of the innovation was the identification by Telstra of its need to invest in its workforce to ensure the company remained ahead of the challenges it faces in an increasingly competitive industry. Following discussions with Telstra in 2010 and the clarification of this need, the Institute worked in collaboration with Telstra to use the new ICT10 Integrated Telecommunications Training Package to recognise and refresh the skills of Telstra’s technical workforce.


Telstra wants to change the perception that training happens in the classroom. To change that mindset, the individual needs to identify what they’ve learnt on the job. That’s the mindset that Telstra is in the process of changing. That change of style in the way people can learn on the job is the innovation that Telstra want.

Steps in the innovation process Negotiations between the Institute and Telstra continued throughout 2010 and a pilot program commenced in 2011. A steering group was established to oversee the pilot program and a Project Control Group was established to oversee the operational aspects of the work.

Some challenges were encountered in meeting Telstra’s requirements, says Sylvia Arthur: We were faced with the challenge that this was a national project, and it was fully online and delivered virtually, which meant we never saw participants. Therefore it was critical that we implemented strategies to ensure its success while maintaining quality and a customer focus.

Skills used by SWSi staff SWSi staff used a range of skills to design, build, deliver and sustain this program for and with Telstra. For example, Sylvia Arthur underlines the use of the skills to customise existing materials to suit Telstra’s context: “We even had units added to TAFE NSW courses to address the needs of Telstra.” SWSi’s Teaching and Learning Consultant for this project, Deborah Willmer, recounts how the team took a pre-existing assessment instrument and substantially improved it for the Telstra project: The assessment tool we’ve used to support this project, our assessors have put their own touches on it to make it more userfriendly. We were happy with it as an authentic tool that was valid and reliable but we wanted it to have greater usability and that’s what we’ve achieved thanks to our assessors.

“Telstra wants to change the perception that training happens in the classroom.”

31 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Using teleconferencing, TAFE subject matter experts met with Telstra subject matter experts to ensure the emerging program was developed according to the customer’s requirements. Sylvia Arthur explains: “All tools were written in ‘Telstra language’ but referenced appropriate documentation to ensure the rigour of the program was sufficient to deem someone competent”.

To assist TAFE coordination, a hub was established at the Faculty office at Macquarie Fields College, where SWSi team members including the Lead Assessor Team were relocated. A focus of the TAFE staff was the construction of a web-based assessment tool, built to Telstra’s specifications. Other operational strategies included conducting regular teleconferences with all participants; establishing a direct hotline for students to access 24/7; and assigning TAFE assessors to specific Telstra participants, depending upon their area of expertise and Telstra line of business.

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Sylvia Arthur considers the fully online approach is highly innovative as it changes the participants’ perception of training, and this was a deliberate intention of Telstra:


1.5 Case study: Telstra continued...

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

SWSi Project Officer Inas Sedrak describes the skills used by the Institute staff to ensure the initial prototype was as good as possible:

32

What was really beneficial and really impacted on the success of the program was the amount of time and effort put in by both the client and us to develop the initial product and to contextualise it. We wanted to make sure that right from the beginning we met all of Telstra’s goals that they wanted to meet through this product. The time spent on that initial product was one of the major success factors in the program. Sylvia Arthur says that the innovative Telstra program required TAFE staff to develop new skills: There was a whole lot of capability development in our teams, around working with a purely online program. There was a lot of capability development around the recognition tool as a valid, rigorous, robust approach. We had some philosophical discussions about it.

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

She recognises the contribution of the SWSi Lead Assessor Team, led by Phillip Lennon, Head Teacher Telecommunications. “Without their commitment and willingness to embrace new approaches to RPL, the project outcomes could not have been achieved.”

Sylvia also pays tribute to the collaborative approach taken by Telstra: “One of the underpinning reasons for the success of the program was the collegiality and the collaboration between the two organisations.”

Identifiable outcomes of the innovation Sylvia Arthur is delighted with the results from the 2011 pilot: “We had an overall completion rate of 95%.” She believes the partnership will result in “Telstra’s technical workforce being successful in delivering ICT solutions and services to its customers and consumers” and she is pleased that in late 2012 “a new group of 116 participants enrolled, with another 200 on a waiting list”. Early in 2012 a Project Implementation Review (PIR) of the venture was conducted by Telstra with the participants and their “one-up” managers as well as the SWSi Project Control Group and Assessor Team. Sylvia says the findings “are extremely positive, with the report recommending that the Pathway Program become BAU – Business As Usual”. Sylvia believes that “Telstra is embracing change and sees learning as a vehicle to support their journey into the future. The relationship that Telstra and SWSi have developed is the power behind that vehicle.”


Interview with a client: Mike Brassington, Senior Organisational Development Specialist, Telstra

We partnered with SWSi to instigate a technical leadership development program directly aligned to Telstra’s business needs. There were a number of reasons we chose SWSi to assist us with launching the program. SWSi subject matter experts had an in-depth practical knowledge of telecommunications technology; and SWSi co-designed the competency standards for the ICT10 Information Communication Technology Training Package. At the time they were the latest standards which represented the emerging technologies aligned to Telstra’s business. To ensure the success of the program, SWSi worked with our technical specialists, our subject matter experts, to develop the program materials and tools to optimise participant experience. This collaborative approach ensured any and all learning interventions met the needs of individuals and their business units.

Last but not least, SWSi leadership team helped us secure Federal and State Government funding in support of our ICT10 program. From your point of view what is innovative about the SWSi service? It challenged SWSi, as it challenges most providers to Telstra, to support a national program, with our people dispersed across all states and territories. Working with SWSi we used the full suite of communication mediums, technical and personal, to achieve the best possible participant experience. Initially this challenged SWSi. SWSi then assembled a small team of assessors and coaches to engage with our people and personalise the experience for a geographically dispersed group. That presented some challenges but we were able to do that with this dedicated team of assessors and coaches.

33 We were adamant that we didn’t want conventional training delivered to our people. As mentioned earlier, we required a progressive “self-directed”, experiential approach to personal and professional development. The TAFE NSW – SWSi team was able to adapt existing business processes and work practices to fully meet our requirements.

“We partnered with SWSi to instigate a technical leadership development program directly aligned to Telstra’s business needs.”

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

A key aspect of the program was, we, Telstra didn’t want to send our people on yet another training course. We have moved away from training for the sake of training. The materials that we developed with SWSi enabled a selfdevelopment approach. Participants through this process determined whether they met the competency standards or not. If they didn’t meet

those standards, then we would work with SWSi, our own internal learning and development people, and of course participant managers, to identify the experiences required for our people to satisfy their development needs.

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

What service is provided to Telstra by SWSi?


1.5 Case study: Telstra continued...

“It was SWSi’s ability to adapt and fully understand what we were trying to achieve...” TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

What was your business need that drove this collaboration with SWSi?

34

Telstra is a leading telecommunications service provider; our services are now far broader than a conventional and traditional “telco”. We’re into areas such as cloud network computing and next generation technologies. We had to put in place an infrastructure where we could continually refresh the capabilities of our workforce.

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

One of the key business drivers is Telstra’s employee value proposition; the attraction and retention of talent is absolutely critical. The ICT10 pilot program allows Telstra to put in place a vocational career pathway. This initiative further enhances our value proposition and clearly demonstrates that Telstra takes very seriously the development of its technical workforce. It allows them to progress through the organisation. And from a career perspective, it can help people move from being a technical operator right the way through to being a technical specialist or technologist. From a customer perspective, it really does bode well for us that we have a highly qualified, wellcredentialed workforce, especially given our customers’ quality programs, as we provide a range of professional ICT services to many different customers, including first tier customers such as banks and airlines. What did the SWSi staff do to find out your needs? We established a joint working party at the initial scoping phase of the project. We called it a steering group. The steering group’s aim was to clearly understanding Telstra’s business requirements and the many objectives of the program. Then put in place the governance to

ensure the program met these objectives including Telstra’s ability to employ emerging technologies to better service its customers. Through our well disciplined governance process and very strong stakeholder management plan we have put into effect strategies to enhance the participant experience and enjoy an exceptional completion rate. What were the key actions taken by SWSi staff to ensure the innovation succeeded? It was SWSi’s ability to adapt and fully understand what we were trying to achieve from a business and human resource management perspective. The governance process and the stakeholder management that we put in place were excellent. Also we put in a very rigorous participant tracking and reporting mechanism. We had a process initially during the pilot phase where we had a very efficient, effective issue resolution process where our people could escalate any issues whatsoever. It is a credit to SWSi that their response to date has been excellent in terms of issue resolution. What impact has the innovation had on your staff? We’ve had the business units come back to us seeking more places to participate in the program. I receive questions every week about whether we’re going to run the program next year and beyond. There’s a school of thought that we should make it an enterprise wide program. In fact, we extended the pilot program and we have a further 116 Telstra staff now participating. One of the key outcomes is how we now perceive human resource development in our business, and how we develop professionals.


Are you conducting an evaluation of the program? Yes, at the beginning of 2011 we conducted an initial PIR (Program Implementation Review) of the pilot program. We learned much from the pilot and built these learnings into the extended program where we are realising more success. We will be running a subsequent PIR because of the extended program. Are you building peoples’ careers or helping them build their own careers, rather than just helping people gain a qualification? The qualifications and the development process is adding value from a business perspective. It allows us to recognise our people’s considerable skills and experiences.

Having the ability to build accreditations and qualifications into a value proposition for our customers is important for us. For example, we can say to our customers that we have people who have advanced diplomas in project management and they’ve also gone on to attain industry certification through the Australian Institute of Project Management. This provides our customers’ with confidence that we are an industry leader capable of delivering ICT solutions that add value to their businesses as well as our own. In the way that we now go about developing our talent, and how we develop professionals, we are moving away from purely in role training. We are introducing more holistic personal and professional development programs as well as multiple career pathways for our people, and in this case our technical talent. We are going beyond the idea of a learning organisation; we’re getting into double, if not triple, loop learning. We’re well advanced in developing a high performance culture necessary for a market leader.

35 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

“We are introducing more holistic personal and professional development programs...”

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Rather than looking at purely training solutions to develop capability, we have a self-directed model of self-development and a collaborative experiential approach to address any and all capability gaps.


1.6 Case study: Seqwater

This case study illustrates core elements of the SWSi innovate model:

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Relationships built: Face to face visits to South East Queensland by the SWSi staff in addition to very regular email and phone interaction have underpinned strong relationships between SWSi and Seqwater. Value created and added: In response to the request from Seqwater, SWSi uses a mixture of delivery strategies to help Seqwater’s leaders involved in the program to develop as a team, not just as individuals. A systematic approach taken: Beginning with a very detailed tender specification, this innovative activity is characterised by extensive joint planning.

36 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Description of the innovation

Drivers of the innovation

Seqwater is South East Queensland’s bulk water supply provider. To ensure the quantity and quality of the region’s water supplies meet Australian Drinking Water Quality Guidelines it provides efficient management of catchments, water storages and treatment services.

In February 2012, Seqwater issued a request for tender for an organisation to provide training for its staff in the Diploma of Water Operations. Seqwater wanted to increase the leadership capability of its team leaders and supervisors working in the water treatment and dam operations areas. SWSi was invited to respond to the tender and set about assembling a group of staff from several faculties to offer a package of services for Seqwater.

This innovation involves TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute (SWSi) developing, delivering and assessing the Diploma of Water Operations for Seqwater, using a combination of face-to-face workshops and online learning. The innovative program is provided for Seqwater staff who are situated at various locations around South East Queensland.

The Seqwater tender request presented a significant commercial opportunity for the Institute, remembers Kristie O’Brien, who was occupying the Institute’s tender writing position at the time, and was the main internal champion behind the tender response. Given her previous role as the Business Consultant in the Manufacturing and Transport Faculty, the faculty responsible for the provision of water operations training, she was insistent that SWSi could develop the capability for this project in order to address Seqwater’s need. Given our inability to respond to similar opportunities previously, and our position in the water operations landscape more broadly, it was viewed as an opportunity that had to be pursued, at all costs.


Kristie nominates SWSi Chemical Technology lecturer Dianne Werden as the main driver of the development of both the educational product and the staff capability required for this innovation. Dianne has “worked tirelessly to ensure quality and high standards in both areas”.

Steps in the innovation process

Externally, the key driver of the innovation was Seqwater’s tender request. Dianne Werden acknowledges that Seqwater’s requirements went beyond the basic delivery of the Diploma:

The initial brief focused only on water treatment electives, but as the project progressed Seqwater broadened the brief to include dam operations training, in order to be more inclusive of the full range of roles in the water operations area. SWSi accommodated this and other changes, in implementing the training, says Kristie O’Brien:

Kristie O’Brien notes that this external driver “presented not only a good commercial opportunity, but also provided SWSi with a catalyst to grow in this area, with the potential to access further opportunities in the water operations sector following the Seqwater project”.

We used Seqwater’s policies and procedures to inform the content of our delivery, ensuring a highly customised and relevant product. And to continually improve the program, the Institute team sought constant feedback from Seqwater in the set-up phase. Kristie adds: “Constant, open, honest, two-way dialogue between SWSi and Seqwater underpins the improvement process”. Students complete an evaluation form at the conclusion of each delivery session to provide feedback and enable SWSi to understand what is working and which areas need improvement. A major evaluation review is planned at the completion of the current project.

37 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

This innovation involves TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute (SWSi) developing, delivering and assessing the Diploma of Water Operations for Seqwater...

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Seqwater wanted the program to also foster a culture of learning and leadership among the participants. Seqwater has people who supervise large areas of the state, they have big responsibilities and if anything goes wrong, they’re accountable. They wanted these people to take on leadership roles, not just gain a Diploma of Water Operations.

SWSi staff were influenced in the way they responded to Seqwater by the detailed end user requirements set out in the tender specifications. They were more than willing to respond in writing to those specifications and were committed to ongoing discussions with Seqwater in the development phase of the project.


1.6 Case study: Seqwater continued...

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Seqwater is South East Queensland’s bulk water supply provider.

38 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

An initiative taken by SWSi for some of the faceto-face workshops was to fly two trainers to Seqwater in Queensland, enabling an experienced SWSi trainer to work in tandem with a highly experienced industry expert from the water sector. Debra Jolley, SWSi’s Director of the Business and Finance Faculty, believes that this combination of strengths added value and impact to the program. Online resources to complement the face-toface training were appreciated by the participants in the program, says Vivien Gazaleh, the SWSi teacher of Business involved in the face-to-face workshops: The participants like the fact that they have somewhere online to go, a week prior to the workshop, to actually download the resources and read up before the workshop. They also like the fact that they can upload their assessment online. The participants are very receptive to what we have created.

Skills used by SWSi staff Kristie O’Brien believes that some of the most significant skills used by SWSi staff to support this innovation were the development and maintenance of a strong rapport and relationship with Seqwater in the initial stages, “through the ‘single point of contact’ approach”. This approach enabled SWSi staff to “fully understand Seqwater’s specific requirements, the desired outcomes and expectations, the drivers and culture, and for us to be flexible in our responses to these elements”. Following the establishment phase, the delivery of the program interstate also required “time management and extensive preparation to ensure that this is a success”. Other skills used by SWSi staff included the development of “internal relationships and commitment to outcomes”, across the faculties of Manufacturing and Transport and Business and Finance. Kristie believes that hard work was the ultimate key to success: Pure hard work, commitment and dedication to the project and to SWSi was crucial. We put in many, many, many hours and long, late nights putting tender responses and delivery and assessment schedules together; calculating costs of delivery, travel, development, resources and allocation and management of budgets; liaising with Seqwater; developing and creating a functional Moodle – a web application for producing internet-based courses – for Seqwater participants’ immediate use; visiting Seqwater in Brisbane as part of the implementation strategy; developing and writing delivery and assessment resources; mentoring new teaching staff; resolving challenges; and managing staff.


• Kristie O’Brien – Business Consultant – Manufacturing and Transport Faculty. Key roles: Single point of contact throughout the project; client relationship management; writer of tender response; developer of Seqwater Moodle; manager of project budget; ongoing management of project • Dianne Werden – Head Teacher – Chemical Technology. Key roles: Primary point for delivery and assessment; sourced internal SWSi capability in the water operations area; mentored new water operations teachers; developed delivery and assessment resources and related workbooks for Moodle; deliverer of key competent of the program in Queensland; managed the enrolment of the cohort • Vivien Gazaleh – Teacher – Business and Finance. Key roles: delivery of business units in Queensland; creation of Moodle workbook resources for the business units • Greg Helm – Teacher – Chemical Technology. Recruited through SWSi’s water related networks to assist with delivery and consultation on the project, based on his extensive experience in the water industry including over 25 years with Sydney Water; mentored by Dianne Werden to assist with training and assessment capability and understanding of VET; delivered water treatment units.

Outcomes of the innovation Kristie O’Brien is confident Seqwater will benefit from this innovative training approach because “they now have a highly specific program that meets their identified needs and will result in a group of students receiving one of the first Diploma of Water Operations qualifications nationally”. She also attributes SWSi’s recent winning of additional business with Seqwater to “our response in the Diploma of Water Operations program”. Long-term, some other benefits she sees for the whole water industry are that “individuals who are working in the water operations area will now be able to access a comprehensive RPL/gap training program”. We have provided the market with access to a higher level Water Operations qualification, closing a significant gap that has existed in the Water Operations sector for some time. As a result of the capability and product development undertaken as part of our response to Seqwater, SWSi is now able to offer this program to other clients operating in the Water Operations area.

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A snapshot of the key staff roles in the initiative indicates the wide range of skills required:

39 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

“...individuals who are working in the water operations area will now be able to access a comprehensive RPL/gap training program”


1.6 Case study: Seqwater continued...

SWSi client: Joe Bufalino, Learning and Organisational Development Advisor, Seqwater

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What is the service provided by SWSi and how did it come about?

40

SWSi has been working with us since April 2012 when the team responded to a tender we put out for the provision of a Diploma of Water Operations. The SWSi proposal was, by far, the most aligned to our needs. It was very comprehensive and very easy to read and it immediately made sense to engage this team. I think this is the first Diploma of Water Operations being offered in Queensland, that I’m aware of. We have 16 participants in the program, all at a senior level in the organisation; at least at coordinator level or above. What is innovative about what SWSi is providing?

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

We regard the project and the connection with SWSi as a really good example of best practice in partnering. Since we started with them, it’s been a good example of how to keep things moving by working together and being flexible.

There are two things that are especially characteristic of the program. We are adopting a ‘learning group’ approach to this program. We wanted to keep the group together so they could cross-fertilise and they could connect, at the workshops, at least seven or eight or 10 days within a year, which is more than they would ever do in work operations. There are 16 people from across operational, technical, scientific areas, and they all have the same reason for coming to work and that is to supply fit for purpose water to a whole range of end users. The other innovative aspect which SWSi proposed and we saw as a perfect approach is the blend of delivery methodologies, involving a combination of face-to-face classroom learning, where the participants receive individual support, and the introduction of Moodle technology (a web application for producing internet-based courses) in this organisation which we had not explored before. That’s become a very useful blend, particularly given that the participants come from different parts of the organisation and given our geographic decentralisation. Staff are spread all


What was your business need that drove this collaboration with SWSi? We’re building more and more developmental pathways for our staff. We have, for the first time, brought on trainees this year at two levels, and we are now conducting a Certificate II, Certificate III, Certificate IV and now a Diploma in Water Operations. Up until late last year the approach was ad hoc. While there’s an obvious need to grow our technical, operations and scientific skills, we wanted to infuse into the organisation some of the other competency areas such as leadership and continuous improvement, because there is a real business need for succession planning. The design of the diploma was driven by the need to enable people to become more rounded in their approaches as leaders and managers.

Once we awarded the project almost immediately we began communicating with SWSi – in long phone conversations and in lengthy emails – around options for delivering the diploma. We unpacked the proposal with SWSi and discussed how we were going to go about contextualising the content and how we would plan the delivery. Through that process, and through those long conversations with Kristie O’Brien [Business Consultant, SWSi], we clarified expectations. SWSi understood that we wanted them to be really conscious of the workload of

Originally SWSi quoted for a group of ten participants but we then had 16 managers express interest, from several different disciplines, so SWSi worked with us on reviewing and finalising the electives. That was a good example of how both organisations were able to cooperatively modify the program to achieve an excellent result. Kristie O’Brien, SWSi’s business consultant, and three of the lecturers, came for two days at the end of July, and we clarified the scope again, mapped out some of the principles around how we wanted the process to work, and SWSi was clear about how we wanted that done. Armed with information about its role, the SWSi team was able to get a good understanding of each of the participants even before the group came together. And then we all got together – 16 participants, the four SWSi people and myself – for a three hour session where the participants became very clear about what the program looked like and how it would run. There was also a lot of demystifying of the Moodle, because that could have become quite an intimidating idea for our people. As it turned out it’s become the opposite, it’s become their friend. When we had that gathering of the 16 participants, the emphasis was on ‘let’s have a real conversation about how we see it running’, for instance, about how SWSi staff see their involvement as lecturers. The participants needed to be reminded that they were in an adult learning environment: they were highly professional, highly skilled people and the program was also about sharing learning and extracting the richness of their work areas. The feedback I get from the group is that they’re treated like professionals.

“We regard the project and the connection with SWSi as a really good example of best practice in partnering.”

41 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

How did the SWSi staff find out about your needs?

the program participants, and in particular their seasonal workload. Those sort of basic needs were quickly understood by SWSi.

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over South East Queensland and yet they can still learn. And they have options for how to do their research, and how to submit their assessments. That’s been an innovation which is well supported by SWSi.


1.6 Case study: Seqwater continued...

What were the key actions taken by SWSi staff to ensure the innovation succeeded? Given my role in this project, I was very confident that we were going to make this work well together. Once we let the 16 people “go”, we were then in action mode, all of us, and the SWSi team never stopped talking with us. We’ve been talking ever since through regular phone calls and emails. And the individual trainers have kept in regular contact with participants.

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The trainers are very proactive: they copy me into all the emails that they send to the group, they’re ahead of the game, they’re very accommodating and supportive. We’re setting up the participants for success.

42

The commitment from SWSi to contextualise the content has been quite remarkable and they’ve been very tenacious about that, because it’s not an easy thing to do. They haven’t let up on that, they’ve been determined to keep up the relevance of the program. What’s important is the speed of SWSi’s response to the participants, because whenever anxiety arises in a participant, the issue is quickly resolved. That is really important. What impact has the innovation had on your staff and your organisation? It’s been very positive at all levels of the organisation.

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

There are two major impacts. One is the fact that we’ve connected with an organisation, SWSi, that is very professional and very committed to business partnering. They are a professional outfit and it’s refreshing for us to have a partner who is prepared to walk with us on this journey. So that’s been a good thing for the organisation: it’s been a really positive experience for us. We’re getting closer to SWSi, in terms of a working partnership. And two, for the participants, the main impact, from the feedback I get, is that there is a lot of work for them to do, they’re aware of that, but they just seem to be highly motivated and highly committed to getting through the program. Everyone’s become fully engaged with the concept of gaining a high order qualification, and learning in a really supportive environment.

“I was very confident that we were going to make this work well together.”


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Section 2. Exemplars illustrating the dimensions of innovation at SWSi

43 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation


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Section 2. Exemplars illustrating the dimensions of innovation at SWSi

44

This section contains a range of exemplars, that is, short descriptions of innovative activity at SWSi, mapped to the SWSi innovation matrix; a matrix that identifies the dimensions of innovation at SWSi.

This section not only records a range of innovations in SWSi, but also shows that innovation has become embedded in various areas within the Institute, building on earlier work by staff in the Bright Ideas program and in the examples described in the 2011 publication Improving Workforce Capabilities. The 20 dimensions of innovation set out in Table 1 were used to analyse each of the case studies and examplars in this publication. Staff involved in each of the case studies and exemplars were able to respond to the questions related to each dimension, illustrating the depth of each innovation. In each of the exemplars set out in this section, the exemplar is summarised in relation to Table 2.0.

Table 2.0. 20 dimensions of innovations at SWSi

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

DIMENSIONS

RELATED QUESTIONS

Type

Is the innovation a product, process or organisational innovation; or a mix of types?

Extent

Incremental or radical innovation?

Source

Initial source of ideas: SWSi staff or customers/clients?

Drivers

Predominantly pushed by internal or external drivers?

Internal driver

Major internal driver: top-down or bottom-up?

External driver

Major external driver: the market, competitors, technology or policy?

Major collaborator

The major collaborator group: students, industry clients, suppliers, government departments, or a mix?

Data

Customer feedback or other market/industry data to inform the innovation: gathered formally and/or informally?

Newness

Predominantly a new or improved idea/ method/ approach/ process?

Internal champion

Championed by the teaching or non-teaching areas or both?

Funding

Funded (e.g. by specific project funds) or not?

Management

Managed predominantly by the SWSi manager, or in collaboration with the client?

Testing

Innovation prototypes field tested or not?

Skills

What skills were contributed by the SWSi team and external people?

Functions

To support innovation, internal processes or functions invented or realigned?

Maturity

Launched in last six months; 6-12 months; longer?

Benefits to individuals

Types of benefits for individuals: qualifications; confidence; other?

Benefits for clients

Types of benefits for clients: performance; productivity; other?

Measurement

Impacts measured; to be measured?

Celebration

Success celebrated formally or informally?


2.1 Innovation exemplar: Towards sustainability

SUMMARY

Type

The innovation is primarily an organisational change but also includes specific outputs and products.

Extent

It is an example of incremental, not radical innovation; a steady, determined and progressive approach.

Source

Initial source of ideas were stakeholders who helped champion sustainability as one of the top five focus areas for SWSi, moving towards 2015.

Drivers

Predominantly pushed by internal drivers, particularly the SWSi Sustainability Reference Group, but also responsive to industry benchmarks.

Internal driver

The major internal driver is the Reference Group, but the Students’ Association and other internal parties are very supportive.

External driver

The major external drivers are the stakeholders who helped formulate SWSi’s Strategy 2015.

Major collaborator

The major collaborators are a mix of students, staff, industry clients, and TAFE NSW.

Data

Extensive data collected about sustainability policies and practices.

Newness

The sustainability initiatives were new for SWSi.

Internal champion

The initiatives were equally championed by the teaching and non-teaching areas.

Funding

Newly allocated funds were used to employ the Leader, Environmental Sustainability, however cost savings are already resulting.

Management

Managed by Leader, Environmental Sustainability who reports to the SWSi Sustainability Reference Group and SWSi’s Board of Directors.

Testing

All innovation prototypes are field tested before wide implementation.

Skills

Skills contributed by SWSi team and stakeholders include research, listening, engagement and coordination skills.

Functions

To support innovation, the internal processes or functions are invented or realigned.

Maturity

The strategy was launched in 2011.

Benefits to individuals

Benefits for individuals range from students learning about the value of recycling to some staff gaining sustainability qualifications.

Benefits for clients

Clients of SWSi will benefit long-term because of the specialist, in-depth knowledge SWSi staff will be able to bring to future assignments.

Measurement

The Leader, Environmental Sustainability has collected a raft of quantitative data to monitor costs, savings and other measurable items.

Celebration

Key events are celebrated such as winning silver in the 2012 TAFE NSW Innovation and Excellence Awards in the category of Sustainability.

Description of the innovation

Origin of the ideas

Beginning in 2011, SWSi has successfully created an environmental sustainability framework, entitled SWSi Strategy 2015 – Towards Sustainability, to guide the organisation along its sustainability journey. Most of the sustainability planning and policy is new to the organisation, but innovation is being progressed in a determined fashion as SWSi attempts to promptly position itself as a leader in this emerging field.

The strategy emerged out of the 2011 planning workshops SWSi conducted with internal and external stakeholders to gauge the strategic direction of the organisation for its three year management plan. During that consultation process the stakeholders nominated the region’s adaptation to climate change as one of the five key focus areas that SWSi should support. From this point in time onwards, SWSi took up the challenge and adopted a series of environmental sustainability polices and plans which now direct the actions of the Institute towards sustainability.

In recognition of the substantial changes at SWSi, in late 2012 this innovation won a TAFE NSW Silver at the Innovation and Excellence Awards. Some of the sustainability initiatives already implemented, such as the Institute-wide ban on the sale of bottled water, are innovative for all TAFE NSW Institutes.

45 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

DIMENSION

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Table 2.1 Dimensions of innovation at SWSi: summary highlights of ‘Towards Sustainability’


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2.1 Innovation exemplar: Towards sustainability continued...

46

Drivers of the innovation

Skills used by SWSi staff

The SWSi ‘Strategy 2015’ workshops in 2011 were the catalyst for the organisation’s sustainability drive. Since then the SWSi Sustainability Reference Group, comprising SWSi staff, has overseen the development and delivery of environmental sustainability initiatives. In May 2012, SWSi recruited Darren O’Connell to perform the new role of Leader, Environmental Sustainability, and Darren is now responsible for coordinating and communicating sustainability initiatives across the organisation.

The skills used by the staff involved in sustainability include the following:

• listening skills to ensure that the SWSi Strategy Towards Sustainability represents stakeholders’ input and direction

Steps in the innovation process

Darren O’Connell and colleagues also test prototypes:

SWSi’s sustainability drive addresses both the operational sustainability of SWSi’s facilities as well as educating people about the issues and initiatives: ‘education for sustainability’. The Sustainability Reference Group takes feedback from college and facilities management staff to address issues such as green building design, energy and water efficiency and waste avoidance. Feedback from the teaching faculties allows programs to be developed that satisfy teacher qualifications in sustainability and staff sustainability induction training.

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Meanwhile Darren O’Connell develops and maintains relationships with a range of external parties including the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage and the Regional Centre of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development in Greater Western Sydney.

• research skills to monitor findings and developments in this fast changing field

• engagement and promotion skills to involve all staff in the issues raised by sustainability • coordination skills to bring together multiple stakeholders to work towards a common goal.

The model I work on is this: if there is an innovation, say recycling, it’s not something we want to do as a blanket approach but something that we will trial somewhere and then get traction and work out what all the bugs are and all the issues. So we do test the initiatives and trial them just to make sure that they are effective and successful.

Steps and roles The main approach used by Darren and his colleagues is Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA), consistent with the ISO 14001 International Standard for Environmental Management Systems. The PDCA management cycle has resulted in these concrete outcomes: environmental policies and plans prepared; strategies and actions implemented; data gathered to determine the effectiveness of actions; and processes reviewed and amended, as needed, for continuous improvement.

The SWSi ‘Strategy 2015’ workshops in 2011 were the catalyst for the organisation’s sustainability drive.


Figure 2.1 Outcomes for students, staff and the organisation of SWSi’s Towards Sustainability strategy

1. Environmental sustainability is now a key focus area for SWSi's strategic direction. 2. Almost 400 SWSi staff have completed an accredited sustainability unit as part of staff sustainability induction program. 3. A number of SWSi staff have completed higher level sustainability qualifications including the Vocational Graduate Certificate in Education for Sustainability and Carbon Management. 4. Electricity and water savings have been made at SWSi for the past two years. 5. Bottled water has been removed from sale at SWSi canteens in order to encourage more sustainable water choices. Water fountains have been installed around all SWSi Colleges and refillable bottles are available from the Students' Association. 6. Energy efficient T5 fluorescent lighting has progressively been installed at SWSi colleges to replace old fluoro lights for improved energy savings. 7. Environmental data collection and online monitoring systems have been established to check on the efficiency of environmental initiatives.

9. SWSi has established sustainability award and recognition programs to reward staff for excellence and commitment to sustainable work and teaching practices. 10. SWSi is an active participant in the TAFE NSW Enviro Officers Network and the TAFE NSW Education for Sustainability Reference Group, sharing experiences and knowledge with the wider TAFE NSW audience.

Darren O’Connell explained why this systematic PDCA approach is appropriate:

The Towards Sustainability strategy is a relatively new innovation at SWSi, only commencing in 2011. To ensure it becomes embedded in teaching and learning practices, SWSi has established a management structure to assist in its implementation. The Board of Directors has a monthly sustainability update and the Sustainability Reference Group meets every six weeks. Implementation of the adopted SWSi Environmental Sustainability Plan 2012-2015 will be reviewed by the Sustainability Reference Group and reported to the Board.

Outcomes of the innovation The main beneficiaries of SWSi’s drive for sustainability are its students, says Darren. “They will be studying in more environmentallysound buildings, they will be taught about sustainable work and living practices and they will gain an employment edge when they graduate with green skills for sustainability.” Three identifiable outcomes of the innovation include reduced energy and water consumption and savings on utilities costs; an increase in the number of skilled trainers in the field of ‘skills for sustainability’; and more students educated in skills for sustainability. A practical outcome that awaits the Institute is around savings from energy costs, says Darren O’Connell: “If we can reduce 20% off our electricity bill by 2015, we’ll be saving $700,000 a year.”

47 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

I broke down the project into Plan-Do-Check-Act because, for me, the International Standard for Environmental Management Systems works that way, and I think we need to follow that process for any new system. That’s our recipe for success in the end. We can’t go off on a piecemeal approach and try and deal with the issue of sustainability for a large organisation. We have to take a more systematic approach.

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8. SWSi has partnered with the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage under the Sustainability Advantage Program to complete a number of modules in vision, commitment & planning; resource efficiency; and carbon management. Partnerships have also been formed with the Regional Centre of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development in Greater Western Sydney.


2.2 Innovation exemplar: Beautifying Bonnyrigg

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Table 2.2. Dimensions of innovations at SWSi: summary highlights of ‘Beautifying Bonnyrigg’

48 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

DIMENSION

SUMMARY

Type

This was primarily an organisational innovation involving multiple stakeholders collaborating in order to offer training and employment opportunities for indigenous, mature age and youth job seekers.

Extent

It was a radical innovation for SWSi because it had not been attempted before, in this exact format, and it required many stakeholders to be engaged in and support the process.

Source of ideas

The initial idea came from Newleaf Communities.

Drivers

The external drivers included, on the one hand, policies and, on the other, Newleaf Communities, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Employment Service providers and others.

Internal driver

The internal drivers in SWSi included the Horticulture section who had wanted to participate in such an innovation for several years. The two faculties involved were Tourism, Hospitality, Primary Industries and the Arts Faculty and the Employment Preparation and Social Inclusion Faculty.

External driver

Major external driver was supportive policy.

Major collaborator

The major collaborator groups were Newleaf Communities, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), MG My Gateway, a range of job service agencies, and two faculties of SWSi, detailed as above.

Data

Student feedback and skill development was monitored throughout.

Newness

This combination of stakeholders and goals was new.

Internal champion

The innovation was championed by the Horticulture teaching section.

Funding

Funding support was received from DEEWR in particular.

Management

The initiative was managed by Newleaf Communities and SWSi.

Testing

Innovative delivery methods were field tested, assessed and improved.

Skills

The skills contributed by the SWSi team included educational leadership, training consulting services, and the provision of literacy and numeracy support. Other stakeholders contributed their specialist skills.

Functions

To support the innovation, SWSi’s internal processes were modified; for example, SWSi staff needed to be on site with the students.

Maturity

The innovation was launched in early 2012.

Benefits to individuals

Individual student participants gained a mixture of qualifications, confidence and in some cases jobs

Benefits for clients

The benefits for clients such as Newleaf Communities were improvements to the amenities in Bonnyrigg and the availability of a qualified workforce.

Measurement

Milestones were evaluated throughout the project by the participating stakeholders.

Celebration

The participants’ success was celebrated at a graduation in late 2012 and the students paid particular thanks to the TAFE trainer Anthony Jenkins.


“Beautifying Bonnyrigg” was a community-based project involving multiple organisations, private employment agencies and SWSi. Conducted throughout 2012, it provided strong employment and education opportunities for participants and created further pathways to higher level qualifications. This initiative was a federally funded Productivity Places Program (PPP) project supporting community-based education and employment. The project was conducted in the Bonnyrigg Newleaf Housing Estate and was designed to engage Indigenous, mature age and youth job seekers in South Western Sydney and to provide them with sustainable education and employment outcomes. The project involved collaboration between the Newleaf Communities, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), MG My Gateway, a range of job service agencies, the Horticulture section of SWSi’s Tourism, Hospitality, Primary Industries and Arts Faculty and SWSi’s Employment Preparation and Social Inclusion Faculty.

In early 2012 Newleaf Communities enrolled 16 participants in SWSi’s 14 week Certificate II in Horticulture program, supported by WELL (Workplace English Language and Literacy) funding. Participants engaged in contextualised horticultural work-based training at the Bonnyrigg Newleaf Housing Estate while also undertaking theoretical classroombased work and assessment. The program provided for the retention of 4-5 graduates, who will remain employed with the Newleaf Community Renewal project. The other graduates were case managed by

Origin of the innovation The project originated from Newleaf Community who developed the idea to employ and train local people in a real environment, undertaking experiential learning with real job outcomes. The original idea developed into a collaboration between Newleaf Communities and the other parties cited above.

Drivers of the innovation Multiple stakeholders drove the innovation, in pursuit of the following goals: • Maximising local employment outcomes from government and private sector investments and major development projects and by aligning with the Canterbury Bankstown and South West Sydney Regional Employment Plan • Targeting industry sectors and locations with good potential to provide employment and workforce participation and skill development outcomes for local job seekers

49 • Maximising employment outcomes for local job seekers by initiating skill development activities in response to identified job opportunities • Improving sustainable employment outcomes for groups who are suffering labour market vulnerability, for example public housing tenants • Establishing strong sustainable social inclusion partnerships.

Skills used by SWSi staff The skills used by SWSi staff ranged from educational leadership, to providing consulting services regarding training, to the provision of literacy and numeracy support, as illustrated by the following list of SWSi staff and skills.

This initiative was a federally funded Productivity Places Program (PPP) project supporting community-based education and employment.

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Prior to the commencement of this project, Newleaf Communities had achieved success in the delivery of placebased training and employment for people on the NewStart and Youth Allowance and had developed flexible part-time and casual work for people under Welfare to Work requirements and for school-based traineeships encompassing work placements.

MG My Gateway, a group training organisation, to find employment with host employers in order to potentially complete a Horticulture apprenticeship.

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Description of the innovation


2.2 Innovation exemplar: Beautifying Bonnyrigg continued...

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Figure 2.2 Specialist skills provided by SWSi staff

SWSi staff member

Title

Skills provided

Christine Williamson Jennifer Harding

Directors, Tourism, Hospitality, Primary Industry and Arts Faculty, SWSi

Educational leadership

Barry Quine Tony Momi

Head Teachers, Horticulture, SWSi

Training consultancy, educational supervision, project administration

Annette Russell

Manager, Government Business, SWSi

Training consultancy

Ellen Roach

Business Consultant, SWSi

Training consultancy

Carla Oltejen

Project Officer, Employment Preparation and Social Inclusion Faculty, SWSi

Training consultancy. Literacy and numeracy funding advice and support

Gwen Parker

Teacher, Adult Basic Education, Miller College, SWSi

Design, delivery and assessment of literacy and numeracy support

Anthony Jenkins

Teacher, Horticulture, Padstow College, SWSi

Project coordinator and lead teacher. Onsite design, delivery, assessment and supervision for all units. Student mentor. Class administration

50 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

In addition to the skills provided by SWSi staff, specialist staff from other agencies contributed their skills. The collaboration and coordination was deepened through meetings between all stakeholders, site visits and a codeveloped project plan, says SWSi’s Ellen Roach. The project brought together a range of agencies to assist the participants become ‘work ready’ and to assist with life style issues and concerns and an encouraging and supportive work place. The project provides a model of how partners can contribute to education and training pathways and preparation of candidates for local communities and businesses in Greater South Western Sydney.

Steps in the innovation process The initiative was delivered in the community under the project title of “Beautifying Bonnyrigg – A community-based education and employment project” and was delivered through the Newleaf Community Renewal offices located at Bonnyrigg NSW. Work placements were made predominantly through Newleaf commercial and social procurement contracts covering Bonnyrigg, Bankstown and Macarthur (Greater South Western Sydney). Training and fieldwork was delivered at the Bonnyrigg offices (Cabrogol Cottage), Newleaf residential estate (Tarlington Reserve and streetscapes), and SWSi’s specialist Horticultural facilities at Padstow College.


The program also focused on achieving individual and social outcomes and ensuring that there were clear measures of Return on Social Investment (ROSI). Outcome measures included:

• Tarlington Reserve bush

• change in workforce participation status – from unemployed to employed

• Newleaf Residential Estate streetscapes.

• improved job opportunities for 15 job seekers

Both programs provided contextualised work-based learning opportunities for up to 15 students, with Newleaf supervisors and SWSi teachers providing guidance and support on both learning outcomes and practice. Participants also attended SWSi’s Padstow College for specialist training that was not available at the above locations.

• increased access to educational qualifications

Outcomes of the innovation All of the key parties involved in the innovation derived benefits. For example: • Newleaf Communities gained from the beautification of the area and the availability of qualified job-ready staff • DEEWR was able to use program funding to engage long-term unemployed people • Job Skills Australia (JSA) now have at their disposal qualified job-ready staff

• increased provision of support for those in need • increased access to health services. SWSi’s Ellen Roach believes that the partnerships that underpinned the project have created additional resource capacity and capability “to manage, administer, coordinate stakeholder involvement, support participants, deliver and report on future projects”. Further, the partnerships will enable “the development of sustainable skills and employment pathways for job seekers and socially disadvantaged and marginalised individuals”.

• Participants gained a recognised qualification and skills through contextualised training that instilled confidence.

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The project provided introductory level training on workplace safety, use of machinery and equipment, plant and weed recognition and control, bush regeneration, residential lawn care and customer relations. The program was delivered both in classrooms and onsite workplace environments. Two practical sites were identified for rejuvenation by the project:

51

• 15 students employed by Newleaf Community Renewal on course commencement • 16 students enrolled and commenced the program • 14 students completed the Certificate II in Horticulture course • 14 participants completed the WELL Program • 14 participants to undertake work placements to gain competencies and skills • self-esteem, confidence, mateship of participants increased • significant green space improvement to the Newleaf Housing Estate

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Figure 2.2.1 Some outcomes for participants and community in the 2012 “Beautifying Bonnyrigg” project


2.3 Innovation exemplar: Signing Art

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Table 2.3. Dimensions of innovations at SWSi: summary highlights of ‘Signing Art’

DIMENSION

SUMMARY

Type

This is a product innovation, in the sense that the program is a product.

Extent

It is a radical innovation because the entire package was invented.

Source

The initial source of ideas was a group of SWSi staff.

Drivers

The innovation addresses several SWSi strategic goals.

Internal driver

Internally, the innovation was driven from the middle levels of the organisation.

External driver

The major external driver is government policy around inclusion.

Major collaborator

The major collaborator groups are commonwealth and state government departments.

Data

Feedback from the students is gathered formally and informally, throughout the program.

Newness

This is a new idea and approach.

Internal champion

The internal champions are based in several teaching sections of the Institute.

Funding

Funding is provided by state and commonwealth governments.

Management

The program is managed by SWSi staff.

Testing

Each successive version of the innovation is monitored and improved.

Skills

Skills contributed by the SWSi team include non-traditional training methodologies specifically targeted to Aboriginal Deaf Adults, particularly the use of communication methodologies.

Functions

To support the innovation, internal processes were invented, particularly the use of technology.

Maturity

The innovation was first developed in 2010.

Benefits to individuals

Individual participants gain a dual qualification as well as stronger self esteem and pathways for students into employment.

Benefits for clients

Clients such as government departments benefit from the preparation of people for work.

Measurement

Student responses during the program are measured and their destination data collected.

Celebration

The program provides a range of opportunities, such as at graduation, for participants’ success to be celebrated publicly.

52 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Description of the innovation Signing Art is a national project targeting Deaf Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. David Roberts, SWSi’s Aboriginal Development Manager, says the project is designed to “educate and empower people from all over Australia about the fascinating and educative aspects of both the Deaf and Aboriginal worlds; their culture, heritage, arts and language”. This unique project started in July 2010 and pivots around ‘block release’ intensive teaching periods at Miller College. This means the students are flown into South Western Sydney Institute from regional Australia four times over the duration of the course, for a week at a time, for the face to face delivery of the program. Participants are also requested to finish units at home. Travel arrangements to Sydney are organised and coordinated by the Aboriginal

Unit at SWSi using the Commonwealth fund Away From Base. Students are flown in from Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Canberra, Tamworth and Port Macquarie, while others, who live locally, travel to class by car or train. During the one week study blocks, the students attend classes at Miller College by day and participate in mentored activities at night in which the group works together and develops an understanding of team work and leadership principles that create workplace readiness skills. The Signing Art program aims to improve the visual language and communication skills of the students and enhance their independence, social interaction skills and job readiness skills. Courses offered include Certificate II in Aboriginal Media and Communication, Certificates I, II and III in Auslan and Certificate II in Skills for Work and Training. The training connects students culturally and builds their capacity to undertake employment and further training, in the following ways:


• the Aboriginal Culture and History program connects participants with their identity • the Work Skills program develops team work and employability skills. David Roberts believes that Signing Art is innovative and unique in the way it brings together different elements – funding, flexible delivery, block release, cultural mentoring, e-learning technology, deaf Aboriginal teachers – as part of a customised and targeted program for one of the most disadvantaged and marginalised groups: mature aged Aboriginal people who have significant gaps in their learning due to their deafness. The staffing, teaching, communication and resourcing methodologies were chosen to address this target client group.

Origin of the idea behind the innovation The initial idea for the program came from discussions between David Roberts and two of his SWSi colleagues, deaf consultant Doug Bowers and deaf teacher Bader Haouam. From there the idea quickly won the support of NSW and Commonwealth bodies.

When we came up with the concept we decided the students would do a Certificate II in Auslan, but it was a dual enrolment with Aboriginal media and communication. So when we were trying to get them to use Auslan more often, we would get them to do photography, or use video tape activities. We were teaching them about Auslan through the arts.

Drivers of the innovation This project addresses the following strategic drivers of SWSi. First, it addresses Objective 1.4 on the TAFE NSW Strategic Plan 2011 – 2013. That is: “work with individuals, local communities, schools and other organisations to improve outcomes for people facing disadvantage”. Signing Art addresses this driver by piloting and refining a course that enables students to either look for work or enrol in further training. David Roberts says it also establishes a national model of “how one may work with Deaf disadvantaged groups who have little or no educational opportunities”. Signing Art also addresses Priority 2 on the TAFE NSW Strategic Plan 2011 – 2013. That is: “Enhance our customer responsiveness”. Signing Art addresses this by catering to a specific section of the learners’ market. It caters to these learners by using video resources online as a major delivery tool; pioneering a new working methodology with heavily disadvantaged learners; and providing access to training and learning that participants cannot access elsewhere.

“...self-esteem has increased and students have been successfully placed in parttime and full-time work.”

53 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Over 27 Indigenous deaf people had engaged in the program by late 2012 and the outcomes range from community capacity building to employment and further training. Indigenous deaf community networks across Australia have been established, students’ self-esteem has increased and students have been successfully placed in part-time and full-time work.

The term ‘signing art’ comes from combining two ideas, explains David Roberts, “signing as in sign language, and art as in the performing arts”. He explains further:

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

• the Auslan program improves participants’ formal language learning


TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

2.3 Innovation exemplar: Signing Art continued...

54

Steps in the innovation process

Skills used by SWSi staff

The project is a partnership within SWSi’s Social Inclusion Unit, between the Aboriginal Educational Unit and a Deaf/Hearing Impaired Disabilities Teacher Consultant at Miller College. The partners were able to draw on the diverse expertise of staff within the two areas: a deaf Aboriginal teacher, a hearing impaired relay interpreter, an Aboriginal Auslan teacher and the Disability Teacher Consultant who was also hearing impaired.

Signing Art is the only project of its kind in Australia. The program is significantly innovative, says David Roberts, in that it delivers training using methodologies specifically targeted to Aboriginal deaf adults. This innovation is shown in the alternative – non-traditional – communication methodologies that the program uses. Specifically, the program:

In 2010, fourteen students completed the course. In 2011, thirteen students from the original group continued with the program. In 2012, the lessons of the 2010 and 2011 Signing Art programs were absorbed and addressed, resulting in an upgraded approach to teaching delivery. While Signing Art used the same techniques for teaching delivery used in 2010 and 2011, videos were also produced and made accessible for students to follow course work, in-lieu of written notes.

• borrows iconic signs and iconic phrases from various sign languages around the world as a foundation for making communication with students very easy to understand • intertwines these iconic gestures with basic Auslan to directly engage with students. Vocal and written English is used as the second language • utilises video recordings to communicate key learning points • utilises Moodle as a platform for setting assignment tasks. Links are made to private YouTube pages for videos that explain these tasks and principles in gestured signing • utilises Facebook and public YouTube pages to promote the course and to explain rules and conditions that are otherwise promoted in writing • utilises Skype and ooVoo technology to communicate with students ‘offblock’, in the place of emails and phone calls. Communication takes place between 8pm and 12am on any day of the week • uses video feedback to allow students to self-evaluate.

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Where possible, the class teacher directly signs and communicates with students. A team consisting of an interpreter and a relay interpreter is otherwise used to deliver iconic based signing for class teachers who use spoken English as the communication methodology. The iconic based signing is of such quality that any person, even those without knowledge of sign language, is able to gradually understand what is being signed, says David Roberts.

Signing Art is the only project of its kind in Australia.


Figure 2.3 Some outcomes for participants and community in the Signing Art project

• The 2010 and 2011 programs created pathways for students into employment • Four students in the 2012 group of ten indicated they want to move to Sydney to access more of this style of teaching delivery • Three students took leave without pay to attend the 2012 course • All students have advised they have not been exposed to this type of delivery before • 2012 students had a 100% attendance rate, both ‘on and off block’

The program also utilises a mentoring process after class each day. The mentors are either an Aboriginal Mentor or a Deaf Mentor. The role of the mentor essentially is to engage with students about them doing their own research and assignments.

Outcomes of the innovation For many of the young people and adults who take on the challenge of leaving their remote communities for the first time to go to the “big smoke” to undertake Signing Art, “their self-esteem and confidence have improved beyond expectations,” says David Roberts. “They return to their communities as role models for other Aboriginal people and living examples of how TAFE can make a profound difference to their lives.”

• It allows students to bridge their own gaps in their skills and learning. That is, in terms of cultural explanations, traditions and history • It allows students to communicate freely with each other and principal teachers • It gives Aboriginal Deaf students access to training that does not exist in their home locality

55 • It provides instructions by video that are normally reserved for paper • Students are given the opportunity to perform at their own graduation. David Roberts says he gets emotional about the impact of the Signing Art program: This is one of the programs that I get emotional about, seeing someone able to be accepted within a learning environment, and develop faith in the education system that is supporting their direct needs. As a service provider there’s nothing more rewarding than to see that personal growth. They know that they’re not alone in the world, that there are other deaf Aboriginal people whom they now know, and that they communicate on Facebook and Skype and have friends in the world.

“...their self-esteem and confidence have improved beyond expectations...”

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

This high intensity program requires intense commitment from staff involved. To ensure the success of the block release programs when students fly in from their communities to Miller College, staff are available 24/7 to support and mentor many of the young people who sometimes get homesick.

This program meets the needs of the target group of students in the following ways:

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

• Participants are role models in their communities.


2.4 Innovation exemplar: Online assessment for automotive

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Table 2.4 Dimensions of innovations at SWSi: summary highlights of ‘Online assessment for automotive’

56 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

DIMENSION

SUMMARY

Type

This is an example of a product innovation.

Extent

It is a radical innovation for the automotive section because it had never been done before.

Source

The initial source of the idea was SWSi teacher Tim Dunn.

Drivers

The internal driver was Tim Dunn’s concern that literacy and numeracy challenges for some students were worsened by paper-based assessments with poor quality images.

Internal driver

The internal driver was bottom-up: as a teacher, Tim Dunn wanted to improve assessment experiences for students and free teachers from time-consuming marking.

External driver

A major external driver was employers’ wish that students progress through their trade training with minimal repetition of tasks such as re-sitting tests.

Major collaborator

For the staff, the major collaborator group was employers.

Data

Student feedback on the online assessments was gathered formally through surveys and informally through observations.

Newness

This innovation was predominantly a new approach.

Internal champion

The innovation was championed by Tim Dunn and the Manufacturing and Transport Faculty.

Funding

The faculty has now placed Tim in a specialist position, to further the innovation.

Management

The innovation is managed by Tim with the support of his faculty.

Testing

The innovation prototypes were field tested and are continually improved.

Skills

Skills contributed by SWSi staff include thinking laterally; product development; knowledge management.

Functions

To support innovation, internal processes or functions were invented or realigned.

Maturity

The innovation was developed over three years and fully implemented in 2011-12.

Benefits to individuals

Individual students benefit from assessment tasks that are easier to follow; and from gaining immediate feedback.

Benefits for clients

Types of benefits for employers include the apprentice achieving goals earlier and spending less time at the Institute.

Measurement

Because much of the data is computerised, it is captured and analysed on a regular basis.

Celebration

Tim Dunn and his faculty have received a number of public accolades for this innovation.

Description of the innovation

Origins of the idea

This innovation consists of a bank of online assessment exercises that assess the knowledge component of the 18 core competencies from the Light Vehicle mechanics trade course. The online bank streamlines and automates the process of delivering, marking and providing student feedback on assessments.

For the inventor, SWSi’s Tim Dunn, Project Officer, E-Learning Development, Engineering Trades, this innovation began as a way of addressing students’ language and literacy issues. He set out to improve the graphical illustrations of vehicle technology, so that students would be able to understand the technology better: The whole process started as an attempt to address some language and literacy issues of students, because what I had found is that there are a lot of students who read something but they don’t necessarily understand it. So by improving the graphics of the technology items, so that the graphic is easier to understand, and then simplifying the question you’re asking, it’s much clearer for the student and it is helping us find out what we need to know.


Drivers of the innovation

Steps in the innovation process

Tim Dunn was the creator of the idea, building the first question banks and testing with students and then “getting buy-in from other teaching sections and teachers to expand both the knowledge and capability of our staff”. Importantly, Tim has received strong support from his faculty for implementing his online assessments.

Some major steps Tim followed in developing the assessment bank were as follows: • mapped the questions in the existing paper-based exam against the elements of each unit of competence • checked each question for relevance and currency

Other desired outcomes in developing the innovation were to reduce the amount of photocopying in the section – for exam papers and answer sheets – and to eliminate manual marking of knowledge assessments, freeing up teachers for other duties.

Skills used by SWSi staff Tim Dunn collected data about what students, as end users of the innovation, wanted, from his direct observation in the classroom and from feedback from students over a number of years. Some of the skills used by Tim were ‘creative’ skills, such as thinking laterally about issues; technological and product developmentrelated skills; and knowledge management skills, for example, combining internally and externally collected knowledge.

Since the Bright Ideas project in 2011 I have developed the capabilities in some other teachers. Bob Badewitz is more than capable of putting up assessments, as are Chris Greentree and Dominic Tedesco. My goal is that other teachers will take ownership of the online assessments field and develop it further.

• reworked existing images, or created new images in colour, to enhance the online questions • formatted and prepared completed question banks for uploading into the Moodle repository • performed final testing and editing of question banks • created quizzes linked to college groupings • created feedback forums for teachers • created standardised feedback quizzes for students • tested assessments with control groups of students at Wetherill Park College. With support from his faculty, he has now rolled out the assessment bank for other colleges to use. Tim put considerable effort into monitoring student responses: I was very, very careful with the first couple of groups to always be in the room while they were being assessed and that helped to shape some of the ways we did things. We also did some surveys to see what the students actually thought of them.

57 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Tim has also spent time mentoring some other teachers so they can develop online assessments:

• identified areas that were not being fully assessed and wrote new questions

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

For Tim, the drivers of the innovation were to provide instant feedback to students, address language and literacy issues of students that make paper-based assessment difficult and identify any areas where a student may need remedial assistance.


2.4 Innovation exemplar: Online assessment for automotive continued...

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

He also found that literacy and numeracy issues affected results:

58

Analysing the results was quite interesting because we found that the core group of students in the middle all moved up when they completed the online assessments compared with the paper based assessments. So in some subjects where we had a high failure rate we’d reduced that rate or pegged that back quite considerably. Regarding those that were not quite coming up to the bar we could then do something about them straight away; do an adjustment. Most of the adjustment that we were doing was to do with language and literacy issues: often there was something in the assessment question that they’d never come across before or they didn’t know that word or they misconstrued something.

Outcomes of the innovation Tim believes that students are benefiting from improved feedback on their assessment results and employers are benefitting from students’ improved completion rates and therefore are spending less time away from the workplace repeating learning activities. Some other identifiable outcomes of the innovation are the building of 21 assessment banks and a direct reduction in photocopying costs. Tim also believes that the online assessment is “one of our best tools for improving our completion rate by identifying any potential problems and putting in a strategy to fix it straightaway”. He explains further: By moving to the assessment bank we’ve achieved a number of things: it’s freed up our teachers for other duties, and it gives instant feedback to the student so they know straightaway when they hit the submit button whether they’ve passed or failed. It gives us then the ability to look at that assessment and to see if they’ve got a problem, and work out what the problem is, before they leave the assessment room, rather than waiting until the following week or week after.

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Figure 2.4 Some outcomes for students and staff, from using the online assessments

• In the first three terms of 2012, 493 students across four SWSi colleges completed 907 online assessments in the automotive assessment site • Allowing for 15 minutes on average to mark one assessment – some take more time, some take less – this is a saving of 226 hours of staff time • Because individual specific feedback is given to each student online when they complete an assessment, the previous practice of providing one hour feedback to a whole class group is no longer necessary. In 2012, this represented a significant saving in face to face teaching hours and a corresponding reduction in the students’ attendance time at TAFE.

Online assessment is “one of our best tools for improving our completion rate...”


2.5 Innovation exemplar: ‘Stories of practice’ in community services

SUMMARY

Type

The innovation is not just a product innovation: it also involves the use of new training delivery processes and organisational approaches to group learning.

Extent

It is radical innovation because it represents a very different approach to helping a group learn and acquire qualifications.

Source

The initial source of ideas was the exploratory discussion between SWSi staff and the client, the Department of Family and Community Services.

Drivers

The overall driver was the need for contextualised learning for professionals in the Specialist Homelessness Services sector of NSW.

Internal driver

The major internal driver was from the Community Services teaching section of SWSi’s Campbelltown College.

External driver

The major external driver was the Specialist Homelessness Services Learning and Development unit at the Department of Family and Community Services, Community Services.

Major collaborator

The major collaborator group was a mix of SWSi, Department of Family and Community Services and the organisations the program participants work within.

Data

Feedback from participants was sought throughout the program and SWSi staff adjusted their approach in direct response to this feedback.

Newness

While group recognition was not a new idea, it was new to offer it to this group of community service workers, with a focus on a community of practice.

Internal champion

The internal champion was Robyn Bosley, Head Teacher, Community Services, SWSi.

Funding

Funds were provided by the State Government.

Management

The program was managed by SWSi’s Robyn Bosley in collaboration with client Naomi Konza, Department of Family and Community Services, Community Services.

Testing

The innovative stories of practice approach was field tested and modified throughout the program.

Skills

Some of the skills contributed by the SWSi team included the use of the community of practice methodology, the use of external experts and the use of a Moodle.

Functions

To support the innovation, SWSi needed to modify their internal processes to fit with the flexible structure of the program.

Maturity

It was launched in early 2012.

Benefits to individuals

Individual participants gained dual qualifications and reinforcement of their depth of skills and knowledge.

Benefits for clients

The client was able to provide assistance for professionals who often work under great pressure and in some isolation, in the Specialist Homelessness Services sector.

Measurement

The immediate impacts of the program were measured by tangible indicators such as a 100% success rate.

Celebration

The client is delighted with the results and has initiated discussions with TAFE about replicating the program.

Description of the innovation This innovation grew out of a partnership between three government organisations: TAFE NSW South Western Sydney Institute (SWSi), Northern Sydney Institute (NSI) and the NSW Department of Family and Community Services, Community Services. The innovation involves the use of an innovative methodology to enable existing community service workers specialising in homelessness to obtain dual qualifications, the Certificates IV in Social Housing and Mental Health.

The project began in March 2012 and was completed in November 2012 and the sixteen workers in the program represented eleven community service organisations from across NSW. It was partially funded by the NSW Department of Education and Communities, Office of Education, State Training Services. The program employed an innovative group recognition model entitled ‘Stories of Practice’ to capture the skills and knowledge of existing workers. “The benefit of this model is its ability to form and support a community of practice,” says SWSi’s Robyn Bosley, Head Teacher, Community Services.

59 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

DIMENSION

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Table 2.5 Dimensions of innovations at SWSi: summary highlights of ‘Stories of Practice’


2.5 Innovation exemplar: ‘Stories of practice’ in community services continued...

The delivery design of face-to-face workshops supported by online tools and discussion forums “has enabled the development of relationships and provides a space for collaborative learning,” underpinning the community practice.

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Robyn explains that the ‘stories of practice’ method “captures current practices in the current policy context and acknowledges the complexity of service delivery in human services.” The direct client, Naomi Konza, Project Officer, Professional Development – Specialist Homelessness Services, Learning and Development Unit, Community of Services (Department of Family and Community Services NSW), describes the methodology similarly:

60

The idea of ‘stories of practice’ is that the participants do so much in such a complex area, they don’t take the time to stop and recognise their expertise and where their skills and knowledge lie. So to be given a forum where they’re able to actually articulate that brings it home to them around just what skilled practitioners they are. The model that TAFE was able to use here really did build a learning environment which harnessed the strength of the participants.

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

The ‘stories of practice’ process enables each of the participants to reflect on their work role within the context of their organisation and to discuss the specialist nature of homelessness services and the challenges that are faced by workers when demand is greater than the supply of affordable housing, says Robyn.

This ‘stories of practice’ process is able to acknowledge the complex nature of working with powerless groups within the community. The community of practice enables the individual to discuss and solve common problems and provides acknowledgement of the complexity of skills that workers have and require in the current environment. The group recognition model is not new, but it is innovative to apply it to the community services cohort and to position the model to align with the workforce development contexts of the participants’ organisations. “This workforce development context provides the content and conceptual framework for developing reflective practice and gathering evidence of competence,” says Robyn. The group recognition model aligns with policy reform within both the VET and community services sectors, says Robyn: It is essential that educational organisations and VET practitioners provide new educational products and services to meet the workforce development needs of industry and the learning needs of our customers. Educational leaders and their institutions need to implement strategies that are compatible within our clients’ current environment.

The ‘stories of practice’ process enables each of the participants to reflect on their work role within the context of their organisation...


The Business Development section of SWSi initiated discussions with the client, the Community Services Learning and Development Unit, Department of Family and Community Services, and the Campbelltown College Community Services section, where Robyn Bosley is located, led the implementation and development of the group recognition process. The idea arose from discussions with the client, the Learning and Development Unit of Community Services, explains Christine Manwarring, Director of SWSi’s Community, Health and Personal Services Faculty: “The client wanted a centralised approach to the provision of a Certificate IV qualification for staff working in the homelessness sector, but Robyn offered the value-add that two qualifications could be gained by participants”. Once the idea was accepted, SWSi recommended that Northern Sydney Institute also participate “so we could look at crossinstitute delivery,” says Christine.

Constant reforms within both the community services sector and the vocational education and training sector are driving significant change and require new ways of working to meet the service delivery challenges of modern society, says Robyn, pointing to this finding in the Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council 2012 environmental scan: Significant reforms within the community services and health sector, along with industry growth and changing consumer demand, mean that new service models and innovative workforce development responses are more critical than ever.

The complexities of the sector are that they [professionals] do so much with so little. And as a result, they need to be jacks of all trades and they really therefore have diverse training needs. So we needed something which was going to be contextualised for them. It is a sector that is facing huge challenges, under constant reform, and is predominantly made up of women who are [working] part-time. So it’s also about the professionalisation of the sector and making sure that people are skilled and have qualifications to back up the work that they’re doing, which is becoming more and more accountable. One of the challenges of training packages, for VET providers like SWSi, is meeting the unit requirements within the current work practices of human service organisations like those in the specialist homelessness service organisations. As areas within the community services sector become more specialised, says Robyn, it is essential that “the units are connected in context to current practice which reflects the policy and reform changes within the community services sector and vocational education and training”.

61 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Drivers of the innovation

Naomi Konza from Learning and Development Unit, Community Services, explains the complexities of the Specialist Homelessness Services sector, which the TAFE model addresses:

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Origin of the ideas


Steps in the innovation process

Outcomes of the innovation

As this innovative approach was new for all stakeholders, the project began with consultations with the client organisation and participants in the program.

Naomi Konza from Community Services views the innovation as a complete success: “We very rarely have a program where 100% of the people go through it and we’ve had that with this program. So that speaks to the impact of the program and the experience of the participants.”

The program used a variety of assessment methods for the recognition process, across ten face-to-face workshops. These methods included: • discussions of ethical dilemmas and frameworks • professional conversations facilitated by each participant in small groups, with assessors present

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

• stories of practice contextualising everyday work practices for workers in their organisational context

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• development of useful organisational resources used as evidence to support current practices, such as services directories, and conducting cultural safety audits of their workplace to promote inclusions • a forum approach to group recognition in presenting their specific expertise in social housing.

Skills used by SWSi staff

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Delivery included current industry experts in mental health and Aboriginal cultural education. The participants were provided with a current textbook Social work practice in mental health, An introduction and provided with access to a group Moodle – a web application for producing internetbased courses – for accessing supporting resources and for participating within the discussion forums. Robyn describes the experience created for the participants: Through dialogue and structured discussions of work roles and work experience, workers ‘hear’ the knowledge and skill they have, as they tell their stories of practice. This process creates and engages a positive narrative of their skills and experience which, in turn, supports change and provides the opportunity for innovative ways of working.

The ‘stories of practice’ model of VET practice created a professional development situation for community service professionals that respects and acknowledges the skills of existing workers, says Robyn: Community services practice relies on situational knowledge and skills and therefore requires an individual approach to client engagement. Use of the group recognition model and the process of gathering evidence is a useful way to support the worker within their work role and their organisational context. In the ‘stories of practice’ model, participants are able to use their organisational resources as evidence or alternatively create a useful resource to support their work practice “rather than undertake a traditional assessment process that is time consuming and may not be specific enough to reflect the complexity of community services practice”. Robyn adds: The model uses professional conversations as dialogue in a practice context and recognises the rich complexity of working in human services. The use of skills demonstration is practical and acknowledges the working styles of the participants. This project highlights the benefits of partnerships, a collaborative approach to learning and the recognition of existing skills of workers within the community services sector. “There is unlimited opportunity to use this project model to build on the skills for this sectors’ workforce now and into the future,” says Robyn. Naomi Konza from Community Services agrees: “In terms of our own recognition of the value of the model, we’ve already met with TAFE to see if we can replicate this.”

Figure 2.5 Some outcomes for participants, the client and SWSi from the ‘stories of practice’ innovation

• implementation of a VET model that accommodates current and complex professional practice in the community services sector • the creation of collaborative partnerships in workforce development with the client • implementation of a group recognition model to acknowledge the skills of existing workers and streamline recognition processes • development of a technological platform, Moodle, for collaborative learning by the group, spread across NSW • increased TAFE capability to implement innovative teaching practice and skill development at sustainable costs • increased TAFE capacity to deliver a variety of educational products and services to meet the needs of industry.


TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Section 3: Exemplars illustrating staff capability underpinning SWSi innovate

63 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation


Section 3: Exemplars illustrating staff capability underpinning SWSi innovate

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

This section shines a spotlight on the capability developed and used by SWSi staff to bring about and sustain innovation, including skills used by managers, teaching practitioners and support staff. Based on exemplars, this section emphasises the skills in innovation used by staff at SWSi that help underpin the depth and breadth of innovation in the Institute.

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Drucker (2011) describes how innovators need to do their research and use both the left and right sides of their brains:

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Because innovation is both conceptual and perceptual, would-be innovators must also go out and look, ask, and listen. Successful innovators use both the right and left sides of their brains. They work out analytically what the innovation has to be to satisfy an opportunity. Then they go out and look at potential users to study their expectations, their values, and their needs. (p.78) In each of the exemplars in this section, SWSi staff model this ability to “go out and look, ask, and listen” and to get to know their clients well and to understand their needs.

One key set of capabilities required for innovation is leadership skills. Burns (2007, p.482) found that the leadership of entrepreneurship and innovation includes: • encouraging opportunity seeking and innovation in a systematic manner throughout the organisation • always questioning the established order, seeking ways to improve and create competitive advantage • encouraging the qualities of successful entrepreneurs such as vision and drive • learning new ways to manage organisations involving relationships and culture rather than discipline and control • dealing with risk, uncertainty and ambiguity in ways that maintain flexibility – and allowing failure • institutionalising a process of continuous strategising, and learning from customers, competitors and the environment. In each of the exemplars in this section, all of these leadership skills are either directly or implicitly influential.

References Burns, P. 2007, Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Palgrave Macmillan, Bassingstoke. Drucker, P.F., ‘The Discipline of Innovation’, in Harvard Business Review (2011), Inspiring and Executing Innovation, Harvard Business Review Press Boston, Mass., pp. 207-224.


3.1 Innovation exemplar: Flexible butchery training

Table 3.1. Skills used by SWSi people to assist the innovation ✔ developed relationships across the butchery industry, while changing the culture within the SWSi butchery section

✔ created and added value with the clients, for instance by raising the profile of the butchery trade and increasing the student completion rate

✔ systematically collected data about industry attitudes and used that

Origin of the ideas

SWSi’s Benjamin Barrow, Head Teacher, Meat & Allied Trades, explains that this innovation involved changing the culture of the Butchery section at Granville College in order to improve the attitude of industry towards TAFE butchery training:

The butchery innovation arose out of research undertaken by the Tourism, Hospitality, Primary Industries and Arts Faculty in 2010 which examined completion rates in butchery and hospitality. “From surveying industry about the completion rates it was apparent there was a lack of confidence in TAFE and its product. Some employers thought the day at TAFE was a day off, not a valued learning experience,” says Ben. In response, “we committed to developing our section to be one of user choice in the current and future VET environment”.

As a section our aim was to change our internal culture to show industry that TAFE is an integral part of an apprentice’s career. Looking from industry eyes, we found in 2010 that TAFE butchery training was not held in high regard by some employers. To be recognised more highly by industry, first and foremost a change was necessary within the section, to our response times, to our flexible delivery and to our recognition of prior learning services. The changes subsequently made were successful not only in changing the views of industry but also in lifting TAFE staff morale and performance, says Ben: Promotion of our section over the past three years has led to increased morale and performance of staff. It has also led to an increased customer base and to Granville Butchery being seen as best practice in education and training. Our innovation has seen professional growth within the section and greater industry involvement.

Drivers of the innovation In response to that research, Ben Barrow and his colleagues were determined to lift the profile of apprentice butchers and gain respect for TAFE training from the employers within the industry. Over the next three years the section deliberately hosted industry competitions and staff members joined industry bodies and promoted such events. “We gained industry support to fund competitions and to showcase not only winners but all competitors in industry newsletters,” says Ben. Ben lists the following key groups as supporting and driving the promotion of SWSi butchery training: employers of apprentices, group training companies and industry bodies such as Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), Australian Pork Limited (APL) and the Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC).

65 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Description of the innovation

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

data to change internal approaches and convey messages to clients


3.1 Innovation exemplar: Flexible butchery training continued...

Steps in the innovation process In 2010 Ben was a new leader in the section and was able to bring to the position fresh ideas, to open up new lines of communication, and to make operational changes so that the section adopted a more direct approach to industry.

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Over the past three years as the manager of the section I have had a leading role in communicating the need to change our situation. I needed to ensure our staff including myself were ‘being seen’ much more often by industry, and not remaining within the walls of TAFE. As part of the direct promotion of SWSi to industry and to further lift the profile of the butchery section, corporate uniforms and business cards with the new SWSi logo were obtained. The butchery section also committed to building existing client relationships and developing potential future partnerships. Data on industry attitudes to TAFE butchery was collected through nonformal communication with external customers such as regular phone conversations, industry nights and workplace visits/meetings. In face to face meetings, employers were regularly asked the following questions: • What are your thoughts about SWSi TAFE at Granville? • Have you seen a change in the current or completed apprentices? Including their self-esteem, skills and knowledge, work ethic, punctuality?

66 • Do you see training as a vital part of your business growth and capabilities? SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

• Are SWSi teachers seen as leading industry practitioners? • Are you interested in raising the profile of your shop or business and staff, and what would you do to achieve this? • Do you see raising the profile at the apprentice level as a way of securing key staff in the future?

Employers’ responses to these questions provided the Butchery section with valuable insights into what changes they could make to TAFE training.

Skills used by SWSi staff Ben Barrow says that, since 2010, “we have been continually evolving as a section and increasing our knowledge through industry feedback and evaluations from current and past students”. Specific skills used to gain knowledge include the use of team work and the formation of partnerships. Butchery staff used a range of communication, networking and relationship skills to influence positively employers’ views of TAFE training. For instance, the staff became actively involved in Worldskills and in other high profile industry events and competitions. In our delivery at TAFE and flexibly in the workplace our image has been strengthened in the eyes of our industry partners, mainly through the lines of regular communication we used. We didn’t use these lines of communication to focus on the problems of students; we focused on the positives about their improved performances. The Butchery section also increased its use of electronic media which “gained further respect and involvement of apprentices and our increased rapport with their employers”.

• Would you be prepared to support TAFE in running competitions or industry nights?

“...we have been continually evolving as a section and increasing our knowledge through industry feedback and evaluations...”


Ben Barrow says that the movement towards ‘user choice’ requires a transformation of the previous approach by his section: “Our survival in VET is reliant on user choice, so we must first look at our own practices to best serve our current and future clients and provide quality, qualified tradespeople for the future.” Over the last three years, the aim of the transformation of the Butchery section was “to benefit all who enter the industry and remain employed as butchers”. The transformation is working, according to industry feedback, says Ben:

Clients such as Woolworths, Coles, Costco and independent butchers have experienced success with SWSi training and learner outcomes. While there is still a lot of improvement possible, our commitment to improving the culture of our section has been positively received and demonstrated through industry recognition. This organisational innovation has produced a growth in the number of skilled workers in a skill shortage industry while showcasing butchery as a reputable trade. Ben Barrow is confident that, long term, the innovation will help attract and retain staff in an industry that competes with “many and varied competitors”.

Figure 3.1 Some outcomes for students, industry and staff from the transformation of the Butchery section

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Outcomes of the innovation

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• a higher profile of apprentice and qualified butchers • student competition wins across all levels of apprenticeship, at regional, state and national levels • an increase in the number of staff awards • an increase in the customer base for SWSi • greater industry recognition and support for TAFE butchery training • improved workplace morale and performance at TAFE • personal professional growth for all TAFE staff.

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

• an increase in students’ course completions


3.2 Innovation exemplar: Pathways for young people

Table 3.2. Skills used by SWSi people to assist the innovation ✔ developed relationships with a range of external bodies including schools, employers, community groups, external youth support agencies and services

✔ created and added value with these partners, resulting in very high retention rates and the creation of multiple pathway options for participants

✔ systematically collected data about the needs of different youth cohorts and TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

used that data to develop customised approaches in the programs

68 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Description of the innovation

Origin of the idea

The Participation Phase Initiative (PPI) is a partnership between TAFE NSW and both government and non-government schools which aims to provide employability, language, literacy and numeracy skills in a vocational context for students up to 17 years of age who are at risk of disengaging from school.

The Participation Phase Initiative (PPI) is a widespread government program and the approach taken to delivering PPI in SWSi, in collaboration with local schools, is to identify and implement what Maryanne Munro, Director of SWSi’s Employment Preparation and Social Inclusion Faculty, calls a "model for success". This model is built on the experience of delivering successful programs to youth at risk.

The program is designed to help the participants access further education or training options, either by returning to school or enrolling in TAFE or obtaining an employment pathway. The program supports improved participation and reengagement in any educational area and it incorporates vocational units, language, literacy and numeracy units as well as employability competencies, with an average of 100 hours of TAFE delivery. In 2011, SWSi was funded to deliver the PPI program for 140 student places while schools provided ongoing pastoral support for students. Students were co-enrolled with TAFE and maintained a connection with school by attending full time at school and generally one day a week at SWSi. Outcomes included reengaging students at risk of disengaging from school, entering a TAFE-delivered vocational education and training (TVET) program, gaining employment through a School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship program, studying full time in vocational education and training (VET), or part-time or full-time work. Based on the 2011 successes, the program was extended into 2012.

Maryanne describes the initial thinking underpinning a “model for success” youth program: Our model for success is about having a joint negotiated program with the school; it is coordinated by a SWSi teacher with specialist experience in youth programs; it’s about forming a steering committee of all stakeholders from schools and TAFE such as counsellors, vocational teachers, deputy principals, transition teachers, as well as specialists from Literacy and Numeracy and where appropriate Aboriginal or Multicultural personnel. The role of the steering committee is pivotal to the model for success, says Maryanne, as this is where "you can jointly design the program, gain an understanding of the cohort, and jointly decide on areas like content, classroom management guidelines and points of contact for issues such as non-attendance”.


From my experience, very large projects where all the students can't be engaged at once, are not very successful and often don't work. You need to design the delivery around individual or small projects which can be personalised, and engage small groups of no more than three or four students. The delivery has to be tailored to the student’s interest area across a variety of vocational areas such as welding, automotive, barista, hairdressing.

Steps in the innovation process A Project Officer was employed full-time and took the following steps and achieved the following results in Semester 1 2012: • coordinated and supported the delivery of 19 customised vocationally oriented courses • implemented PPI to approximately 300 young people across the Institute • documented a best practice model for PPI delivery integrating Literacy and Numeracy skills • improved the relationship with external youth support agencies and services

Drivers of the innovation

• established relationships with 31 local high schools

The Participation Phase Initiative is funded as part of the Raising the School Leaving Age Policy to re-engage disengaging youth under 17 years of age. SWSi has a high demographic of unemployed youth or youth who are disengaging from school and this program is part of the funding to address the issue of early school leavers, explains Maryanne.

• developed a local contacts list for future programs

• gathered and consolidated data on previous youth programs • monitored and reported on youth deliveries that clearly identified programs that were able to retain and re-engage students and offer opportunities for students to take up further education and training in specific vocational areas • developed a Destination Survey to collate and record data on the outcomes of previous PPI deliveries.

“We’ve received really great letters from kids who’ve written back to say ‘this has made a very big impact on me’...”

69 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

We work with schools to target Year 10 students who are at risk of disengaging and try to give them a positive vocational learning experience to encourage them to stay at school or take a pathway on to a full-time TAFE certificate. Students may in fact go and get a traineeship or apprenticeship or reengage with school education until they are 17 years of age.

• made recommendations for continuous improvement of PPI programs

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Another important aspect of the model is that it is built around “students re-engaging through concrete, ‘hands on’ learning that is positive and personalised, while broadening their knowledge of VET pathways and training,” says Maryanne.


3.2 Innovation exemplar: Pathways for young people continued...

Skills used by SWSi staff

Outcomes of the innovation

The description above indicates that a range of coordination, negotiation, research, evaluation and other skills were used by SWSi staff to embed this innovation. Maryanne Munro adds that another aspect of the model involves the use of specialist teachers working as a team:

In Semester 2 2011, 149 students enrolled in seven programs across a number of Faculty areas. These programs included hairdressing, carpentry and joinery, bricklaying, automotive, fitting and machining and barista. Of the 149 students, 62% were males and 38% females. Typically, the gender distribution aligned with distributions in the traditional trades, with females dominating hairdressing training and males dominating automotive and construction. All students were followed up and the results were recorded in the Destination Survey. Results from Semester 2 2011 are shown in Figure 3.2.

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The model has two teachers on each group. One is a vocational teacher and one is a teacher of Adult Basic Education (ABE) or English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) because we are integrating literacy and numeracy and employability skills into the delivery.

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With two teachers involved with a small group, the teachers were able to handle a range of different issues that may arise: My idea was that if there were two people in the room at the same time, you reduce the ratio immediately to 7:1. As a team, the teachers deal with issues that arise such as team participation, conflict resolution, getting on with your fellow students, listening and communicating as well as issues around literacy and numeracy such as reading the instructions or working out the maths.

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Maryanne believes that, overall, “it’s very much an integrated approach to managing the student as a whole, within a vocational context”.

Maryanne Munro is delighted with the success of the program and the fact that SWSi had 300 students from across 31 schools involved in Semester 1 2012. She is also proud of the proportion of past participants who have re-engaged with education by returning to school or using pathways to TAFE or obtaining employment. In addition to these statistics, the Institute receives encouraging letters from participants. We’ve received really great letters from kids who’ve written back to say ‘this has made a very big impact on me, I’m now going to go back to school and focus’. I think those sorts of honest comments are really important. And classroom teachers as well have written back to say ‘thank you, this has been a really good program’.

Figure 3.2 Some outcomes for students from the Participation Phase Initiative (PPI), Semester 2 2011

• 79% of all participants from the program returned to school • 19 continued in a TAFE course through TVET • Of the 27 students that did not return to school: – 16 enrolled in TAFE in 2012 – three gained employment.


3.3 Innovation exemplar: Skills for Somali women

Table 3.3. Skills used by SWSi people to assist the innovation ✔ developed relationships with the local Somali community groups and leaders ✔ created and added value with these partners, resulting in the Somali women developing more skills and knowledge through ‘bi-cultural learning’

✔ systematically gained the confidence of the Somali women, enabling the

Origin of the idea

This innovation involves the delivery of specifically designed bi-cultural training of one class per week for Somali women. The training is based on building skills in participants so that they can articulate into further TAFE training. Originally the group started as a Soft Furnishing class but it has now evolved into a TAFE readiness program. The women in the group are supported by a Somali worker who usually visits on a weekly basis and pastoral support is provided during this visit.

Kaye has worked directly with African communities in Auburn for the last 12 years. However the Somali community has not actively engaged in VET in large numbers, until recently. From her involvement with African community networks, Kaye understood that Somali women were socially isolated, even in their own culture. “They appeared to lack the skills to effectively participate in local community activities and they generally possessed very low levels of education,” says Kaye Morris.

The innovation comes from the TAFE delivery process, says Kaye Morris, Outreach Coordinator in SWSi’s Vocational Access Faculty: The delivery is unique in that it provides complete wrap-around TAFE delivery. Child care, translation services and TAFE training are provided. The classes are place-based and only for Somali women. The course content is heavily geared toward affective skill development and individual empowerment, while emphasising and encouraging community involvement.

The class came about as a result of Kaye’s connection to the Somali Welfare Community group who are members of Auburn Small Communities Organisation Network (ASCON). I attend the ASCON meetings and Saada, one of the Management Committee members of Somali Welfare Association, started to discuss the issues of socialisation and Somali women. I asked her if they would attend classes. Initially they attended classes at Regents Park Hub and undertook Soft Furnishing classes: a hands-on program with no educational prerequisites. This was the beginning of their exposure to formal training. They loved the open and straightforward approach of Outreach delivery. This was a highly effective group.

The innovation comes from the TAFE delivery process...

71 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Description of the innovation

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

provision of an effective, customised program


3.3 Innovation exemplar: Skills for Somali women continued...

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

The women from this program made and sold items for the Auburn African Festival where SBS Radio became interested and asked if they could do a story around some of the women. SBS came to the class and interviewed a few women. One woman’s story was placed on the SBS website featuring Africans who had left Africa and relocated to Australia.

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Saada attended an interview with SBS and discussed the classes on air. The word then spread in the Somali community and they requested training in a more formal sense around preparedness for TAFE classes. As a result, in 2012 the Somali women attended classes at Auburn Centre for the Community, conducted by TAFE and sponsored by Auburn Council and Somali Welfare.

Drivers of the innovation Kaye Morris and her colleagues are well aware of research about the special needs of refugees:

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Research (Skills Australia, 2011) shows that socio-economic background is a determinant of VET participation at higher level qualifications above Certificate III. Therefore refugees are at risk of becoming an isolated racial /ethnic underclass (Birrell & Byung-Soo, 1998). In Australia, says Kaye, the increasing emphasis on higher level qualifications and the rapid pace and complexity at which citizens must adapt and change requires “a more flexible and efficient VET system to unlock the potential of the labour market”. Kaye is also aware that “participation in adult education worldwide is positively correlated with the GDP of the country. The greater the participation the more prosperous the country.”

The importance of investing in adult education for refugees cannot be underestimated. The 2009 UNESCO International conference summary points out that “for every single year that the average level of education of the adult population is raised, there is a corresponding increase of 3.7 per cent in long-term economic growth and a 6 per cent increase in per capita income”. Kaye believes that, in order to create a true learning culture and to equip individuals to develop to their full potential, the following principles apply: Attention must be paid to the development of life-long and life-wide learning within an appropriate adult education context. The provision of an adult education process that is both sensitive to and respectful of the needs of its participants should be a basic human right. There can be no ethnocentric exclusions from the lifelong learning process.

Skills used by SWSi staff The skills used by Kaye Morris and her colleagues are based on an in-depth understanding of the social and learning needs of refugees. “Refugees experience the pull or push phenomenon. Pushed out of one’s country or being pulled toward another country. The learning environment is but one of many circles of engagement that the student is negotiating”. Kaye adds that refugees see themselves as belonging to three communities: their tribal community, their Somali community and their Australian community. “Personal observation has shown that the more interconnected a refugee is, the more successful they are in their engagement with the wider community and therefore the educational process.” To assist refugees, Kaye finds that “transformative learning is crucial in the delivery”, as it assists with “the development of critical self-reflection, to modify beliefs, feelings and attitudes thus modifying their worldview or schema. Modifying schemas allows for the adult to critically reassess their current educational needs.” Kaye finds that “situated – that is, place-based – cognition is vital, with an emphasis on settings in which learning activity is embedded, where working

“Autonomy of learning is developed because the students feel that the goals and purpose of the training mesh with their own personal goals and purposes.”


The course Kaye and her colleagues now deliver for Somali women aims to develop self-directed learning as a learner characteristic. “Autonomy of learning is developed because the students feel that the goals and purpose of the training mesh with their own personal goals and purposes. This impacts positively on learning transfer.” The course also aims to teach around what Kaye calls “life roles”, such as parent, worker, citizen. “For women this appears to play a very important role in the transfer of learning. The learning becomes relevant if it’s contextualised to the life roles”. Kaye also knows from experience that “the student perception of the facilitator is a prime trigger to initiate transformative learning, helping them to change their own attitudes about learning.” She notes that “all student feedback repeatedly mentions instructor traits of empathy, caring, authenticity, sincerity and integrity”. Kaye emphasizes that TAFE Outreach does not assume refugees are damaged. “We build on the strengths that the student comes to us with. We don’t see the students as lacking.” She adds that:

A coordinated team approach by TAFE is essential: You’ve got to pick the right teacher. You can’t have teachers with any underlying hidden body language. When people don’t speak English as a first language, reading body language is really important in the learning process. You need to ensure that teachers’ verbal messages and nonverbal messages are congruent. In addition Somali people are quite gregarious, so you can’t have a shy teacher at the front of the class, you have to have a teacher who can appropriately assert themselves.

The success of the innovation is based on relationships between teachers and students, says Kaye. I teach on this class as well as the regular teacher. The women in the group see us at Auburn social activities, not just in class. They see us attending community events, festivals and conferences. They know that the teaching is authentic. They trust in what we are doing. This forms the basis for the relationship which they need to have in order to begin to learn. The success of the innovation is also based on an appreciation of Somali culture, says Kaye: Somali culture, as are many African cultures, is tribal and is based on interdependence, not independence. They value things that are relationship based. They develop their self concept from the group, as a group member. This step has been the most important feature of the group’s development. Recognising that the students need to be a part of a larger community group, supporting this group has allowed the individual members to succeed and move forward, assisting in their bi-cultural development. Kaye adds that “we do not attempt to assimilate or integrate the Somali women. We value their culture but show them ways of working within their new culture, that is, bi-cultural learning”.

Outcomes of the innovation Kaye believes the main outcomes of the innovation are “improved community development” and “improved understanding of Australian culture and education systems”. The positive impact of SWSi on African communities was recognised recently when its Lidcombe College Outreach section was presented with a ‘Friends of Africa’ award by Senator Kate Lundy at the inaugural African-Australian awards in Sydney in September 2012. The celebration, held at Sydney Opera House, recognised the 100 most influential Africans in Australia as well as honouring those organisations like SWSi that support African culture in Australia.

Figure 3.3 Some outcomes for students and community from the Somali women courses

• The way the students have begun to actively seek out wider community involvement, resulting in greater participation in their local community, not just in their immediate Somali community • Students are asking questions about what’s next for us educationally? Where do we go to from here? • Students are thinking about higher level learning: for instance, one woman, a mother of five, wants to do pathology training with TAFE. They’re thinking outside the norm, outside what is expected of Somali women • Students are much better at communicating with their children: that finding has come back to us from the community in general, and from the women themselves • Students are much more aware of what is available to them and they feel positive about their future. They are looking forward with optimism, not looking backward with sadness • Such positive indicators suggest that the program not only works on an individual level but also on a community and vocational level.

73 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

...the communication style of the facilitator/teacher is also paramount to the success of the program. The key to successful engagement is that communication is undertaken on an equal footing. Teachers must not have any preconceived ideas about the students or their capability.

Roles and steps in the innovation process

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

at solving problems is contextually located. Situated learning also appears to enhance transfer.” Kaye also finds that “embedding basic skills into a broader learning activity” is important, whereas she has observed that “basic literacy skills have limited transferability”.


3.4 Innovation exemplar: E-learning for building and construction

Table 3.4. Skills used by SWSi people to assist the innovation ✔ developed relationships with staff, employers and students to ensure acceptance of and support for online Moodle courses

✔ created and added value with these partners, especially through seeking feedback and observing student use of Moodle

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

✔ systematically identified quality criteria, created internal procedures,

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provided staff development and developed an extensive plan to support the development of a raft of Moodle courses

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Description of the innovation

Origin of the ideas

This innovation involves the Building and Construction Faculty moving from a reliance on traditional face-to-face course delivery to an increasing usage of Moodle, which facilitates a student-centred, flexible methodology. Moodle is a free, open-source web application for producing modular internet-based courses.

Shayne Fagan, Teaching and Learning Consultant in the Faculty, recalls that, at a strategic level, the initial source of the innovation was the forecast move of TAFE into a more contestable VET environment. “It really prompted us to prepare for the open market, to start look at being competitive with the potential funding arrangements that we may have to work with.” He quickly adds that this move would not be taken at the cost of educational quality:

John Humphrey, Director, Building and Construction Faculty describes the innovation as follows: We’re providing new e-learning products for our students. If you want to have a look at what are the considerations, what are the values, what are the things that we’ve wrestled with, what best describes the innovation is ‘a teaching, learning and assessment methodology’, significantly different to what we’ve previously had. The innovation is strongly coordinated across the faculty – a diverse faculty which includes 24 vocational areas from bricklaying with trowels to wood machining with computers – and includes the implementation of a Moodle course development framework that guides staff to develop quality learning and assessment resources.

We’re trying to provide a new educational model that is very engaging for the students, that will provide flexibility and a learning environment that’s going to engage them more effectively; it is enticing them to be more involved in their learning. At a practical level, one member of staff, shopfitting teacher Glenn Martin, pursued the idea of using Moodle with Shayne and the other members of staff and found immediate support. Glenn describes his conversion to e-learning as follows: A few years ago we went to a conference for the building trades and we found that we were getting left behind by other colleges. They started talking about Moodle, and we started to think ‘Well wait a minute, what’s all this about? We’re the biggest college in the state, if not the nation, and all these smaller country colleges are starting to do all this e-learning’.


Drivers of the innovation Shayne Fagan believes there are two key broad drivers of the innovation, besides the need for SWSi to compete in the new VET market. To begin with, students are seeking more flexibility:

We’ve got teachers who are very passionate about vocational education. And Glenn Martin has taken this new teaching methodology on board and is excelling in it. So for me the big drivers are the students and exceptional staff members like Glenn. John Humphrey adds that “Shayne, with his leadership and organisational skills, has been an integral part of the team and he is a key driver of the process”.

Steps in the innovation process Shayne Fagan’s role includes establishing quality benchmarks and working with staff to follow a process to build content, in line with training package requirements. Before teachers can commence building a Moodle course, they must submit a survey form which asks them to address criteria that ensures a quality education product emerges, and only then do they get permission to proceed. Shayne obtains regular feedback from students who use Moodle for learning purposes. For instance, a case study evaluation was conducted of the Moodle created for the shopfitting courses. Shayne also receives feedback from staff who use Moodle for delivery. He finds that staff are very willing to provide comments: “Because of their passion for teaching and the quality of what they’re doing, they become very vocal or passionate in their feedback.”

The innovation is strongly coordinated across the faculty – a diverse faculty which includes 24 vocational areas from bricklaying with trowels to wood machining with computers...

75 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

First, the students are the drivers of this. Even though we don’t have students walking up to our front door saying we want to engage in learning in this manner, a lot of our students who are engaging with this now are showing that there’s a strong demand for this type of educational methodology.

The other major driver is the group of enthusiastic teachers, led by teacher Glenn Martin, says Shayne:

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

We weren’t sure what it was all about. So we started to research it, got involved with it, and we found a lot of the students had been using this type of training resource at their school level. So I saw the Head Teacher and said ‘Look, I want to get involved with this. We’ve got to go this way if we want to keep viable in the future’. I started doing a bit of research, I talked to a few people, had a look at what they were doing, I went to the faculty and saw Shayne Fagan our Teaching and Learning Consultant and he said ‘Beauty, let’s get involved’. So we started getting everything set up.


3.4 Innovation exemplar: E-learning for building and construction continued...

Skills used by SWSi staff

Outcomes of the innovation

Shayne says the skills used by SWSi staff involved in this innovation are reflected in the different roles that have been established for the discipline team structure:

The development of this flexible approach has resulted in benefits for students, employers and staff. For instance, students are in many cases noticeably more engaged in learning, says Shayne:

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

For each discipline area there’s a project leader or project manager, because we’re trying to instil in this initiative professional development, or workplace learning, for our staff. It’s about developing managerial, project management and leadership skills in the teams.

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The Moodles are helping students to complete their courses, to achieve a successful outcome. I think this goes a long way to assisting the students; potentially students who were at risk of becoming disengaged, possibly because of their learning style. We’re now catering to a wider variety of learning styles, and I think that’s reflected in a higher percentage of our students completing at a unit level, as well as at a course level.

We’re also looking at developing the skills of people who are more technically inclined. We have a designated role for somebody to go in there and really build the technical side. Not all teachers want to dive into the technical computer aspects of it, they may be happy to be facilitators regarding the content.

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Shayne adds: “We’ve broken up job roles within the team so as to develop people, and to also play to their strengths.”

Glenn Martin has observed similar trends: “I believe we’re getting a better pass rate; the success rate is better. Everybody who has done the practice quiz, and gone through the information contained there, has gone on to pass. I’ve talked to other teachers, and they believe the pass rate is higher. We are getting better outcomes.”

Figure 3.4 Some outcomes for students, employers and teachers from e-learning in building and construction

• Benefits for students: – always have access to the Moodle resources – have more choices about how, when and where they learn – have the opportunity to revisit the learning material – become engaged in learning if their learning style is not suited to traditional teaching and learning methodology – are driving a trend towards a higher completion rate • Benefits for employers: – staff (e.g. apprentices) become more engaged and passionate about their vocation – staff can become skilled in a shorter time frame • Benefits for SWSi staff: – because the support for building a Moodle is so thorough, staff feel empowered – staff who have taught in the same way for years have discovered that building a Moodle is interesting and the positive response from students is motivating.


3.5 Innovation exemplar: RUReady

Table 3.5. Skills used by SWSi people to assist the innovation ✔ developed relationships with the Australian licensor of the literacy/numeracy student diagnostic tool and related resources, and with staff groups across the Institute

✔ created and added value with multiple partners across the Institute

Description of the innovation

There are three main features of the RUReady tool: an initial skills check, a follow-up diagnostic profile, and support resources that can be used with students to address their skills gap. The objective behind the use of this resource in the Institute is to provide students, teachers and support staff with information to assist with appropriate course choice, identification of skill gaps and the follow-on provision of targeted learner support. This is just one of several strategies theInstitute is implementing to assist student completions.

The current process for literacy and numeracy assessment has involved literacy, language and numeracy teachers using paper based indicator tools with vocational students, marking these assessments and reporting results back to the student and the vocational teacher. Nola believes that this new assessment tool offers increased efficiencies in this process and encourages additional participation in the process by vocational teachers. It also offers immediate feedback to both students and the class teacher. This tool provides an opportunity for consistency and standardised approaches across all vocational areas, at all levels. One of the stand-out features is the efficiency and speed of recording and reporting results back to students and vocational teachers. The tool has the capacity to record a student’s progress over time and provide us with data on core literacy and numeracy skills development.

“This tool provides an opportunity for consistency and standardised approaches across all vocational areas...”

77 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

This innovation involves the implementation of RUReady, an online literacy and numeracy skills indicator tool, and associated resources, which are mapped against the Australian Core Skills Framework. A licence to use the tool was purchased by the Institute in mid-2012.

This educational skills indicator tool has improved existing assessment processes and the provision of learner support, says Nola Lucre, from the Employment Preparation and Social Inclusion Faculty.

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

✔ systematically set about implementing the tool across the Institute


3.5 Innovation exemplar: RUReady continued...

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Origin of the idea

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Maryanne Munro, Director, Employment Preparation and Social Inclusion Faculty, briefed the Institute Board of Directors about a skills indicator tool that is being used in the UK, to address literacy and numeracy skills gaps that may be impacting on appropriate course choice and course completion rates. On Maryanne's return from a visit to Highbury College, UK in January 2012, she identified an Australian based provider of the tool. As increased student completion rates is a high priority on the Institute agenda, it was agreed that additional resources would be allocated to enable further investigation and later a pilot use of the tool commenced in the Institute.

Drivers of the innovation

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

The forthcoming change to an entitlement based funding model will place an increased focus on both appropriate course placement and course completions, says Nola. “This impending funding change gave the Institute an imperative to investigate and put in place strategies that would work towards improvements in both of these areas.” Internally, course completion statistics indicated that it was necessary to review factors that may be impacting in areas where students were withdrawing from courses or not successfully completing their qualification. “This is an institute-wide initiative that will guide a standardised approach to literacy and numeracy assessment across all faculty areas and may impact on course delivery and course offerings to ensure pathways for students in vocational courses.”

Maryanne Munro adds that the existing partnership within the Institute between vocational sections and language, literacy and numeracy specialist teachers “will be further enhanced and assist in raising the awareness of the literacy and numeracy needs of students and encourage a range of improved strategies to support these students”.

Steps in the innovation process To implement the tool, Nola Lucre and her colleagues followed these documented steps: “Initial information and training sessions – Institute Management team, Faculty management team Ongoing communication with the licensing body re access, technical support and user guidelines Development of project plan and implementation schedule Organisation and development of procedural guidelines for access – uploading information and relevant documents to PoD, IT support and student services support Information sessions/meetings – all faculty areas, support units, College management teams Training sessions – college ABE/ESOL staff, vocational teachers Using the assessment tool and program with students Ongoing management of access for new groups Maintenance of the online access and group management


Preparation of reports for Institute management team to review the progress of the implementation strategy Development of focus group to reflect on the implementation process, to evaluate processes and outcomes and to develop further the implementation plan Development of student feedback survey to inform planning Seek opportunities to showcase this innovation and investigate a range of opportunities to broaden the use of this innovative program.”

Nola says that initially it was the creative and lateral thinking of the Faculty Director, Maryanne Munro that initiated and supported the introduction of this initiative. “Her enthusiasm and extensive educational experience gave the project legitimacy. Her ability to negotiate the required funds and the staffing required was the starting point for this innovation.” The faculty then appointed Nola as the Project Officer to implement this innovation. The skills required for this innovation project included project planning, project management and ongoing evaluation and review. It was also necessary for the Project Officer to author supporting documentation, and work in partnership with Institute support services including the Technology Learning support team, Service Desk and Student Operations. The expert skills of staff in all areas aided the implementation of this innovation.

Skills used by SWSi staff

Outcomes of the innovation

Nola Lucre believes that the use of the tool will change the way teachers work:

The innovation is being monitored through ongoing evaluation and reporting on outcomes. “Feedback from students and teachers is critical in assessing this innovation and its ongoing impact on the way we support students,” says Nola. It is envisaged that all students may benefit from this innovation, however apprentices, trainees and students in skill shortage areas, will be given a high priority in the initial implementation phase. The outcomes of this innovation should flow through to industry and employers, as students complete their qualifications with improved literacy and numeracy skills.

Figure 3.5 Some outcomes for students and staff sought from implementation of the literacy/numeracy tool

Expected outcomes, about which SWSi people will gather evidence, include: • an increase in course completions • an increase in literacy and numeracy skills • the development of partnerships between vocational teachers and language, literacy and numeracy practitioners • better student service • an increased awareness of literacy and numeracy needs of students • a wider range of teaching strategies used by teachers to accommodate students who have literacy and numeracy deficiencies • a review of learner support provision leading to efficiencies and targeted support.

79 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

It’s much more than a product because it really goes to the heart of our learners’ support provision and will, in lots of ways, enhance the way that vocational teachers work with literacy and numeracy specialist teachers. I think it will also impact on how vocational teachers think about supporting their students, and hopefully lead to improved delivery strategies, as well as processes, across the board.

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Provision and monitoring of data – number of users, number of groups, management of Faculty allocation, costs and hours used


4. Conclusion: the SWSi innovate model The evidence set out in this document provides the basis for the SWSi Innovate model of systematic innovation, as described below.

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

Features of the SWSi innovate model

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The layering of value. Value is created and created progressively. The model has the appearance of rotating and growing in richness. The centre is the nucleus of the innovation process. In summary:

The SWSi innovate model is unpacked in the four figures in this section. Each figure shows the stage the innovation has reached, along a spectrum from an early stage of innovation on the left to a mature stage on the right. Each of the small diagrams depicts:

SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Relationships built. SWSi staff interacting with clients – with SWSi staff identifying client needs and then creating value in-house Value created and added. The participants in the innovation collaborating and moving together, with value being created and added progressively, with and to the client Systematic process. The diagrams move forward, left to right, as the innovation process unfolds. In a deliberate manner, SWSi staff build stronger relationships with other stakeholders, and build more value, as indicated by the bolding of the figures. The figures, from left to right across the page, become bolder, capturing two types of layering: The layering of relationships. The progressive bolding of the figures emphasises the deepening of the stakeholder relationships, and reaffirms the ‘building stronger’ theme. Close ties and relationships are established, for value creation and adding.

• Each of the four drawings imparts the feeling of moving forward, progressing, and building in strength. • In addition, participants in the innovation process are working together and moving forward. The diagrammatic model meets the aim of the SWSi innovate project that the model be inclusive, be client driven and capture the creating and adding of value. The model also fits with the international definitions of innovation that SWSi meets, in particular: Innovation by organisations is rarely the work only of people working solely within the service organisation: it is influenced by external factors such as competitors, customers, regulators and technology and research and development. For instance, there are multiple examples in this publication of customers or clients inspiring innovation among SWSi staff. Innovation involves a process that requires effort and perseverance. Innovation is much more than the metaphor of a light bulb turning on. For instance, there are multiple examples in this publication of the time, patience, determination and commitment of SWSi staff, and their clients, to bring about an innovation over an extended period of time – often years. And to keep improving the innovation systematically.


81 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute


TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute

The SWSi innovate model

82 SWSi innovate: the model of systematic innovation

Figure 4.1. SWSi innovate model of systematic innovation: early stage of the client-SWSi relationship, where the relationship is new and the creation of value just starting

Figure 4.2. SWSi innovate model of systematic innovation: a second stage of the client-SWSi relationship, with the relationship beginning to grow and value being jointly created


Figure 4.3. SWSi innovate model of systematic innovation: a third stage of the client-SWSi relationship, with the relationship deepening and more value being added to the innovation

Figure 4.4. SWSi innovate model of systematic innovation: a fourth, mature stage of the client-SWSi relationship, with the deep relationship now ongoing, and significant value added to the innovation


TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute Building A, 500 Chapel Road, Bankstown NSW 2200 Ph: 13SWSi

www.SWSi.tafensw.edu.au

SWSi innovate  

Examples of the innovate relationships SWSi has developed with customers and a model for how these relationships are developed and sustained...

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