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My experiences with Cire

Hi, I’m Irene, currently studying Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care with Cire. I am from the Philippines and moved to Australia four years ago. I have a Certificate III in Individual Support and currently, work as a personal care assistant for an aged care facility in the Yarra Valley.

After some time working in the field, I wanted to expand my career options so enrolled for Certificate III Early Childhood Education. Why this course? Because I’ve always had a passion for working with and relating to children and have dreamt of becoming an early childhood educator. Why Cire? Because Cire’s local; the course cost is reasonable; the class size is small; delivery is flexible and Cire was very helpful and accommodating when I enquired about the course.

I am confident a career in childcare will be rewarding and worthwhile and I am confident about future employment opportunities in the sector. According to an article published by Rhianon Gent in training.com.au on the 19th December 2019

“Childcare is an incredibly fast-growing industry. It’s estimated that there are likely to be a whopping 184,000 job openings in childcare over the next 5 years. This is most likely due to the growing population and the increasing demand for both parents to return to work after maternity leave.”

 I believe I have been successful in the course so far by submitting assignments on time and getting through the first two sets of placements. Our trainer has a friendly and approachable personality and teaching style and Cire provides excellent resources for the course which greatly benefits the class and enhance learning.

My main challenges have been overcoming my nervousness during placement and building my confidence so I can express my thoughts and participate better in the class

Due to COVID-19, we transitioned from face-to-face classes to online delivery. It was a bit overwhelming at first and I was worried because I didn’t have home internet. I have surprised myself with how well I have coped. Cire has done a tremendous job in transitioning to online delivery and the support from our trainer has been amazing.

Free TAFE – How have you found it?

The Free TAFE for Priority Courses initiative was released by the Victorian Labor Government in May 2018, with its commencement in January 2019. Shortly after the Adult, Community and Further Education Board (ACFE) announced a support package to assist Learn Local Registered Training Organisations (RTOs). This support package was designed to assist RTOs such as Cire Services, Ringwood North Neighbourhood House, the Pines and others delivering the priority courses. This was designed to support Learn Locals to:

  • Change their focus and course offerings
  • Develop pathway programs
  • Support existing learners.

This was an interesting change in direction given that all Learn Local RTOs exist to support learners and their community to engage in the local area. Learn Local providers across Victoria offer a range of education and training programs designed to meet local learning needs. Whether you are returning to work after caring for children or a family member, following an injury or a period of unemployment your Learn Local is the place to start.

Learn Local tuition fees are affordable and often very similar to the TAFE charges with the ‘Free initiative’.

Cire Services has worked hard to change its scope of registration in order to develop pathway programs to TAFE. At this stage, there has been no interest from TAFEs to participate or work together offering a pathway for students.

So the question is ‘are Free TAFE Courses free’? No!

This initiative only covers tuition fees, other fees such as study materials, amenities and graduation must still be paid for. Eligible students can access one free TAFE Course in a lifetime. Since the beginning commencement over 19, 000 people have flocked to TAFE to enrol in such a course.

So what has your experience of free TAFE been like? Would you recommend it?

A recent article in the Age newspaper paints a picture of trainer shortage, ballooning class sizes, cancellations of classes and ‘multiple groups of students at different stages of the course being lumped together in one big class’. (Andrew Cowper, the Age, July 2, 2019) ‘Mr Cowper and his classmates have lodged a complaint with the Australian Community Services Association, a professional body which accredits community services courses’, read the full article here.

The issue with such an initiative is that it shifts students from small Learn Local RTOs, where the student support and learning occurs in small classes with a welcoming environment, compared to large public institutions that are often overwhelming. Cire Training offers courses that provide a pathway to employment in the Valley. Eighty-five per cent of our students have gained employment by the time they graduated. Our tuition fees are affordable and we provide support for all our learners, said Anna-Louise Allen, Executive Manager, Education and Training.

Another issue that has arisen from the explosion of enrolments in Free TAFE is access to work placement. This is a very important part of a student’s study in Vocational Education and Training (VET). There is a limit to the number of placement students an organisation can successfully accommodate, as this requires a supervisor’s time and exposure to the right sorts of programs. Students of free TAFE report difficulties in gaining a placement without any support. Anna-Louise stated that ‘Cire Services have experienced a significant increase in the requests for placement opportunities across our services’.  While the Free TAFE program may well have driven huge numbers to TAFE it has been at the expense of quality support and leads to the demise of many Learn Local RTOs. The VRQA reports an ongoing decline in the number of Learn Local RTOs registered within Victoria. ‘This is a cohort that would be a great loss to the community’ said Anna-Louise Allen, Executive Manager, Education and Training.

Cire Training is now taking enrolments in aged care, early childhood hood education and care and education support. Don’t delay getting your qualification when you can train with Cire in 2019 with the goal of gaining employment in 2020. The following courses are available at our Yarra Junction campus, making training accessible for people who live in the Upper Yarra region.

Further information on our courses:
CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support
CHC30113 Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care
CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care
CHC40213 Certificate IV in Education Support

If you have any questions call 1300 835 235 or email training@cire.org.au

New changes to Government course funding- How it can affect you

Skills First is the Victorian Government’s Funding Strategy aimed at supporting and upskilling Victorians. It includes the funding of qualifications which are delivered through traineeships, apprenticeships and classroom delivered programs. The impacts on an individual’s eligibility for a funded place, are discussed here. It is advised that you consider the location of the choice delivery, availability and cost of a course. Information about client feedback and what successful completion meant to the student is also something worth considering. Training should be about gaining skills that directly support your ability to get a job.

The Government is committed to improving the quality of government-funded training in Victoria and in line with the Education State Agenda. Only Training Providers with a proven track record of quality training delivery have been offered a 2018-2019 VET Funding Contract. Cire Training, (formerly Upper Yarra Community House) has been operating as a Registered Training Provider (RTO) since 1992, delivering a range of training and qualifications to the community. Cire Training was audited in November 2017 and has been offered a contract for the Skills First Funding program for 2018-2019.

The Department has restricted the number of places offered to every training provider who delivers qualifications where the anticipated commencements are significantly in excess of projected jobs and training needs.

The Skills First Contract is designed to provide high-quality skills in the areas where there are jobs available. It is important, as a prospective student, that you do not waste your funding entitlement on a qualification that may not enable you to achieve improved employment outcomes or a job. If you are unsure contact Cire Training to speak to an enrolment officer.

Cire Training regularly offers short industry taster courses where you can find out about different industries. Look out for our ‘Plan your career courses’ which include a tour of the sites where the courses are delivered and the current work pathways. This will give you an idea if this field is where you want to study and work.

Restrictions to enrolments in the following qualifications now apply to RTO classroom-based programs. If you are offered a Traineeship in one of the qualifications there are no restrictions. The six restricted qualifications are:

  • CUA51015 Diploma of Screen and Media
  • CHC50113 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care*
  • MSS40316 Certificate IV in Competitive Systems and Practices
  • CHC30113 Certificate III in Childhood Education and Care*
  • HLT33115 Certificate III in Health Services Assistance.

*If you do want to enrol in one of these qualifications you should contact Cire Training on 9736 1457 now, to find out if the course is suitable for you and to secure your place.

Skills First also offers the Reconnect Program which is designed to provide additional support for unemployed people who are finding it hard to secure a job, or who really do not know where to start. Cire Training can provide a range of supports and has special programs for men and women who need help with goal setting, determining career direction and applying for a job. If you need some help or just want someone to talk to, contact Michelle Spokes or Sammy Egan on 9736 1457 today, and get 2018 off to a positive start.

 

You don’t need a uni degree to have a great career…

Mid-January saw many thousands of 2016 year 12 students receive first round offers into their chosen university course. To the students who didn’t receive an offer, congratulations on completing your final year of secondary education.

 “I want to congratulate every student who has received an offer but I also want every potential student to understand that there are very many paths to the career you seek.” Gayle Tierney, Minister for Training and Skills

University is not for everyone so for those who didn’t get through, or didn’t even apply, there are plenty of alternatives out there that can lead to a rewarding career. University is not the only pathway available to achieving a happy, successful and fulfilling career. There are many different options ahead for those not attending university. Whether or not it is the decision to head straight into the workforce, or the opportunity to travel and work overseas. For some it is the potential to seek further education and training at a local community based Registered Training Organisation (RTO) to study in a chosen field.

Passing your VCE is a massive achievement that you all should be very proud of. Now is the time to think about your career and plans for your future. Some professions are in high demand such as early childhood education and aged and community care. A growing ageing population has meant that many people have joined this rewarding sector. With parents now returning to work earlier, children’s services’ providers are hiring on a regular basis. Both these professions are obtainable by gaining a certificate or diploma.

Cire Training is a local RTO based in Mount Evelyn and Yarra Junction and offers courses ranging from a certificate II level to diploma level. Students can enrol, complete a certificate or diploma course and be qualified and working within 6 to 18 months. Many of the courses include practical on the job skills and experience through completing work placement hours and knowledge and expertise by attending classroom sessions.

“Our vocational qualifications are nationally recognised and will provide you with a pathway to further your career opportunities or prepare you to take an entirely new direction” Anna-Louise Allen – Manager Cire Education and Training.

Another pathway to consider is undertaking a traineeship, where a student can work within the industry and be paid whilst studying towards a qualification.

University is not the only option when considering further study; there are many ways to further your education and reach career goals. If you’re not sure what to do or where to turn, drop into your local RTO for a chat about what courses are offered and options for career pathways.

For more information about the courses offered at Cire Training, call 03 9736 1457