Collaboration Is the Key to the Soft Skill Shortage

Posted: by North Coast TAFE

A recent global survey by respected management consultants McKinsey & Co revealed that employers around the world all agree that the top skills they’re seeking in employees are ‘soft’ skills like teamwork, communication, and an innovative approach to problem solving….plus a work ethic.

Here in Australia, the Commonwealth Department of Employment’s report ‘Jobs Australia 2016’ report predicts that the job market is expected to become even more competitive in the next five years and that, more than ever before, industry experience is a key factor in employers’ recruitment decisions. The challenge for employers and job-seekers is finding a solution that meets these needs.

Some local collaborative training ventures are beginning to deliver outcomes that could provide that solution. Over the past few years, tourism and hospitality employment has increased in the Northern Rivers – in the Ballina Byron area alone there has been a 13% increase in employment in this sector over a three-year period.

Local travel operators like Ballina-Byron Airport, Lismore Airport, Rex Airlines and Windrose Travel have collaborated with the Tourism team at TAFE’s Wollongbar Campus to ensure TAFE students get industry-specific and best practice training in relevant workplaces.

TAFE teacher Julie Logan (pictured with pilot trainer Andrew Trease) has over 20 years of experience in the aviation and airline industry and currently manages and trains staff in passenger screening at Ballina/ Byron airport.

“The importance of training in an environment that looks and feels like a real airport is pivotal to the learning experience… for example the facilities we are able to use at Ballina and Lismore airport makes our training in screening for dangerous goods both current and relevant,” says Ms Logan.

Student Melissa Strong, who studied Certificate IV in Aviation (Ground Operations and Service) in 2015 and now works for Ballina airport says, “My TAFE training really helped familiarise information between training and work, this helped me to understand the importance behind all facets of the mechanisms of an airport.”

Mary Allan heads up North Coast TAFE’s tourism, events, aviation, cookery and hospitality training for the Northern Rivers and says that her team has worked incredibly closely with local businesses to make sure the training, equipment, facilities and work processes they use result in “job ready graduates who are passionate to make their mark in the industry.”

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