HVTC Northern Rivers

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HVTC (Hunter Valley Training Company) is Australia’s oldest Group Training Organisation (GTO) and has employed and trained a staggering 20,000+ people over the past 34 years. We spoke to Stevie Cole, Manager of HVTC Northern Rivers to find out more about how the company has continued to succeed and flourish and what sets them apart.

How long have you been established?
HVTC (Hunter Valley Training Company) started as a not-for-profit organisation in 1981. HVTC Northern Rivers (formerly Northern Rivers Training Group) was established 7 years later.

How did it all start?
We were the first Group Training Organisation in Australia, created through an initiative of the NSW Government in partnership with industry and unions to provide a new approach to apprentice training. We now employ over 80 people supporting over 800 apprentices and trainees across the state.

What sets you apart from other employment services?
We aim to take the risk out of employing trainees and apprentices providing easy and stress free solutions to recruiting and managing them.

Our high completion rates we feel are due to our expert staff and our rigorous recruitment, management and mentoring processes which result in quality outcomes. At the end of the day it comes down to care, we strongly focus on customer care and customer service.

You must have had some great success stories along the way?
Yes, Samantha Tindiglia took out top honours at the 2014 National Group Training Association Awards, winning School Based Trainee of the Year. Samantha was hosted by Care-Ring Children’s Centre in Goonellabah.
We’ve recently also celebrated two TAFE Award winners. Mechanical apprentice Jacob Dawes, with Simmo’s Automotive, received the Award of Excellence for Certificate III in Automotive Mechanical Technology Apprentice of the Year from Kingscliff TAFE, and Eric Riddle, with Northern NSW Local Health District, was awarded Information Technology Certificate IV Trainee of the Year at the Wollongbar TAFE Excellence Awards.

What do you love about operating in the Northern Rivers?
We enjoy the diversity of employers and industries we work with; from small business through to large government agencies.

Being part of a regional community means we have the opportunity to really get to know our clients and build real relationships, which is a win win situation. By working in partnership with our clients and really listening to their needs, it makes it easier to find the right solutions for them. It’s also great to see people that we work with develop and blossom in their careers.

Often in regional areas young people have to leave their local communities to get jobs elsewhere, we help people stay in the region by engaging young people in traineeships and apprenticeships. It feels great to have a positive contribution to our community.

We also have a strong history of success in assisting indigenous people to achieve qualifications and meaningful employment. A number of our traineeships and apprenticeships are filled by indigenous young people.

Case Study – Simmo’s Automotive Group

As part of their program of School Base Apprenticeships and Traineeships HVTC Northern Rivers has worked closely with Simmo’s Automotive Group, who currently employ 30 staff members and host six full time apprentices; three in the paint and panel workshop and three in their mechanical workshop.
Owner, Warren Simmons, says, “We took on two School Based Apprentices from HVTC and were delighted with the boys and the service provided. We were so impressed that we signed them both up as full-time apprentices.”

Simmo’s Automotive Group is a company that believes training is the only way the auto industry will continue into the next decade. The objectives of the company are to identify, train, evaluate and improve the quality of their greatest asset – their staff.

Their commitment to training has been proven over the years; they have employed approximately 100 apprentices and have continually hosted apprentices with HVTC Northern Rivers since 2005.
HVTC has given us impeccable support in a professional and consistent manner. Their quality service allows us to concentrate on the other important duties that come with running a business.” said General Manager, Andrew Simmons.

For this dedication to skills training and employment, Simmo’s was recently named winner of the 2015 HVTC Excellence Award for Small Host Employer of the Year.

For more information go to: www.northernrivers.hvtc.com.au

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