WorkCo – lifelong learning model
WORKCO is a not for profit organisation and was established in 1986 as a Group Training Organisation, in Horsham. Over the past 25 years, the organisation has grown to include a Recruitment & Labour Hire service, a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and a Youth Careers Centre. It also joined a consortium providing Australian Apprenticeship services to an area covering the length of the Murray River and south to the Grampians. In 2005, WORKCO was successful in tendering for the lease of nearby Longerenong College, a 1070 hectare agricultural training facility. The lease includes the facilities and farm as well as teaching hours associated with the delivery of vocational training. The training is conducted under WORKCO’s Registered Training Organisation.
Through its growth of the past 25 years, WORKCO is now one of the largest employers in the Grampians region.
Over the past decade, what has emerged within the region is the need for a clearly defined – and locally accessible – vocational training pathway (or continuum) that leads from secondary school into apprenticeships and traineeships and beyond. WORKCO, together with Longerenong College has responded to this requirement by putting in place the building blocks for this pathway. The building blocks have provided two clear pathways in areas of regional priority and skills shortage: one in manufacturing and the other in agriculture.
The area in which WORKCO has been most innovative and effectual in recent years is using its combined resources to establish a life long learning model by putting in place the component parts and integrating them within its existing operations.
This life long learning model highlights a pathway that local people can start and continue to access support from Workco through their individual careers.
WORKCO’s Group Training service does not operate in isolation from its other services. As WORKCO has grown and expanded to include additional services and office premises, the keys to its success have been an organisation-wide integrated service delivery plan and a comprehensive Quality Management System.