COVID-19 and the Trades Industries
The coronavirus – or COVID-19, as it has come to be known – continues to cause havoc around Australia and the wider world. While government and health authorities seem to be getting a stronger hold on the pandemic, economies are still reeling, people’s lives are in danger, and countless more are out of work as a result.
Some businesses have been lucky and can continue to have their staff work from home, but restaurants, airlines, cafes, bars, tourist attractions, and hundreds more places of work are either forced to close completely, or pivot in their services just to survive. Now is therefore a time for many people to reconsider their career trajectory. With the trades industries still climbing out of shortages across the country, workers are still finding steady demand for their roles.
Those with experience in these industries could side-step the costly, time-consuming courses necessary to start working (which have likely been made unavailable by the COVID-19 crisis), and use Recognition of Prior Learning to obtain the required qualifications.
Preparing for RPL
Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) are responsible for creating the courses and programs that provide students with the skills and ability to offer competent, best practice services. Unfortunately, during the COVID-19 pandemic, these courses may prove unavailable due to the physical nature and social distancing laws.
People looking to transition into the trades industries during this time may not be able to obtain what they need, unless they are able to utilise RPL. This is the process by which an applicant can compile evidence for RTOs to prove their competence within a certain field, as RTOs have the power to determine whether an applicant can use their experience against a wider qualification.
A portfolio of evidence can include previous qualifications that are related to the field, written recommendations and referrals from past employers, photos or footage of work being completed and so forth.
What is involved in an RPL Assessment Process?
Various organisations exist that can help with free, no obligation skills checks on your working history that will assist in compiling a portfolio of evidence before an RPL Assessment. The portfolio of evidence will first be reviewed by the RTOs, who will appoint a dedicated assessor who will determine whether the information and documents provided deem the applicant competent within their field.
The possibility of the applicant needing to physically perform certain tasks to prove their ability is commonplace, which could be complicated by the COVID-19 crisis and social distancing measures. If the applicant is not proved competent, the RTO may offer other courses or information to help create avenues towards obtaining qualifications.
Where to Get Help?
A vast amount of organisations exist to help during this process, especially as it could be further complicated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are in doubt, but are still interested in pursuing the RPL process, please search out assistance to promote your best chances of your portfolio of evidence being accepted as competent by RTOs.
Interesting related article: “What is a Qualification?“