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HYDAC offers a skills matrix, which is a form of skills assessment to help ensure hydraulic training meets learner and “work readiness” requirements.

The skills matrix links into HYDAC’s comprehensive range of standard training options selectable from its training calendars for courses running on standing programs through to fully customised programs as well as virtual reality (VR) training, which it intends to expand in line with industry requirements.

Skills matrix designed to help and not confront

HYDAC Managing Director Mr Keen said that the company’s skills matrix is “uncomfortable” for some companies and people but that if it’s approached in the correct way its advantages become evident.

“It shows where participants would benefit from more skills or updated skills,” he said.

“So, it’s not a criticism but a focus on points where someone could get benefit and improvement. If there’s company buy-in, there’s a good chance it will result in positive outcomes.”

Keen highlighted that the skills matrix ties into the fact that most companies are “now looking at the actual skills and capabilities of a person and they know when someone is a really good “operator”, who needs to be taken care of”.

This constitutes somewhat of a break from nationally accredited training which for the most part had the support of unions and larger industries because they could claim training costs on tax credit and because within traditional employment it offered a structured way for employees in the trades to reach the next employment tier.

“Within traditional employment there are grades of people: engineer, class three, class two, class one, and so on, and this class system applies in many different trades and sectors,” Keen said.

“By doing nationally accredited training you could complete your resume up to the point where you transitioned into the next level and a pay upgrade.

“That was the model and the system was built around that model, but I don’t think that model generally exists anymore – perhaps in a few highly unionised industries.”

Focus on work readiness

HYDAC Technical Training Manager Paul Marley says that the “challenge” is to focus on what training is required for people to be job ready.

“I see much evidence of a skills shortage in Australia; I see that people are not work ready,” Marley said.

“And as a person who works in industry, I am equipped to know what is required and I can verify first-hand how difficult it is to employ a salesman, engineer or technician with the skills and knowledge needed to fulfil their roles. So the need for people who are work ready is overwhelming.”

HYDAC to extend scope of training formats

Keen said HYDAC, as a certified regional training centre for Asia/Pacific intends to transition to the point where it can offer a user friendly and practical training solution in the current market and environment.

“This could include breaking courses into smaller module – micro credentialing – that students can complete at any time and in any order,” he said.

Keen added that universities offered micro credentialing in the past but found it “difficult” to execute at an administrative level.

“This wouldn’t be the case for HYDAC as it wouldn’t be managing thousands of courses and thousands of blocks of information,” he said.

“We are able to offer and manage smaller blocks of training.”