Optin Solutions is a consultancy specialising in workforce development, program review, education and training solutions.

Mentor Support for Apprentices

Optin Solutions is providing project management for Primary Skills Victoria for its Apprenticeship Mentoring Program in Victoria. The Mentoring Program is funded through the Commonwealth’s Australian Apprenticeships Mentoring Program.
The Mentoring Program seeks to improve Australian Apprenticeship retention rates through targeted mentoring and assistance to 360 Australian Apprentices working in the primary and food industries. The Mentoring Program is targeted first year apprentices working in agriculture, horticulture, forestry, food processing and aquaculture and fishing. The first year of training has been identified as a key period when Australian Apprentices are most at risk of withdrawing.

Optin Solutions provides project management, staff recruitment and oversight, strategic project development, staff training, collection and analysis of all project data relating to deliverables, report writing and liaison with the Commonwealth department.

Defining the learning needs for the Disability Sector

The disability sector is changing. Services are changing and the needs and expectations of people who use these services are changing. These changes require new and enhanced skills and knowledge from workers and managers.
field is a not for profit learning and development organisation that receives funding through the Department of Human Services to provide learning and development support and opportunities for disability Community Service Organisations (CSOs). field has engaged Optin Solutions to undertake a Learning Needs Analysis:
• to provide greater insight into the learning and development requirements of disability CSOs within the Victorian disability sector in light of the significant changes that are currently occurring in the disability space.
• for field to be more informed with an evidenced based plan to develop future learning activities in 2013/2014.
Through a series of forums and a questionnaire we aim to capture input from the varied service types (accommodation, attendant support, day services etc.) and take into consideration the views of a wide range of stakeholders:
• People with disabilities
• Carers and supporters
• Direct support workers
• Front line managers
• Senior managers
Input from each stakeholder group will assist with informing the current and future learning and development requirements of CSOs.
Your participation will greatly assist to identify specific learning and training needs.

The Questionniare
Click here to take survey

Seeking help in the wrong places

It is a common but often fraught practice for people to seek advice and help from people they know, are nearby or are well known, rather than seek out someone who actually knows.

Asking someone at the next desk is convenient, but won't necessarily be more than sharing ignorance. There is a lot of misinformation about what regulations require or do not require. One person's practice can become "law" when it is in fact just one interpretation.

We don't know what we don't know, and ironically if I don't know that I don't know, I'll think I know.

It is something that all of us who deal with regulated practice, whether in industry or education and training, need to keep in mind. Those who are near at hand, or those who have good reputations are not always the best placed to advise us. Even Google has it's limitations. It often simply exposes us to a wider pool of (not necessarily informed) opinion.

One of my favourite radio programs is "This American Life"  which airs on Radio National on Sunday nights. The episode below features two stories about people who seek help from unlikely (mystifying) sources. If you've got time listen to the whole program, but the story that really took my fancy was about some imaginary correspondence between Gregor Samsa (the coachroach from Franz Kafka's "Metamorphis") and Dr Seuss. (If you scroll through to the 41 minute mark this should be the start of this story)





Core Spine of Competencies

Health care delivery has evolved into a patient-focused, coordinated, multidisciplinary team approach. In this evolving context, although some skills and competencies reside within a particular professional group, many skills and competencies are required across the health care team. Simultaneously, acceptance and utilisation of support level roles across the health and community services sector, for example the Allied Health Assistant role, has grown.

Snap Shot of the Gordon

In 2011, Optin was contracted by the Gordon to undertake its Snap Shot of the Gordon Project.

The Snap Shop of the Gordon Project looked at creative ways to analyse and reflect upon the institutes delivery and assessment strategies.

Not only were quantitative methods used to highlight these things, but video taped case studies were seen to be an active way to describe the various delivery and assessment strategies being used by Gordon staff to achieve great results for their students. These videos are presented here in two parts.

If training was a sandwich

The Victorian Training System has changed from a supply to a demand driven system. Money for training flows to RTOs after they have engaged with learners. 

For the system to work effectively it requires informed consumers who understand the purchasing power in the market place.

Downfall of VET

The recent changes to funding rates have caused consternation in more than one TAFE and RTO in Victoria.

The new rates pose real problems for business models. One can only imagine what goes on behind closed doors.  To cut courses, close campuses, raise fees, move courses online; all options are under consideration.
The cut to the funding rates make it difficult to respond, because cutting staff doesn't solve the problem unless the remaining staff work much harder.  Raising fees is possible, but difficult to sell to a public which has enjoyed highly subsidised training.



Alan Austin - The view from France

Alan Austin is an Australian journalist, economist and christian activist who has recently moved to live in France. Alan reflects on same sex relationships and the challenge for the church to respond to science and society, economics and Australian politics.

Topical Anagram

There are always new possibilities in any given situation.

At Optin we see things that others don't. We work with our clients to create new meanings and positive insights.

It's one of the reasons we like anagrams and doing the cryptic crossword. What we can't solve this morning, becomes obvious in the afternoon!


Vocational Education in Bahrain- Peter Hoisen

Peter Hoisen is an experienced trainer and assessor. Peter talks about his experiences in Bahrain implementing vocational education and training in the Bahraini Secondary School system. This was part of a project conducted by the Victorian Ministry of Education and administered by Holmesglen Institute.
You can read more about this project by clicking here.


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