In 2020, William Angliss Institute (henceforth ‘Angliss’) and Learn Local Westgate Community Initiatives Group (WCIG) formed a partnership to help those needing stronger foundation skills to gain entry to vocational courses in food trades, hospitality and tourism.
Learn Local Westgate Community Initiatives Group (WCIG) was the answer to William Angliss Institute’s needs. Founded in 1976, the William Angliss Institute is a specialist training provider for the foods, tourism, hospitality, events and hotel management industries. However, one of the problems facing the Angliss Institute is that they do not offer foundation skills courses such as English as an Additional Language or Adult Literacy. This means that applicants whose foundation skills are too low to meet course requirements cannot be enrolled. To help ensure that students with low foundation skills could embark on specialist programs, Learn Local (WCIG) and the Angliss Institute partnered up to give students an opportunity to build the foundation skills they need.
To address this issue, a partnership was sought with a Learn Local to provide a course that would give students an opportunity to build the foundational skills they needed.
Jia Song, who works both in the Angliss Skills and Jobs Centre (SJC) and on the Angliss Future Students marketing team, had a concern that Angliss was losing potential students with lack of foundation skills. SJCs are state funded centers based in TAFES across Victoria created solely to provide training opportunities. The solution to this problem? A partnership with a Learn Local for specialists in hospitality to build skillsets in literacy, numeracy, language and hospitality related programs to suit their needs.
The course was designed to give students the opportunity to explore potential careers in food trades, hospitality and tourism by immersing themselves in real work situations at Angliss. The plan was for the course to be delivered by the Learn Local (WCIG) but take place on Angliss’s campus to give learners a welcoming and familiar environment.
Jia and Naomi Caronica of WCIG went on to work together in planning a course. They developed goals, such as preparing students for study at Angliss in Semester 2, 2020. The course would focus on the skills that are required in Angliss courses and related industries, such as food trades, hospitality and tourism. These skills include reading, writing, numeracy, digital literacy, oral language (speaking and listening), and general learning skills.
WCIG delivered courses which combined two pre-accredited courses: Language Literacy and Numeracy for Further Study and Work; and Learn 2 Learn.
The people invited to the course initially were prospective Angliss students who had applied for Certificate III in Commercial Cookery, Hospitality, Tourism and the very popular Certificate III in Aviation (Cabin Crew).
This course is designed to build skills in cooking, hospitality and tourism. In a final session of the course, twelve participants confirmed their commitment to the program. These students came from various backgrounds and ages, including a 60-year-old from Russia who had been out of formal schooling for years.
Branka Stevanovic, Manager and teacher at WCIG, delivered the course. She said: The student cohort was mainly from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds and some of them had their final years of secondary education completed in Australia, while some had only completed language courses in Australia. In both cases it was obvious that the students lacked experience and strategies required in text analysis. The importance of understanding the questions was observed as being an obstacle when trying to attend to the questions and provide answers. This all could be due to lack of experience throughout their prior education as well as limited language skills.
Branka also commented, “When it comes to numeracy the gaps were also noted in particular areas (e.g. understanding graphs and working out percentages) and again, once they got a foundation concept and understanding of how to interpret, calculate and solve the problem, this issue was resolved”.
Six out of the seven participants in this program have since been successful in their applications for TAFE courses, two of those at Angliss, doing Certificate III in Aviation (Cabin Crew). Four have decided to defer their study due to due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Both Angliss and WCIG are proud of these outcomes. With the partnership, Angliss and WCIG are working together to improve communication with students (and prospective students) with faster response times and more consistent follow up.
The next step
The two organisations – Angliss and WCIG – have decided to continue with the course. A group of students has started preparing for vocational study at Angliss in 2021. WCIG is getting good feedback from the ACFE Board acknowledging their work with Angliss as well as encouraging more of such partnerships. Everyone is looking forward to a time when the course can be run at the Angliss campus.