Why the Cert IV TAE is (still) Australia’s most versatile qualification


versatilityA couple of years ago, I wrote a piece that said the Cert IV TAE was Australia’s most versatile qualification.  I still believe that.

Here’s why.

I first wrote the article after reading Unemployment jumps to more than 10-year high.  What struck me then still strikes me now:  the unemployment rate is not some shock response to some recent major calamity.  Rather, it is a symptom of a bigger trend that has been brewing for some years.

And it is a trend that shows no sign of abating.  And just like it shows no sign of slowing down, even if it did reverse, it would take another 12 years to get back to so-called acceptable levels.

On top of this, we have a workforce that is less-certain and less-confident and more casualised than ever before in our history.

A little while ago I wrote a Whitepaper about the future of work, entitled The Green Zone (Request it here).  In that article, I wrote:

It might not be surprising that the jobs of the future will not be the same as the jobs of the past.  While there is expected to be growth in many areas of Australia’s workforce, there are likely to be smaller gains for the lower skilled occupational groups.

The issue with these sectors is that not only are there less jobs available for people in those industries, there will also be relatively more people wanting those jobs. This makes competition for those jobs even stronger

This is just the beginning of the challenge because it is not just how many people who have qualifications that is the issue.  The challenge is how many will need them. 

 Looking forward, the growth in jobs is expected to reward those people with at least a VET qualification.  In Employment Prospects 2011, DEEWR discovered that there will be more than 200 000 new positions for people with Certificate III or IV (Skill Level 3), and almost the same number of new positions that require a Diploma qualification (Skill Level 2).

More recently, the National Council for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) told us that people with Certificate IV and higher vocational qualifications are the people most likely to be in work, and most likely to be leading organisations of the future.

They’ll have jobs and they’ll keep them.

What do employers want?

Let’s put this in really simple terms.  This whole essay is about jobs: what sort of jobs there will be in the future, and how you can go about getting the ones you want.

It makes sense then that the way to get the jobs that you want is to ask employers what they need from you.  If you know that, then you know what you have to do.  And if you do what you have to do, then you can give the employers what they want.

Employers look for a range of skills and attributes when they recruit and it is important to understand that while technical skills and qualifications can significantly enhance your prospects of gaining a job, but they are not the only attributes you need.

Employers look for two things:

  1. The technical knowledge and skills for the job
  2. The general knowledge and skills to do the job

This might sound a little confusing, but it is true.

Employers of the new future are expecting their people to be have lots of experience, from lots of jobs in lots of places.  They expect you to be mobile and to work in flexible ways.  They expect you to have both technical and employability skills, and they will reward you for it.

But with all of that flexibility and mobility comes uncertainty.  When it comes time to employ someone, the employer has to compare applicants with all sorts of different experiences and backgrounds.  Getting the job is not just about being able to give the employer what they want.  We have to show them that we can give them what they want.

It is often said that it is not what you know, but who you know that is important.  The reasoning was simple: having someone who could vouch for you gave the employer trust that you could do the job.  And that made it easier for them to employ someone.

That might still even be the case for some people, but it is not the case for most.  Instead, we can confidently replace it with:

It’s not what you know, but who knows what you know that is important.

The reason is still the same. The employer’s job is still made easier when someone vouches for you. In a world where the credibility of Referees is being questioned (after all, we only choose to put people down as referees if we know they will say nice things about us, right?), having some independent body vouch for your skills and knowledge is very helpful.  And that is precisely what a Nationally Recognised Qualification does – provided, of course, that you choose an RTO that it reputable).

You need to stand out from the crowd of applicants in a way that makes clear that you have what they want.

What do employees want?

When people ask me which qualification/s they should do to improve their job prospects, I think about the qualifications that other people do and the ones that seem to appear most commonly in job ads.

People often ask me who our Cert IV TAE students are.

I cannot pigeon hole them.  As much as I have tried to nail down the age range, gender, educational background or jobs for these students, I just cannot.  These people come from an incredibly broad range of backgrounds (and you can see this yourself at our Testimonials page).

But one thing that is common to them all is that they believe the Cert IV TAE will help them in their current role, or in some future role.  For some of them, it is essential; for others, merely desirable.  For all of them, not having it is not an option.

Not just for Trainers and Assessors

It is true that the Cert IV TAE seems to be evolving to include more and more that it relevant to trainers and assessors who work in TAFE and other RTOs.  But that does not detract from its value.  If the purpose of RTOs is to deliver training and assess competence, then the skills to do that are as equally applicable within an RTO as they are in any other workplace where people’s skills need to be assessed and training delivered.

The versatility of the Cert IV TAE

Almost a third of all new jobs that are created in the next 5 years will be in the Professional category, which alone is forecast to employ 250 000 more people.  Other jobs growth is expected to occur in the areas of

  • Technicians and Trades Workers (146 500)
  • Community and Personal Service Workers (118 900).
  • Clerical and Administrative Workers (97 700)
  • Managers (94 200).

If we think about all of these new jobs, then there is a common theme. Almost every job that involves working with other people involves some element of training.  And almost every supervisory position involves some element of assessment.

That means that almost every job will benefit from you having the Cert IV TAE, and why you will benefit from having the Cert IV TAE.

It is a nationally recognised qualification that shows you are ready.

Ready not be part of the 12 out of every 100 Australians who are facing an uncertain future of unemployment, but to drive forward the shift in Australia’s industrial landscape.

This is why I think it is perhaps the most versatile qualification available in Australia today.

If you would like to see what your Cert IV TAE program will involve, why not let us develop a FREE Personal Learning Plan for you.  Request it here.

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