A whopping 35% of working Australians do not have a formal qualification despite 74% believing that one is important or very important to career progress, according to recent research by Get Qualified Australia (GQA) this February.
Why then are Australians resisting gaining a qualification to get ahead? In a previous December 2015 study by GQA it was found that 75% of Australians are not intending to study or seek a qualification in 2016. 25% of those surveyed said the reason was that study is too expensive and 15% said that they did not have the time. This is not surprising as over 670,000 Australians work more than 60 hours a week, which when coupled with family and social commitments, leaves little time for education.
It is abundantly clear then that Australians are not aware of how recognition or prior learning (RPL) works and how it can save them time and money when it comes to securing a valuable qualification. When the concept of RPL was explained, 70% of people thought that being able to attain a national qualification in their chosen industry via recognition of existing skills and experience was either valuable or extremely valuable.
In the February study, it was found that 73% of those surveyed believed that most of their skills (60% or more) were learned on the job, rather than in the classroom, with 65% having worked in their nominated industry for more than 5 years. This makes them perfect candidates for RPL, as it is based on recognising ‘on the job’ skills and experience as a pathway to achieving the industry qualifications that are already owing to them.
Get Qualified Australia is Australia’s leading skills recognition and RPL specialist. Founded in 2010, GQA is the first business of its kind. According to its Marketing Director John Leahy, “Most Australians simply do not know that RPL exists or how it works and this lack of knowledge is doing us a huge disservice as a country,” says Leahy. “In international comparisons, a large percentage of us are being listed as unqualified but this is so far from the truth. We have the experience but we just don’t have the piece of paper that proves our worth to an employer and indeed, to society.”
RPL is essentially a skills assessment process that recognises informal ways of learning, such as work experience. “It isn’t something that’s widely publicised for obvious reasons. Colleges don’t want to turn away potential students just because they have prior experience on the job. This means that people are re-learning skills and knowledge they have already learnt, which is a clear waste of time and money,” says Leahy.
“As Australia moves towards a skills economy, formal qualifications will prove critical for getting ahead – whether that’s a pay rise, promotion or career change. In the coming years, there will be more job opportunities for those holding a Certificate III or above. In fact, according to the Department of Employment, the number of jobs requiring this skill level or above will grow by 31 per cent by 2019,” says Leahy.
GQA makes RPL simple, providing a time and cost-effective way to obtain nationally recognised qualifications based on existing skills and experience. While the Australian government offers a similar service to international students, this is the only business that works to help Australians upskill and better their future. Engaging GQA is extremely cost-effective, as it can potentially save up to 75% on course fees, and years that would have been spent in the classroom. Get Qualified Australia has 40 partners and 400 qualifications available to its customers across 29 industries. The business has helped to upskill tens of thousands of professionals, from tradies to executives.
RPL can be used to gain a full or part qualification. If candidates are unable to gain credit for all modules, they can undertake additional gap training through Get Qualified Australia’s RTO partners to complete their qualification. GQA’s services are available Australia-wide.
For more information visit www.gqaustralia.com.au