APY Lands: trade training centre in Umuwa

First posted on 29 March 2011 under APY Lands, Employment & Umuwa.
This article has been updated and archived.
Tags: infrastructure, TAFE & training

Summary

umuwa_sketch1In 2010, the Federal Government agreed to fund the capital cost of a $7.3 million trade training centre in Umuwa for APY secondary school students.[i]

Once completed, groups of Anangu secondary students will live at the centre, for up to a week at a time, while completing a block of vocational training.

Over a series of visits to Umuwa, students will be able to obtain a formal qualification in horticulture, construction, automotive repairs, commercial cooking, metal fabrication or another job-focused area.

On 6 November 2012, the new centre was officially opened. It is due to begin delivering one-day training courses in early 2013.[ii]

Longer training courses will be offered at the centre, once a 24-bed accommodation facility has been constructed.[iii]

The Paper Trail

The Australian Government launched the Trade Training Centres in Schools program in March 2008.[iv]

This ten-year, $2.5 billion program allocates funds to secondary schools for trade and vocational training facilities.[v]

In June 2010, the South Australian Department for Education and Child Development[vi] applied to the program for funding to build a trade training centre in Umuwa, the administrative centre for the APY Lands.[vii]

The Department’s application – submitted on behalf of nine Anangu schools – indicated that the proposed centre would (among other things):

  • address the “paucity of vocational training available in the APY Lands”,
  • address the “low accredited skill base” of Anangu youth in “traditional trades”,
  • increase “opportunities for pathways into employment on the APY Lands”,
  • “provide students with qualifications and skills that are portable, both geographically and vocationally”, and
  • help facilitate a 25% increase in the retention rate of Anangu school students.[viii]

Importantly, the application specified the qualifications that students would be able obtain through studying at the centre in connection with the following eight occupations:

  • motor mechanic
  • metal fabricator
  • wall and floor tiler
  • carpenter and joiner
  • cook
  • pastry cook
  • landscape gardener
  • agriculture worker.[ix]

The Department’s funding application was successful.

On 4 November 2010, the Federal Government announced that it would provide $7.31 million to cover the costs of building and fitting out the centre.[x]

On 15 December 2011, the State Government advised the Paper Tracker that:

  • the centre would be built by Murray River North Pty Ltd,
  • parts of the centre would be pre-fabricated in Alice Springs and then transported to Umuwa, and
  • construction of the centre was expected to be completed by mid 2012.[xi]

On 21 June 2012, the Government further advised that:

  • onsite work on one of the two main buildings had commenced in March 2012 and was “progressing well”,
  • once completed, this building would be used to deliver automotive, construction and metal fabrication training,
  • work on the second building – a pre-fabricated hospitality and administration facility – was continuing in Alice Springs,
  • the construction and equipping of this second building was due to be completed in August 2012, and
  • students were expected to begin receiving training at the centre in Term 3, 2012.[xii]

The training model

Once the Trade Training Centre has been completed, groups of up to 20 Anangu students will travel to Umuwa three or four times a year to complete a week-long block of vocational training in a specific industry area.

Each group of students will be accompanied by a teacher and an Anangu Education Worker (AEW) from their home community.

In Umuwa, the training will be delivered by a visiting vocational lecturer.

Over the course of a series of week-long visits to Umuwa, the students will complete a specified course.

In between visits, the students will attend school in their home communities where the skills learned in Umuwa will be reinforced and strengthened. This may include local work experience placements. For example, students enrolled in a construction course in Umuwa may have the opportunity to put what they have learnt into practice through placements on community-based housing projects.[xiii]

Partnerships and support

In the course of developing its funding application, the Department for Education and Child Development entered into formal arrangements with five “consortium partners”, each of which has agreed to provide some form of long-term assistance.[xiv]

For example, TAFE SA Regional has agreed to deliver training courses at the centre for a period of five years in six industry areas (including for thirteen Certificate III qualifications).[xv]

The Department’s application also demonstrated evidence of “practical support” from 11 local employers and industry groups.[xvi] This included a commitment from five employers to provide on-the-job training placements for students studying at the centre for the next ten years.[xvii]

The ongoing operating costs for the centre are expected to be $468,000 per annum, including, among other things:

  • $200,000 for the vocational lecturers,
  • $140,000 for the centre’s manager, and
  • $20,000 for training materials.

The bulk of these operating costs will be met by TAFESA Regional, the Department for Education and Child Development and through a contribution of approximately $20,000 per annum from each of the nine APY schools.[xviii]

Student numbers

The Department’s funding application included information on the number of students likely to study at the centre in coming years. According to this information as of June 2010:

  • there were 150 students enrolled in years 9 to 12 on the APY Lands,
  • 130 of these students were expected to use the trade training centre in the next 5 years,
  • during that period, all of these students were expected to “gain a full or partial qualification”, and
  • in the following five years, another 165 students were expected to obtain a full or partial qualification.[xix]

Broader changes

The establishment of the trade training centre in Umuwa will have an impact on the way education is delivered through local APY schools and their communities.

For example, over the last few years, Ernabella Anangu School in Pukatja has built up a successful general construction course for its secondary school male students. As part of this work, the students have participated in the building of a new skill centre on the school grounds. According to the Department’s funding application, this facility will now be used to deliver “pre-entry training” in construction to local students “prior to their progression” to Umuwa “for higher-level training.”[xx]

In other communities, existing and new training facilities will “support back-up learning” for students when they are not in Umuwa.[xxi]

The establishment of the centre will also have an impact on the Adelaide-based Wiltja Program where some Anangu students currently complete a portion of their secondary school education. This program “will broaden significantly to incorporate vocational qualifications.”[xxii]

Other training at the centre

Out of school hours and during school holidays, other groups will be able to hire the centre to deliver training programs to community members and other organisations. The Department expects such fee-for-usage arrangements to “contribute to the sustainability of the facility.”[xxiii]

Accommodation

The Federal Government’s funding commitment of $7.3 million did not include monies to cover the cost of building accommodation for the students, their support teachers and the centre’s manager.

On 26 July 2011, the State Government advised the Paper Tracker that an accommodation facility was expected to cost around $4 million and that this funding was being provided by Housing SA.[xxiv]

On 23 March 2012, the Government indicated that:

  • construction of the accommodation building had been delayed; and
  • until the building was completed, students would be accommodated in a recreation shed at Umuwa or in Pukatja.[xxv]

On 21 June 2012, the Government advised the Paper Tracker that:

  • work on the design of the accommodation building had commenced, and
  • this building would be constructed alongside the Trade Training Centre during 2013.[xxvi]

Additional information (added 19 December 2012)

On 6 November 2012, the centre was officially opened by Hon Paul Caica MP (State Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation) and Hon Alex Gallacher (Senator for South Australia).[xxvii]

On 20 November 2012, the Paper Tracker Radio Show spoke with the centre’s manager (Mr Mark Connelly) about the facility’s operations and program delivery. In the course of that interview, Mr Connelly indicated that:

  • the construction of a 24-bed accommodation centre was due to be completed by the middle of 2013;
  • until the accommodation centre had been completed, training would be limited to one-day courses; and
  • the first of these one-day courses would be delivered in early 2013.

This page was last updated in December 2012. It has been archived and will no longer be updated. It will, however, remain accessible online as a source of background information for anyone wishing to undertake further research on this issue. Information included in the article was current at the time it was archived. Keep in mind, however, that Ministerial changes and names of departments, among other things, may have since changed.


[i] Garrett, P and Murphy, J. 4 November 2010. “58 New Trade Training Centres – to boost vocational training,” joint media release. Also: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. November 2010. “Trade Training Centres in Schools Program Round Three – Successful Schools South Australia,” (link to document).

[ii] Caica, P. 6 November 2012. APY trade training centre opens at Umuwa, media release. Also: Connelly, M (DECD). 15 November 2012. Email to J. Nicholls.

[iii] Connelly, M (DECD). 15 November 2012. Email to J. Nicholls.

[iv] Gillard, J. 7 March 2008, “Trade training centres in schools program launched” media release.

[v] Gillard, J. 7 March 2008, “Trade training centres in schools program launched” media release.

[vi] At that time the name of the department was “The Department of Education and Children’s Services.”. The Department’s name changed in October 2011.

[vii] Lines, B (DECS). 31 August 2010. Letter to Rev. P. McDonald.

[viii] Department of Education and Children’s Services. June 2010. “Trade Training Centres in Schools: Round Three Application. Application No. 573926″, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations’ application form, p2 and p25.

[ix] Department of Education and Children’s Services. June 2010. “Trade Training Centres in Schools: Round Three Application. Application No. 573926″, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations’ application form, p13-p18.

[x] The exact amount of the funding commitment was $7,313,564 (see: Garrett, P and Murphy, J. 4 November 2010. “58 New Trade Training Centres – to boost vocational training,” joint media release. Also: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. November 2010. “Trade Training Centres in Schools Program Round Three – Successful Schools South Australia,” (link to document).)

[xi] Darwin, K (DECD) 15 December 2011. Two emails sent to J. Nicholls. As part of its funding application, the Department of Education and Children’s Services gave an undertaking that construction of the centre would commence “by mid 2011″ if the application was successful. In the application, the Department indicated that it expected the “first cohort of students” would enrol at the centre on 1 February 2012 (see: Department of Education and Children’s Services. June 2010. “Trade Training Centres in Schools: Round Three Application. Application No. 573926″, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations’ application form, p24 and p35). These timeframes were subsequently amended to November 2011 (construction commences), and July 2012 (construction completed): see Department of Education and Children’s Services. 2011. “Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Trade Training Centre”, print out of PowerPoint presentation, p20. (The Paper Tracker received a copy of this presentation on 26 July 2011).

[xii] Darwin, K (DECD) 21 June 2012. Email to J. Nicholls.

[xiii] Department of Education and Children’s Services. June 2010. “Trade Training Centres in Schools: Round Three Application. Application No. 573926″, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations’ application form, especially p12 and p20.

[xiv] The five consortium partners are: Housing SA, TAFE SA, the Construction Industry Training Board, Charles Darwin University and the Australian Industry Group (see: Department of Education and Children’s Services. June 2010. “Trade Training Centres in Schools: Round Three Application. Application No. 573926″, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations’ application form, p5-7).

[xv] Burton, B (TAFE SA) and Lines, B (DECS). May 2010. “Memorandum of Agreement”, p3.

[xvi] The 11 employers and industry groups are: Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara, Australian Industry Group, Construction Industry Training Board, Eyre Futures, Families SA (APY Lands Community Programs), Housing SA, Nganampa Health Council, Oz Minerals, PY Media, Regional Anangu Services, and the Uluru-Kata Tjuta Board of Management,

[xvii] The five employers/organisations are: Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara, Families SA (APY Lands Community Program), Housing SA, Nganampa Health Council and Regional Anangu Services. A sixth organisation – the Uluru- Kata Tjuta Board of Management – has agreed to provide on-the-job placements for a period of five years (Department of Education and Children’s Services. June 2010. “Trade Training Centres in Schools: Round Three Application. Application No. 573926″, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations’ application form, p7-11).

[xviii] Department of Education and Children’s Services. June 2010. “Trade Training Centres in Schools: Round Three Application. Application No. 573926″, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations’ application form, p22.

[xix] Department of Education and Children’s Services. June 2010. “Trade Training Centres in Schools: Round Three Application. Application No. 573926″, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations’ application form, p26.

[xx] Department of Education and Children’s Services. June 2010. “Trade Training Centres in Schools: Round Three Application. Application No. 573926″, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations’ application form, p19 and p26.

[xxi] Department of Education and Children’s Services. June 2010. “Trade Training Centres in Schools: Round Three Application. Application No. 573926″, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations’ application form, p26.

[xxii] Department of Education and Children’s Services. June 2010. “Trade Training Centres in Schools: Round Three Application. Application No. 573926″, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations’ application form, p19.

[xxiii] Department of Education and Children’s Services. June 2010. “Trade Training Centres in Schools: Round Three Application. Application No. 573926″, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations’ application form, p26 and p32.

[xxiv] See: Department of Education and Children’s Services. 2011. “Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Trade Training Centre”, print out of PowerPoint presentation, p9.

[xxv] Darwin, K (DECD). 23 March 2012. Email to J. Nicholls.

[xxvi] Darwin, K (DECD) 21 June 2012. Email to J. Nicholls.

[xxvii] Caica, P. 6 November 2012. APY trade training centre opens at Umuwa, media release.

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