Having developed and implemented remote training capabilities over the last two years, PEER have been ahead of the curve which has put them in good stead to quickly adapt to changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
“It’s terrific to see training providers moving swiftly to digital tools to keep students learning while adhering to social distancing and I commend PEER on their achievements,” Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni said.
PEER is a non-profit industry-based organisation, delivering accredited apprenticeship and skills recognition training, pre-vocational training and VET training in schools, to meet the skill development needs of South Australia.
The highly regarded GTO is the largest employer of apprentices within the Building and Construction industry in South Australia with 400 apprentices and trainees at one time. They boast a 94 per cent completion rate and 98 per cent of their apprentices are employed upon the completion of their apprenticeship.
As PEER CEO Peter Nolan explains, PEER is a National Training Award winner and is known for finding ways to deliver innovative solutions and providing flexibility and choice to employers and apprentices.
“We developed an advanced way of delivering training, and PEER is recognised for understanding what its customers want,” PEER CEO Peter Nolan said.
“We actually went on a program of change, two years ago, where we really looked at what our customers wanted and what their needs were. We saw demand from our customers for greater choice and put resources in place to develop our capability in remote training.”
PEER gives employers flexibility and choice, and even in tougher times, puts them at ease by providing them with solutions for how their apprentices training will be delivered.
“We have had a lot of enquiries from employers in South Australia, who are concerned that their apprentices aren’t going to be able to complete their training on time,” Nolan said.
“Using our world class interactive learning resources, apprentices can do their studies online or in the workplace as well as at our training centre.
“The key thing for us is that we want to ensure that all of our apprentices, complete their apprenticeship on time and on schedule.”
PEER rapidly executed their remote training system as the pandemic unfolded to ensure that no extension of training would be required, nor would an apprentice be disadvantaged.
“We were really on the front foot, having already developed the capability, and within one week of school shutdowns, our VET students were put onto the digital training system.” Nolan said.
The State Government announced the VET Market Continuity Package to help maintain the skill pipeline and support non-government trading providers such as PEER.
“The State Government has committed $4 million out of our VET Market Continuity Package to supporting educators build their online training capability – keeping apprentices and trainees on track to finish their studies and move into rewarding careers,” Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni said.
“This investment further supports training provider continuity so that South Australia’s training system is positioned to meet the challenges over the coming months, and better able to rebuild in the future.”
PEER has acknowledged that the aid from the South Australian government is unmatched and the investment into the construction industry goes a long way.
“There’s no doubt that at this time the help from the state government, has been amazing, I’m pretty sure there’s no other state that has responded in such a way to support apprentices and training,” Nolan said.
PEER is motivated to create new opportunities for remote training, even beyond COVID-19.
“One of the challenges around South Australia has been students in regional and remote areas,” Nolan said.
“Our remote training capability has opened up the door for us to go out into country areas and that’s what we’re going to do next”.
Nolan said providing that access and equality across the state will be beneficial for young people who were not able to get access to vocational educational training.
“To give that support they need to get into training, makes us really excited about the future.”