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On this page, I'll answer your questions and provide some nuggets of wisdom.

In the meantime, you might like to click here to learn a bit more about the thoughts of our founder, Dr Phil Rutherford.

From Gary in Canberra: The government has invested millions into the national vocational education and training system but we are still suffering skills shortages. What is the problem?

If we look at the national VET system as a whole, rather than just a process run by technical training colleges (as some would prefer we did) then we will see many reasons for its failure. The main problem is that few within this system really understand the workplace. For example the national system is supposedly built around training individuals (it isn't geared up to train groups) in the skills and knowledge needed for the workplace, but research shows that over 60% of the skills and knowledge needed in the workplace aren't being taught. People have to learn these on the job - including the skills to work with each other in order to apply a collective approach to the achievement of work related goals and objectives.

This is a good question, but one that I really wish the government was asking because in reality they are the only ones who can fix it. Others are making far too much money out of this broken system to even consider fixing it.

From Peter in Adelaide: Why can't I find workers who I can really trust?

Good question, but one that can only be answered by asking if you really know what you need and how to get it. For example, do you have a really clear picture of the skills, knowledge and attributes that you need for your organisation? And here I don't mean their qualifications and experience, but the competence they need to work with you and your existing team - oh, and with your clients, your processes and procedures, and with the dream you have of the future.

Just putting an ad in the paper, or handing the whole matter over to an agency, isn't going to find you the people you need. The only applicants you will get are those who read your advertisement or who pass the muster with the recruitment people. Do you physically look at the pool of potential employees or do you leave that up to others? Are you asking the right questions, in the right place - and do you know the answer you're looking for?

Sure, today is a 'buyer's market' when it comes to recruitment, but even in a time of plenty where you can afford to be discerning you will no doubt want to ensure that you are getting the best applicant for your company. And you must be the final judge, not someone else.

My advice is to go back and have a very long look at exactly where you want your organisation to be heading, and then make sure that you are clear on the kind of person that you want to take along with you on this trip.



Copyright P D Rutherford 2009. All rights reserved.

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