THE success of The Caterpillar Institute (Vic-Tas) in industry training has been formally recognised with the Institute winning Automotive Training Australias (ATA) premier award for 2006. The Institute operates as a joint venture between William Adams and Caterpillar. Each year, to acknowledge the most innovative and successful training initiatives of organisations in the industry, the ATA presents three awards. Raylene West, general manager of the Institute accepted the Large Business award at the ATA in Melbourne in December 2006.

The Institute has a number of key performance indicators: today 97 per cent of trainees at the Institute complete their course. This compares very favourably with an average figure of 65 per cent for students undertaking similar courses through TAFE colleges. The Institute also monitors employers satisfaction with the work of Institute apprentices and aims to have 80 per cent of employers highly satisfied. At last count 93 per cent of employers were highly satisfied.

In a recent initiative the Institute has been working with contractors on Melbournes EastLink tollway project to train the contractors machine operators. As a consequence the Institute now has 230 EastLink operators enrolled in Certificate 3 in Civil Construction. Negotiations are underway with other companies in the expectation of introducing similar arrangements on other projects.

Source: Construction Contractor