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Central Innovation Academy: filling a gap in the training marketplace

Articles Central Innovation 5 March 2018

Investment in developing the skillsets of our next generation of engineers and designers is imperative in ensuring the ongoing expertise of our workforce and the international competitiveness of our AEC and Manufacturing sectors.

This recognition was the impetus for the creation of the Central Innovation Academy and the decision to ensure its accreditation as a Registered Training Organisation – a move which underscores our commitment to effective training programs, and the important role national training regulations play in assuring value to  students.

The Academy’s programs, which include both short certified courses and certificate courses, are conducted at training facilities located in all capital cities plus key regional centres throughout Australia and New Zealand. Central Innovation Academy Business Unit Manager Robert Parker oversees all elements from ensuring compliance with the comprehensive requirements of the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to developing the content of courses.

“There are many suppliers offering non-accredited courses but we made the decision to focus on ensuring ours are accredited,” he explains. “ASQA accredited qualifications are recognised nationally and therefore can enhance one’s career prospects – from a marketing perspective they certainly help job candidates stand out from the crowd.

“Speaking more broadly, our nation’s education and training standards are a key driver of economic growth – better quality education and training leads to improved productivity and skills relevance, which in turn generates greater economic production. In that respect, accredited training has a critical role to play in maintaining a highly skilled and competitive workforce.”

The Academy’s courses are geared to the AEC and manufacturing sectors and include training in 3D CAD technology, engineering drafting and project management – a natural complement to Central Innovation’s longstanding courses in the use of the ARCHICAD and SolidWorks packages.

“Our focus has been on filling a gap in the training marketplace, by focusing on medium to large enterprises and providing contextualised training and competing on the platforms of quality and context,” Robert says.

“It’s imperative that our training aligns with AEC sector business needs and we’ve put a great deal of work into ensuring this is a key point of difference in the courses we offer – we deliver holistic training solutions, which we believe provides greater value to both students and their employers or potential employers.

“We started around two years ago with project management and from there we’ve gone to on to offer Certificate III in Technical CAD and Engineering CAD, and Certificate IV in CAD drafting. Our aim is always to ensure our students stay ahead of the curve and that our training opens the door to job opportunities.”

Project management remains a key focus for the Academy, with its Certificate IV course embracing a range of industry sectors and covering a broad range of practice management techniques such as TQM, project scoping, risk/cost management, procurement and human resources.

A recent complement to this is the decision to offer courses in Agile, a collaborative software development methodology built on adaptive planning, continuous improvement, evolutionary development and rapid change response. With Agile expertise in strong demand from industry right now, the Academy has recently received certification from international engineering accreditation organisation APMG to provide training on the subject.

“Today we’re seeing Agile methodologies being embedded within a blending of traditional development methodologies like Waterfall or Prince2, so it’s important for software engineers and developers to be across this,” Robert says.

He adds demand for the Academy’s Agile courses, as with its training in general, embraces all age ranges – from tertiary graduates and new workforce entrants seeking to take their knowledge to the next level, to those seeking to retrain later in life, as well as experienced developers, engineers and designers simply seeking ongoing education to ensure they stay at the top of their game. “There’s always opportunities for candidates committed to best practice, and our focus is on ensuring that our training courses always consolidate that commitment in our students.”

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