UOW College and Warrigal recently celebrated the graduation of 14 dedicated workers as part of the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme. In a collaborative effort, these passionate staff members successfully achieved their nationally recognised CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) through a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) pilot program while working at Warrigal.
The Health Services Skills Organisation (HSSO) RPL Kit was used to assess existing workers, who are experienced care providers but did not have formal qualifications. The pilot commenced in July 2023 with workers from Warrigal’s Shell Cove aged care home, who are part of the PALM scheme.
The PALM scheme, managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, embodies the Australian Government’s integrated approach to Pacific labour mobility. It effectively merges the Pacific Labour Scheme and the Seasonal Worker Program. The primary goal of the PALM scheme is to create opportunities for both seasonal and long-term worker streams.
At its heart, the program has a twofold mission. It offers upskilling opportunities for staff from the Pacific Islands and ensures that Warrigal has the necessary workforce to care for its residents. Currently, staff from the Pacific Islands are making significant contributions at Warrigal’s aged care homes in regional NSW, including Shellharbour, Bundanoon, Goulburn, and Queanbeyan.
The graduation was a wonderful celebration of everyone's achievements. Students expressed their joy through traditional singing and dancing, acknowledging the opportunities provided. These Fijian workers have scarified a great deal, including leaving family behind, coming to Australia to care for our aged community. They were dedicated and passionate students and are to be immensely proud of their achievement of a formal qualification.
After the success of this pilot program, plans are underway to roll out this RPL process across additional Warrigal sites. At UOW College, we place great importance on our partnerships within the local community, offering opportunities through access to education. Together with Warrigal, we have played a pivotal role in addressing workforce gaps by delivering high-quality vocational education and training.
If you have questions about this RPL program, or workforce solutions through vocational training, contact Liz Thomas, RTO Vocational Manager UOW College via email email@example.com.