In summary

  • Swinburne is working with skills provider VETASSESS to assess student carpenters finishing their apprenticeships by building a technically challenging small house frame
  • By completing this technically challenging Independent Assessment, Swinburne students are achieving a level of workmanship expected of a highly proficient, fully qualified tradesperson
  • Swinburne student Michael Cerasa says the assessment is a good way to challenge students and test their skills

Completing an apprenticeship is a fantastic achievement. But Swinburne carpentry students are one step ahead, building impressive small house frames to demonstrate their skills as part of an innovative new skills assessment pilot being conducted by the Department of Education via VETASSESS.

Developed by VETASSESS, Australia’s largest skills assessment provider, the project aims to produce workers of the future with a single activity – in this case, building a house frame. 

By completing this complex and demanding task, Swinburne students are raising the quality of their output and achieving a level of workmanship expected of a highly proficient, fully qualified tradesperson.

Building the future

Michael Cerasa is completing a Certificate III in Carpentry and is due to finish in August 2021. He hopes to start a Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building) to become a builder.

Michael says that connections with classmates and access to educational resources are the key reasons he enjoys studying at Swinburne. 

‘I’ve learnt a lot of neat things that I wouldn’t have learnt at work, as well as made heaps of friends.’

The assessment was challenging, Michael says, but he found it useful because it’s not something he normally practices. 

‘It was good for me to see how much I had learnt over my course and really challenge myself as well as to see how other people completed it.’

VETASSESS is authorised by the Australian government and aims to help produce workers of the future by providing skills assessments and products to suit industry needs. 

Swinburne’s partnership with VETASSESS commenced at the start of 2021 and helps the students stand out from others, explains Swinburne Technical Support Manager, Greg Webb. 

‘It’s about performing a high skill activity that is assessed within strict timeframes and with high-quality construction,’ he says.

Mr Webb works hard to ensures students have access to materials, plants, machinery and tools, helping them to get experience and skills that employers want.  

Milwaukee Tools is proud to provide Swinburne with the tools they need to further their trade skills

Tools of the trade

The VETASSESS carpentry assessment, in addition to the other trades training Swinburne provides, requires students to have access to a lot of tools and equipment.

To help support students, Milwaukee Tool donates to the VETASSESS program, continuing their support of over ten years by providing battery-operated power tools, including compound saws and nail guns, that have been instrumental in student success.

Milwaukee Tools Job Site Solutions Manager, Daniel Ventieri, says the company is proud to partner with Swinburne and VETASSESS. ‘Apprentices are the future and Milwaukee Tools remains committed to these initiatives, enabling upskilling and supporting our future tradespeople.’ 

 Mr Webb is confident that the assessments the students are completing with the tools are building a strong foundation for their career.

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