209_veq_pty_ltd.docx - Indigenous Jobs and Training Review by xiuliliaofz

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									             Submission to Indigenous Jobs and Training Review
                                 By VEQ Pty. Ltd.
               Optimising Indigenous Training & Employment Outcomes
Critical to the success of educational attainment, training completion and employment retention of
Indigenous students, trainees, apprentices, jobseekers and current employees is the initial assessment
to establish appropriate pathways and development plans.
Sometimes significant language, learning, educational or cultural barriers may exist, resulting in
standardised language-based or western assessments processes not being appropriate. In such
instances, the application of a valid and reliable assessment process that is culturally and linguistically
appropriate increases the potential for success.
For a number of years, VEQ has supported a number of schools, training providers and organisations in
addressing this challenge through the application of the language-free, culture-fair Q Test. The Q Test is
an assessment which has been designed for people with such barriers to identify their training potential,
or ‘trainability’, enabling the establishment of appropriate educational, training and employment
pathways.
For an Indigenous person with multiple barriers, insight into their potential can lead to a whole new
world of opportunities
In many instances, current levels of achievement of literacy & numeracy, education, training and
employment by Indigenous trainees and jobseekers often result in low expectation by the people
themselves and their families, and low goal setting vision by their prospective trainers and employers.
An insight in to someone’s training potential, as provided by the Q Test, can reduce the chance of an
incorrect view of capability being established and inappropriate pathways being put in place.
In some settings, a lack of insight of such potential may result in Indigenous people being put onto slow-
track low level training programs or becoming entrenched in entry level roles. A Q Test result for such
people has the capacity to raise a personal awareness of their potential, giving them the confidence to
strive to achieve it and an insight to those with available options to channel these people to appropriate
opportunities based on their potential.
VEQ has supported many schools, training providers and organisations throughout Australia and
offshore with Indigenous and local community members though the application of the Q Test. Through
these assessments, it has become increasingly clear that valid, reliable assessment can greatly assist in
optimising outcomes relating to the education, training, employment, retention and satisfaction of
these people.
Helping break the cycle- Q Test Case Studies
1. Assessment outcome for recent traineeship candidate:
A young indigenous candidate for an Indigenous development traineeship had multiple academic,
workplace and personal barriers to training and employment, including links with Juvenile Justice.
The providers of this program utilise the Q Test as a key indicator of potential success within their pre-
program assessment process. This particular candidate’s Q Test results were very high.
At the completion of the assessment process, the organisation discussed with the candidate that they
were able to offer him, in addition to participation in the traineeship, a potential pathway to their higher
level professional training at the completion of the traineeship. This lead to comments by the candidate
that this was the first time anyone had believed in him and given him a real opportunity.
With the first day of his participation in the traineeship, the candidate arrived with a new level of self-
belief and a focus to succeed, no longer carrying with him his previous expectation to under-achieve.
From this program’s providers, feedback regarding the Q Test is, “The Q Test doesn’t tell us that people
can start our Program. It tells that that they can finish and also where they can potentially go after that.”
2. Recent Vocational Training statistics:
Given the importance of appropriate assessment processes to support correct training pathway
planning and to achieve optimal completion rates, application of the Q Test has supported a major
Group Training provider in achieving the following improved outcome:
• 62% of pre-employment program participants completing their pre-employment programs prior to
  using the Q Test for placement
 81% of pre-employment program participants completing their pre-employment programs after the
  Q Test has been introduced
In commenting on this, this provider stated that, “This shows that using the Q Test as a component of
our selection process is much better for identifying capable candidates for our programs.”
3. Individual example with Indigenous community member:
A young Indigenous man, shy and without much experience, was interviewed for a job. Unfortunately he
failed the interview process badly. The employer, a major regional employer, in recognising that
traditional HR approaches may be incompatible with this indigenous applicant, applied the Q Test.
Regarding this candidate, the employer’s Managing Director stated, “This young man returned to sit the
Q Test and excelled. He became one of our best machine operators at that site.”
“I must note that there were no changes to the job and no lowering of expectation. The only difference
between initially overlooking someone who turned out to be an excellent employee was the way we
assessed his suitability.”
4. Major green field project case study
The Q Test, as part of an integrated recruitment process, was utilised for the assessment and selection
of 150+ trainees across 2 intakes for a 3-year Operations and Maintenance Traineeship for as major
green field Oil and Gas project.
The key data relating to intake 1 includes:
 8000+ initial applicants, screened to approximately 350 for initial comprehension assessment
 further screening lead to 220 candidates being selected for a 4-day residential assessment centres (Q
  Test/mechanical reasoning/interviews/health check/group activities/behavioural measures)
 76 were selected for the traineeship’s first intake, with 74 of 76 trainees still in this program after the
  first 12 months, averaging 90+% their first 12 months of training
These results have led to the training program being considered the “jewel in the crown” of this green
field project.
5. Prison-to-mine site program for Indigenous prisoners
The Q Test has been applied at a remote regional prison to identify prisoners for a local employer’s
Workready Program, to be delivered inside the prisoner, leading to the opportunity for successful
trainees to apply for roles upon release.
The outcomes of this program have been very positive, with many of the prisoners gaining the
confidence, and skills, to break through their multiple barriers to secure suitable training and
employment. Some of the key results include:
   35 Q Test assessments were conducted, leading to 29 successful program participants
   25 of these 29 were previously re-offenders, with multiple barriers to training and employment
   17 of 29 successful trainees entered mainstream employment upon their release
   Since their release, only 5 of the 29 have re-offended
The prison’s Campus Manager commented that, “The use of the Q Test takes guesswork out of accurate
placement of Aboriginal prisoners in programmes appropriate to their potential for learning.”
“For us, the Q Test has identified prisoners with apparent low literacy and numeracy levels who can be
fast-tracked through intensive literacy and numeracy programmes, before moving into vocational
training. In other words, we are ultimately placing more prisoners in skills training, than previously, and
attaining better outcomes accordingly. It's clearly evident that Q Testing helps enormously.”

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