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Foundation Skills

Previous projects

The Foundation Skills team at CDU is the Territory’s leading provider of English language, workplace literacy, numeracy and digital literacy training in the Territory
Melaleuca Mangos Group with Vice Chancellor Scott Bowman
Anindilyakwa Land Council (ALC) Project 2 - Groote Eylandt

This project is developing selected literacy, numeracy and digital skills of employees of the Anindilyakwa Land Council (ALC) on Groote Eylandt. It is currently being delivered face-to-face in small groups, supported with one-on-one tuition in the workplace in the communities of Angurugu and Umbakumba.

Participants are from varying workplaces such as the Language Centres in both communities, Night Patrol staff, employees of the Community Support Program, the Warehouse, the Men’s shed, the Training Hub and the Ranger Station.

Training will be delivered until March 2023

New Chapters, New Beginnings - Darwin

New Chapters, New Beginnings is an NDIS provider, which supports people with disabilities in the greater Darwin area.  Many of its care workers are from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds, with limited English writing skills. The employer identified that staff were having difficulties writing workplace reports (incident and shift reports), impacting on workplace compliance and safety. 

This project focuses specifically on improving the clarity of shift and incident reports using language which reflects NDIS and NCNB central tenets such as choice, control and knowledge, and using language which reflects the high standard of care that support workers deliver. 

YMCA Early Learning Centre - Alice Springs

This project was designed for the YMCA Early Learning Centre which employs qualified early years educators who speak English as an additional language.  The employer identified that employees’ oral and written language skills required further development to improve communication with parents, supervisors, and the children in their care. 

The project focussed on increasing skills in comprehension, interpretation of workplace documents, written communication and improving confidence in oral communication. Delivery explicitly indicated how learned skills can be applied in different work contexts. 

Top End Health - Darwin/Palmerston Hospitals

This project addressed the identified language and literacy needs of 16 Patient Care Assistants (PCAs) at Royal Darwin and Palmerston Hospitals.  Communication barriers were impacting on the effectiveness of patient care and compliance with regulatory frameworks – a WHS issue. 

The project reduced workplace miscommunication, working towards overcoming the vast cultural and linguistic distance between PCAs and their patients, through improving meaningful interaction and care (particularly with First Nations patients).  Content was delivered in the workplace to accommodate work schedules, through group face-to-face non-accredited training. 

TeamHEALTH - Darwin

TeamHEALTH services focus on the support, recovery, and rehabilitation of mental health patients of all ages from a range of cultures and backgrounds. 

This project targeted the development of specific skills that were identified as needing improvement.  Content was developed to focus on the needs of the 15 participants, i.e., structure of case notes and writing these in a concise manner; use of objective/factual language; summarising information; describing procedures; writing reports and completing complex referral forms. 

The project facilitated development of TeamHEALTH staff skills, using authentic workplace documents and enabling them to meet industry standards.  Digital literacy units and supporting resources were contextualised to mirror participants' working environment and tasks. 

Melaleuca Australia - Darwin

This project supported 20 Congolese migrants who were preparing to work in the 2021 NT mango picking season.  Content focussed on addressing the identified needs of participants, who had minimal or no experience of working in Australia.  Delivery used a trauma informed approach and provided the relevant skills and knowledge to facilitate successful participation in the industry. 

Feedback from employers and NT Farmers Association indicated that training was highly successful and as a result, representatives indicated that they were willing to again offer employment to those who took part in the training for the 2022 mango picking season. 

Helping People Achieve (HPA) - Darwin

This project was developed to focus on workplace literacy and digital literacy skills for staff of HPA, a not-for-profit organisation providing supported employment and accommodation options for people with mental, intellectual, and physical disabilities.  It aimed to address skills and knowledge gaps of up to 15 identified staff who were having difficulties understanding and responding to emails, and using appropriate etiquette and formality. 

Content was developed to alleviate miscommunication, with the improved quality of emails sent contributing to a more professional approach in the workplace.

Nightcliff Family Centre - Darwin

Nightcliff Family Centre is a community childcare centre located in the northern suburbs of Darwin.  The Centre provides care and education for children from 6 months to 5 years. It is one of the most established childcare centres in Darwin and celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2021.  

The Foundation Skills team delivered two projects at Nightcliff Family Centre in 2021 and 2022, which focused on improving participants’ digital literacy and writing skills. Successful completion of both projects resulted in an increased ability by staff members to use software to document children’s development and comply with regulatory and WHS standards.

A total of 12 staff members participated in these projects.  

Core skills for Mpartnwe Childcare Workers - Alice Springs

This project delivered to and three different childcare centres in Mparntwe; The Gap Community Childcare Centre, the YMCA Early Years Learning Centre (Sadadeen) and the YMCA Early Years Learning Centre (Grevillea).

The project was developed to increase employees’ oral communication skills and confidence when interacting with children in their care and their families. In addition, participants learned to write accurate and cohesive learning stories and gained confidence in reading workplace documentation. 

The program was scheduled over 16 weeks and was delivered face-to-face, one-to-one on-site at each of the respective childcare centres. 

New Chapters, New Beginnings - Darwin

New Chapters, New Beginnings is an NDIS provider which supports people with disabilities in the greater Darwin area.  Most of its employees are from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds, with limited English writing skills.  The employer identified that difficulties were encountered when writing workplace reports (e.g., shift reports, incident reports and medical reports), impacting on workplace compliance and safety. 

The project focussed on use of vocabulary, grammar and punctuation, shift reports and incident reports.  35 employees participated. 

Arnhem Land Progress Association (ALPA)/ Bukmak Constructions - Galiwin’ku

This project was developed to support ALPA in its provision of training to local Indigenous people involved in the delivery of a major housing contract won by Bukmak Constructions in Galiwin’ku. 

The project aimed to increase confidence in reading and writing, using numeracy in the workplace and improving effective communication with site supervisors and managers.  In addition to developing skills that would support participants in their current job roles, it provided necessary skills to assist them in securing further employment in other industry areas and meeting entry requirements for TAFE qualifications at the Certificate II level. 

A total of 16 permanent, full-time, residential construction trainees participated. 

Anindilyakwa Land Council (ALC) - Groote Eylandt

This project was developed to improve the digital skills of ALC employees, resulting in independent use of technology in the workplace and increased confidence in digital skills.

A total of 14 ALC employees from various employment areas in Angurugu and Umbakumba participated in the program. These areas included the human resource training hub (Alyangula), the Community Service Program (CSP Alyangula), the Women’s Activity Centre (Alyangula), the Youth Program (Alyangula), the Language Centres (Alyangula and Umbakumba), and the Arts centres (Alyangula and Umbakumba).  

The program was delivered over five months and was delivered face-to face on-site on Groote Eylandt in both Angurugu and Umbakumba communities.

NT Farmers Association - Berrimah

This fee for service project provided literacy support to the NT Farmers Association work ready program for people interested in working in the Forestry industry.

It delivered workshops which supported participants to develop their understanding of workplace safety in the industry as well as discussion and presentation of their future career goals.

Refresh, Revive, Renew - CDU Casuarina

Refresh, Revive, Renew, was a non-accredited course, designed for participants who wished to improve their employment or study options, through strengthening their English language, literacy, numeracy, or digital skills. 

It addressed the needs of participants who were preparing to return to the workforce, and/or who had planned to enter formal studies but did not meet the Language, literacy, numeracy and/or digital skills entry requirement for their chosen vocational course.  It considered the needs of diverse learners (recently unemployed, or displaced workers, people who failed the TAFE admission assessment, women, identified equity groups or others returning to the workforce after an extended absence) across a continuum from basic to higher level skills. 

Classes were delivered on CDU campus for up to 15 participants, face to face, for 14 weeks, 3 days a week, including a two-week work experience placement. 

Digital English and communication skills for work - CDU Casuarina

This project responded to the needs of a cohort of 12 participants who were identified as lacking sufficient levels of English language, literacy, and digital skills to work safely, confidently, and efficiently, or were preparing to return to the workforce, but lacked sufficient confidence in their current skills to enable them to meet contemporary workplace expectations. 

It reduced barriers through skills development towards sustainability of employment and productive engagement in workplace environments.  A hybrid model of delivery was used, including face-to-face, on-campus sessions as well as content and activities conducted via Zoom, Microsoft Teams and/or WhatsApp. 

Literacy and digital skills for individual needs - CDU Casuarina

This project was developed in response to participants’ needs to strengthen their English speaking, reading, writing and digital skills to meet current demands for work, employment opportunities and vocational education success.

The participants were from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds in the Darwin and Palmerston region.  This program helped them have more secure employment with their current employers, as well as improve their understanding of company policies and workplace safety. 

The program was delivered to 12 to 15 participants, for 16 hours per week for over 14 weeks.  It was a hybrid program delivered both in the classroom and online

Foundation skills for care workers - CDU Casuarina

This project was delivered to support participants in gaining documentation and reporting skills to meet employer expectations as well as the legislative requirements of their roles. The participants were current and future care workers in the local Personal Care industries (aged care, community care, hospitals and disability support contexts). The project focussed on improving the participants’ confidence in reporting and communicating within their organisation more generally.

Additionally, cultural attitudes, language use, ways of providing positive and negative feedback, interacting with clients, their families and visitors, discussing schedules, client comfort and symptoms were covered in the training.

The project enabled participants to complete the theoretical component of their traineeships and optimise on-the-job learning opportunities.

Catholic Education Office - Berrimah

This Fee for Service project was requested by the Catholic Education Office to develop the skills of 20 employees working in administrative roles (finance, payroll and recruitment). It aimed to address the language and communication needs of participating employees. 

Non-accredited content was developed, based on the individual needs of employees.  The training was delivered at Catholic Education Office venues two days a week, with one day for each cohort, over a 10-week period. 

International class for English language teaching and learning: from theory to practice - Unpatti, Indonesia

This international project was provided upon request from Unpatti University to provide a professional development program to English language lecturers and their students from Aru Island and Southwest Maluku.

It addressed the needs of both lecturers and their students to practise and improve their knowledge of the English language through an understanding of its building blocks by a topic-based approach. It also considered the needs of learners across levels from pre-intermediate to advanced levels of English, who are already teachers or students of English as an additional language.

The program enabled participants to gain new ideas and apply new teaching and learning strategies to different types of English learners, in schools, universities or the community.

Student support and engagement in an online environment: what support measures and programs can help students build digital capability? International webinar

This project was one part of a webinar series focussed on the sharing of best practice in digital delivery of training in Australia. It was developed in response to a request by  Vietnam’s training community for advice about teaching online.

This webinar shared the opportunities and challenges to delivering TAFE online at CDU by using the UNPATTI project as a case study. It was delivered on behalf of the Department of Education Skills and Employment (DESE) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Hanoi, facilitated by TAFE Directors Australia (TDA), to 180 attendees from 44 Polytechnic colleges across Vietnam.

The participants included Rectors, Vice-Rectors, senior trainers, and the Vietnamese Ministry of Labour. This webinar highlighted the Foundation Skills team’s significant expertise in online teaching. 

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