Cadetship scheme takes shape

A cadetship scheme is being planned aimed at placing school leavers and the 'not-so-young' onto a professional career path in bus and coach

By David Goeldner | July 16, 2010

As part of a strategy to gain national acceptance of the bus and coach industry as a professional career choice, a cadetship scheme is being designed to attract school leavers and the not-so-young into its ranks.

Instigated by BIC with BusVic as the lead agency, the proposed cadetship scheme will be tied to a diploma in bus and coach logistics and management.

BIC Executive Director Michael Apps says the current transport and logistics diploma is truck and freight centric.

"The bus and coach industry has matured to the point where it’s ready for universal inclusion in the vocational education and training realm," Apps says.

BIC has given the nod to BusVic to act as the lead agency to organise delivery of the scheme and develop course modules that lead to a diploma in bus and coach transport management and logistics.

Apps says Federal funding is potentially available for the new cadetship, and tied to a diploma which would be split into two sections.

The first section covers four in-class theory subjects on accreditation, finance, operations and people management topics, and the second section of four modules is in the workplace, covering the practical side of rostering and route service planning.

BusVic Executive Director Chris Lowe says the objective is to have a system in place so that anyone can enter the bus and coach industry.

He says the cadetship and diploma was aimed at the young and ‘not-so-young’ to provide formal recognition.

"You may have been in something else and wanting to come in to bus and coach late, or you may have been in it for sometime but never had formal recognition from all of that work experience," Lowe says.

"By going through all of these modules, at the end you get a qualification – at the moment there is no formal bus and coach diploma."

Lowe says that although the cadetship is a draft stage, the industry had supported the concept with a resounding ‘yes’.

"This is why BIC has resolved to do it and appointed BusVic to lead this initiative because we are resourced to do so," he says.

Lowe says BIC had put a lot of time and money behind industry attraction initiatives, such as ‘The day in the Life’ DVD to get people considering working in the bus and coach industry.

"The feedback is that while people have been coming to bus and coach we don’t have tools in place to keep them.

"What we are saying is let’s have a formal qualification and a system in place so people can get formal nationally recognised qualifications and then continue to demonstrate self-initiated learning."

Lowe believes there is no point in having a national training system without a formal qualification attached to it.

"And the experts agree that to have a cadetship scheme structured in this manner (with 8 proposed modules) would equate to a diploma qualification."

A long lead time is likely as several steps need to be taken to achieve formal status.

BusVic has engaged Transport Distribution Training Victoria (TDTV) to review the cadetship concept to see if it can be achieved.

"The bottom line is it’s under development and won’t get up without state and territory regulator approval, and we don’t have that yet," Lowe says.

He says the next task is to write all of the material.

"For every module you need to have all of the material written, and that would take time because it is specific to bus and coach," Lowe says.

"You can’t use off-the-shelf products that might be applicable to trucks or freight or some other industry – you have to write modules that are specific to bus and coach."

Lowe anticipates that most modules will be written from scratch due to the uniqueness of the bus and coach industry.

He says that as Bus and Coach is a participative industry, topics not covered by other sector – such as the values associated with engaging in your industry body – would be written into the modules.

"Once the modules are written we need the Federal regulator to endorse it as a recognised formal module, and that takes time."

Lowe says BusVic was confident of receiving letters of support for the concept from each state and territory regulator by September.

If all goes to plan, BIC and BusVic hope to formally launch the cadetship scheme in 2011.

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