RPL for Indigenous Business Owners

Brisbane, Australia, July 05, 2007 --(PR.com)-- Visual and audio technologies are being used to formally recognise the skills of Indigenous business owners and enable them to formally train and assess new employees.

Instead of the traditional paper-based recognition of prior learning (RPL) process, participants will be able to gather evidence to demonstrate their existing skills using e-tools, such as digital storytelling, podcasts, smart boards and e-portfolios.

The evidence will then be mapped to competencies from the Training and Assessment and Tourism training packages.

Mark Manado, the owner of the Barramundi Moon cultural camp north of Broome in Western Australia, said that e-tools helped to get over language barriers and enabled people to demonstrate their skills in another way.

"We have a lot of strengths in our community – people are setting up their own local guiding businesses. We want to be able to use these strengths and experience to increase the level of higher-level skills of our mob so they too can deliver training."

The Working From Our Strengths project, running across the top end of Australia, is being funded and supported by the Indigenous Engagement Project of the national training system’s e-learning strategy, the Australian Flexible Learning Framework.

The registered training organisations (RTO) are Charles Darwin University, in the Northern Territory, and Kimberley College of TAFE, in Western Australia.

Participants in the project will attend workshops run either in Broome or Darwin looking at how e-tools can support their engagement and leadership in vocational education and training.

From these workshops, training plans will be identified for individual participants to help fill any skills gaps that exist, which will be actioned by the relevant RTO.

Ruth Wallace, educational researcher at Charles Darwin University, said Indigenous business owners in remote areas had a wealth of skills that needed to be recognised.

"The jobs of some people are actually quite complex, such as a park ranger. This is hard to translate to an existing RPL process, but by creating a digital story of the job the skills can be mapped against the relevant competencies.

"But the RPL process can also draw on people’s experiences outside of the workplace. Football coaching, for example, can demonstrate leadership Skills."

The project will establish a CD-ROM comprising: a template for other Indigenous enterprises to develop a training plan; ways of using e-tools to collect RPL evidence; examples of customised training programs; and case studies of successful e-applications for RPL from both the trainer’s and the learner’s point of view.

For more information on the Indigenous Engagement Project and to track the progress of the Working from Our Strengths project visit:

For more information about the Framework, its products, resources and support networks visit: the Australian Flexible Learning Framework site.

For further information about this story contact the National Communication team on: (07) 3307 4700 or email: flexenews@flexiblelearning.net.au

Australian Flexible Learning Framework
Alastair Lindsay
61 7 3307 4705