Small Training Provider of the Year Award

The Small Training Provider of the Year Award recognises a registered training organisation that has demonstrated outstanding achievement in all aspects of the delivery of vocational education and training.

The Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC) is a not-for-profit registered training organisation (RTO) in Victoria that was formed five years ago as an innovative model of collaboration to address all training needs across the breadth of the plumbing industry.

This industry partnership is supported by the Plumbing Trades Employees Union, Master Plumbers and Mechanical Services Association of Australia, National Fire Industry Association, Air Conditioning Mechanical Contractors Association and the Plumbing Joint Training Fund.

CEO, Shayne La Combre says that winning the 2015 Small Training Provider of the Year Award is recognition of the collective investment by all parties in setting up PICAC, which has changed training for the plumbing industry.

“Even the funding model is innovative. It’s a social model that spreads the cost of training across the industry,” says Shayne. “An example of the advantage of this is where there are limited numbers of individuals needing high cost, specialist training for a critical role in the industry. Through the funding model, the cost is borne by the whole industry.”

The funding also allows PICAC to invest in premium capital equipment and training methodologies.

The plumbing industry must not only look at its immediate training needs, Shayne says, but also the training requirements for its major role in environmental sustainability issues for generations ahead. As a small, agile RTO, PICAC can respond to emerging training needs quickly in an industry that is already undergoing rapid technological change. In addition, its structure provides the relationships that allow the RTO to partner with major firms as needed, including manufacturers and distributors.

Shayne believes that showcasing the best of achievements across the VET sector through the Australian Training Awards shows businesses and individuals what can be achieved through VET.

“In particular, in Australia’s RTO domain, there are many small organisations doing amazing things that we might not otherwise hear about and be able to learn from. The Australian Training Awards gives them the chance to shine.”