Passionate about training
Silver Trowel Trade Training (STTT) is a leading provider of quality education and training in the Australian construction industry. Since 2004 in Western Australia, they have been helping men and women of all ages find rewarding and well-paid employment in their chosen field. STTT is an organisation dedicated to high standards, fresh thinking, a training provider with proven standards in quality training, professional staff development, valuing the involvement of industry.
“Our nationally-recognised training is a great start to a career in Australia’s booming construction industry,” says Anne Skerratt, Director of the company.
“Our team is skilled, determined and experienced,” she adds. “We’re all committed to enhancing the skills of industry in Western Australia, and to helping our students become the best tradespeople they can be.”
STTT was established by Jon Skerratt. Originally a bricklayer by trade, Jon transitioned into a teaching role and ultimately into the role of Business Development Manager for a large public training provider. The concept for Silver Trowel came when he recognised the ongoing shortage of skilled workers in the construction industry. Apprenticeship numbers were in decline, and the traditional system seemed to be doing little to attract local youth and minority groups to the industry.
The demand for workers was high and Jon believed that he could offer a fresh and flexible approach to training and an alternative to the established methods. STTT was founded on that belief.
STTT was to become the first independently owned training organisation in WA specialising in bricklaying training. With a major focus on lifting the awareness of bricklaying as a career pathway and working with employer groups and other industry stakeholders to increase the numbers of new entrants into this trade.
Scope of delivery
Today, STTT delivers industry-specific training to school groups, pre-apprentices, apprentices, as well as training courses in the trade areas of bricklaying, carpentry, concreting, roof tiling, solid plastering, wall & floor tiling and wall & ceiling lining, including Verification of Competence assessments for the mining sector and Recognition of Prior Learning assessments.
The company is located in Cannington, Western Australia. Their student body is comprised of international and local students. All international students are self-funded, and come from around 40 countries around the world. STTT offers them a variety of trade training courses, which take two years to complete. They offer business courses, including Diploma of Building and Construction, Diploma of Management, Certificate IV in Frontline Management, and Certificate IV in WHS
To local students, STTT offers the same courses and more. Local programs include industry-funded short ‘trade taster’ classes, through to apprenticeship programs for both young and more mature aged apprentices.
For many industry stakeholders, STTT is “the training provider of choice.”
“A lot of the credit for this goes to our lecturers,” Anne says. “They have great passion, and as they’ve come to us directly from the trades and speak to builders, sub-contractors, tradespeople and industry suppliers on a daily basis they’re very in tune with current industry practices.”
STTT is an individual and unique college where students feel part of a friendly and personal environment. The students feel able to approach any member of staff or management directly when they have an issue. There’s a deeper connection here than you’d find in a large public sector institution.”
Another point of difference is the strong relationship STTT has with the local construction industry. This relationship helps them to place their students into apprenticeships and to offer them real work experience. It also ensures STTT remains informed. It helps them stay up to date with what employers need from their workers, and it ensures they are delivering to industry standards in a convenient and flexible way to accommodate the needs of both the apprentice and the employer.
Over the years STTT’s hard work and commitment to the industry has not gone unnoticed. The company has consistently been acknowledged by the WA Industry & Export Awards, for example. Since 2008, they have won four accolades from the group, and have been category finalists many times.
”That recognition means a lot to every member of the STTT team. It’s a wonderful marketing tool.”
“It gives great credibility to be recognised by these prestigious awards. It’s a definite point of difference between us and other international colleges. It proves we’re real, professional and that we have a high level of integrity.”
In 2012, STTT won in the category of Education & Training, and were finalists in Small to Medium Services. These victories can be credited to the positive relationships the college staff have formed at every level – with their students, with schools, state and federal government agencies, and with industry stakeholders such as the WA Master Roof Tilers’ Association.
“We get positive feedback from everyone we work with,” Anne says.
“When the judges come through, they can see the energy we have and the excitement of our lecturing staff,” she adds. “Their passion shines through. We want our students to be the best tradespeople they can be, and the judges see that.”
The company has also been recognised by the Australian Ethnic Business Awards, which celebrate diversity and multiculturalism. Those are values which STTT holds very close to its heart. They enrol international students from many different countries and also have staff from many countries.
“We have people from Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, the UK – the list goes on. We’re a very multi-cultural organisation, and we take a lot of pride in that.”
Moving forward, STTT’s international student population will grow – as will their domestic student numbers. As it stands, the number of apprentices in the construction trades is quite low. At STTT, they are doing their part in correcting that, with an increase in apprenticeship sign-ups being achieved throughout the year, particularly over the past few months.
“That’s very important for the industry, we want to contribute to the solution, and we’re doing that,” Anne concludes. “Our domestic students are filling those ranks, and our international students are temporarily relieving these skill shortages while they are here studying and working in line with their visa conditions.”
To learn more about Silver Trowel, and the domestic and international courses they have to offer, visit: Silver Trowel Trade Training
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