Home' InDaily : July 23rd 2010 Contents www.independentweekly.com.au
July 23 - 29, 2010
The Independent Weekly people & places
South Australia lags behind
the rest of the nation in
the level of post-secondary
qualifications that we take into
the workforce -- a statistic that
the local Australian Institute of
Management wants to change.
AIM s chief executive John
Stokes says the skills required to
advance to senior levels in any
organisation can still be learned
well after we make the transition
into the workforce.
"It s a statistic that we would
like to see improved and we are
encouraging people to start
thinking about adding to their
skills base," Mr Stokes said.
"Whether it s technical training
or some of the inter-personal skills
needed to become a good manager,
it s never too late to get started.
"We are seeing a rising number
of people who start Certificate III
level courses and then move onto
the next steps of Cert IV, associate
diplomas and diplomas and
many then going on to complete a
AIM, a state-based organisation
that started 65 years ago, now
sees more than 5000 people walk
through its doors every year.
Courses run by the 30 staff and
wide range of consultants range
from a Certificate III in Frontline
Management to a full MBA.
Stokes says the desire for
training managers has increased
in the last five years.
"Organisations and individuals
are recognising that a properly
trained manager will be more
"And there s a long standing
business principle that a well man-
aged workforce is always going to
be a more productive workforce."
He says that many of the key
skills needed to be a manager are
best learnt in the context of the
manager s own work experiences.
"Quite often we see people --
especially in professional services
occupations -- who have been
promoted to a management level
and then find that while they have a
good knowledge about the techni-
cal aspects of their business, they
don t have the management skills
to complement that.
"First and foremost is com-
"A manager s role is to
define and control and deliver a
particular function, but you can t
achieve that if you are unable to
communicate with the workforce.
"Our research among managers
shows that this is the area which
needs most attention.
"Part of those communication
skills includes interpersonal skills,
negotiation skills and handling
"It s a very broad base of skills
that s not just exclusive to work;
they are life skills as well."
Mr Stokes said organisations
contemplating paying for training
of their staff should also look at
the options of available assist-
ance from various government
"For example, the Productivity
Places Program (PPP) is part of
the Australian Government s
"Skilling Australia for the Future"
"PPP for existing workers is
jointly funded by industry and the
State and Federal Governments as
an initiative to raise the skill level
of people already in the workforce
to address the skill demands in
"It can provide a financial
contribution towards training
In a novel twist to the trends
in post-school education, AIM is
also catering for people who have
a degree and a job, but lack some
"It might seem unusual, but it s
quite sensible," Mr Stokes said.
"The person might have a degree
but we get them coming back to get
a certificate or diploma in the areas
that need to make that next step in
And the final piece of advice for
those contemplating learning some
"Everything can be learnt and
it s never too late to learn."
AIM s next information evening
is on July 23.
The State Government s
Department of Further Education
has details of government assist-
ance on their website.
Management students working to build their interpersonal skills.
Bridging our skills gap
By the time the doors opened at the
Opportunities Australia Expo in
Manchester last weekend, there was
already a long queue of people at
the door who couldn t wait to find
out how to move to Australia.
The event was aimed at migrants
with the skills that Australia needs.
About 30 per cent of visitors who
intend to move to Australia hold a
Bachelors Degree, while 22 per cent
have a Masters or PhD. Additionally,
17 per cent of wannabe migrants
hold a trade qualification.
Visitors to the expo were more
than just curious about Australia,
rather they were fully committed to
making the move. Over 65 per cent
of visitors said they would move
within the next 12 months.
Simon Gray was one of them. The
mechanical engineer from London
visited the expo with his wife Lucy
and left with multiple contacts for
potential jobs in Australia. "The
expo was fantastic, we had so many
questions but got answers to all of
them," he said. "We can t wait to
Working In s Director Hayley
Roberts whose company organised
the event said: "The impact of the
recession is still being felt in the
UK and our expos show that people
are more interested in moving than
ever. Skilled migrants consider
Australia a prime destination, for
its lifestyle and opportunities,"
The Opportunities Australia
Expo moves from Manchester to
London, where it takes place this
weekend. Johannesburg will be the
next city to welcome the event, on 18
and 19 September.
Simon and Lucy Gray look for sunnier employment prospects in Australia.
One of the State s top public
servants has left her job in the
Premier s Department and headed
for the private sector.
Tanya Smith, deputy chief
executive of the department said
the beginning of Labor s third
term in office was a "good time to
Ms Smith joins management
consulting firm The Nous Group
as principal within its Strategy
and Public Policy practice in
Nous managing director Tim
Orton said Ms Smith will "design
and deliver public policy strategies
for a range of public and private
sector clients in South Australia
In her former role, Ms Smith
headed the Cabinet and Policy
Coordination group which
included briefing the Premier on
matters coming before Cabinet,
negotiating State positions to adopt
in COAG forums and leading a
comprehensive overhaul of South
Australia s Cabinet Office.
She said she was conscious
there might be criticism of her
close links to government and any
project tenders won by Nous.
"It s something I m very
conscious of, but I m not concerned
by such criticism," she said.
"Tender processes for govern-
ment work go through proper
processes and I m sure the right
decisions will be made.
"Nous is made up of quite a few
ex-government people and we have
expertise and knowledge that is
applied in a positive way."
Prior to her five years in the
South Australian public service,
Ms Smith served 17 years in
the Department of Foreign
Affairs and Trade, including on
diplomatic postings to London and
Ms Smith said she was staying
in South Australia because it had
exciting business prospects.
"South Australia is on the verge
of an immense transformation
driven by expansion of the mining
and defence industries and also
emergent sectors like green-tech.
"There will be an increasing
need to re-think strategy and
position organizations -- public and
private -- to meet the challenges
and opportunities that come with
She said while South Australia
had more work to do to develop
infrastructure to cope with mining
expansion, the government had
already laid the foundations for
that to happen.
"There are plans for that to
happen in partnership with the
private sector so that we don t
end up with the infrastructure
problems that WA encountered
when its economy went through a
While she recognized that the
mining boom had yet to eventuate,
she said that when it does happen
"it will feel like a tidal wave of
Ms Smith s appointment is
part of an expansion of The
Nous Group s presence in South
It has offices in Sydney,
Melbourne, Canberra and Manila.
It focuses on consultancy work
with government specializing in
health, energy and transport.
Five consultants from the Nous
Group facilitated the "Future of
Governance" stream at Prime
Minister Kevin Rudd s 2020
Summit in 2008.
Skilled British keen
on Aussie shores
Nimble Nous hooks Smith
Nous is made
up of quite a few
and we have expertise
and knowledge that is
applied in a positive
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