CDU wins grant to build skills, boost productivity

Charles Darwin University has been awarded $550,000 in funding to help boost organisational productivity across the Territory’s health and community services sector.

School of Community and Children’s Services, English Language, Literacy and Numeracy Head Dr Richard Bowen

School of Community and Children’s Services, English Language, Literacy and Numeracy Head Dr Richard Bowen was delighted that all seven “project proposals” had been approved by the Commonwealth Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

“The Commonwealth received a number of proposals from across the country, awarded 14 of them, including the seven proposals submitted by us,” Dr Bowen said.

“Six of those projects are already either well underway or will start soon in Darwin, Alice Springs and a remote Territory community.”

Dr Bowen said that in each case CDU had evaluated the needs and skill gaps within an organisation, before co-designing an intervention to lift productivity.

“Our focus is to strengthen workforce participation by improving the literacy, numeracy and digital skill-sets of people within an organisation,” he said.

“One of the projects involves developing the report writing skills of disability support workers to improve compliance and safety reporting. In another project, we are working to improve the reading and writing skills of employees who speak English as an additional language.”

He said his team use a co-design model, which starts with a discussion with employers to understand their needs.

“Input from the employer guides development of a fit-for-purpose proposal, including design, resource development and customisation,” Dr Bowen said.

“Training is tailored-to and delivered-in the workplace by our experienced team of specialists.”

The projects align with the Australian Government’s $52.5 million Foundation Skills for Your Future Program, designed to up-skill and re-skill the workforce, to improve productivity, and to promote inclusivity.

Dr Bowen said that earlier this year CDU was awarded preferred panel provider status to deliver programs funded by this initiative to Territorians over the next four years.

“We have submitted a number of proposals for the next round of funding and are in the development phase for several other proposals beyond that,” he said.

“We would be delighted to hear from organisations interested in knowing how this fund may be used to assist with their organisational development.”