Silver Chain Group’s training organisations – Silver Chain Training and RDNS Training – enjoyed a year of significant successes, despite a climate of reform to the Vocational Education and Training (VET) and significant changes within our key markets thanks to the Federal Government’s Aged Care Reforms and National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The South Australian VET entitlement scheme underwent a massive policy shift late in the year that saw 90 per cent of future training funding allocated exclusively to TAFE. We have been very active in establishing arrangements with the Federal Government to mitigate the impact of this shift and we are hopeful these will be effective over the coming year.

Further growth was seen in the South Australian market as training services to disability providers increased. Close collaboration with the Disabilities team at RDNS SA has helped us achieve this outcome. Students have continued to perform at outstanding levels with many Enrolled Nursing students securing jobs and graduate program positions even before they finished their courses.

In Western Australia, the demand for our training continued to increase, with new contract places under the Priority Industry Training scheme being secured in the Certificate III courses. The Diploma of Nursing was also added to the funded list. We’ve been working with Silver Chain Group’s HR team and operational divisions to add value to career pathways and staff recruitment processes particularly in regional areas.

Nationally, we’ve enjoyed further success in securing Federal Government funding to expand our existing palliative care training products from the previous year into a comprehensive online skills and information portal for community based palliative care. This portal now has over 23,000 students registered from 26 countries.

We were the only private training provider to be awarded funding to deliver training in support of the national My Aged Care implementation through the Department of Social Services. We trained almost 400 people across New South Wales, Tasmania and South Australia.

We also began a large internal project to redesign the training methodology for our courses, bringing the concept of the ‘flipped classroom’ to life. This model of training places the student at the centre of the course, shaping their interaction with the course materials and activities around a blend of online theory and in-person practical. The exciting new course designs are planned for launch in 2016.

Early in 2015 we hosted the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Industry Skills meeting. Ministers from the Commonwealth, States and Territories experienced the practical skills of our students first hand, undergoing blood pressure tests at our Keswick campus clinical skills lab in South Australia.