5 Tips for your Training Budget

5 Tips for your Training Budget

With the new financial year less than a month away, a lot of organisations are now finalising their 2019/20 budgets (if they haven’t already) or considering how they will deploy the training budget to get the best returns and hit their 2020 goals. Here’s 5 areas to consider when putting together your online training budget for the year to come: 1. Platform Maintenance All platforms will need some form of maintenance over the coming 12 months. This includes your Learning Management System and possibly your website and Student Management System. Whether its software maintenance to keep the platform code in a safe, stable and secure working order or data maintenance to keep your information clean, updated and relevant (or both), make sure you put some budget in there to maintain your existing sites and data. 2. Upgrades and improvements Your platforms should not be set and forget. As business changes there will be opportunities to improve your processes and productivity. Maybe you want to add a new feature or plugin or integrate better with your reporting or financial system. Or maybe even its time to consider refreshing your theme to align with your new website or brand. Allow some budget this year to upgrade and improve. 3. Refresh a Course Just like your platform, your online course should not be set and forget. Its important that you keep your courses fresh and relevant. Just as you might update your PowerPoint deck or classroom notes with new examples or more recent images its important to do the same with your online training content. Set aside some budget this year to...
Whats in the budget for Training Companies?

Whats in the budget for Training Companies?

There’s been lots of talk over the past few weeks about the upcoming budget and what might be in it for training companies. There’s also been a lot of talk on the election, and what both Labour and the Coalition might offer to ‘save’ the VET sector. I’ve got bad news. Neither the budget or the election are going to make much difference to you and your operation. The truth is, whilst governments, policy and funding might change, the good businesses will continue to do well, and the poor businesses will continue to struggle. At OTrain, we get to work with a number of RTO’s and are privileged to have some insight. In the 8+ years we’ve been working in the space, we’ve effectively seen 5 governments (from both sides) and numerous policies and funding priorities. The one thing that has remained true across the entire time is the good businesses continue to do well, and poor businesses continue to struggle. When policy is favourable, the good businesses excel. Sure the poorer businesses have an uplift, but not necessarily enough to make a real difference. Sure they might go ok for a little while, but not sustainably and certainly not for the long term. In 2016, I wrote a blog post called “Hey Chicken Little” Iooking at why some people in the sector were thriving, whilst others were just surviving. In thinking about the budget tonight, and reviewing the previous post, I’m convinced the more things change, the more they stay the same. In the previous post I noted my observations on why the successful businesses continues to do well...
Is Admin killing your RTO?

Is Admin killing your RTO?

Is the administration burden of running your RTO costing you time and money? Is enrolling students, reporting to ASQA, generating certificates and all the other administrative task stopping your from growing your business and serving your students? Would less admin free you to spend more time ON the business, with your students or better yet more time with family and friends? At OTrain we’re all about increasing productivity and reducing administrative workload. We work with our clients to use technology to automate processes and reduce the administrative burden and overload. Some examples of past projects include Created Online Assessments and Quizzes to reducing marking time and automated issuing certificates and SOA’s. Integrate Learning Management Systems with Student Management Systems (including aXcelerate and VETtrak) to reduce the double entry of student enrolments and completion data Built Online Enrolment forms to collect AVETMISS and other required enrolment data Created online Language Literacy and Numeracy tests to identify student ability prior to enrolment or training commencing Automate Retraining notifications and follow ups to increase re-enrolments Provide Live Chat support to students and administrators allowing user issues to be dealt with immediately and effectively. We’ve also been involved in a number of other customisation and configuration projects that have provided significant benefits in terms of time savings, cash savings and improved user experience. There is no reason to be buried in paperwork and admin. With the right technology, integration and process you can reduce your burden and get back to business. If you’re ready to reduce your administrative burden give us a call on 07 3040 3310 or reply to this email. I’m...
The most important 90 seconds in Online Training

The most important 90 seconds in Online Training

Beginnings are always the hardest. You have to draw people away from what they’re doing and try and hold their attention. Nail it, and the rest is easy. Mess it up, and you may never recover. We all know this from delivering any form of communication; from meetings and marketing material to any level of face to face training. But did you know when it comes to online training, its even more important to nail the first 90 seconds. In a face to face environment you can change your voice, ask a question or run you nails down the blackboard to regain attention, but in an online environment when the message is set, if you haven’t got the first 90 seconds right, you may never recover. And in online training it is about more than an interesting opening line. Or a large loud noise or any of the other traditional methods to grab and hold attention. It’s a formula for success with each piece being equally important. Get it right and you set your students up for success. Get it wrong and you can alienate your students and demoralize their efforts regardless of how good your content and messaging is. So how do you get the first 90 seconds right? It starts with your LMS, and specifically the ease in which your students can find it, login and navigate to the course. Any friction here can leave the students with negative feelings towards the process, your content and your training organisation or department. Once a negative bias is developed, its hard to recover from. Make it easy. Have short...
Change Ahead for VET FEE HELP

Change Ahead for VET FEE HELP

Simon Burmingham, the Minister for Education and Training this week announced sweeping changes to the VET FEE HELP sector. There is lots being written about the specific, but in short, the amount a student can borrow for a course has been reduced. Depending on the course, it could be as little as $5000 going up to a maximum of $15,000. Training organisations are able to charge more, but students will no longer be able to fund the additional fees via the VET FEE HELP scheme. It is hoped this will draw an end to the sky rocketing cost of training in the VET sector. Minister Burmingham has also made changes to the courses that are eligible for funding with some 478 courses slated to be removed. You can see the full list here. The Department is calling for feedback on the proposed changes and at OTrain we’re encouraging everyone to review their own courses and structures and to provide feedback that will influence the final outcome. Remember, if you’re not part of the conversation, you can’t be too upset when the results don’t fall your way. You can have your say by providing feedback to VETStudentLoans@education.gov.au. Feedback must be received by 23 October 2016 and contain the subject line ‘Feedback on the eligible course list’. There are Fact Sheets and a list of eligible courses available here. Whilst these changes have been designed to drive out the dodgy operators, they will no doubt have a significant impact on organisations doing the right thing, but reliant on VET FEE HELP and the current pricing model to survive. If this is...
What does the Future of Work look like?

What does the Future of Work look like?

We were lucky enough to be invited to attend the RedEye Future of Work Conference in Brisbane this week as an exhibitor and speaker. With the theme obvious, the discussions and information shared was not. Dr Alexandra Bratanova, Research Scientist at Data61 CSIRO, set the stage sharing with us the data that shows how the workforce has changed since the 90’s to now and how these changes are only picking up pace at a rapid rate as we move into the future. Their research identified 6 megatrends that make it very clear, the Future of Work is going to look and feel very different to how we currently work.  The 6 megatrends are; The second half of the chessboard Porous boundaries The era of the entrepreneur Divergent demographics The rising bar Tangible intangibles Out of these 6 megatrends, there were 3 that I felt really stood out for our industry, both in how we create and deliver training and education.  These 3 are; Pourous Boundaries Jobs of the future are likely to be more flexible, agile, networked and connected.  As will training in the future.  Future students will expect to be able to complete their training from wherever and whenever they want to.  It will no longer be a ‘nice to have’ but rather a ‘must have’ Tangible intangibles As we moving into a future of knowledge, employment growth in service industry sectors such as education and health care are likely to continue.  Also set to become increasingly important are service sector jobs requiring social interaction skills and emotional intelligence.  Definitely a big hint as to what kind of...
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