Communities@Work awarded for ECEC training excellence

[email protected] awarded for ECEC training excellence

by Freya Lucas

September 23, 2019

Early childhood education and care training provider, and former Professional Support Coordinator for the Australian Capital Territory, [email protected] has been named as the ACT Large Employer of the Year in the ACT Training Awards 2019.


[email protected] is Canberra’s largest not-for-profit community organisation, gaining recognition in the category for a large organisation which demonstrates a commitment to training its employees, and encouraging and assisting their development in their place of work.


To address the shortage of skilled people across the ECEC sector more broadly, and in Canberra specifically, [email protected] developed its own industry-leading traineeship program, known as ‘Ascend’.


Speaking with local news source The RIOTACT, CEO Lee Maiden said “[email protected] is genuinely committed to investing in a highly skilled and qualified workforce. It is our dedicated people who make us who we are and give so much to the Canberra community.”


Ms Maiden praised the calibre of the training team, saying passion and dedication were hallmark when employing trainers to create the next generation of qualified educators.


While gaining qualifications online is a quick entry into the sector, Ms Maiden told TheRiotAct, it “simply doesn’t reflect the dedication [email protected] requires.” According to Ms Maiden, face-to-face training for staff is essential.


Running for three years, Ascend provides trainees with paid experience as they work across ECEC services and complete their qualification of choice. The learning model is mixed, with a combination of workplace practice, face to face learning, and a ‘robust induction’ process. 


“The model we have is all about our staff understanding the value and importance of working with children,” Ms Maiden said.


[email protected] has been a stalwart of the ACT community for over 40 years, developing a range of services for children, people with disabilities, seniors, transport services, food pantries, clothing and an independent high school for disengaged youth.


In its current state, [email protected] employs more than 700 people, 420 of whom are ECEC educators. The size of the organisation means there are many opportunities for educators to diversify their roles, with [email protected] sharing Chloe’s story as an illustration of same. 


Chloe was employed as an educational leader when she completed her Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. When a position as a Trainer Assessor within [email protected]’s registered training organisation, the Centre of Professional Learning and Education became available, Chloe was equipped to fulfil her career goal of working in vocational education and training.


Chloe’s career further progressed through a sponsorship program funded by [email protected] Work, after which she enrolled to complete her Bachelor of Early Childhood Education.The role of Trainer Assessor allowed Chloe to share her experiences as an Educational Leader and the knowledge she gained through her degree, The RIOTACT noted.  


[email protected] will be representing the ACT at the Australian Training Awards in Brisbane on 21 November. To find out more about [email protected] services visit their website


The coverage of this story, as produced by The RIOTACT, is available here