So the saying goes. And I think it applies nicely to this year. As we wind down on 2020 I don't know of anybody who is wishing the year could go on for just a little bit longer...
Without doubt 2020 will be one we all remember - for a bunch of different reasons. For us here at SVETS, it has been interesting to say the least! Just like anyone, we had no idea what March would morph into and we were flying by the seat of our pants for much of the twists and turns on the ride; we had to, as no-one knew what was next.
The first inkling we got of the massive changes about to descend was when one of our team (whose niece is a doctor) emailed to say they wouldn't be coming into the office on Monday because "there's this new virus and everyone should be careful of contact with others and my mum's in the high risk age group and I've never heard my niece sound this worried by anything... so I'm heeding the advice". Turns out, we all ended up heeding the advice at some point this year.
Our onsite admin team quickly became a remote admin team and despite fears and worries of what happens if the work dries up, we ended up being busier than ever. In amongst all of the COVID challenges, the various businesses that comprise Specialised VET Services had a few wins, some of which we've shared below:
VET PD Group
The VET PD Group team mobilised quickly and ramped up their usual regular sector updates. We were one of the first to have a COVID support hub which listed government announcements, resources and tools to help businesses, and support avenues for home schooling, getting online, and maintaining emotional and mental wellbeing.
The temporary hub is now retired and the link above is as it was when we finalised this service in May.
Our new webinar option for practitioner professional development exploded onto the scene in March - weeks earlier than planned. 100s attended our complimentary sessions on moving to online, adjusting operational workflow, and ways to maximise the 'down time' COVID suddenly presented.
In all, between March and November 2020, we hosted 54 Skills Education webinars with audience numbers in the thousands, including from overseas. During this time we had tech support from partner provider vetr, and brought eleven different presenters to the stage to share their expertise in VET.
We also introduced the first Skills Education Growth Week:
The Skills Education program is returning in 2021 with a new range of topics and a brand new website from which to browse upcoming live events or choose an 'on-demand' session to watch in your own time.
In May, we were one of the first materials suppliers to have assessments contextualised for the newly approved infection control skill sets applicable to retail, food handling, and transport and logistics. This was a major milestone for the team as we pulled out all stops to slot the development of these materials in amongst our existing contracts for bespoke resources.
And, although 2020 disrupted some of our plans, we still launched our first SimBiz to support students who don't have access to workplace documents required for assessment. So far, over twelve months of development has gone into CannyHQ (designed to support Business Qualifications) so it's been tremendous to see this project hit the market! We continue to work on our ever-growing library of products and love it when we get feedback from RTOs about how comprehensive they find our materials. Training Tools will continue to be a focus for us into 2021 as we already have a number of items waiting to be added to the catalogue.
2020 also saw the launch of our searchable directory for RTOs. If you're looking for a product or service, the Specialised RTO Services website helps finding what you need a bit easier. Already, we have over 50 niche suppliers in our VET directory and until the end of January 2021, our bonus offer for a no-obligation, no-strings-attached, 100% genuine, free listing until 30 June 2021 is still running.
In addition to the above, we've been involved in countless assessment development and/or validation tasks, and been able to provide paid work on various projects for over 45 workers. Michelle, personally, has delivered professional development and compliance-related sessions by request for other organisations in the VET sector: vetr, VET Gurus, VDC, Velg Training and ITECA. And of course, for Skills Education too. Without doubt, it's been a big year and I'm proud of the team and what we've achieved.
In all, throughout (and sometimes, despite) the challenges of 2020, we've found a way and are grateful for the trust shown to us by those we work with and work for. We're appreciative of all of the opportunities, especially those with some kind of learning attached. I think this year, we've learned a lot about who we are and what we do.
As we round out the final hours of 2020, big thanks to everyone. Thanks for letting us share some of our wins with you here. If we've worked with you, if you've bought one of our products, if you've engaged us for a service, if you've attended a webinar, if you've read our weekly PD Reading, if you've liked one of our regular sector updates on LinkedIn, if you've emailed to say hi... we couldn't have done it without you! Thank you and best wishes for a happy 2021!