10 Things To Consider When Choosing A Location for Your RTO

There’s no denying the registered training organisation (RTO) market is a crowded one.  How can you make your business stand out from others? A poor choice of location could see prospective students choosing another RTO, even though the training you offer is superior.

We’ve chosen 10 reasons why we believe locating your business at a specialist training centre will help your business grow.

  1. Parking

What – too lowbrow? Having free and ample car parking capable of accommodating 100’s of cars a day means that all staff and students on any given day can park safely and securely on site. Gold! Try matching that in the CBD? Your students will thank you for the money they will save on parking fees and the flexibility of driving to their training.

  1. Value for Money

How reasonable is your rent and is your lease agreement easy to manage based on gross rental payments? In other words, what you see in your lease is what you pay? Or are there hidden outgoing amounts (apart from electricity which is pretty standard). A specialist training precinct such as The Construction Training Centre adopts a collaborative leasing approach to work with their tenant partners, because your continued success is there’s too.

  1. Close to the CBD

No-one wants to be far from the action but being in town is a real hassle. See number 1 above for example! CTC’s precinct in Salisbury is ideally located for inter-connectivity (little wonder it’s a hub for major logistics companies), and it’s close to public transport for the environmentally minded as well.

  1. Large Campus style facilities

When you have a large precinct you need space to breathe. Plenty of green space gives a feeling of a relaxed but well-maintained training hub, with purpose-built campus style facilities. It’s an attractive place to attend and do business and the amenities reflect the large numbers who can be in attendance at any one time.

  1. On Site Café

A vibrant café on site will stop your students wandering off at breaks. In this day and age where worker well-being is considered important, the Café should offer healthier choices to help address poor nutrition and obesity among workers. CTC has worked with the on-site Café to provide calorie and nutrition information on menu options to help workers make healthier choices. An on-site café should also provide in-house catering if you offer this to your students.

  1. Dark Fibre

Sorry…dark what? That’s code for uber-fast internet connection. In the future you won’t be able to do business without it. A state of the art training precinct should offer this to their tenants to future proof your business.

  1. Concierge Services

The Precinct Management Office at a specialised training centre might offer additional services to make life easier for you – not a hotel but as helpful as any front desk! Do they collect your mail from the local post office and deliver to your door? Do they accept courier deliveries on your behalf? Some might even have a Justice of the Peace on site – how convenient would that be?

  1. Their place – your brand

You want your brand to be easy to find – whether it be through signage or via a Google search. A specialised training centre should make it easier for your customers to find you with effective way-finding signage. And  a web portal from their website to your business focused on helping your business to grow.

  1. Safe and Secure

Everyone knows the benefits of being certified to the well-known international standards for quality, safety and the environment. It’s difficult and costly for a small business to achieve this, but you want to know that your landlord is across this for the safety and well-being of your staff.  What assurance is there that your landlord is on top of safety, quality and environmental issues? A triple ISO certified and externally audited management system is a robust means of underpinning the everyday activities and your precinct management team should be responsive in terms of safety, compliance and meeting your needs as a customer.

  1. Caring about your talent

Attracting, then retaining good staff is one of the greatest challenges of business owners today. Competing with much larger organisations can be hard. A Training Precinct should be looking to provide added value to your business in the ‘talent stakes’ like a competitively priced 24/7 gym with twice weekly boot camps, a relaxation and reflection room with sleep centre, free library and journal club, free annual skin checks, flu jabs and hearing tests on top of lifestyle initiatives like annual nutrition challenge and quarterly bio-scans. In such a case you know your workplace will compete with the best ‘big end of town’ can throw at you. The extra cost? Well at top quality training precincts just expect this to be within the overall competitive rental envelope.


By now you will have worked out that CTC’s purpose-built facility in Salisbury offers everything any organisation or individual worker could need to conduct or participate in specialist industry training … in one place.

So if you need the complete leasing package, try us by calling us on 07 3216 6711 or email info@ctc.qld.edu.au. Not quite big or established enough to take out a lease? Call us about our award-winning disruption called Hot Leasing or short-term conference and training room hire. We have all bases covered.


CTC welcomes back a familiar face

Today I sat down with Adrian Shackleton who is the new Operations Manager at The Service Trades College Australia. Adrian is a familiar face to CTC because of his previous position with Construction Training Queensland (CTQ), one of our former tenants back in 2007/2008.adrian shackleton

Adrian is a plumber by trade but has also spent time in the army, however he has always enjoyed the training and development that is involved in the construction industry.

Coming back to CTC, Adrian expressed his thoughts on the changes between 2008 and now. He said that there are a lot more Registered Training Organisations operating at CTC and the precinct has developed into a real training hub.

Adrian said that the fact that he was familiar with the location and facilities at CTC was an added bonus to his position with The College, along with his acquaintance with CEO Phil Diver.

“It’s nice to welcome Adrian back to CTC as he was here when I first started. I always enjoy welcoming home a familiar face”, Mr Diver said.

Adrian is just as thrilled to be back at CTC as we are to have him.

“It’s a bit like coming home. I am very comfortable here”, Adrian stated.

Adrian said that the partnership between CTC and The Service Trades College is a great, long-standing relationship. He mentioned that a number of his colleagues attend CTC’s fitness programs and are also excited about the upcoming tenant breakfast seminar on SEO Marketing.

“The initiatives and services that CTC offers its tenants are a great way to get involved and also provide opportunities for networking and organisational growth”, Adrian said.

Adrian loves his new position with The Service Trades College. As the Operations Manager he oversees and manages the day-to-day operations of the organisation, manages training and training delivery, ensures that the organisation remains compliant to the Australian Quality Framework Training standards, and ensures the review and improvement of the organisation and what it offers.

Along with his new position at The College, Adrian was also very excited to talk about the new and exciting things that are being introduced within the organisation.

One main initiative is The College’s involvement with Business Information Modelling (BIM). The organisation is incorporating BIM into training delivery, which allows for apprentices to gain real life experience.

The Service Trades College’s training tower is mapped using BIM, which give apprentices the opportunity to view materials and drawings of services, identify clashes between trades, and also reduces delays in operations.

The Plumbers Union Queensland has also delivered another initiative to The College in terms of an extra week of training for apprentices additional to their Certificate III Qualification

The initiative is supported by industry and funded by BERT Queensland, which provides training grants and other assistance for workers in the Queensland building and construction industry.

The extra week of training provides apprentices with life skills, allows for them to become a more valued member of the workforce, and even incorporates the introduction to BIM and other technologies such as Microsoft Office.

All of the feedback about the extra week of training has proven it to be a great success.

Adrian is very enthusiastic and optimistic about the things to come for The Service Trades College and couldn’t be more excited to be back at CTC.

“I am extremely excited to be back at CTC and back working in the training environment and I look forward to meeting and working with industry stakeholders”, he stated.

We are delighted to welcome Adrian back and we are excited to see what is still to come for himself and The Service Trades College.


Hot Leasing 12 months on …

It’s now 12 months since the Minister launched Hot Leasing so we thought it was time to take a snapshot of how far Hot Leasing has come.

To date there are 30 approved Hot Leasing agreements with registered training organisations delivering high risk work licensing training in forklift, EWP, scaffolding, swing stage and asbestos removal as well as safety courses in work at heights, rope access and rescue and confined space.

As well as South East Queensland and wider Queensland, Hot Leasing has drawn RTOs from Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.  Some have even taken up residence at CTC as new tenants!

Usage has been cyclical, in keeping with industry trends.  Early on, EWP and asbestos removal were in high demand while more recently swing stage and heights training have kicked on.  Forklift has remained consistent. We have capacity to do more however.

Unfortunately we have not been able to secure the interest from industry to invest in dogging and rigging but talks continue with RTOs in that space.  The partnership with our tenant Lifting Skills to offer access to crane training remains strong but we could do more in this space.

Overall, Hot Leasing has been a success and continues to improve.  We are exceeding our breakeven point for the financial year and are ahead of our business plan usage level.

“As the only facility of its kind in Queensland and Australia, Hot Leasing represents a unique opportunity for RTOs to access state of the art training equipment and structures specifically designed for high risk work licensing and safety training, right in the centre of Brisbane”, Phil Diver, CEO of CTC said.

“That said, at times we have had to forge ahead with no other model for guidance. We are always open to suggestions about how we can improve on our model to make it easier to use and used more frequently”, he added.

Realising that industry is doing it tough at the moment we are looking at how we can respond.  We plan to send out a survey shortly seeking views. In the meantime we’re offering an of Financial Year Promotion, details of which you can read here.

Hot Leasing and RTOs…we think this is an unbeatable combination.


What’s wrong with VET today?

ConfusionThis is a loaded topic, no doubt about it. If you asked this question of 10 VET practitioners you are likely to get 10 different responses. But as this is my blog, it will be from my own personal perspective and what prompted me to write about it.

Hot Leasing. If you’re a reader of the CTC blogs you are well versed on Hot Leasing and the amazing facility CTC has made available to High Risk Work Licence (HRWL) RTOs. What has this got to do with VET? Well, most if not all, high risk work licensing competencies are from various industry training packages which places them in the VET arena.

Hot Leasing recently hosted a Swing Stage installation course as part of an Advanced Scaffolding Licence offering by one of our tenant RTOs. This was a big day for Hot Leasing as it was the first time the Swing Stage was used. Why big? Three swing stage related deaths on the Gold Coast in recent years resulting in an update to the Scaffolding Code of Practice (among other things) makes swing stage training a big deal. And CTC now has a fully dedicated swing stage training facility available 24/7. I call that a big deal.

CTC announced the big day on our website and shared the news on LinkedIn. The Australian High Risk Work RTO group on LinkedIn picked it up and a discussion on the availability of assessment instruments for Swing Stage ensued.   A very brief detail of the discussion topic is that there was a view the assessment instruments for Swing Stage were being reviewed by Workplace Health & Safety Queensland (WHSQ) and Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) as they are due to expire in September this year. As a result there was a comment that no HRWL RTO could assess anyone on Swing Stage. The HRWL RTO group are now up in arms.

This gets to the crux of my view as to what is wrong with VET today. As much as the bureaucrats want us to believe one size fits all, industry knows it doesn’t. Furthermore, the bureaucrats are trying to force industry to believe it, resulting in a state of almost mass confusion.   Confusion is what is wrong with VET today. Already I can hear the screams from RTOs “it’s always been confusing”. I agree and it remains today. So where am I going with this?

The training and assessment model that is in place today was built around traineeships and apprenticeships, mainly due to the funding provided by Government. However, it has been overlaid across all industries and training sectors regardless of who pays, i.e., the fee for service market. One only has to look at the latest requirements for RTOs to report ALL training via AVETMISS now, regardless of whether it was Government funded or fee for service training, to see this agenda in action.

The impact on the HRWL market is that some RTOs do not understand how the national VET system works. If they did, the LinkedIn discussion referred to above would not have occurred.   If they did understand the National VET system, they would have realised that when competencies (Training Packages) are reviewed, the existing competencies and associated assessment instruments continue to operate until such time as the new competencies are made available for use, and sometimes for a period of time after implementation of the new competencies.

To emphasise my point about confusion, in another HRWL discussion on LinkedIn, the issue of nominal hours was raised prompting one RTO to ask, “What are nominal hours”? This is a foreign concept in the HRWL market but one being implemented by the bureaucrats. One can assume because it is in place in other VET sectors – one size fits all. It doesn’t, and for the HRWL sector of the VET industry, confusion reigns supreme.


Not just a landlord

As often happens during a Christmas Day dinner, friends and family gather and discuss matters as diverse as the glaze for the turkey to the turnaround in fortunes of the Australian cricket team.  And heaven forbid, sometimes we might even throw in some discussion about what we’re doing at work.

The author of this blog sometimes struggles to describe exactly what we’re about here at CTC.  Often we take calls from people wanting to enrol in a course.  But despite what our name implies, we’re not a registered training organisation, though we do have about 20 tenants who deliver a range of training programs on site.  Oh, well you’re a landlord then?  Well, yes but we don’t just collect rent and maintain the site (although this is important for our continued viability).

So on Christmas Day when I proudly described some of CTC’s “whole of precinct initiatives” or “WOPI’s” as we like to call them, I felt a little miffed when questioned about the economic sense of providing such initiatives if no direct income was generated from them.

In my opinion, this was a very short-sighted and uninformed response, but in the spirit of Christmas Day family harmony, I decided to offer only a brief retort and move on to non-work related conversation.

It’s time then for me to clarify in my own mind (and maybe then in the minds of others) what we’re about at CTC and the role we play supporting the building and construction industry in Queensland.

How to achieve our mission which is “to equip people with the skills they need for the future, to develop the Queensland building and construction industry with the highest quality workforce and specialist knowledge”?

Obviously, just being “a landlord” is not enough.  And there are plenty of RTO’s out there delivering training and assessing the skills of workers.

What we have is a 12 ha precinct at Salisbury which is a unique facility that has everything any organisation could need to conduct specialist industry training, in one place.  Plus, we add value by:

How we're building skill solutions
How we’re building skill solutions
  1. Responding – we listen to what our tenants and industry tell us and we respond with the help of a highly flexible team and an adaptive facility;
  2. Enhancing – the value of our tenants’ businesses are enhanced through our vibrant training hub;
  3. Innovating – breaking new ground with the development of new initiatives such as “Hot Leasing” and “the training Co-operative”;
  4. Collaborating – working with our tenants to leverage benefits for their business.

In my next blog, I’ll elaborate with examples of how we respond, enhance, innovate and collaborate.

Stay tuned!