24 Oct 2012

New Training Package: CUA is born

OCT 24 2012

By Julius Grafton

Last year I joined the NPRG (National Project Reference Group) organised by IBSA (Innovation and Business Skills Australia) to deliver the CUA training package for entertainment and events. In October a group of industry practitioners, educators and government signed off on the package in Adelaide.


Earlier I’d dished it up to IBSA in the wake of closing my college that was established to deliver the soon to end CUE03 training package. In the early life of CUE03 IBSA had taken over from former government appointees CREATE Australia, and took a while to come to terms with the fickle and delightfully precious industry that CX calls our own.

Having eaten financial failure in training by the bitter plate-load for eight years, my perspective on the evolution of CUE03 was negatively skewed. Some IBSA initiatives, like the Version 3 release, had caught many of us unprepared. Having published my opinions I was surprised to be invited by Linda Arnold to join the NPRG. Arnold was the face of IBSA for CUE03 and not exactly on my lunch list. We had lunch anyway and buried the hatchet for the common good.

After a year of sometimes heated meetings and consultation, a dozen of us met in Adelaide and nailed shut CUA, which will take training forwards for perhaps another decade. It was my first protracted committee experience and it was chock full of acronyms – as if NPRG and IBSA and CUA are not acronym weird enough. Vocational Training in Australia has become a complex mess, and CUA is an attempt to modernise the mess as it applies to theatre and events training.


On the weekend CX went to press Karen cleared out our wine cellar. Devoid of plonk because we drink it faster than we can store it, the storage boxes came up and out popped her training notes, binders full, from her Childcare qualification. ‘Look how much paperwork we did’, she said. I reminded her how Andy, Jimmy, Maiz and I wrested with an industrial sized printer to kill endless pine forests satisfying the audit dragons who stalk vocational training organisations and insist on evidence of everything at all times in triplicate.

CUA is tighter, and does a better job than CUE03. It will be harder for schools to deliver the Certificate III, which is a good thing as we know there are shortcuts available in CUE03 that have seen innocent kids over empowered by under qualified teachers. They come out all keen and green to our venues and production firms and get smashed by reality. CUA will help less of our beautiful kids get hurt.

Whether CUA makes much difference, at least we did engage with you in its formation. The consultation list is diverse, IBSA travelled the wide land and visited the island as well as well as the frontier (Darwin).

I asked my NPRG colleagues whether you engaged relative to other training packages. They said they had seen the Libraries and Museums industry engage less than we did, and that our industry engaged well! I was surprised again, a good surprise.

At CX Roadshow we have a Training Summit to unpack CUA and help everyone interested in training deliver better. We already have a skills shortage, so we all need to invest more. If that’s you, please come along – February 14 – 27, all major capital cities.

Linda Arnold rose above my dissent to involve and engage me and we can all learn from that.


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