Lifting students and businesses to new heights of success

Introducing Craig Taylor: experienced, professional, adaptable, TAFE Queensland South West teacher, and 2016 Queensland Training Awards Darling Downs South West regional finalist for VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year.

11 Jul 2016

Warehousing and logistics teacher/trainer Craig TaylorCraig Taylor has been employed as a teacher at TAFE Queensland South West in the Transport and Logistics (T&L) Team for the past 12 years. He delivers warehousing and logistics qualifications from a Certificate II to Certificate IV level, as well as vital skill sets including High Risk Work Forklift Training. Prior to joining TAFE Queensland South West as a teacher Craig developed extensive experience in the transport and logistics industry through 22 years of service with the Department of Defence – Army; he began as a Warehousing Operator and retired as a Senior Logistics Manager.

As a warehousing and logistics trainer, Craig needs to be adaptable due to last minute schedule changes affecting availability of staff. He is able to think laterally and make adjustments, as necessary, without creating a fuss. Craig’s personal teaching style is a major part of his success as a trainer. Craig is highly professional and respectful to everyone he meets, and he models these behaviours to his students. His training is very well organised and once he has worked with a business, they will often request him by name for any future training.

Craig’s students typically includes trainees and existing workers all over Queensland as well as Year 12 school students in the highly acclaimed GenR8 program. The GenR8 program aims to attract young people to careers in the T&L industry, is coordinated by the Department of Education and Training, and is supported by the Queensland Trucking Association.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that teaching takes up the majority of Craig’s time. But, it is only part of how he Makes Great Happen at TAFE Queensland South West every day.

Industry Excellence and Innovation

Craig maintains his industry currency by delivering the vast majority of his training onsite in industry with organisations such as Big W and Rio Tinto. This ensures that Craig’s students have their training and assessment customised to their workplace and its organisational policies and procedures. This also benefits industry because the training Craig offers is relevant to their work environment, and consequently value adds by improving safety, efficiency and productivity. Contributing to the improvement of the national training system is also part of what Craig does through his attendance at Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC) forums, and feedback he provides to the TLISC continuous improvement register regarding training package improvements.

In 2014 Craig became the teacher for the first pilot groups of the Department of Education and Training GenR8 programs in the south-west Queensland region. GenR8 was designed by the Department of Education and Training in consultation with the Queensland Trucking Association for Year 12 students to gain their Certificate II in Logistics through a combination of classroom based training and practical work based training. The pilot groups were run in Gatton and Warwick due to the significant number of T&L organisations in those regions. The pilots were so successful that in 2015, a Toowoomba GenR8 program was added. Both the Gatton and Toowoomba programs have been oversubscribed by student applications in 2015 and 2016 with both groups at or above capacity. This has meant that there has been a need to bring in an additional teacher to work with Craig in the delivery of the GenR8 programs due to the volume of work.

This is an outstanding success on its own, however, the greatest outcomes have been for the numbers of Year 12 graduates of the GenR8 program who have gained full time or part time work or apprenticeships or traineeships positions in the transport and logistics industry. The purpose of this program was to attract young people into careers in the T&L Industry to combat the issues of an aging workforce and that young people did not consider transport and logistics in their career path considerations. Craig’s passion for the Transport and Logistics industry and his exceptional teaching skills have been a key factor in the success of the GenR8 program in this region.

His fellow teachers in the TAFE Queensland South West Resources and Infrastructure Faculty also see Craig as a leader and mentor due to his willingness to assist and support other staff, particularly through new processes and systems and the required transitions. Craig also mentors new staff during their induction phase with TAFE Queensland South West and during their first year with the organisation. His positive and solution focused approach to every situation he encounters provides a great example for other staff.

Industry and Community Links

As an active member of the TAFE Queensland South West Transport & Logistics team, and Co-Chair of both Warehousing and Driving Operations Professional Learning Community, Craig has a direct influence on products and their delivery. Craig is also an active participant in the Transport & Logistics Think Tank process which brings together industry representatives to provide TAFE Queensland South West with feedback on their training and delivery. Think tanks are conducted to identify whether current programs on scope meet industry needs, what are the strong elements and where can we change and/or improve to better suit industry practice. This feedback then forms the basis on a action plan for the team on which they base their business plan for the year.

Craig’s links with industry and his strong focus on building and maintaining relationships with stakeholders has ensured that we have received repeat business over many, years from employers large and small businesses not just across Southern and South West Queensland, but also in the Gladstone region. It is the relationship that Craig formed with a former supervisor at a key business that has led to the current training project he is commencing in Nauru.

Craig is also highly regarded by the staff at the Department of Education and Training Darling Downs South West Regional Office due to the relationship he has formed in working with their field staff in delivering the GenR8 program. Craig takes immense personal pride in watching a student grow in knowledge and confidence through their training and in finding a career path in the T&L and Warehousing industry. Craig has a way of making everyone he comes into contact with feel positive, supported and encouraged whether that be a school student, a trainee, a supervisor, manager, CEO or his Faculty Director.

Professionalism and Commitment

Warehousing and logistics teacher/trainer Craig Taylor in action
Craig (right) in action

As an active team member in both the TAFE Queensland South West Transport and Logistics Team and the Resources and Infrastructure Faculty, Craig is always respectful, committed to positive outcomes, solution focused, an active listener, goal-orientated and encouraging. As a team member both in his specific training team and the larger faculty, Craig actively encourages attendance at meetings and in team members working together to discuss, review and/or validate process and product. Craig has also taken on workplace mentor roles for beginning teachers both in his own T&L team and in the broader R&I Faculty team. He has provided such a high level of support to these beginning teachers that they have been able to get up to full productivity within the organisation in a much quicker time frame than normal.

Additionally, Craig attends and participates in the broader TAFE Queensland Team of Transport and Logistics practitioners through the Professional Learning Community (PLC). This committee has a focus on achieving consensus across the broader TAFE Queensland network of T&L Educators on consistency of resources, assessments and delivery models across the range of qualifications and competencies TAFE Queensland delivers. As part of the PLC, funding has been secured for the development of master product and Craig participates in validating the product created by contracted instructional designers.

As an Accredited Assessor with Work Health and Safety Queensland, Craig is required to be current with all legislative requirements in the execution of Licencing duties. He regularly attends Work Health and Safety forums to discuss changes to legislation, documentation and processes. Craig ensures that he reads all updates circulated by the Division and that he forwards this information onto other staff so that they are up to date as well. As is the case with all HRW Licence Trainers, he is regularly inspected in his training and assessment sessions by Division of Work Health and Safety Inspectors to ensure that he meets their standards.

Craig has also regularly attends industry networking events such as T&L Conferences, Industry Breakfasts, and Employer Forums to represent TAFE Queensland South West and strengthen his personal relationship with key stakeholders.

Through all of these activities his passion, professionalism and commitment to VET teaching and learning is on display every day.

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