By SHANNON POWER
A BRIMBANK-based academic has won a prestigious national fellowship.
Peter Jacobsen, the director of training at Victoria University’s Trades College in Sunshine, has been awarded the 2013 International Building and Construction Fellowship.
The $12,500 fellowship will give Mr Jacobsen the opportunity to improve his skill base and to also share his new knowledge with others in the industry.
“It’s fantastic news and I’m very excited that VU will gain more recognition for its trades programs,” Mr Jacobsen said.
Mr Jacobsen will soon travel to Germany – where there is a 60 per cent rate of participation in apprenticeships – to study their model and write a report on his findings to be used for recommendations to industry in Australia.
Mr Jacobsen said through studying the European model of apprenticeship education, he hoped to help “reinvigorate” VET Vocational Education and Training in the building and construction industries once he arrives back in Melbourne.
“The whole apprenticeship model started in Germany … it seems there is a strong commitment from all parties, from employers, government and institutes,” Mr Jacobsen said.
He said the global financial crisis has put a strain on industry and the recruitment of apprentices.
“In a climate like ours, at university money’s been cut, it’s an opportunity to see how other countries have dealt with it,” said Mr Jacobsen.
Mr Jacobsen won the fellowship, a joint venture between the Construction and Property Services Industry Skills Council and the International Specialised Skills Institute, through a nation-wide competition.
“I was really excited and, I think, a bit humbled because I did know that people applied from all over the country,” Mr Jacobsen said.
“On a personal level it’s a great opportunity for me.”