Monday, December 9, 2019

Create your 2020 Vision

A clear vision can help you stay focused on what your want. Think about a time when you were looking to buy a car or another item, once you decided that was the item/car, the color or the style you started to see this same one everywhere. This is because it was in your consciousness/awareness. Once something is in your awareness its starts to appear, it was probably always there but you never saw it until you decided to look.
Our level of consciousness about what we want changes and we can become very focused on getting that thing once we commit. The decisions you make can easily change to support what you want and you start to create ways in which you can achieve what you want much faster than before. A vision board can help you stay focused, imagine seeing what you want every day, when you see it, feel it, even taste it, your action’s are focused on getting it.
A Vision board is one way to create a clear picture and it doesn’t have to be a material item it could be something that you want to implement into your life, like better nutrition to support your body or meditation to reduce stress, your vision board can have pictures of programs, seminars to attend, it could also have images of places to go, like walking in the rain-forest or on the beach regularly.

Here is a sample of a vision board, it can have anything that you want on it, pictures from magazines, words that inspire, time frames to achieve them Mentors that you aspire to become like. Anything that works for you is key to making it a success. Everyone needs to have their own style and ideas and it should be very personalised and clear.

So I guess you may be asking how do you get started?  Well all you need is a large piece of cardboard or a pin board and ideas. Think really deeply about what you want and just start writing down some ideas. If you want this to be a family vision board then you need to get everyone involved and have their ideas placed on the board too, however start with your dreams and think about all aspects of your life, physical, spiritual, career, financial and relationships and be clear about what you want in all areas of your life.

Last year I started using a metaphor of a bucket to inspire my vision board and have words coming out of a bucket, I have images of skills that I want to develop, so I found the books that can help me develop the skills and I printed a picture of the book. 

Note: An important key to remember is that this doesn’t have to cost anything for example I can go to the library and borrow a book to help me develop skills. If I want to learn how to have better health I can connect to groups that have all the information I need to get ideas.

Then go to work on your vision, each day do something towards achieving your vision for the future. One thing each day is a step in the right direction, it’s called action. You can have all the goals and the best vision board you like, however if you don’t take consistent action toward achieving them then it’s unlikely to happen. One step forward is a step in the right direction.

If you need help setting goals and creating a vision board, contact our team and we can help you put a plan into action. You never know this could be the start of possibility.

Till next time. Donna

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Work Health and Safety and Why it’s Important?

This month we wanted to focus a little on you, yes that’s right you are important and so is everyone in the workplace. Whether you are a volunteer, part time or full-time employee, safety is the key. What we know from the statistics is not enough people know, understand or take the WHS aspect of their job seriously and this leads to incidents, accidents and even in some case fatalities. 

The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (the WHS Act) provides a framework to protect the health,  safety, environment and welfare of all of us while we are at work. This includes and not limited to employees, subcontractors, apprentices and trainees, volunteers, visitors, employers and the general public so they don’t become harmed while we are doing our work activities.

Workplace injuries can have a major impact on family, friends and of course the business itself, whether it's due to lower staff morale, reduced productivity, lost sales, or even closure.

Our employers must create policies and procedures for us to follow while we are working or visiting another Business. These policies and procedures are there to educate you on potential hazards in your work environment and will assist in proper workplace practices and behaviour to prevent work place injuries, illness, contamination and fatalities. 

While workplaces injuries are on the decline there are still far too many injuries, near misses and deaths. SafeWork Australia provided statistics on worker fatalities and it shows that in 2016, 53 workers were killed in New South Wales, 45 in Queensland, 31 in Victoria and 20 in Western Australia. Those numbers don't even address the workers who sustain injuries and those that don’t report. This is far too many people … we need to wake up and we need to start believing Zero Harm is achievable and continuously strive to reach this goal every day.

We all know that employers have a responsibility to keep us safe, however it is not just on them, you as an employee also have a duty of care to take care of yourself and of others who may be affected by what they do or do not do. 

“keeping others safe means, they too go home to their family”

How can we reduce the amount of workplace accidents? 

How can we prepare staff to contribute to making our work environments safer?  



Here a few tips that you can easily implement in the workplace


Simply telling your team is certainly not enough, the most valuable step is to educate and train your team. It is important to ensure competency has been be tested. It is not good enough just to accept your team members assurance that they are experienced and competent no matter how old they are or how long you have had them employed.

It really can be as simply as teaching and educating your team on common safety mistakes, for example: lifting quickly, skipping breaks, ignoring near misses and not reporting them, working too many hours (overtime) etc…

If you are an employee and you are not confident in the task that has been given to you speak up   and talk to someone. One small conversation could save your life and/or your colleagues.

Don’t cut corners

Practice what you preach, don’t encourage or take short cuts so you can make a deadline sooner. We have all been in a situation or heard of someone that has been there, for example  missing a pre start check because of time constraints , putting no safety rail up because you forgot to book it in and the builder has demanded it gets done today because another trade is booked in tomorrow! Many shortcuts reduce the overall safety, or cause risk to the team member who is taking them. It is extremely important to focus on making sure everyone is taking the right safety precautions by following policy and procedures, they are there for a reason. 

“Cutting corners cost lives”.


Speak up make your self-known to your supervisors/ Managers and team members, talk about WHS get excited about safety! Consultation has so many benefits it can identify issues or for the better word opportunities, it can assist with decision making and can contribute to new ideas. Include the team in talks, give them the opportunity to share their thoughts .

This will increase productivity, morale, it will help them make better and more informed decision making and successful implementation of ideas.  It will also assist the team to cope with change and be less likely to resist and be more accountable.

Ongoing Training

I had touched on this topic before when I was discussing “education”. 

When hiring someone, the company typically provides the new member with an induction that will include all the training that a new employee will need to do their job safely and effectively. In some cases, however, that is all they will teach them. This is one of the most dangerous habits that a company could do, because it exposes the individual, and the entire workplace to danger.

It is paramount to provide high quality safety training to all team members when they are hired, and then continue to give refresher courses / updates / performance reviews on a regular basis. Simple refresher classes or courses will assist your team in staying motivated, focused and provide the confidence in what they do. Complacency is a real thing, people become familiar with their job and make mistakes. Keep it Fresh!!

Provide appropriate equipment

All company’s must be equipped for their teams to do their job. Equipment/PPE may vary from safety harnesses to proper gloves, goggles or desk chair. Under no circumstances should employees perform their duties /task without the proper equipment.

Did you know if you work in an office have the workstation set up ergonomically for your needs it reduces the risk of back pain, neck soreness and wrist strain. You can contact ergonomic consultants that will come out to your office and assess your station to ensure it is correctly set up for your specific needs / task.

If you are unsure about what your needs are, talk with a consultant or industry expert PPE is key.

Keep up to date - Subscribe

Subscribing to specific WHS sites will benefit you and the workplace it will alert you on emerging trends and help you keep safety in the fore front of your mind. Be proactive with your personal development ensure that you are up to par with regards to local regulations and standards. Subscribing to industry relevant websites or Safe work Australia, Training company’s websites or Worksafe you can be confident that you have all the information and resources you need at your fingertips to provide for a safe working environment. Safe work

Safety signs

You might think the more signs up in the workplace the better? Wrong ... too many signs can be hazardous to you and your team. Have you ever often thought I didn’t see that sign, and you have literally walked passed it or it could be just staring at you and you still don’t see it? It happens to me all the time some sites, factories are too overzealous. Your brain can only take in a certain amount of information before it eventually becomes a blur.

Safety signs are important they are extremely effective when used in the right area / location. A simple and clear sign warn people of hazards and risks. They may also outline measures your workers should take to minimise risks to their safety. Signs are also an effective way to overcome language or literacy barriers. 
  • Have you ever heard less is more?
  • Health and safety laws specify that some signage is mandatory!
  • But should you be using more? 
  • What is your workplace like?

Repetitive task

You may not realise how a Repetitive task can be dangerous. It is more dangerous than you think. Look at a simple task like typing, it can be strenuous on your body and mind.

Repetitive tasks will cause Occupational overuse syndrome (OOS) which is another name for repetitive strain injury or RSI. It can affect your back, shoulders, arms, elbows, fingers, wrists and other joints and muscles. The common symptoms include:

  • Uncomfortable aches
  • Weak muscles
  • Restricted joint mobility
  • Swelling
  • Numbness
Any manual task that requires fast and repetitive movements or working in immovable or awkward postures for long periods of time can trigger OOS. Just to name a few trades hairdressers, musicians, bricklayers, carpenters, can experience OOS.
Repetitive tasks will take its toll it can cause loss of attention, increase stress, trigger depression, and decrease the overall satisfaction levels. 

Effective training and education programs are essential for the success of an overall prevention of OOS, but so is making changes to the design of a workplace, workplace practices and using adjustable furniture.

There are many things that you could implement in the workplace to prevent this, have you thought about Rotating with colleagues?

Unfortunately, we can become complacent in respect to WHS and we think a lot of this is common sense, however common sense is not so common. Being part of a team and communicating with each other will save lives. Maybe some of these things that I have touch on are not so obvious to others, so make sure you share this with your team. 

Talk, help each other be a part of something bigger, safer and sustainable.

Mantra Training & Development is taking a more innovated approach and we are offering Memberships to our site so you can be more confident and have a better understanding of the legislation for your industry.

Our memberships program will offer: 

latest news in WHS
programs on offer,  
Useful Tips each month 
Videos on how to,
o   do a tool box talk?

o   complete forms,

o   implement procedures

o   Ergonomic work stations

o   Do a risk assessment and more
We will keep you posted so make sure you subscribe to our newsletter.
So till next time… Just remember, Safety is no accident

Karene Peak 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Study Tips - New Mindset New Results

The best on intentions

When you enrol in a course you have the best of intentions, #1, You are gong to stick to a schedule #2, you want to be top of the class #3, your going to hand in assessments on time #4, and complete the course on time if not in advance. These are some of the examples we hear every day. Let's face it when we take on anything new we generally have the best of intentions.

Then life gets in the way, a child gets sick, our roster at work changes, social time takes over, the list goes on as to how life can just get in the way of all that you want to do and before long your not even doing any study, then you miss a class or 2 and before you know it your feeling stressed about how to get back on track and you even contemplate withdrawing altogether.

Here are some great tips to help you get started or get back on track.

6 Study tips to succeed

As the CEO of Mantra Training & Development for the past 11 years I have been heavily involved in VET (Vocational Education and Training) for over 15 years. I have seen many people succeed in their learning and many people just quit, before they got the support that they needed, if only they asked for what they needed.
As a kid my Father would always say “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink” This is true but I have to ask if it was shown how to drink would it have had a better result?

You may ask why we need to have study tips, well, this is easy, the statistics that we look at around enrollments, retention and progress down to successful completion and the results tell the story. Now I won’t bombard you with numbers, but I will tell you what we see, those that enroll and have a clear plan and the right support succeed, it's really that simple. 

If you fail to plan you plan to fail – Jim Rohn

Tip #1 - Make a Plan

 A plan is very individualised, it’s about what works for you given your lifestyle and commitments. What do we mean by study Method? This is the method of which you choose to study, Online, Face to face, distance based or a combination of 2 or more methods.

Online (E-learning) – This is a great way to learn as you can study in your won time, this is great if you are self motivated or have a good internet connection and for some people they don’t even have a computer, so this option may not be the best choice.

Face to Face – This is a great way to learn if you need more interaction and you get benefit from the group activities and discussion, The interaction and hands on is great for those learners that need to see the practical application in a group setting. Some people may get bored with the structure where others need to set days to attend classes.

Distance based learning -  If you live remotely this may be your only option, or maybe your lifestyle lends itself to distance based, be sure to identify what support is going to be available.
Before you make the plan as these questions:

1.       Why do I want to do this course?

2.       How committed to this course am I….. on a scale of 1-10

3.       Realistically how much time can I dedicate to study each week or fortnight

4.       Do I have the resources I need to be able to study, Library, internet, computer……

5.       Do I know how to study, research, take notes (so I can read them later)

6.       Do I know someone who is good at this? Maybe they could give you some tips.

Once you know what mode you can start to plan the best ways for you and understand what support is available and how to access this. Answer these questions before you go on!


Tip #2 - Ask for support

This may seem simple but a lot of our students start out and won’t ask for help. They feel like they shouldn’t need it or feel like they are asking dumb questions. This is why we constantly remind students that we are here to help. Once someone gets the help they need they can then move forward in the unit or course a whole.
Support needs look different to everyone but here are some of the most common that we come across.
·         Asking for support – This is a big one as many don’t seem to ask
·         Time to check in, this could be weekly or fortnightly
·         Additional tuition support at scheduled times
·         Attend additional study days
·         Identify skills gaps and address those with some video support or other reading
·         Talk to your trainer about issues stopping your progress

Tip #3 - Figure out your study Zone

What is a study zone you may ask, well this may look different for many people, but it can be the place you study, the time you study and other things that help you study. It can take up to 45 minutes to get in the zone and this can vary depending on the individual and other factors effecting life. Lack of sleep, poor focus, being hungry, feeling anxious and many other variables.
Ask these questions;
·         Am I more focused in the early morning or later at night or at times during the day
·         Do I have what I need to be able to effective in my study
·         Am I focused on my study or distracted and how can I minimise distractions
·         Do I like to study with music
·         Do I want to be part of a study group
·         Do I need an accountability buddy (This can be just committing out loud to someone)
·         Like going to A Dr or a Dentist you have to be there on time, make an appointment for study and focus on that time for that one task
Now go forth and create a study zone, for me I study best in the early morning when its quiet, I have my books and a time set that I will study. I like to be warm and have some light music playing that is more zen music than hit songs. One of the more important things I do is set it up the night before so I’m ready to get in the zone as fast as I can.

Tip #4 - Study Groups

Study groups are really beneficial. It allows you to bounce ideas off others and also allows you to brainstorm ideas and complete group activities if this is allowed. When you attend classes, you can speak to your trainer about a study group and they can encourage others to join in. Here at mantra Training we offer our room if its free, if its not free on the days they can get together they all meet at the local library or a coffee shop.
Ground rules – It is important to set some ground rules about what’s ok and what’s not ok.

  • Support each other
  • Be respectful
  • Show up\
  • Call or text if you can’t make it at the last minute
  •  Take on too much responsibility each person is accountable for their own participation
  •  Be disrespectful, we all have a different view of the world and like when you are in class its about respecting diversity
  • Plagiarism or use someone else's work as your own

Tip #5 - Seek confirmation of your progress

As you work towards completing your work it’s a good idea to seek some feedback about how your doing and if you are on the right track. Feedback will be given if you have not met the criteria or have some gaps in your submission but sometimes just a bit of feedback reinforces you are on the right track.
When you know you are on the right track and progressing through your study your confidence tends to increase, and you keep progressing and momentum will continue to build.


Tip #6 - When your plan fails redesign based on the results

Sometime the best plans don’t go to plan and that’s ok. What’s important is to be able to review your plan and see what is working and what’s not working and redesign. This can be as simple as the time you study doesn’t work, or the resources you need are only available on a particular day/time.
The important lesson is to not give up, it’s about looking at your results and seeing how you can do this differently and you will get results. Set a new goal and this may include the timeline for completion. If that is out of your control then you need to remind yourself that this is a short term demand that wont last forever. When we look at a situation in a different way we can see possibility.
Goals should be SMART and this will help you design a realistic plan

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

I do hope these tips have been helpful and if you would like more information please drop me an email and I would be more than happy to assist. Contact Us

Donna Moulds

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Skilled Capital Funding - Real Skills for Real Careers

Mantra Training& Development started operating in July 2008, we had a vision that we could help those that thought education was not affordable. Over the years we have seen many funded programs come and go (PPP, PSP) and many programs that have stayed the test of time (User Choice – Traineeships). One thing we know to be as true today as it was well before we started is "Education changes lives".

Whilst all of these programs have been extremely valuable, it has been said that Skilled Capital has been more successful than we ever thought possible since its inception.

The statistics that we were shown at the November RTO Forum were extremely exciting and the outcomes greater than what was anticipated. This is great news for the future of VET in the ACT. We know it has opportunities for those developing employability skills and increasing self confidence.

Our Vision for the future is to be able to support more learners using this program to enable people to develop the necessary skills to enter the workforce. For many years now we have assisted long term unemployed, learners with disabilities and learners who just need a helping hand to regain their confidence and skills. We can only imagine what is possible for the next 10 years and we look forward to seeing the results between 2019-2025.

What is Skilled Capital Funding

Skilled Capital funding is an ACT Government funded training initiative offering a comprehensive range of services and subsidies to provide Canberran's the support they need to complete the training that is right for them.

Skilled Capital offers an opportunity for the Canberra community to access quality training and fill critical skills needs areas across a range of industries such as community services, information technology, health and construction.

Who is Eligible for Skilled Capital funding? 

To be eligible for Skilled Capital, you must, at the time of enrolment, be:

  • an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or New Zealand passport holder resident for more than 6 months, or
  • an eligible visa holder, and
  • living or working in the ACT, and
  • at least 15 years of age, and
  • not enrolled in or attending secondary school or college except where the student:
    • is undertaking a course of study leading to completion of year 12 in an alternative program, or
    • has an Exemption Certificate and the selected Skilled Capital qualification is an approved Australian School-based Apprenticeship pathway.
In addition to the above, to be eligible for a certificate II level Skilled Capital qualification, your training provider must have evidence to demonstrate that a certificate II qualification is a justifiable learning pathway for you.
Previous education and training will not impact your eligibility for Certificate III qualifications and above. However, you cannot be funded for a qualification you have completed within the last 7 years. Also, you can only be subsidised for 1 Skilled Capital qualification at a time.


What courses are available?

We have a range of courses that will be funded in 2019. These courses can assist you to get into the workforce or further develop your skills to be able to advance you career or even change career direction completely.


What is a completion Bonus 

Students who successfully complete their qualification are eligible for a completion payment. A completion payment will be paid directly to the student upon completion of the qualification and a survey. The completion payment is:
  • $300 for each qualification
  • $100 for each Skill Set.
Students will be eligible to receive the completion payment for up to one (1) year after the date deemed competent, provided up to date email and bank account details are confirmed. The student must lodge their bank details via the AVETARS student portal.
A student is not eligible for a completion payment where more than 50% of the units are completed through RPL and/or credit transfer (refer to Completion Arrangements).

Here are two examples;

Student A: Student enrols in Certificate III in Business and is found to be eligible for Skilled Capital funding, the student does not have a valid health care card so is required to pay $350.00.

Student B: Student enrols in Certificate III in Business and is found to be eligible for Skilled Capital funding, the student does have a valid health care card and may be eligible to have their fees waived so is required to pay $0.00.

Here are some FAQ

Q - If I work full time can I still enrol in a course and be eligible, 
A - YES as long as you meet the criteria

Q - Will I have to pay fees if I don't have a health care card. 
A - Yes, but it may be at the most $500.00 saving you $3000 if it is a Certificate IV level qualification

Q - Is it true we receive a completion payment at the end of $300.00
A - Yes this is once you have successfully completed your course and completed a survey with the ACT Government

How do I know if I am eligible

To check your eligibility please contact our office and we can easily assist you with our eligibility check process and assess if you are able to have Fees waived under the criteria.

1300 898 872 

Visit our website for more information