OCTEC is a successful community business based in Central West NSW and a leader in the important work of empowering disadvantaged members of our communities through education, training and employment services. We also support businesses, large and small, by supplying great staff and getting them trained. Our history: OCTEC started as a two person youth service in Orange (Central West NSW) back in 1976 and has grown to be an award-winning service provider operating across large parts of NSW. Our services: Our services are wide ranging. We deliver vocational education and training in aged care, business, civil construction, disability services, health and safety services, hospitality and waste management. We help people with disability to find and maintain employment. We provide businesses with temp staff through our labour hire service. We support youth at risk of disengaging from the education system to stay engaged and get a qualification. And we run Huntley Berry Farm, an Australian Disability Enterprise and tourist attraction just outside Orange. Our success: There is no particular secret to our success. It’s based on a simple philosophy of local people providing high quality services in their local communities, and doing what they say they will do.
Working across rural and regional NSW to provide individuals with training and employment opportunities, assist industry recruit and develop skilled workforces, and contribute to communities becoming more sustainable.
To develop and manage projects that assist people to acquire and improve their ability to seek, obtain and retain employment. To research, initiate and develop programs that provide support services for local people, in particular young or otherwise disadvantaged people. To seek support in the community to assist people to develop their capacity for obtaining and retaining employment and to become more self-reliant and better skilled during periods of unemployment. To research, initiate and develop programs that provide industry training and employment opportunities. To provide services and programs which address and relieve poverty, sickness, distress, misfortune, destitution or helplessness.
OCTEC provides its programs and services to all members of the community and in particular, to members of the community who traditionally face barriers to accessing employment, education and training services. OCTEC’s target client groups include school leavers, youth at risk of not making a successful transition from school to work, women, sole parents, Indigenous Australians, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people with disabilities, mature age workers and job seekers, people with learning difficulties including people lacking in literacy, numeracy or social skills, people living in rural and remote locations, people displaced from traditional areas of employment, people seeking retraining for a new career, people unable to progress from insecure employment arrangements, particularly casual and temporary employment, and the long-term unemployed. We estimate that more than 80% of individual clients who access our services fall into one or more of these categories.
OCTEC Limited Phillips Centre is a state-of-the-art Training Studio in the grounds of its already popular and picturesque training facility at Croagh Patrick College, in Park Street, Orange, New South Wales.
Features of the new studio includes:
A semi-enclosed Study Court and other 'smart house' architectural features to maximise favourable weather conditions and reduce lighting and heating/cooling costs
Wall mounted computer workstations to maximise floor space for manual training exercises
High speed internet access to allow lessons to be shared country- or world-wide
Camera coverage and computerised recording and mastering facilities for the creation, editing and sharing of training programs
Storage room for different training materials, e.g. Beds for Aged Care, resuscitators for First Aid, etc.
Accommodation, bathroom and kitchen facilities for travelling students and lecturers
Fully Disabled Access compatible.
Download our Phillips Centre information booklet from one of the links below:
4th November 2013: Huntley Berry Farm Wins at Orange Business Awards
The front page of the Central Western Daily (CWD) on Monday November 4th featured a story on the winners of the CGU Banjo Business Awards announced at a gala dinner on Saturday November 2nd. OCTEC’s Huntley Berry Farm (HBF) picked up the Excellence in Community Services Award with Dave Walker, HBF Manager, appearing in a photo on the CWD front page receiving the award. Congratulations to Dave and the whole team at HBF on a very deserving win. As Dave is quoted in the CWD story “... he could not wait to get to work today to show the award to employees ... they will be absolutely thrilled with this award.” Huntley Berry Farm is a Australian Disability Enterprise that manufactures and sells a wide range of gourmet jams, preserves and premium fruit syrups, made on-site from berries grown on the farm. HBF’s products are available from the farm’s cafe, from its online shop and from selected local retailers in and around Orange.
27th May 2013: Radio Interview: Demand Led Strategies
On Monday May 27th 2013, OCTEC Deputy CEO, Stephen Nugent, was interviewed on Radio National’s Life Matters program by Natasha Mitchell. The segment was about the long-term unemployment rate, skills shortages and the effectiveness of training programs in addressing these issues. In particular, it focused on demand-led models of training and employment assistance. Stephen spoke about OCTEC’s award-winning workforce development model for training in the aged care industry as an example of the excellent results that can be achieved when employers are involved from day one of a training program. Stephen was interviewed with Toni Wren, http://toniwren.com/, a Sydney-based employment and social policy consultant with extensive experience researching demand-led models both in Australia and overseas. Listen to audio
5th April 2013 : OCTEC Youth Connections Celebrates Youth Week
OCTEC’s Youth Connections service is actively involved in seven events across Central West NSW over the next week to celebrate our young people as part of National Youth Week. Read more (PDF)
14th November 2012 : OCTEC to Open State of the Art Training Centre
OCTEC’s new training centre in Orange will be officially opened by Senator Matt Thistlethwaite, Senator for New South Wales, on Friday November 18th. To be known as the Phillips Centre, it is part of a major redevelopment of OCTEC’s Croagh Patrick College in Park Street, East Orange. The redevelopment has been two years in the making and brings state of the art online and distance education facilities to Orange, in combination with motel-style accommodation for up to 12 training participants at a time. Read more (PDF)
18th June 2012 : Orange to Host Regional Youth Worker Seminar
OCTEC Youth Connections and Orange City Council have combined forces to host a Youth Worker Seminar, ‘Our Job, Their Life’, on Thursday 21 st June at the Orange Ex-Services Club. The seminar is aimed at strengthening youth services across Central West and Western NSW, and will also include the unique feature of a youth stream running in parallel with the youth worker program.Read more (PDF)
8th March 2013: OCTEC Enters New Era of Service Provision
This week marks a significant expansion in OCTEC’s employment services provision, with 19 new sites being opened across regional NSW and in western and south west Sydney. The expansion results from OCTEC’s success in the tender for Disability Employment Services run by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations last year Read more (PDF)
19th December 2012 : OCTEC Presents at Expert Roundtable of Jobs for the Disadvantaged
OCTEC was one of only three training and employment service providers invited to an expert roundtable on demand-led employment solutions held in Melbourne on Thursday December 18 th . The roundtable was co-hosted by the ACTU, Australian Council of Social Services and the Business Council of Australia, and focused on the question: ‘How can the employment services system work more closely with employers to encourage and support them to hire people disadvantaged in the labour market?’Read more (PDF)
24th May 2012 : Orange to Host Regional Youth Worker Seminar
OCTEC Youth Connections and Orange City Council have combined forces to host a Youth Worker Seminar, ‘Our Job, Their Life’, on Thursday 21 st June in Orange aimed at strengthening youth services across Central West and Western NSW. The seminar will also include the unique feature of a youth stream running in parallel with the youth worker program. Read more (PDF)
OCTEC has been in the important business of finding people work for more than 20 years. One of our guiding principles is the belief that the best welfare work you can do for someone is to help them find and maintain meaningful employment. Equally, we believe that one of the best ways to support local communities is to help employers recruit and develop skilled workforces.
OCTEC has experience and expertise in every area of employment service provision. For job seekers this includes skills assessment, resume development, job search training, cold canvassing, interview preparation, work experience coordination, mentoring and post placement support. For businesses, it includes workforce development planning, recruitment and selection advice, training needs analysis, traineeship advice and coordination, training delivery and support for new employees. OCTEC’s current Employment Services programs are Disability Employment Services and Q.temp labour hire
OCTEC is a specialist Disability Employment Service provider operating in regional NSW and western and south west Sydney. Our Career Consultants support people with disabilities to identify and overcome barriers to employment, find suitable vacancies, undertake cold canvassing for positions, negotiate workplace modifications where needed, and maintain their employment when workplace or personal difficulties arise. Consultants also work closely with OCTEC Training Services and OCTEC Q.temp to identify traineeship and short course training opportunities, as well as opportunities to gain work experience through temporary labour hire positions.
Another key part of our role is to work with local employers to identify suitable positions for our job seekers and to promote the benefits of employing someone with a disability. Research shows that people with disability have lower absenteeism, higher retention rates and fewer WHS incidents than other members of the workforce, which makes the employment of people with disability just good business
OCTEC’s Q.temp casual labour hire service provides efficient, cost-effective services to businesses seeking temporary personnel to cover a range of staffing situations. Q.temp staff perform special projects for employers, assist with clearing backlogs of work, cover periods of leave taken by permanent staff, and fill vacancies whilst staffing needs and recruitment processes are finalised. Q.temp helps job seekers re-engage with the workforce and provides quality jobs for workers which can lead to the development of transferable skills and long-term employment.
The benefits of using Q.temp include:
cost savings through reduction of your advertising overheads and employee overtime
time savings as you won’t have to go through a full selection process, or have to do as much on-the-job training
greater certainty that you will get quality staff with proven skills allowing you to manage your workload in a productive manner.
The services Q.temp provides are:
extensive screening of applicants prior to recommendation
employees ready to start at short notice to cover unexpected absences in your workplace
employees with clerical, industrial and technical skills ready to fill vacancies for as short or long a period as you need
efficient processing of all the necessary paperwork so that you can get on with the important work of running your business.
Huntley Berry Farm is an OCTEC-owned and operated Australian Disability Enterprise, as well as a significant contributor to Orange’s reputation for high quality locally grown produce. The farm has long been known for its large variety of berries, which visitors can pick themselves between November and May each year. And now the farm has many other experiences to offer following recent development of its facilities.
It’s a great place for a picnic or children’s birthday party, sitting under the shade of magnificent trees, with extensive grass areas for games and the farm’s free ranging chooks foraging nearby. Your picnic fare can be supplemented with coffees, crepes, smoothies and berry ice blocks from the cafe, which also has a wide range of gourmet jams, fruit syrups and vinegars available for sale.
The farm’s commercial kitchen has recently been expanded and upgraded, producing most of the gourmet products available in the cafe. The great range of value added products are also available from reception at Old Town Hall and at Orange’s monthly Farmer’s Markets, as well as to a much wider audience through the farm’s online shop www.huntleyberryfarm.com.au
Huntley Berry Farm receives funding assistance from the Department of Family and Community Services and is managed by OCTEC Limited.
OCTEC is an established Registered Training Organisation with a proven track record of high quality, award-winning training delivery to a range of industry sectors. We deliver training in more than 40 nationally-recognised qualifications and units of competency. Our training services are delivered in a number of program areas including:
Business and Service Industries
Community Services and Health
Health and Safety Services
Community Services and Health delivers full certificate courses and short course training in a range of qualifications from the Community Services and Health Training Packages, particularly in the area of Aged Care and Acute Care. OCTEC is a recognised pioneer and leader in this area, working with more than 50 facilities across regional NSW.
Health and Safety Services delivers a range of short course training programs in areas that contribute to safer and healthier workplaces, including Food Safety Supervisor, Safe Food Handling, General Induction for the Construction Industry (White Card) and First Aid.
The other three program areas deliver employment-based traineeships and classroom-based training in a range of industry areas including Agriculture, Business, Civil Construction, Horticulture, Hospitality, Retail and Waste Management. Under the Rural Industries program, OCTEC delivers chemical user training in partnership with other organisations including NSW Farmers Association, to hundreds of farmers each year.
The quality of our service delivery was recognised in the 2009 Community Services and Health National Accolades of Excellence, in which OCTEC was a finalist in two categories, as well as in the 2011 NSW Training Awards where OCTEC won the Industry Collaboration Award.
OCTEC’s Community Services and Health program has a 28 year history of industry-led, award winning vocational training in aged care work, disabilities and community services coordination. The program has met the needs of hundreds of employers and achieved outcomes for 10,000 existing workers and disadvantaged job seekers across regional NSW and in western Sydney
OCTEC’s achievements in Community Services and Health and aged care work training in particular have been recognised in the following ways:
2009 Finalist in the prestigious Community Services and Health Industry Skills Council National Accolades of Excellence in two categories - ‘Growing Partnerships – Community Services’ and ‘Delivery of Excellence in Rural and Remote Areas – Community Services’
2010 Featured in Jobs Australia publication More Forces at Work: How 10 Nonprofits Tackled Unemployment and More in Their Communities
2011 Winner of the prestigious Industry Collaboration Award at the NSW Training Awards
The Community Services and Health program has three main areas of operation:
Vocational Education and training in community service coordination, disability services and aged care work in both residential and community care settings
operation of OCTEC’s online and distance education training facility, the Phillips Centre, at Croagh Patrick College
specialist labour hire services for the aged care industry.
One of the founding principles on which OCTEC was built is the belief in the importance of supporting particular groups and individuals who face barriers to accessing training, education and employment opportunities available in the community.
OCTEC’s Youth Services are delivered under three main programs – Youth Connections, the Shed Ed Links to Learning project, and Aspire NSW.
Youth Connections supports young people aged 11 to 19 years to attain Year 12 or equivalent and to help them make a successful transition through education and onto further education, training or work. There are three areas of service delivery: individual support services, outreach and re-engagement activities, and services aimed at strengthening the provision of youth services in the region generally. Youth Connections operates across Central West NSW with delivery sites at Lithgow, Bathurst, Orange, Cowra, Forbes and Parkes.
Shed Ed is a Links to Learning project catering for students at risk of disengaging from formal education. The project has been operating in Orange since 1993 and was formerly known as the Time Out Program. Links to Learning projects are funded by the Community Grants Unit of the NSW Department of Education and Training and are one of the strategic resources available to government high schools to assist students in Years 7 to 12 at risk of leaving school early before completing post compulsory education. Projects provide innovative and creative activities for young people in informal settings to link participants back to education and training and develop effective local strategies.
Aspire NSW operates two Links to Learning projects and has an overall focus on outdoor recreation as a means of engaging young people. Aspire delivers adventure-based learning programs to teach personal development to young people from all sections of the community, especially those who are disadvantaged.