Next generation access control for the next generation: Melbourne Polytechnic expands electronic security syllabus with SALTO
Every year, locksmithing apprentices from all over Victoria receive practical, hands-on training at Melbourne Polytechnic in Heidelberg. With a commitment to delivering courses and programs that meet the needs of the industry and its customers, the institute has always welcomed input and feedback from employers and stakeholders, such as the Locksmith Guild of Australia and the Master Locksmiths Association of Australasia.
In recent years, much of the conversation has been around the greater focus needed on electronic security.
Aaron Smith, Leading Teacher of Security Technology and Certificate III in Locksmithing, says, “Locksmithing is all about solving the customers’ problems, so we need to better prepare graduates to meet the evolving needs of modern customers. These customers are going to expect their locksmiths to be aware of security outside of mechanical keys and how ICT components work within a broader security framework. We felt there was a gap in this type of training, as well as electronic security products that locksmiths could learn quickly and comfortably use.”
Learning electronic access control with SALTO
Ensuring students are prepared for an electronic future, the institute will soon be launching a new learning module for third year apprentices - and they’ll be developing their skills on SALTO Systems cutting edge wireless access technology.
“I wanted a suite of products that were suited to locksmiths, and SALTO is robust, straight-forward to use and incredibly flexible. Customers want strong security, but also flexibility. A mechanical key comes with 24/7 access. With SALTO you can give users access in 15-minute increments for meeting rooms, gyms and more. That’s the kind of flexibility I think customers are starting to demand. Locksmiths are also cautious about running large amounts of cable with challenges such as asbestos and working at heights; it makes good economic sense to have a wireless product in your portfolio,” says Smith.
Twenty SALTO demonstration kits equip the new learning environment, and an online course has been created to support the apprentices.
Smith continues, “What can go wrong will go wrong! Especially when you have a room full of students. SALTO has a strong reputation and local support network in Australia, so this was important to us. They have been fantastic assisting us in this endeavour, and we can’t wait to see how the first year progresses.”
A new and modern learning environment
The purpose-built learning room was designed with flexibility, engagement and innovation in mind.
“We’re really excited to share this new facility with the industry. The products we’re using to train with, 3D printers to micro-manufacture components from technical drawings and even the LED strip lights to highlight areas – this is a really fresh, modern space that sets a new standard for learning environments at TAFE. We want apprentices to go back to their employers excited about what they’re discovering,” says Smith.
Smith anticipates the course's focus on future technologies and industry trends will drive broad interest in locksmithing, even from security professionals outside the locksmithing profession. As it gets more exposure and information is shared, it’s hoped that other state TAFEs will adopt the course as well.
Smith is full of enthusiasm. “I’d encourage anyone who likes problem solving and speaking to customers to consider locksmithing as a career. We are a customer-service industry; we just happen to sell security. We need to be able to talk to our customers about solutions like SALTO and give them an informed opinion. It’s opened many doors for me personally and there’s always more to learn – that’s what makes this industry great.”
For more information on Certificate III in Locksmithing, please contact the Melbourne Polytechnic Security Technology – Locksmithing Department on 03 9269 8687 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on SALTO Systems, please email email@example.com or visit www.saltosystems.com.au.