Equipping tomorrow’s workforce with vital skills.

TAFE Queensland delivers a better customer experience to employees, apprentices, and trainees with Adobe Sign.



Students: 120,000
Brisbane, Australia


Reduced onboarding process from 2 weeks to 10 minutes


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Reduce induction time and complexity through automated e-signature processes

Achieve compliance with government and state regulations

Eliminate paper waste

Deliver more positive engagement to student and employers

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Reduced onboarding process from 2 weeks to 10 minutes

Decrease in paper use within 3 years

Supports induction across devices

Efficiencies allow staff to focus on other business-critical initiatives

“Adobe Sign cut the time required to induct employees, apprentices, and trainees for training courses and allowed us to have richer, more meaningful engagement with students and employers.”

Jo Adams

Manager, Recognition and Workplace Services, TAFE Queensland SkillsTech

A pioneer in further education

In recent years, the Australian state of Queensland has faced a shortage of skilled labor to help drive its economy. The state competes for workers against more populous Australian states such as New South Wales and Victoria, as well as against its high-growth neighbors throughout the Asia Pacific region.

TAFE Queensland, training approximately 120,000 students annually through its 6 regional training arms, is well placed to address any shortages of skilled labor. Its apprenticeship and traineeship programs focus on trades such as electrical, plumbing, automotive, cookery, and engineering, helping ensure that Queensland’s workforce of tomorrow is equipped with the skills to succeed.

Queensland is Australia’s second largest state and is nearly five times the size of Japan. Not surprisingly, TAFE Queensland’s stakeholders are not just in major population centers, but are also in far-flung corners of the state. This means that TAFE Queensland needs to be flexible in how it delivers training, from courses on its own campuses, to van-based classrooms in remote areas, to distance learning over iPads and mobile devices.

Given student interest in using the latest technology, TAFE Queensland embraces bold, new approaches. A good example is TAFE Queensland’s adoption of Adobe Sign, an Adobe Document Cloud solution, which strengthened its effectiveness in quickly onboarding students seeking in-demand skills.

A digital automation solution

With TAFE Queensland delivering training to approximately 20,000 apprentices and trainees across the state, TAFE Queensland’s officers spent a lot of time managing paperwork and trying to collect signatures from employers, students, and occasionally parents if students were under the age of 18. The slow process affected their ability to offer rapid access to training needed by both students and employers.

Equally concerning was the amount of paper used for record keeping, which hindered TAFE Queensland’s goal to become more environmentally responsible. Because of these challenges, and given its willingness to embrace new technologies, the organization became the first of its kind in Australia to adopt an e-signature solution. After evaluating several products, TAFE Queensland realized Adobe Sign was the best fit.

With Adobe Sign, TAFE Queensland reduced the time it spent on pre-induction paperwork from roughly 40 minutes to under 10 minutes. Induction registration paperwork—which traditionally took longer to complete—was reduced from an average of 1 hour to about 30 minutes. Finally, onboarding paperwork—which was historically the most time-consuming step—was reduced from a 2-week average to just 10 minutes, largely by using e-signatures.

“Adobe Sign cut the time to induct apprentices and trainees for training courses and allowed us to have richer, more meaningful engagement with students and employers,” said Jo Adams, Manager, Recognition and Workplace Services, TAFE Queensland SkillsTech. “It also made us more competitive with smaller, more agile private learning institutions.”

Embracing mobile

A key benefit of Adobe Sign is its ability to be accessed and used over any mobile device, from a laptop computer to an iPad or a cellular phone, whether someone is at work, at home, or in the field. Because some students are 1,200 miles away from the nearest learning center, this capability offers tremendous flexibility in training services.

The use of Adobe Sign also allowed hundreds of sheets of paper to be saved for each induction, enabling TAFE Queensland to more fully act on its commitment to sustainability. In fact, TAFE Queensland estimates that, across its 6 regional education centers, it spent more than US $35,000 (AU$45,000) annually on paper-based inductions. According to TAFE Queensland, within three years of using Adobe Sign, paper usage decreased by 50%. Furthermore, the hassle-free, paperless process resulted in a more positive experience for TAFE Queensland’s students and their employers.

“With the old system, paperwork could get lost and would have to be re-sent. There was a lot of follow-up required,” says Andrew Hocking, Manager, Workplace Services, TAFE Queensland SkillsTech. “It was a lengthy and cumbersome process that often delayed students’ government incentives, which are triggered when paperwork is completed. The new, faster digital process helps apprentices and trainees get into the field quicker.”

Having pioneered the use of digital workflows, TAFE Queensland is more aligned with national and state requirements for electronic audit trails and completion timescales. This also applies to the assessments of employers that TAFE Queensland undertakes to help ensure that they have the facilities, equipment, and environment for their apprentices to succeed. With the amount of documentation required for each apprenticeship, attaining compliance gives administrators peace-of-mind. It also enables TAFE Queensland and its students to get the government funding they need.

“Adobe Sign improved how we are perceived internally and externally, and how we operate daily. It allows us to spend less time on operational paperwork and more time delivering value.”

Andrew Hocking

Manager, Workplace Services, TAFE Queensland SkillsTech

Freeing up resources

The efficiencies of Adobe Sign enabled TAFE Queensland to re-deploy staff previously dedicated to the induction process. At the TAFE Queensland SkillsTech center, where there were 18 officers required to administer the work, there are now only 11, despite an increase in the number of steps required for compliance. Staff who were freed-up can focus on more critical aspects of the business and support the rollout of new curricula.

“Adobe Sign improved how we are perceived internally and externally, and how we operate daily,” concludes Hocking. “It allows us to spend less time on operational paperwork and more time delivering value.”

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