The do’s and don’ts of writing a WA Training Awards application

If you’re thinking about applying for the WA Training Awards 2016, here are a few simple do’s and don’ts to make sure you’re on the track to success.

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1. Eligibility criteria

Do: Read the eligibility criteria for your category carefully and ensure you meet it before starting your application.

Don’t: Get halfway through your application before realising you don’t meet one of the key points in the eligibility criteria.

2. Selection criteria

Do: Read each criterion thoroughly and ensure you can answer them. Make a note of the key words, and use them in your response. When addressing a criterion that requires you to show your knowledge, respond by writing about how and where you gained that knowledge.

Don’t: Skim the selection criteria before writing your responses and just write what you think in the moment.

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3. Examples

Do: Give specific examples of when you have used that skill/ability in your work/study (individuals) or examples that demonstrate the way your organisation/training practices meet the criteria (organisations).

Don’t: Make vague statements about your skills, abilities and training practices.

4. Using the considerations

Do: Use as many of the considerations for each criterion as possible in your response, to show you are the best candidate for the award.

Don’t: Ignore points of the selection criteria you can’t address. (If you are having trouble with the selection criteria, seek help from your trainer, employer, VET coordinator or industry training council.)

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5. Word count

Do: Use the word count for each criterion wisely. Students can write up to 400 words, trainers 600 words and organisations 800 words per criterion. The more information you provide, the more competitive your application will be against the other applicants.

Don’t: Write only a couple of sentences addressing criterion 4 because you can’t think of much to write.

6. Time management

Do: Give yourself plenty of time to write your responses to the selection criteria. You have until Friday 13 May, so create an account in the online application system early, then log in any time to add ideas and continue working on your responses. Make sure you have used strong examples and evidence, allow time to review and edit, then check there are no spelling or grammar mistakes.

Don’t: Write your responses to the selection criteria the night before it’s due and submit it on the dot at 5pm on Friday 13 May.

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7. Writing you application

Do: Write your application yourself, in your own words, perhaps with help from your trainer, employer, training council or mentor.

Don’t: Outsource the writing of your application to someone else. No one can tell your story like you can, or knows the ins and outs of your organisation the way you do.

Applications close on Friday 13 May 2016 – get your application in today to be in the running for this year’s competition.

Life as a migrant in the Wheatbelt

Maureen Guiloy, winner of the WA Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Training Award 2015, migrated to Australia from the Philippines in 2013 as a secondary visa holder on her husband’s primary working visa.

Her husband – a welder/fabricator sought work in the Whealtbelt and this began a cultural journey into rural life in Western Australia that has bought with it both challenges and successes for Maureen and her young family.

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“To finally decide to settle and have a life in Australia is like being offered a big piece of raw meat that you need to cook before you are able to eat it. Having a life with your family in a totally different environment and starting to build a career requires relevant skills and knowledge, patience and a whole lot of hard work,” Maureen said.

Maureen reflected that as a mother, this was difficult at first as her duties to her family came before her own advancement in her new country, but eventually her opportunity came when she enrolled in a Certificate II in Leadership Development at C.Y. O’Connor Institute in Northam.

“This course taught me not just literacy and numeracy but life skills that allowed me to explore for myself what I am interested in, what I can do and the various roles I can play in the community.”

Maureen now works as an administrative support officer at C.Y. O’Connor Institute and is studying a Certificate II in Business Administration. She aspires to become a lecturer and teach other migrants and students in the Wheatbelt area.

Since excelling in her studies and further integrating into her community, Maureen founded the FilipinOz Community in the Wheatbelt.

“I started the group to gain friends and reach out to those who seek training and employment in the Wheatbelt area and build more leaders that are able to confidently stand out and prove that being a migrant is not a deterrent to having a great life in Australia.”

The group now has more than 150 members and aims to unite Filipino-Australians in the Wheatbelt area and build a support network to assist them in achieving their work and career goals to be valuable members of the Wheatbelt community.

“FilipinOZ offers assistance in getting into training, prospective jobs in the local area and voluntary services for members who need help.”

Maureen hopes to expand the group further to include a more diverse range of the migrant community in the Wheatbelt in the future.

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“Like me, many other migrants struggle on a daily basis, supporting themselves and their families in Australia and overseas; working while studying; trying to fit into a new culture; learning new skills; juggling studies and childcare commitments and getting associated with people that will help you grow in the field that you want to go into.”

“I love everything about living and working in Western Australia. Because of the great opportunities at hand for a migrant like me, you have proper training and knowledge and get acquainted with people that are able to help.”

“The best thing about winning the WA Training Awards is the recognition of your efforts and potential in a culturally and linguistically diverse community, the challenge to do more to achieve more wherein the opportunities are boundless.”

Today is Harmony Day, an opportunity to celebrate our vibrant multicultural State. At the WA Training Awards, we’re passionate about supporting the development of migrants through the WA Cultural Diversity Training Award.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to be the next winner of the WA Cultural Diversity Training Award, we’d love to hear your inspiring story. Apply today and put your career in the spotlight.

How to write a winning WA Training Awards application

At the WA Training Awards, we’re looking for exceptional ambassadors for the training sector – the best of the best. Your written application needs to reflect your contribution, dedication and outstanding achievements in the State’s vocational education and training sector.

Your application will be assessed by a judging panel, along with many other applications. Only four individual finalists and three organisation finalists will be selected in each category, so you want to make sure your application stands out from the pack!

Below are some handy tips to help you put together an impressive application.

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Addressing the selection criteria

In your written application you will need to address selection criteria relevant to your category, to demonstrate why you are the best in the State at what you do. It’s your responses to these criteria that will get you to the next stage – interviews or site visits.

If you’ve never addressed selection criteria before, this prospect may be a little daunting, but don’t worry – we’ve made it as easy as possible for you.

There are two main techniques you can use to address selection criteria; the SAO technique and the STAR technique.

SAO technique STAR technique
Situation: What was the situation? Set the context.

Action: What did you do and how did you do it?

Outcome: What was the result of your actions?

Situation: What was the situation? Set the context.

Task: What was your role?

Action: What did you do and how did you do it?

Result: What was the result of your actions? What did you achieve?

Whichever technique you use, make sure you take the considerations into account and most importantly use examples in your response.

To view the selection criteria for your category, download an application guide from our website:

“Ensure you detail precisely how your training is breaking new ground and really showing innovation in its field.” Neil Fernandes, Central Institute of Technology, WA Training Initiative 2015

Some general tips

  • Write your application in your own words, with real world examples from your personal/organisation’s experience.
  • Sell your achievements! If you don’t put it in your application – the judges won’t know you’ve done it so be sure to explain your achievements as they relate to the selection criteria.
  • Seek assistance if you need it. Speak to your colleagues, your employer, your referee, and to the WA Training Awards team if you have questions.
  • Make use of all the tools on the WA Training Awards website (such as evidence guides, example applications for individual award categories, checklists, and FAQs).
  • Participate in one of our webinars where you will be able to ask questions live and get responses from the WA Training Awards team, past winners and judges. The webinar for individual categories will be held on Tuesday 22 March at 10.00 am and the webinar for organisations will be held on Wednesday 23 March at 10.00 am. Register your interest by emailing trainingawards@dtwd.wa.gov.au.

“Think about what overall message you would like to get out there if you were the winner for 2016, and then incorporate this into your application. By doing this your message will stick in the judges’ minds and they will remember you – which is always a plus!” Sandra Van Der Gaag, WA and Australian Trainee of the Year 2015

Applications close on Friday 13 May 2016 – get your application in today to be in the running for this year’s competition.