Ambassadors at the Training Providers Forum

The Training Providers Forum is WA’s leading forum on training and workforce development. Held over two days on 30 and 31 May 2016, the forum was attended by over 350 trainers, representatives and industry decision makers from private training providers, TAFE, industry training councils, schools, universities and government departments.

Each year, several WA Training Awards ambassadors attend the Training Providers Forum; an opportunity that allows our ambassadors to network with training professionals and inspire the audience with their stories and training journeys. This year Sandra Van Der Gaag – WA and Australian Trainee of the Year 2015, Jared Stone – WA and Australian Apprentice of the Year 2015 and Taylor Wood – WA School-based Apprentice of the Year 2014 and runner-up Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year 2014 participated in the Training Providers Forum.

“I was excited to be asked to speak at the WA Training Providers Forum. It’s a venue where real change can happen and I was pleased that the forum wanted to hear from students about our experiences and our training journey. Too many people still think that if you want to be a professional then you have to go to university. VET has a number of training pathways that can lead to management positions and professional career paths in corporate and industry roles,” said Sandra Van Der Gaag.

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Jared, Sandra and Taylor took part in a valuable panel discussion on Student perspectives of VET and what can be done to improve the student experience.

“The panel was a great way to see diversity between the different pathways that vocational education and training has to offer. There needs to be major change in the VET sector in regards to how people view the training. I believe it starts with schools. We need to educate people more about the VET sector, from there we expand out to parents and the wider community,” said Taylor Wood.

“The panelists all shared similar positives about their training like employment opportunity and growing as a person. And at the same time we shared basically the same opinion about what could be done better, things like the stigma surrounding VET as a ‘2nd best’ option in comparison to tertiary pathways, with its need to be dispelled,” commented Jared Stone.

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Organisation winners Crown Perth – WA and Australian Employer of the Year 2015, Newton Moore Education Support Centre – WA School Pathways to VET 2015 and Central Regional TAFE (formerly Durack Institute of Technology) – WA Large Training Provider of the Year 2015 also took led various sessions at the forum, showcasing best practice and innovation in the training sector.

Winning a WA Training Award positions you as an ambassador for the training sector. Forums and events such as the Training Providers Forum are opportunities for our winners to share their stories, knowledge and insight on the benefits of training and what improvements can be made for the future.

“Invariably the feedback we get from our delegates is that they love to hear the award winners’ stories; especially from the students. The passion and enthusiasm for training that the award winners demonstrate can remind our delegates why they got into teaching in the first place,” said Robert Couzens – one of the Training Providers Forum organisers.

Applications are currently being shortlisted and we look forward to meeting our next ambassadors later in the year. Visit the Being an ambassador page on the WA Training Awards website or read our post What does it means to be a training ambassador? featuring 2014 winners Kathryn Schache and Geoff Franklin to find out more.

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