Organisation site visits – how to stand out from the rest

For organisations, the WA Training Awards are not only an opportunity to recognise the great work your organisation and staff have done, they are also an opportunity to be recognised on the national stage as the best in the State and potentially the best in the country at what you do.

If your organisation has been selected as a category finalist in 2016, you will participate in an on-site visit and interview with your category’s judging panel between 25 July and 5 August 2016.

We’ve put together a few tips to help you prepare for your site visit and create a memorable experience for your judging panel.

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How to structure your site visit

Your site visit is an opportunity to demonstrate in a practical sense the great work your organisation is doing within training.

It’s up to you how you wish to structure your site visit. Ideally at some point you’ll want to give the panel a tour of the facilities and the panel will want to ask you a few questions. You may wish to give a short presentation about your organisation to introduce your organisation to the panel, or you may do this during your tour depending on what works for you. A sample structure might be:

  • Introduction to the panel
  • Tour the facilities
  • Question time – where the panel will ask you a few questions relating to your organisation and application with regards to the selection criteria.

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Include relevant staff, students and trainers in your site visit

The best site visits/interviews are those that include staff/students undertaking training, and those from your organisation who are heavily involved in the management of the program.

All staff involved in the site visit should be familiar with the written application submitted by your organisation and the aim of the award category.

Consider what makes your organisation/program excellent

The WA Training Awards are about rewarding excellence. Our judging panels will be looking for evidence of where your program/organisation goes above and beyond to achieve a positive outcome for staff/students as applicable.

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Think outside the square

If you want to stand out from the other finalists, think outside the square and make your site visit interesting for the panel. Keep it relevant, but incorporate what it is that makes your organisation unique to provide the panel with a memorable experience and understanding of your organisation.

If you have any questions about your upcoming site visit, contact your panel’s executive officer or contact the WA Training Awards team at trainingawards@dtwd.wa.gov.au.

How to impress the judges at your Semi-finalist Judging Day interview

Congratulations to all of our individual applicants who have made it through to the next stage – the Semi-finalist Judging Day sponsored by MEGT on Friday 15 July.

With just a few more days to prepare before your interview, we’ve put together a few points to help you impress your judging panel and stand out from the rest during your interview.

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  1.  1. Preparation

The key to any interview is to be prepared. The judges will be looking for someone who ‘knows their stuff’. It’s been several months since you submitted your application so make sure you re-acquaint yourself with the selection criteria and what you included in your responses. Use the interview preparation pack provided to you to practice with some sample interview questions and start thinking about some real work examples you can use in your responses. This will help you to feel more prepared for what’s to come during your interview.

 

 

  1. Confidence

For most people, interviews have a habit of making us nervous. But keep in mind, the judging panel want you to succeed. They’ve read your application and shortlisted you because they saw something in you that impressed them and they want to meet you in person. Remember you are in that room for a reason and you deserve to be there. The WA Training Awards is an ambassadorial program, therefore our judging panels will be looking for confident ambassadors for the training sector; people who can inspire others into training.

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  1. A point of difference

The WA Training Awards are about rewarding excellence. Excellence most often shines through when someone is different and unique. Think about what your point of difference is. What is it that makes you, your story and your training pathway unique? How can your experiences inspire others to get into a training pathway?

 

  1. VET sector and industry knowledge

As an ambassador for the WA training sector it’s important to have a good understanding of your industry and the VET sector. Talk to your employer, trainer or your industry training council to get some advice on the current workforce situation and where your industry fits into the bigger picture.

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  1. Put yourself at the centre

This interview is about you. Although you may work in a team, you may follow directions from a line manager and you may do group assignments and projects, the panel want to hear about YOU specifically. Instead of focussing on how your organisation implemented something – talk about your role in this implementation. There is absolutely nothing wrong with discussing projects with a team focus but when preparing for your interview and practising responses, try to avoid using the word ‘we’. Think about what you have done specifically and what the outcomes of your specific actions were in the project/example. For this awards program, it’s important to be able to sell yourself and your accomplishments with humility.

 

  1. Relatability

The judges will be looking for someone who is relatable. This refers to your personality, but also to your ability to relate your experiences to those of others. As an ambassador you will be talking to people who are interested in many different career paths at many different points in their lives. The panel will be looking for someone who can take their training pathway and experiences to provide advice for others who may be interested in taking up training, regardless of the industry area.

Taylor Wood at the 2014 WA Training Awards

 

 

If you have any further questions about your upcoming interview, feel free to get in contact with the WA Training Awards team at trainingawards@dtwd.wa.gov.au.

Kahli’s Journey to become a WA Police Officer

In 2015 Kahli King Elliott was the winner of the WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year award. As one of the few young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cadets in the WA Police, Kahli’s dedication, passion and vigilance have set her up for a long and successful career.

“Ever since I was in high school, I have wanted to join the ‘forces’. I started my career with the WA Police by doing a two year Police Cadet Traineeship, where I also completed a Certificate III in Business. Then in February 2016 I started at the WA Police Academy as a recruit.”

“Studying business has provided me with valuable skills that have definitely helped me through my training at the Police Academy and also will assist when working at the Police Stations.”

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Kahli hopes the skills she’s gained through the Certificate III in Business will open up more opportunities for her within WA Police as she progresses through the ranks in her career.

Kahli grew up in Kununurra in the Kimberly region of Western Australia where much of her family still resides. It was there that she participated in The Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation’s Follow the Dream program as a teenager, setting the wheels in motion for Kahli to take on further training to pursue her goals.

“The Follow the Dream program provided me with special one on one tutoring with teachers after school, which helped me a great deal with achieving in school. The camps that I attended helped me better my team work skills and confidence when speaking in front of people. This program, in many ways, helped me become a better role model for younger Aboriginal people.”

“I think it is important for everyone, especially Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to undertake a training course because it opens up so many opportunities within the workforce.”

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Kahli’s advice to others considering taking on a training course or following their dream career path is not to let other people hold you back from doing something you want to do.

“It is your choice what career you want to pursue, so don’t let anything or anyone stop you from achieving it.”

As an ambassador for the WA training sector and WA Police, Kahli is a strong advocate for increasing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the WA Police force and the workforce in general. Over the past two years Kahli has worked with the WA Police schools programs to encourage young people to move into a career they love. Kahli is due to graduate from the WA Police Academy in August 2016 and we look forward to following her career.