Where are they now – Emma Stevenson: a role model for women in trades

In 2013 Emma Stevenson won the WA Apprentice of the Year. As a mature aged apprentice, Emma completed Certificate III Engineering – Electrical and Certificate IV Engineering – Instrumentation working with Chevron.

Emma Stevenson 4 (credit Challenger).

“It was very surreal to be winning an award for my training pathway. I think all apprentices doubt themselves a lot throughout their training, so it was great to have such recognition,” Emma said. “It’s really great to have apprenticeships celebrated in this way as it is a hard commitment to make and is often under-valued, even though it can lead to really interesting careers.”

For Emma, the way she was seen within her industry changed dramatically following her award win and provided her with a platform to encourage other women to get into trades and the mining industry.

“Winning the award opened up many opportunities for me to be an ambassador for apprenticeships and also for females in trades. I got to speak at schools, training forums and to training councils, as well as compete in the 2013 Australian Training Awards. These opportunities pushed me out of my comfort zone in terms of public speaking but it was invaluable for my professional development.”

In 2014 Emma was also awarded the CME Women in Mining ‘Outstanding Operator/Tradesperson of the Year’ and represented WA at the national Women in Mining Convention.

“I am also a volunteer with Trade Up Australia, a not-for-profit group supporting female tradespeople and encouraging young females to consider careers as tradespeople.”

Emma has now moved on from her role as an Electrical Instrumentation Technician and works as a Production Technician on the Wheatstone LNG project.

“The Wheatstone LNG Project is the largest scale project I have ever seen, it is exciting to be a part of and I wish everyone could see it. It is such a good project for WA in terms of providing jobs during construction and unique careers in resources when producing. I’m hoping it provides a pathway for apprentices and trainees for decades to come.”

Emma’s advice to young women looking at careers in mining and trades industries is to give it a go.

“Don’t be put off by the opinions of others in terms of your suitability, it takes all kinds of people to be a part of a successful team and you won’t know if you don’t try it for yourself. You will learn to adapt to challenges and often times the things that challenge you the most give you a chance to make improvements that benefit everyone.”

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The importance of proofreading your WA Training Awards application

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Applications for the WA Training Awards 2017 close in just two days, so now is the time to put the finishing touches on your application.

One of the most important things you can do over the next few days is set aside some time for proofreading.

To put your best foot forward, you want to make sure that your application is easy to read and presents you or your organisation in the most positive light possible.

Below are a few things to check when proofreading your application.

Does it make sense and have you answered the question?

Working on an application over time, we often rewrite things, delete paragraphs and sentences and add content as we go. Take the time to ensure you haven’t left any half sentences hanging when you’ve been chopping and changing information around.  Confirm that what you have written makes sense and your response to each criterion answers the question being asked of you. The judging panel should be able to easily understand what you have written without ambiguity so make sure it is as clear as possible.

Spelling and grammar

The WA Training Awards judging panels recognise that awards applications are not easy things to write and sometimes little mistakes slip through. However, continual spelling and grammatical errors in an application tend to give the panel the impression that you may not have given the application the attention it deserves. When an application is poorly written it undermines the hard work and determination you’ve put in to doing your best in your training.

One of the criteria for students is about communication skills. It is important to make sure that your application is written well and your messages and responses are clear.

You want the panel to recognise the work you’ve put in to this application, the dedication you have to the process and your committment to a role as an ambassador for the training sector.

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Eliminate jargon and explain things clearly

Don’t assume that the panel understand what is involved in your job or training specifically, as they may work in completely different industries. When using examples from your training and work, it’s important to clearly explain to the panel what was involved in that particular process or part of your job/training in order for them to understand the significance of the example.

Are there areas that can be improved?

Sometimes when we make the time to read over what we have written, we realise there is a much simpler way of saying something or we see where something could be communicated better.

Take the time to think about what you have written and whether you can make any improvements or add more hard hitting examples before you press that submit button.

Proofreading improves the quality of your application and may be just what you need to transform your application from middle of the pack to the top of the pile.

Applications for this year’s WA Training Awards close on Friday 5 May 2017. Put your best foot forward and submit your application today. Visit dtwd.wa.gov.au/trainingawards for further information.