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.

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Need assistance with your WA Training Awards application?

The countdown is on to submit your application for this year’s WA Training Awards 2017. If you really want to put yourself in the spotlight but you’re finding answering the selection criteria a little bit difficult, ask for help! Here are a few places you can go for assistance.

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Consult the WA Training Awards team or website

The WA Training Awards website has a wealth of information to help you with your application. The best place to start is the Tools page – here you’ll find examples of award winning applications so you can see how others have answered the criteria and you can check out the evidence guides to give you more information on what kinds of examples and evidence you can use to answer each criterion.

If you’re having trouble understanding the criteria or have any other queries, contact the WA Training Awards team by emailing trainingawards@dtwd.wa.gov.au.

Talk to your employer, lecturer or VET Coordinator

Your employer and lecturer are people who work in your industry. They may be able to help you with information on the latest industry trends, regulations and new developments in your industry or workplace that may be relevant in the context of your application.

If you’re still at school, your VET Coordinator will be able to give you a good understanding of the VET sector and assist you in understanding the selection criteria.

Your employer, lecturer or VET Coordinator may also be able to assist in brainstorming examples of times during your training or work that you have demonstrated certain skills outlined in the criteria and achievements you’ve gained throughout your training.

Contact student services at your training provider

If your TAFE/training provider has a student services team, contact them to see if they can offer any advice and assistance in writing a winning application. They may also be able to point you in the direction of further assistance from lecturers or other industry contacts.

Talk to your industry training council

There are nine training councils in WA covering all industry areas. The training councils are industry bodies providing strategic advice to the Department of Training and Workforce Development on industry skill needs. They can assist you with information and advice on training needs, current issues and skills shortages within your industry and much more. Visit the State Training Board website for a list of industry training councils and contact details.

Don’t be afraid to ask for the help you need to broaden your understanding and submit the best possible application for this year’s WA Training Awards. Applications close on Friday 5 May 2017. Visit dtwd.wa.gov.au/trainingawards for more information or to submit your application today.

How to sell yourself in your WA Training Awards application

Just like writing a job application, the key to writing an application for the WA Training Awards is to sell yourself.

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Sometimes it can be hard to sell yourself in an application or an interview – you may feel like you are boasting about yourself. Don’t think of it as boasting – what you’re doing is providing the panel with the evidence they need to select you as a semi-finalist.

The most important thing you can do is talk about your skills, abilities and achievements in relation to the selection criteria and back it up with examples of when you’ve used those skills in your training and work.

Your written application is the deciding factor for whether you get an interview or not, so you need to ensure you’ve given the panel every reason to shortlist you.

Show don’t tell

Your application must include examples from your training and work. To really sell yourself, you need to show the panel through an example of when you’ve used those skills, don’t just tell them that you have the skills. If you’re not sure what examples to use, visit the Tools page on the WA Training Awards website and download the evidence guide for your category. Alternatively, brainstorm with your employer, lecturer, VET Coordinator or a colleague.

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What’s your message?

Be clear on what your message is. Why is your VET qualification and your career pathway important to you? What difference has it made in your life and therefore, what difference could a VET pathway make in anyone’s life? Once you are clear on this, weave your experiences around this message into your application.

For example, WA School-based Apprentice of the Year 2014 Taylor Wood wanted to show other school students that taking on a VET pathway isn’t a ‘second option’, that VET qualifications lead to rewarding careers just as tertiary pathways do. Taylor’s message was to encourage school students to pick a pathway that leads them to their dream career regardless of whether it was through VET or university.

WA Apprentice of the Year 2016 Brendan Carlson had been in the army for six years prior to starting his apprenticeship. For Brendan, it was his electrical apprenticeship that helped him to transition from military life back into civilian life. Brendan’s message was about the power of apprenticeships – how they can change your life and the opportunities apprenticeship pathways can provide for ex-Australian Defence Force personnel.

Understand the end goal

The judging panels are looking for ambassadors for the VET sector. People whose stories inspire others to follow in their footsteps. People who are passionate about what they do and know the value of the skills they’ve learnt to work in their field and have a successful career. When you apply for a WA Training Award, you are applying to be an ambassador, so show the panel why your knowledge, experience, journey and message sets a positive example for others.

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Selling yourself might not come naturally to you. For most people, it is not common place to self-promote and it would rarely be appropriate in any other social interaction. But when it comes to writing an application and preparing for an interview, put the time into considering your strengths and what sets you apart from others and ensure that is what you put into your application.

Applications for this year’s WA Training Awards close on Friday 5 May 2017. Sell yourself to our judging panels this year and submit your application today. Visit dtwd.wa.gov.au/trainingawards for further information.

Putting on the finishing touches

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Applications for the WA Training Awards 2015 close this Friday 8 May at 5.00pm!

If you’re currently working on an application, use the next few days to put on the finishing touches to ensure your application shines bright for the judges.

Finalising your selection criteria

Ensure you’ve responded to all selection criteria for your category in the online application portal. If a criterion has a), b) and c) within it – you need to address a), b) and c) in your response. Your application will be marked against each of these points, so double check your responses to the selection criteria and ensure you’ve covered each point sufficiently.

Have you got your reference/endorsement letter?

If you haven’t got your reference or endorsement letter yet, now is the time to contact the appropriate person to provide it. You want to ensure you give them time to write the reference or sign the endorsement letter so send it to them as soon as possible so you can submit your application on Friday. You can find templates for these in the Tools for applicants section on our website.

Scan in and upload your attachments

Don’t forget about your attachments – check your category guide for details on the attachments required. You can also find a list of required attachments in Section 3 of the online application portal for both individuals and organisations. So if you need to scan in training certificates or awards, don’t leave it until Friday. Getting it done now will mean much less stress come submission day.

Do a final page count check

Copy and paste your application into a word document at 12pt Arial font and check the length of your application. Application lengths should be no longer than the following.

  • Student applicant’s responses to the selection criteria must be a maximum of five pages.
  • Trainer applications must be a maximum of 15 pages including attachments.
  • Organisation applicant’s responses to the selection criteria must not exceed 20 pages.

Get your application in today!

Once you’ve done all of that and filled in the appropriate sections in the online application portal – press the submit button! We can’t wait to receive your application, so get it in today!

Use the checklists available in the Tools for applicants section on our website to make sure you’ve included everything required of you and if you have any final questions, contact us on 6551 5609 or email trainingawards@dtwd.wa.gov.au.

Why it pays to put yourself in the spotlight

Putting yourself in the spotlight can be a tricky thing to do. But when you apply for a WA Training Award, you are opening a door to a world of opportunity and a great personal and professional development experience.

Opportunity to reflect on your achievements

The WA Training Awards offers the unique opportunity to reflect on what you’ve achieved during your training and how that has broadened your career prospects.

As I was writing out the application, I kept coming up with more and more stuff to write about. By the end I had pages upon pages to send in, looking over it I thought “wow”. You don’t realise how much you have accomplished until you take the time to write it down.” Taylor Wood, WA School Based Apprentice of the Year 2014

Taylor Wood at WA Training Awards 2014

Taylor Wood accepting her award at the WA Training Awards 2014 Presentation Dinner

Network with like-minded individuals

Meeting other Award applicants who have the same passion for training that you do can open up opportunities for success later on. You might network with people you’d like to work with on a project in the future, discover a new way of doing something or make some valuable contacts.

“This was such an incredible opportunity to be able to meet other like-minded people and develop myself both professionally and personally.” Emma Hay, WA Trainee of the Year 2014

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Emma Hay after receiving Australian Apprentice (Trainee) of the Year 2014 Runner up at the Australian Training Awards 2014 in Adelaide

$5000 study grant to advance your career

Winners of the WA Training Awards individual categories receive a $5000 study grant to help kick start your career or further your training. Previous winners have used this to pay for training fees, purchase tools or equipment to help with their work and even for the start-up costs to establish their own business. Whatever your goals, winning a WA Training Award can help you get there.

Opportunity to represent WA at the Australian Training Awards

WA winners in eligible categories will represent the State at the Australian Training Awards in Hobart this November. Not only will you have the opportunity to meet the other state and territory training awards winners, as well as participating in some great professional development activities, you’ll be recognised as one of the country’s best in your field.

“Attending the Australian Training Awards in Adelaide was another fantastic opportunity to meet more outstanding individuals and mentors.” Gino Auriemma, WA Vocational Student of the Year 2014

Gino Auriemma (centre) with wife Delilah (left) and Kate Cross (right) Australian Vocatonal Student of the Year 2013.

Gino Auriemma (centre) with wife Delilah (left) and Kate Cross (right) Australian Vocatonal Student of the Year 2013.

Professional/personal development

The WA Training Awards process is a fantastic development opportunity for individuals, both professionally and personally.

“Not only the win, but every part of the journey has had an exponential impact on my personal development. I have come to better understand goal setting, recognising achievement, gratitude, self-confidence and acceptance.” Geoff Franklin, WA Apprentice of the Year 2014

Geoff Franklin accepting his Award at the WA Training Awards 2014 Presentation Dinner

Geoff Franklin accepting his Award at the WA Training Awards 2014 Presentation Dinner

Opening the door to opportunity

Employers value people who use their initiative and strive to achieve greatness. Applying for the WA Training Awards could result in many opportunities for you.

“If you’ve completed a VET course, see the WA Training Awards as an opportunity you didn’t have before. Use it as a means to develop and grow professionally and personally. You just don’t know where it’s going to take you – the possibilities are endless if you are willing to take the chance.” Regina Richardson, WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year 2014

Regina Richardson after winning WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year 2014

Regina Richardson after winning WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year 2014

Put yourself in the spotlight. Apply for the WA Training Awards today!

Visit our website for information on how to put together an award winning application.

Why you should put your organisation in the spotlight

There are many benefits that come from being a part of the WA Training Awards – opportunities can present themselves from the moment you make the decision to apply.

Whether you support staff development through training opportunities, develop innovative training initiatives or operate at the coalface by offering training programs for students, your contribution to the training sector can be recognised and rewarded.

Opportunity to reflect on successes

Previous entrants have learned that the application process itself offers the unique chance for them to reflect on their achievements in the past year while also looking closely at the services and programs they provide.

For Fairbridge Western Australia, WA Training Initiative 2014 winner, simply completing the application was valuable.

“It really makes you think about what you are doing and gives you a really good opportunity to review your product.” Brett Hawthorne, Fairbirdge Western Australia

Fairbridge WA Inc at the WA Training Awards 2014

Fairbridge WA Inc at the WA Training Awards 2014

Endorsement of programs and your position in the market

There are also many advantages that come with being recognised as a finalist or winner. It is an endorsement of the programs your organisation has developed and is something that will set you apart from your competitors.

For example, being named the WA International Training Provider of the Year 2014 has given Central Institute of Technology a competitive edge.

“Australia is one of the most popular destinations for international students, so the market to attract those students is very competitive. Students look for prestige in a training provider so having the training award logo attached to your marketing material is a huge advantage.” Neil Fernandes, Central Institute of Technology

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Central Institute of Technology went on to be named Australian International Training Provider 2014 at the Australian Training Awards.

For NECA College of Electrical Training, their win reaffirmed their belief that the professionalism, dedication and commitment of their staff was second to none.

“Winning the WA Large Training Provider of the Year 2014 has solidified our position and strengthening stakeholder relationships.” Carl Copeland, NECA College of Electrical Training

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NECA College of Electrical Training was named WA Small Training Provider of the Year 2010 – four years later they were awarded WA Large Training Provider of the Year 2014.

New partnerships and possibilities

As an ambassador for your industry sector, winning an Award can lead to new possibilities and partnerships through networking opportunities. And this networking can start with the presentation dinner.

For Marr Mooditj Training Inc, WA Small Training Provider of the Year 2014 the event was a great chance to meet with old friends and make new ones, while also allowing them to see first-hand the level of commitment from businesses to training their staff.

“Seeing the way that partnerships have developed over the years (between organisations) opened our eyes to new opportunities.” Margaret Quartermaine, Marr Moodtij Training Inc

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Marr Mooditj Training Inc receiving their award at the WA Training Awards 2014.

$8000 cash/prize

Then there’s the prize money awarded to category winners, which has allowed organisations to provide new opportunities or to expand on their existing services.

Central Institute’s prize money has boosted a new scholarship program it created for international students, while Fairbridge Western Australia invested its prize money into their Youth Initiatives Fund to support programs for youth at risk.

Apply today!

There are six WA Training Awards categories for organisations. Download an application guide for your chosen category and start your application today to put yourself in the spotlight and reap the rewards.

Six strategies for completing your application

Need a bit of a push to jump start your WA Training Awards 2015 application? Here are six strategies to help you put together an Award winning application.

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1. Ensure you are eligible
Putting together an application for the WA Training Awards is a significant body of work, so before you start writing page upon page to address the selection criteria – ensure you’ve read and meet the eligibility for your chosen category. Depending on your category, eligibility may include specific certificate qualifications and specific dates during which you need to complete your qualification to be eligible this year. All individuals must also be a permanent resident of Australia and reside in Western Australia. Check the eligibility criteria for your relevant category at the Awards for individuals or organisations pages on the WA Training Awards website.

2. Give yourself plenty of time
Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to put together your responses for the selection criteria. Do a bit of a brainstorm and write down some ideas you may have for each of the relevant criteria early on. Also make a note of the things that you may need to research further or ask someone about. Your application is due by 5.00pm Friday 8 May so you still have plenty of time to make yours an award winning application. You might like to write your responses in a word document first so you can easily edit them and ask others around you for feedback before you submit them in the online application system. Always allow some time at the end to proof read your application to make sure it’s the very best it can be.

With all the focus on your selection criteria, don’t forget to fill in the relevant information in the Details, Attachments and either Individual applicants or Organisation applicants sections of the online application system as well. This is important information the WA Training Awards needs from you as an applicant.

3. Read the criteria thoroughly
In all selection criteria there are certain key words that you can use in your responses. For instance, if Criterion 2 is Communication, team and leadership skills and 2a) is effective oral and written communication, you should make sure you address oral communication skills and then your written communication skills and how you use them in your training/workplace to work as an effective member of your team and in leadership.

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4. Gather your attachments early
Responding to the selection criteria is your key focus, because without that, the judges can’t assess whether you’re the best candidate for the Award. However, don’t make the mistake of leaving your attachments until the application closing day. Most applicants are required to submit a reference or endorsement letter. You will need to give your referee plenty of time to do this. You also need to gather any awards, prizes and training/education certificates, scan them, save them and attach them in the online application system. You don’t want to risk your scanner not working at the last minute or forgetting where you’ve put your Certificate IV qualification at 4.45pm on Friday 8 May. Gather your attachments early and give your referees plenty of time to write your references/endorsements so you won’t be racing against the clock later.

5. Download some tools to help you
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The WA Training Awards website should be saved in your web favourites. It has all the information you need to put together that Award winning application including tools to help you with your written application.

  • Award winning applications – Read examples of award winning applications to give you an idea of what you should include in your application.
  • Evidence guides – use the evidence guides to give you ideas as to what examples you could use to address each of the selection criteria.
  • Reference/endorsement templates – we’ve made it really easy for you to get a reference/endorsement, simply download the template and send it on to you referee.
  • Checklist – Use the checklist to ensure you haven’t forgotten anything in your application.

6. Attend our webinar
The Department of Training and Workforce Development will be hosting a webinar on Tuesday 24 March 2015 at 10.00am.

This is an opportunity for you to ask questions, hear from our judges and gather valuable information on the judging process to help you complete your application and give you a competitive edge. We’ll also give you an insight to the WA Training Awards presentation dinner and what to expect at the Australian Training Awards if you’re a WA Training Award winner in September.

Register your attendance by emailing trainingawards@dtwd.wa.gov.au and we’ll send you the instructions to log in closer to the session.

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Still have questions? Don’t be afraid to ask – we want your application to be a success! Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and culturally and linguistically diverse students also have access to assistance in preparing an application. Email the WA Training Awards team at trainingawards@dtwd.wa.gov.au or call us on 6551 5609.