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.

Where are they now – Richard Stocker

Twelve years ago Richard Stocker won the WA Trainee of the Year. Richard was completing his second traineeship as a process plant operator when he won the award and has now gone on to become Sales Manager for international company Stork, a Fluor Company and Director of the Australian Institute for Non-Destructive Testing.

R Stocker Photo“Winning the award really gave my career a kick start and although I haven’t returned to a similar role, the experience was invaluable,” said Richard. “The award certainly opened up leadership positions very quickly. Some of the events that surrounded the Awards, like taking part in the Today’s Skills, Tomorrow’s Leaders program and the New Apprentice Roundtable, really gave me the skills to enter the management team with confidence.”

After completing his traineeship, Richard moved to the Pilbara and took up a position as a Non-Destructive Testing Technician at the Iron Ore Port. He soon moved on to a site supervisor position and then earned a promotion running the WA operations for Australia’s largest NDT company.

“I’m enjoying some frequent travel and meeting with clients and like-minded people, which keeps me engaged and interested in what I’m doing. My position as a Director gives me the opportunity to play an integral part in deciding the way forwards for the institute and allows me to give back to an industry that has given me so much in the past,” said Richard.

For Richard, the best thing about being involved in the WA Training Awards program and representing WA at the Australian Training Awards was meeting and networking with other finalists and like minded professionals.

“I still maintain close contact with the finalists and winners from other states and territories,” he said.

Richard’s advice for any trainee starting their career is to take up every opportunity available to you and to dress for the job you want, not the job you have.

“Don’t ever say no to a job, opportunity or training. Everything opens doors and sends you on your way to bigger and better things. Also, don’t ever let anyone tell you that you’re too young or inexperienced to do what you want to do. Hard work and enthusiasm trumps experience any day of the week!”

Applications for this year’s WA Training Awards close on Friday 5 May 2017. If you want to take your career to the next level, put yourself in the spotlight and apply today at dtwd.wa.gov.au/trainingawards.

Judges’ tips for writing an Award winning application

Putting together an application for this year’s Awards and need some advice? Who better to hear from than the panel members who’ll be assessing your application! Below are the top tips from last year’s individual and organisation judging panel members. Take these into consideration and your application could make the top of this year’s pile.

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TIPS FOR INDIVIDUAL APPLICANTS

What makes an application clearly stand out and easy for you to put in the shortlist pile?

“An applicant that has clearly answered all the questions and is very clear about how their training will help them in the future.” – Kristie Carlile, individual category judge 2016.

What’s your best tip for writing an application that will get shortlisted?

“Take your time and don’t rush the application, as that is the first thing the judges see which is a representation of you. So you want to make sure you have introduced yourself, your goals and your passion articulately.” – Olivia Ruston, individual category judge 2016.

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What should applicants include in their application?

“The training awards are about training and education so we would be looking to see how applicants came to study, why they chose the course they did and how they plan to use or make a difference with the training they have received.” – Kristie Carlile, individual category judge 2016.

What should you avoid putting in your application?

“Avoid mentioning experiences from other jobs and focus on your current apprenticeship or traineeship when answering each of the questions.” – Bethany Clarke, individual category judge 2016.

TIPS FOR ORGANISATION APPLICANTS

What makes an application clearly stand out and easy for you to put in the shortlist pile?

“Program/service outcomes need to be clearly defined – it can sometimes take a judge a few reads to determine how the program/service has improved over a period of time. It is also good to understand the success of the students post the program and see a comparison percentage of outcomes against state trends. So ensure quantitative data is provided to demonstrate outcomes, rather than elaborate generalised statements and present the information in a logical and well formatted manner.” – Anne Stannard, organisation category judge 2016

What’s your best tip for writing an application that will get shortlisted?

“I would suggest the applicant carefully analyses the question being asked and answers this in a methodical and clear manner, demonstrating their experience using the strongest examples relevant to the question.” – Rhonda Jamieson, organisation category judge 2016

What should applicants include in their application?

“When reading applications it is great to see a statement backed up with clear examples. Provide relevant evidence to support your statements. Be clear which award you are applying for and ensure your answers address the selection criteria.” – Rob Mitchell, organisation category judge 2016

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What should applicants avoid in writing their application?

“Avoid being vague or assuming the judges will know what the applicant is explaining. Clearly respond to the questions and demonstrate experience.” – Rhonda Jamieson, organisation category judge 2016

 

Applications close on Friday 5 May 2017. Put yourself or your organisation in the spotlight and submit yours today! dtwd.wa.gov.au/trainingawards

What to look forward to at this year’s WA Training Awards Presentation Dinner

It’s just four weeks until this year’s WA Training Awards Presentation Dinner and we’re getting very excited about the amazing celebration we have planned for this year’s finalists and winners. Tickets are on sale now, so make sure you book yours online via  e.mybookingmanager.com/WATrainingAwards

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For many of our stakeholders, attending the WA Training Awards has become something to look forward to each September and for our first time finalists, this event is your opportunity to celebrate your achievements and be acknowledged for the hard work and dedication you’ve shown.

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The venue

The WA Training Awards 2016 Presentation Dinner will be held in the BelleVue Ballroom at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on Mounts Bay Road, Perth.

When you arrive you’ll be greeted by the WA Training Awards team at the registration desk where you can collect your name badge and check out the seating plan to determine where you’ll be seated in the ballroom. Then relax with a pre-dinner drink and enjoy the beautiful views over the Swan River and Elizabeth Quay before the formalities commence.

 

Gala glamour

The BelleVue Ballroom will be set out in grandeur, with tables dressed for 550 guests and our roving spotlights highlighting the stars among our attendees. We’ll be putting on a great audio visual experience for everyone to really get into the feel of the night. This is your opportunity to dress to impress. The dress code for the night is lounge suit or cocktail attire. Our photographer will be on hand to snap guests as they arrive looking stunning on the red carpet. Check out our photo gallery or Facebook photos from previous years for ideas.

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The celebration

Official proceedings will commence and 7pm and that’s when the real celebrations start. With speeches from some of our distinguished guests as well as updates from our 2015 individual winners throughout the night you’ll feel truly accomplished and excited for what could be ahead in the next 12 months. Throughout the evening you’ll be treated to quality WA food and beverages. All finalists will be acknowledged on stage and the 2016 winners of this year’s WA Training Awards will be announced!

Entertainment!

During the dinner break, you can enjoy the relaxing tones of Aurora Acoustics – a Perth-based duo studying music at Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. Once the official proceedings are complete, dance the night away to Adam Hall and the Velvet Playboys with jazz, rhythm and blues covers from the 40s to now and celebrate your success on the dance floor.

It’s sure to be another great Awards celebration so get your tickets today! Bookings close Friday 9 September 2016.

You’ve put in the hard yards – what happens next?

Congratulations to all of this year’s WA Training Awards finalists!

This year we have 42 finalists contending for honours in this year’s awards. You should all be very proud of yourselves for all the hard work you’ve put in to get to this stage of the competition.

So what happens next?

Well the good news is – the hard work is done! Individuals have completed their interviews and organisations have now completed site visits with their panels. You’ve done all you can do and now it’s up to our judging panels to make the very difficult decision of selecting winners for each category.

Sit back, put your feet up for a few weeks and find yourself an outfit to wear to this year’s WA Training Awards Presentation Dinner!

The Presentation Dinner

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The WA Training Awards 2016 Presentation Dinner will be held in the BelleVue Ballroom at Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday 23 September 2016. Bookings for this year’s event are now open and invitations have now been sent out, so look out for yours in the post and recruit your friends, family and colleagues to come along and celebrate your success to date.

At the Presentation Dinner, all finalists will be recognised on stage and the winner of each category will be announced.

Winners in eligible categories will have the opportunity to represent WA at the Australian Training Awards in Darwin this November.

Visit our website for more details on the WA Training Awards process and booking tickets for this year’s event.

We can’t wait to see you there!

I’ve submitted my application – what happens now?

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Congratulations on submitting your application for the WA Training Awards 2016 and putting your achievements in the spotlight this year!

Putting together an application for the WA Training Awards is not an easy thing to do. It’s designed to extract the best out of our applicants so our judging panels can understand the great lengths WA students, trainers, training organisations and employers go to in elevating the standard and outcomes of training in our state.

The hardest part of your journey might be over, but the best is yet to come. So what happens now?

Shortlisting

This week, our judging panels will commence shortlisting applications to select the top applicants in each category to go forward to interviews (individual applicants) and site visits (organisation applicants).

When will I be notified if I’ve been shortlisted?

We like to ensure our judging panels have sufficient time to give each WA Training Awards application the respect and consideration it deserves in order to shortlist the best applicants in each category.

Individual applicants will be advised by 22 June as to whether they have been shortlisted as a semi-finalist for the interview stage.

Organisation applicants will be advised by 8 July as to whether they have been shortlisted as a finalist for the site visit stage.

Interviews – Individual applicants

All individual semi-finalists will participate in an interview with their judging panels on Friday 15 July 2016 at North Metropolitan TAFE’s Northbridge campus. Applicants will be provided with an interview preparation pack and will have four weeks to ready themselves for their interview.

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Site visits – Organisations applicants

All organisation finalists will participate in a site visit at their premises with their judging panels between 25 July and 5 August. The panel’s executive officer will arrange the site visit at a suitable time for the panel and finalist, following the announcement of finalists on 8 July.

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For more information on what to expect throughout your WA Training Awards journey, visit The Awards process page on the WA Training Awards website or check out this year’s Key dates.

Where can I get support for my WA Training Awards application?

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Writing an Awards application can be a complex process. Our judging panels want to know quite a lot about you, your training, how you work in teams and on the job, your understanding of the VET sector and your industry and what other activities you do outside of your work and studies. Your response to the selection criteria does need to be written by yourself, after all, it’s your story and no one knows it better than you do. But that doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help. Here are five support avenues to assist you with your application.

Lecturer, trainer or employer

Your lecturer, trainer or employer can offer a wealth of knowledge about your industry. It’s their business to know about current industry trends, rules and regulations, new technologies and strategies to keep up with industry shifts and changes.

They will also have a good understanding of your work ethic, skills and knowledge and may be able to assist in coming up with some real work examples to use in answering your selection criteria.

VET Coordinator

If you’re still at school, talking to your VET Coordinator is a great place to start in helping you to understand the criteria and brainstorm your unique qualities to answer the selection criteria. Your VET Coordinator will have a good understanding of the VET sector, the benefits of school-based vocational education and training and a good knowledge of your achievements and progress to date.

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Training council

There are 10 training councils in WA covering all industries. The training councils provide strategic advice to the Department of Training on industry skills needs. The training councils have broad networks of employers, training providers and industry bodies and work with these networks to develop strategies to assist them through training recommendations.

Your industry’s training council can provide you with information and advice on industry training needs, any current issues to be aware of in your industry, where skills shortages lie and much more.

Mentor

If you’re applying for one of the following categories, the WA Training Awards can provide specialist mentors to assist you with your application:

  • WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year
  • WA Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Training Provider of the Year
  • WA International Student of the Year

Award winning application examples

On the WA Training Awards website, you can find examples of Award winning applications for the student categories. Use these to help give you an idea of what to include in your application. They may well spark some ideas for you about examples from your training and work that you can use in your responses or point you in the direction of information you may need to research about your industry.

Of course, if you have any questions about the criteria, you can also contact the friendly WA Training Awards team to talk you through it.

Our judges want to see the best possible applications, so give yourself enough time, do a little research and ask for assistance where you need it. A well-structured and researched application will make all the difference when it comes to shortlisting.