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.

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“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.”

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

Training offers new beginnings for new migrants

Moving to a new country offers many opportunities for a fresh start, but like any new adventure, it can take some time to find your feet. WA Cultural Diversity Training Award winners Maureen Guiloy and Jasmin Porter share their experiences of what it was like coming to Australia and how their training pathways opened doors to new career options.

Maureen’s story

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Maureen migrated from the Philippines to Australia with her family in 2012 and moved to the Wheatbelt town of Northam.

“I studied a Foreign Service Major in Diplomacy in the Philippines but that was not very useful to me when I moved here and I started looking for a job.”

When Maureen first moved to Australia the hardest obstacle to overcome was not speaking the language. “The language barrier is indeed the hardest thing to make adjustments to, mainly because it is the main tool for you to get acquaintances and associate yourself with people. I did not find cultural differences difficult to adjust to because Australia recognises cultural diversity and provides many opportunities regardless of cultural background,” she said.

Maureen worked three part time jobs at a local fast food restaurant, as a cleaner at a cafe and at the Yongah Hills Immigration and Detention Centre and it was a colleague that suggested she study a Certificate II in Leadership Development to gain confidence and skills in an Australian workplace. Despite the language barrier, Maureen enrolled at her local TAFE.

“Getting a TAFE course and finishing it came in handy and every door of opportunity opened up for me,” Maureen said. “Being in training, you get to choose your own direction, build your own pathway, enhance the skills that you currently have and develop a new skill as you move forward.”

Maureen now works as an Administrative Assistant at Central Regional TAFE in Northam which is providing her with more opportunities to grow and learn.

An active member of her community, Maureen founded the FilipinOz group in Northam to assist other culturally diverse people throughout the Wheatbelt. She is currently doing ranger training and Municipal Law Enforcement to expand her knowledge and educate fellow migrants on local laws to lead by example.

Jasmin’s story

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“I migrated to Moora, a country town in the Wheatbelt in February 2014 from Switzerland because my husband and I decided to build our lives together in Australia. I hold a Bachelor degree in Speech and Language Therapy and worked as a Speech Pathologist in Switzerland for two years,” said Jasmin.

However, Jasmin’s Swiss qualifications weren’t recognised in Australia and so she found a job at the Moora District Child Care Centre.

“I was encouraged to study the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care to enhance my skills in the position as an educator. This course has helped me to gain knowledge about children’s learning and development and put it into practice at work,” said Jasmin.

“It is not easy to start a new life in a foreign country but doing further training opens up new doors and creates job possibilities. It enables people with English as a second language to improve their communication skills and therefore to actively take part in the community.”

Jasmin’s training has increased her communication skills, introduced her to new members of her community and enhanced her previous knowledge, but one of Jasmin’s favourite parts of her training was a unit in her course on cultural competency.

“Ongoing learning and reflective practice are essential to become culturally competent. Being from a different cultural background I am able to share parts of my culture with children and staff and help them to develop their own cultural identity.”

“Living in a remote town can make it difficult for people to access help and support and there are sometimes not many job opportunities. It can definitely increase your chances of getting a job if you have a qualification.”

 

If you’ve migrated to Australia in the last five years and are currently training for a better future, apply for the WA Cultural Diversity Training Award 2017. Visit dtwd.wa.gov.au/trainingawards for more information.

Applications for the WA Training Awards 2017 are now open!

The 2017 competition is now live!

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“Apply for the WA Training Awards and who knows where it might take you. Say yes to all opportunities available to you,” Louise Brookes, WA Vocational Student of the Year 2016.

The WA Training Awards recognise WA’s top achieving apprentices, trainees and vocational students, the dedicated lecturers driving students to success and the training organisations and businesses raising the bar for quality training and a skilled workforce for WA.

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“You’ll get to put your name out there and you’ll also get to meet some very important people who will be able to help you develop and progress through your career,” Liam Brien, WA School-based Apprentice of the Year 2016.

For individual applicants, the WA Training Awards is an opportunity for professional development, networking with likeminded individuals and high level people in the VET sector and potential career progression.

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“In terms of training and corporate social responsibility it just shows us in a different light and different capability. It’s recognition that we put a lot of emphasis on training and career development,” Amanda Hamilton, Civmec Construction and Engineering, WA Employer of the Year 2016.

For organisations, applying for the WA Training Awards is an opportunity to highlight the work your organisation is doing in addition to your core business. The Awards inspire organisations to get together and work as a team, celebrating what you’re doing well and planning for continuous improvement.

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“It’s a really good opportunity to review your own organisational practices, to plan for the future and also to network with your peers in the training sector,” Scope Training, WA Small Training Provider of the Year 2016.

In 2017, there are 12 award categories. Each winner will receive $5000 in cash and prizes and winners in eligible categories will also have the opportunity to represent Western Australia at the Australian Training Awards in Canberra in November.

The WA Training Awards judging panels know WA is home to highly motivated individuals, dedicated trainers, and top quality, innovative training organisation and businesses and they can’t wait to read your applications.

Visit the WA Training Awards website to download an application guide today.

Applications close Friday 5 May 2017.

Attend the webinar!

The Awards team will be running two webinars – one for individual category applicants and one for organisation category applicants on Friday 3 February 2017. These sessions will provide an overview of the process, how to apply, tips and tricks and will assist applicants with any questions they may have about this year’s program. Email trainingawards@dtwd.wa.gov.au to register your interest in the webinars.

To stay up to date on all the latest news, follow the WA Training Awards on Facebook, InstagramTwitter, LinkedIn and YouTube or subscribe to the WA Training Awards blog.

What happens next for individual applicants?

So you’ve done it! You’ve completed your application for the WA Training Awards 2015 to have the chance at putting yourself and your achievements in the spotlight. Congratulations!

You’ve had two weeks to breathe a sigh of relief that your application is done, but what happens next?

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It might feel a bit like a waiting game for you, but with judging having just commenced – it is an exciting time for our judging panels who as we speak, are being inspired by your applications.

Shortlisting is now under way across all Awards categories. During this process, your application will be assessed against the selection criteria for your category and the top applicants will be selected as semi-finalists.

Shortlisting by training councils

For applicants in the Apprentice, Trainee, School Based Apprentice and Vocational Student of the Year categories, your applications will be shortlisted by the training council for your industry area. Each training council will select one applicant from each industry area in each category. During this shortlisting process, your training council may contact you to come in for an interview in order to select the best applicants going forward. This process results in a maximum of 10 shortlisted applicants for each of these categories.

Shortlisting by panels

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse and Trainer categories, your applications will be shortlisted by your category panel and up to 10 applicants in each category will be shortlisted.

When will I be notified if I have been shortlisted?

By Friday 12 June 2015, you will be notified in writing (email and letter) and by phone as to whether you have been shortlisted as a semi-finalist for your category.

What happens next if I am a semi-finalist?

If you are shortlisted as a semi-finalist you will be required to attend the Semi-finalist Judging Day on Friday 17 July 2015 at Central Institute of Technology in Northbridge. You will be provided with an interview preparation pack to help you prepare and student semi-finalists an allocated mentor for your category or industry area to support you through the process.

What if I live in a regional area?

The Department will arrange travel and accommodation for regional semi-finalists to attend the Judging Day.

For more information on the WA Training Awards process visit our website or contact the WA Training Awards team by email at trainingawards@dtwd.wa.gov.au to help you with any enquiries.