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.

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.