Age, gender no barrier for top trainees

Zoe KeenanSouth Western Times
Chloe Baigent decided to chase her dream of working with young people by applying to do a Certificate IV in Youth Work.
Camera IconChloe Baigent decided to chase her dream of working with young people by applying to do a Certificate IV in Youth Work.

Two South West women representing the State at the Australian Training Awards are proof that vocational training is for any age, gender and stage of life.

Former Dalyellup resident Rebecca Hudson was awarded the 2019 Trainee of the Year at this year’s State awards in September.

Busselton resident Chloe Baigent received this year’s Vocational Student of the Year award.

The pair are now vying for a national award this week at the 2019 Australian Training Awards in Brisbane.

Mother-of-three, Ms Hudson, started her career in human resources but said she quickly burnt out after enduring long hours in a high-pressure job.

She decided to take the plunge and move into a labouring job before she picked up an interest in operating machinery.

She completed a certificate III in mobile crane operations and has not looked back since.

Rebecca Hudson completed a traineeship in mobile crane operations while working for South32 Worsley Alumina.
Camera IconRebecca Hudson completed a traineeship in mobile crane operations while working for South32 Worsley Alumina.

“I didn’t think vocational education was available for me because I was a mature age ... but not only did I get paid to learn, I came out with a qualification,” Ms Hudson said.

Although the mining industry is predominantly male dominated, Ms Hudson said she had been accepted and supported.

For Ms Baigent, a move into studying to become a youth worker seemed daunting with a 10-year background and career in horticulture. But she bit the bullet and realised her lifelong dream and completed her certificate IV in youth work.

“I had a 10-year career and wondered if I could make that change... it was definitely worth it,” she said.

“I think it’s a good way of diversifying the industry, being able to have real skills training no matter where you come from.

“For anyone that wants to change their career at any age it’s definitely a possibility with the training we’ve got available here.”

The pair will go up against 14 other finalists in their award categories at the ceremony in Brisbane this Thursday.

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