Training awards encourage flexibility

Nicole SalmeriSouth Western Times
Nominations are now open for WA Training Awards and last year’s winner Lizzie Gaffney encourages anyone studying an alternative pathway to apply.
Camera IconNominations are now open for WA Training Awards and last year’s winner Lizzie Gaffney encourages anyone studying an alternative pathway to apply. Credit: Nicole Salmeri

Applications for the WA Training Awards are now open for 2019.

The awards highlight the opportunities the VET sector provides people to up skill or retrain, ensuring they can adapt to a changing economy, workplaces and jobs.

Last year’s 2018 WA finalist for WA Trainee of the Year, Lizzie Gaffney, encourages people pursuing alternative pathways to apply.

“You don’t have to be young to do vocational training or you don’t have to be fresh out of school, you can drop your career and start from scratch,” Miss Gaffney said.

“It’s a good opportunity to gain interview experience and be exposed to other pathways.”

Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said alternative pathways allowed people to pursue their goals in the workforce.

“Our training system provides Western Australians with a chance to change their future,” she said.

“It’s really great to be recognised in your training pathway, particularly when it’s an alternative pathway - so a lot of people who think university is the correct avenue after school, it’s really good to do something outside of the norm.”

Miss Gaffney said being a finalist gave her the upper hand when considering future employment.

“It definitely is good to say you were a finalist for Western Australia,”

“It definitely does help for employment prospects to say that you’ve been selected for a finalist for WA and it’s just really rewarding to be recognised for your hard work and your training essentially,” she said.

After finishing high school Miss Gaffney began her university studies but later deferred and realised it was not for her — before the opportunity arose to complete a certificate in business.

“The opportunities this training has given me have been exceptional,” Miss Gaffney said.

“I’ve now got a career in health care which I didn’t have before and to be recognised in these fields on top of that is great.”

Miss Gaffney is now working hard in her position as executive assistant to the chief executive officer at St John of God Hospital.

To apply for the awards, visit http://www.dtwd.wa.gov.au/watrainingawards.

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