August 25th, 2017

Celebrations will commence far and wide in the coming week to celebrate Australia’s primary week supporting vocational education and training and the career pathways of Australians of all ages.

National Skills Week, will be celebrated across the country on 28 August- 03 September, acknowledging vocational careers across a variety of industry sectors, and the role these industries play in a thriving Australian economy.

Now in its seventh consecutive year running, National Skills Week, will shine a light on vocational learners, this year with added focus as the week will include celebrations of the Queensland, Tasmanian and South Australian Training Awards, all taking place on Friday 01st September in their respective states.

“There has never been a bigger week, in the landscape of Australia’s vocational sector”, says Kirstin Casey, General Manager at SkillsOne.

National VET Alumni member and Australian Training Awards’, 2016 Australian Apprentice of the Year winner, Ben Nedwich, know’s all too well what the Queensland nominees will be going through this year, having been through the same situation himself just one year ago.

Ben who completed a Certificate III in Business Administration at TAFE Queensland, has always been a high achiever.  Prior to his award win, he had received the Sunrise Rotary TAFE Queensland East Coast Trainee/Apprentice of the Year Award in 2015, the Overall Student of the Year Award in 2015 and was a Gold Medal in the Business Services Section of the WorldSkills Australia National Competition in 2016.

“The award exemplifies that it doesn’t matter where you’re located—it’s the quality of training that counts. I certainly couldn’t have achieved what I have without the people around me who have supported and trained me, all the while being very generous in imparting their knowledge and experience. They are a huge part of my success,” said Ben of his high-quality training.

Ben undertook his qualifications while completing his traineeship at Bundaberg Regional Council, finding his training an ideal way to combine practice and theory while gaining a qualification that would lead to further learning and career progression.

“The greatest part of my traineeship was the constant learning curve; I have endeavoured to learn new things every day to further my knowledge in as many areas as possible,” said Ben.

Ben has since been offered a full-time position within the Council, and holds the long-term goal to rise to an elected position so he can make a difference in his community.

“One of the most important aspects of the Australian Training Awards is that they highlight the importance and benefits of training and recognise people who are prepared to go above and beyond in contributing to their workplace and the community. I’ve seen first-hand how quality training can benefit people and turn their lives around. My goal is to spread that message far and wide so that other people can enjoy the same opportunities that I have had,” said Ben.

Elders Rural Services in South Australia are also national VET Alumni members, who have been through the Australian Training Awards process.  Elders were finalists in the Australian Training Awards’ Australian Apprenticeships Employer Award category in 2015.

Elders have been recognised as Australia’s leading agribusiness, with a 176-year history providing innovation and development in agribusiness, information, sale facilitation and product offerings to farmers and customers across a range of agricultural services including livestock, wool, merchandise, finance, insurance, real estate, live export and grain.

A large part of the company’s business is their Elders Traineeship Programme, created to provide practical and real life stock and station agency training. Elders’ trainees interact with managers, product specialists, customers, clients and subject matter experts and are exposed to a nationwide network of contacts in the business.

Over the past 6 years 92 trainees have completed their qualification with Elders, which is Elders way of giving back to the agribusiness sector and ensuring succession planning for an aging industry.

“Recognition for the business, that what we’re doing we are doing well, and importantly for the trainees they are made aware that, that’s going to give them confidence that they’re associated with something that is getting a high profile,” said Peter Cox, of Elders Rural Services, when asked about the benefits of the award.

For further information on Ben or Elders Rural Services story, or other inspiring career stories from the Australian Training Awards, VET Alumni Program or the Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors program, visit the Australian Training Awards website.

To organise an event, or take part in the many events that can be found across the country, visit the National Skills Week website.

Interviews for Ben Nedwich and Elders Rural Services can be organised, on the contact details as noted below.

For more information please contact: Kirstin Casey (General Manager at SkillsOne)

Mobile: 0420 652 558 Email:

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