January 14th, 2020

International Friendship Day is celebrated on July 30 annually and marked with the aim to define a ‘Culture of Peace’.  A set of values, attitudes and behaviors that reject violence and endeavor to prevent conflict by addressing their root causes with a view to solving problems.  This initiative was instated in 2011, following on from the proposal made by UNESCO and taken up by the UN General Assembly in 1997.  The day itself is based on the recognition of the relevance and importance of friendship as a noble and valuable sentiment in the lives of human beings around the world. Friendship between people, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build connection between communities.  The lead up to Australia’s pinnacle week for celebrating vocational education and training (VET), National Skills Week, provides ample opportunity for Australians to begin to think about a career with values of friendship, connection and shared commitment to people, country and culture.

Friendship in the workplace is imperative to a happy and stable work environment, though friendship does not just mean your work colleagues, this can also include your clients, patients and others you engage with daily.  Strong connections and shared commitment to doing the best for your company or your community broadly can be one of the main drivers in an individual’s career choice,” says Kirstin Casey, General Manager at SkillsOne.

A variety of careers can provide you these aspects of work life, with one such industry being the health and community care sector. In this sector, you can develop strong and mutually beneficial relationships with both colleagues and clients.

Tasmanian Carla Willcox, national VET Alumni member and winner of the 2016 Australian Training Awards’ Vocational Student of the Year Award, is a graduate of a Certificate III in Disability and is currently studying a Certificate IV in Disability.  Having been a ‘stay at home mum’ for 13 years, Carla never expected that her step back into part time work and retraining, would lead to further studies, full time work and a promotion.  Carla now has a career she loves and is passionate about, as well as a national award under her belt.

“When I made the decision to re-enter the workforce and re-train I had no ambition beyond getting some part-time work. But the more I got into my studies and my work in the disability sector, the further I wanted to go -never thinking I’d get this far,” laughed Carla. “I was so shocked to be announced as an Australian Training Awards winner that I didn’t even have a speech prepared!”

A mother to four children and a wife to a husband with a fly-in/fly-out job Carla secured a place in the Certificate III in Disability and subsequent employment as a support worker with Coastal Residential Services North West Tasmania.

Following this, a promotion saw Carla take on a position with, Family Based Care in Burnie where she is very much enjoying the ‘terrific’ career path her training has led to.

I want to promote and advocate for my industry, and I want to be an advocate for all those other mums out there who are daunted by the thought of re-entering the workforce.”

My family recognise that what I was doing was important, they really respected me for giving it a go, and everyone stepped up. They have been inspired and are extremely proud of what I’ve achieved,” said Carla.

For further information on Carla’s story, or other engaging career stories from the Australian Training Awards or the VET Alumni Program, visit the Australian Training Awards website.

Careers in the community, service and health sectors include a variety of jobs, with a focus on a committed and supportive environment.  Studies have shown that those who have strong friendships with colleagues and clients, experience greater job satisfaction, greater sense of purpose and greater longevity in the workplace, making these aspects crucial when choosing the right career fit.

SkillsOne will be showcasing VET qualifications during National Skills Week from 28 August to 3 September 2017. During this week, Australia will highlight the breath in career opportunities available through vocational education and training. To organise an event, or take part in the many events that can be found across the country, visit the National Skills Week website.

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

Mobile: 0420 652 558 Email: kirstin.casey@skillsone.com.au

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