August 21st, 2016

National Skills Week running from August 29 to September 4 is a time to celebrate Vocational Education and Training and reflect on the many success stories that have emanated from the sector, some of which may come as a surprise. A number of celebrities and high-profile Industry professionals have gained success from choosing a Vocational Training pathway, often emerging as experts in their field and global influencers, with one professional winning a highly commended international award.

In 2014 Catherine Martin won an Oscar for best costume design on The Great Gatsby, a high budget feature film with Hollywood’s a-list actors including Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Toby Maguire. What many people don’t know is that Catherine studied pattern making at TAFE, former East Sydney Technical College. From August 29 to September 4 National Skills Week will bring greater understanding to these often unknown stories in an effort to lift inaccurate pre-conceived notions on a career pathway through VET, and enlighten people on why VET should be more of a first option for those looking into picking up study.

“Vocational Education and Training supports people who want to go on to gain international success and recognition for their skills,” General Manager at SkillsOne Kirstin Casey said.

“It is important to foster Australian talent and creativity, and enable people to create a career doing something they are passionate about, and VET makes that possible.”

Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador Scott Cam, better known as the host of Channel Nine’s The Block and 2014 Gold Logie Winner, represents the VET sector and the many benefits it provides. According to Scott, doing an Australian Apprenticeship through VET was “the best thing” he had ever done.

“It gave me time to learn on-the-job, and there’s no better way of learning than just getting stuck into it,” Scott said. “As an apprentice, you really have to work hard in your first year. At the end of the day, the long-term rewards are worth it, I can assure you. And there is nothing better than being your own boss.”

Vocational Training and an Australian Apprenticeship enabled Scott to not only reach successful heights as a celebrity, but also provided him with fundamental skills as as a carpenter so that he could open up his own carpentry business, which he has been running now for over 20 years. National Skills Week will use Scott’s story, and other emerging ones, to inspire others on the many career possibilities provided through VET.

2015 Australian Apprentice of the Year Finalist Joshua Dales is setting out to become an influencer in his field, electrotechnology, by re-instating a master craftsman mindset in the trades sector. He believes Australia needs to take the opportunity to develop more leading tradespeople that can go on to have global impact.

Vocational Training enhanced Joshua’s technical and analytical skill sets, and the Australian Apprenticeship he picked up as part of his Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician allowed him to supervise a critical installation at the Myer Icon commercial project, and gain successful results in many projects that followed.

Joshua will be making a special appearance at the Tasmania state launch of National Skills Week on August 31, to be held at TasTAFE Drysdale Campus. He is looking forward to sharing his career story and goals at the event, and with a passion to improve the electrotechnology sector, his future looks to be bright and influential.

For further information on Joshua’s story or that of other Australian Training Awards Alumni and Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors visit and .

Join us during National Skills Week and celebrate how VET fosters influential, creative and talented individuals who gain success from the experience and training they have obtained from an Australian Apprenticeship. Organise an event, or take part in the many events that can be found on the National Skills Week website:

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