August 20th, 2017

National Skills Week, Australia’s pinnacle week for celebrating vocational education and training (VET), will be celebrated across the country on 28 August – 3 September.  The week promotes the many varied pathways available through apprenticeships, traineeships, and vocational learning.  Importantly the week aims to highlight the positive outcomes of the vocational sector, and shine a light on those who are working to raise the skills of young Australians.

Skilling the Australian workforce needs to be a combined effort, with Registered and Private Training Providers, Government, Associations and Industry, all playing a part in ensuring our nation is highly skilled, in order to best support the Australian economy.  One party cannot do it alone,” said Kirstin Casey, General Manager at SkillsOne.

The Barangaroo Skills Exchange (BSX), is a collaboration between TAFE NSW – Western Sydney Institute and LendLease Darling Harbour.  These three parties joined together to provide the required training and skilling of on-site workers at the Barangaroo South urban regeneration project, in Sydney NSW.

The Barangaroo Skills Exchange won the 2016 Australian Training Awards’ Industry Collaboration Award, where it was acknowledged for the way in which it has revolutionised the way workers engage with training and how employers needs are met.

“We set it up with the aim of making the industry safer, more professional and being able to provide a more efficient service for contractors onsite at Barangaroo.”

“What we came up with is a disruptive model similar to Airbnb or Uber which operates as a one-stop-shop for learning, combining the needs of hundreds of small and large contractors and sourcing ‘best of breed’, customised training from various TAFE institutes and private providers,” said Ron Wright, Project Manager at Barangaroo.

This project will change the landscape of Sydney, but also the lives of those working there, with 10,000 workers having already undertaken formal skills training, resulting in over 16,000 accredited training outcomes ranging from Skills Sets to Advanced Diplomas covering areas such as apprentice mentoring, high risk license training, trades skilling and safety leadership.

The BSX team is working towards skilling the next generation of Australia’s construction workforce, with much of the training taking place onsite, designed to suit the needs of the workers.

“It’s a very simple model, but it has been very successful and it’s been in effect an exemplar of how you can bring training that is contextualised to the real-world work environment, to site”, said Ro Coroneos, Manager of Social and Community Strategy- Barangaroo South Lendlease.

There has been a significant commitment to improving the key foundation skills of all workers to improve literacy and numeracy rates.

“One of the most exciting and rewarding aspects of having the learning hub onsite is that a new cohort of workers who have never had the confidence or time to attend a TAFE or private college has become engaged in formal learning and for them and their families the experience has been life changing,” said Ron.

During National Skills Week, SkillsOne will be hosting the NSW launch of National Skills Week at the new Lendlease offices at Barangaroo on Wednesday 30th August, to celebrate the success of the project to date.

Attended by the Deputy Premier and Minister for Skills, Regional NSW and Small Business, The Hon. John Barilaro MP the night will be acknowledged with 200 VET stakeholders from across NSW with event theming by TAFE NSW and performances by the Australian Institute of Music.

For further information on the BSX 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 can be organised with representatives of the BSX, on the contact details as noted below.

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

Mobile: 0420 652 558 Email:

Subscribe for updates from National Skills Week!