July 17th, 2017

The commencement of July marked the 50-day countdown to National Skills Week 2017.  Celebrated annually each August, and now in its seventh consecutive year, National Skills Week is Australia’s peak week for celebrating vocational education and training (VET).  During the week, a variety of vocational careers from traditional trades to emerging skills are celebrated.

“National Skills Week provides a point in the year to recognise and celebrate the achievements of vocational learners.  It is vocational careers that keep our communities turning each day, from the building and construction workers, the retail and hospitality workers and the professionals in the health and community service sectors, just to name a few.  It is time that vocational careers enjoy time in the spotlight.” says Kirstin Casey, General Manager at SkillsOne.

Mr Douglas Wright AM, a national VET Alumni member and recipient of the 2016 Australian Training Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award, has been strong leader and dedicated supporter in Australia’s vocational education and training sector for many decades.

It is people such as Mr Wright, whose long-term involvement in the sector has allowed major improvements and changes to the training system at both the national and state levels.

Skills acquisition is vitally important to Australia’s youth, initiatives such as National Skills Week promote the importance of skills acquisition and promote the benefits to the community”, says Mr Wright.

Mr Wright’s fifty plus years of leadership within the vocational sector, has primarily been in the metal and trade industry, where he was State Director of the Metal Trades Industry Association of Australia’s New South Wales and Queensland branches, and led many successful international technology and trade missions.

“Skills are a critical element for the prosperity of our country, a skilled workforce is an important ingredient in the mix of a prosperous economy,” says Mr Wright.

As a member of the former NSW VET Advisory Board, Mr Wright assisted in driving quality assurance for all students studying VET in NSW, leading to the emergence of Commonwealth policies for regulating international education and improving the education experience for international students studying in Australia.

Mr Wright was a founding member of the Hunter Valley Training Company (HVTC), Australia’s oldest Group Training Organisation (GTO).  HVTC was created in partnership with industry, unions and government to provide a revolutionary approach to apprenticeships and training. Subsequently, the GTO model has been widely adopted across Australia as governments recognised the importance of GTOs as a key element in increasing the uptake of apprenticeships and traineeships and meeting skills shortages.

Mr Wright’s contributions demonstrate a lifetime commitment to enhancing the quality and relevance of the Australian vocational system for the benefit of students and industry.

His involvement in the vocational sector, has included participation in 14 industry boards and committees including to name a few, Director of WorldSkills Inc, Board Member of the NSW TAFE Commission and consultant with the Australian Industry Group.

Mr Wright is an outstandingly positive ambassador for the vocational education and training sector, who’s commitment and effort within the skills community are greatly felt.

For further information on Mr Wright, or other engaging career stories from the Australian Training Awards, or the VET Alumni program visit the Australian Training Awards website.

SkillsOne will be showcasing VET qualifications during National Skills Week from 28 August to 3 September 2017. During this week, Australia will highlight the breadth in career opportunities available through VET. 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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