September 1st, 2016

Queensland Deputy Director General of Training and Skills Suzanne Wauchope officially launched National Skills Week in Queensland at a private cocktail function held at NewsCorp Queensland on August 31. The evening’s proceedings put a spotlight on Vocational Education and Training and brought attention to the many ways VET contributes toward the state’s active workforce and strengthens the nation’s changing economy.

Deputy Director General Suzanne Wauchope commended the high quality of Vocational Education inherent in Queensland and celebrated the positive stories emanating from the sector, including the finalists involved in the upcoming Queensland Training Awards on September 9. CEO of TAFE Queensland Jodi Schmidt also made an address, revealing why she believes VET is crucial to the healthy development of Australia.

Jodi Schmidt said VET is valuable for the way it allows the nation to maintain economic prosperity and competitiveness in a global market, and she believes Innovative technology plays a major part in meeting these goals. The Innovative Technology sector was celebrated on the evening with interactive virtual reality and gaming displays provided by TAFE Queensland.

Talented TAFE Queensland students played music throughout the cocktail service, and hospitality students provided exceptional service, highlighting TAFE Queensland’s ability to skill and train students into Industry standard professionals.

General Manager at SkillsOne Kirstin Casey said the Queensland launch of National Skills Week was a successful event that generated discussion on the state and nation’s priority to motivate more people into making VET a first choice.

“National Skills Week aims to help the general public better understand how study pathways through VET appropriately skill people so that they can secure successful careers that will allow them to have a valued role in a dynamic workforce,” Kirstin Casey said.

“The Queensland launch was valuable for the way it brought together Industry, Government, Media, and other individuals inherent in the VET sector, to work together to improve public confidence in the sector, and show people how they can achieve career success through VET.”

Founder of National Skills Week and host on the night Brian Wexham interviewed Sandra Gillanders, the CEO of 2015 Australian Training Award’s Small Employer of the Year winner Hy-Performance Fluid Power. The Australian Training Awards and its Alumni are integral to National Skills Week, and their stories of success help inspire others to choose a VET study pathway.

One of these stories comes from 2015 Vocational Student of the Year Finalist Nicola Lang who changed careers at the age of 40. Nicola took up a Diploma of Nursing while working in the healthcare industry, a partnership that allowed her to graduate as a multi-skilled nurse aware of her work surroundings, and skills in relating and tending to patients and families in a busy ward. A VET pathway provided Nicola, and continues to provide many others the opportunity to work and study. This is a benefit of VET that produces qualified and skilled professionals across many sectors.

National Skills Week runs from August 29 to September 4, and launches will continue this week in major states and territories nationwide. For more information on the launches taking place visit the National Skills Week website:

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