July 15th, 2016

The announcement throughout July of Regional Training Awards winners prompts nationwide recognition and celebration of individuals and companies that generate positive impact on Vocational Education and Training, a celebratory trend to be carried through to National Skills Week in August and into the Australian Training Awards in November.

Australian Training Awards winners and finalists represent the best in Vocational Education and Training across the country. Australian Training Awards winner and former chef, Steven Atkins, represented New South Wales in the 2014 Australian Training Awards, taking out a win for the VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year Award.

Since becoming a teacher in Commercial Cookery, Steven has never looked back. “Teaching is one of those areas you get to use your trade and have immediate impact on students and change peoples’ lives,” Steven said.

“When passion and career collide, you have a perfect storm.”

National Skills Week, launching on August 24th in Melbourne will give Australian Training Awards Alumni and Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors the opportunity to connect to people who are looking to kick start a career based on their passion.

Steven advocates that VET is the “most important type of training that exists” because of the way it contributes toward the economy and creates a skilled workforce. He reflects on a recent student, a refugee who set up home in Mt Druitt with his family, and went on to complete group training with Steven as his teacher and mentor.

“He got a job in the Blue Mountains and took his whole family up there,” Steven said. “He is now contributing toward the economy in the Blue Mountains, and yet he had no job, no home, looking to start a new life in a nice and safe environment in a country like Australia.”

Since 2014, Steven has met many inspirational people that are passionate about what they do in Vocational Education. “They have sent me down that path to really explore what my capacity is,” Steven said.

It is important for like-minded influencers in the Industry like Steven, to continue to participate in Industry events that will allow them to deliver messages to the wider public and positively change attitudes toward VET. National Skills Week, driven by SkillsOne, is gearing up for the launch of National Skills Week 2016 with the aim of brining greater understanding of Vocational Education and Training to the public.

“National Skills Week provides opportunity for people to get involved in activities and events that celebrate the benefits of VET, and the role it plays in driving the Australian economy” Kirstin Casey, General Manager of SkillsOne said.

Registered Training Providers, Industry, Schools and Individuals are invited to register their own events through the National Skills Week website by visiting https://www.nationalskillsweek.com.au/get-involved/register-your-event/. To see the range of events you can get involved in visit https://www.nationalskillsweek.com.au/get-involved/events/.

Follow SkillsOne on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and share your passion for VET by posting to your social media account and tagging #nationalskillsweek.

For further information on Steven’s story or that of other Australian Training Awards Alumni and Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors visit https://www.australiantrainingawards.gov.au and


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