July 12th, 2016

The Skills & Thrills careers showcases were presented with great success across the western and northern suburbs of Sydney in an effort to raise awareness of Australia’s skills shortages, and highlight the many career pathways available through Vocational Education and Training.

Hosted by SkillsOne CEO Brian Wexham, and entertainment provided by a live band, musical performances from the Australian Institute of Music, and interviews with Australian Training Awards Alumni and Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors; the showcases received positive feedback and affirmative reviews from audiences.

One attendee stated that the showcases were “informative, influential, full of passion, offering areas of possibility and opportunity for further study,” and attendee Jaishnavi Prakash said it was “the best information session I have ever attended.”

According to market research and surveys conducted post showcases, 95 percent of attendees found the shows to be a highly useful tool in gaining careers advice with 96.4 percent saying they would in future support a family member to pursue a career through Vocational Education and Training.

The Skills and Thrills showcases examined new and emerging projects taking place across Sydney in order to reveal industries where there are abundant job opportunities. The shows also brought focus to current and future demands on sectors experiencing skills shortages, such as Tourism, Hospitality, Construction, Primary Industries, Childcare and Healthcare, and what can be done to address these needs. With information delivered in an engaging way, the show achieved its goal of changing the way people viewed VET.

Attendee Adityee Prackach said “this showcase changed my impression and thinking of Vocational Education by displaying a bigger picture of its whole potential,” and parent, Manjula Patidaati, said “I was initially thinking that TAFE is only for those who do not get a placement into University, but now I realise it is for everyone.”

The expressed need for the showcases to be taken to schools was felt throughout feedback with many attendees suggesting it should be made widely available through live format or DVD. “Get it out to the kids – it’s fantastic,” attendee Rachel said.

To watch a highlight video of the Skills and Thrills show visit http://www.skillsone.com.au/vidgallery/skills-thrills-highlights. Don’t want to miss out? Details for a fifth Skills and Thrills show is yet to be released, stay up to date on SkillsOne social media pages.

An integral segment of each showcase was the appearance of an Australian Training Award Alumni or an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador, which provided example of how an apprenticeship or trade, teamed with hard work and dedication can result in successful career ventures. This comes in the weeks leading up to National Skills Week where Australian Training Awards Alumni and Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors play an integral role in representing the VET network and educating others on the importance of VET in strengthening Australia’s workforce.

Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador Jessica Martin addressed the audience at the North Sydney showcase and revealed how her apprenticeship and training as a Section Waiter propelled her to win a silver medal at the 2013 Worldskills International Competition in Germany. She says it was “a fantastic experience,” because it allowed her to do something she is passionate about. “An Australian apprenticeship is the best way to start your career,” Jessica said. “It has opened up opportunities for me that I never knew existed.”

Jessica reveals how being around her dad, a chef of forty years, and being brought up in a family owned food service business enlightened her to the variety of careers that exist in hospitality, currently a sector in need of more skilled professionals. “The traditional mindset from parents generally is that people have to go to university to have a career or be successful in life, but really we need skilled tradesmen and women to be a stronger country,” Jessica said.

The future looks bright for Jessica as she sets her eyes on opening her own cocktail bar or restaurant. To watch Jessica’s full interview, and interviews with other Australian Training Awards Alumni and Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors at the Skills and Thrills showcases visit http://www.skillsone.com.au/category/skills-thrills/. For further information on Jessica’s story or that of other Australian Training Awards Alumni and Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors visit https://www.australiantrainingawards.gov.au and https://www.australianapprenticeships.gov.au/australian-apprenticeships-ambassadors-program

Australian Training Awards Alumni and Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors will be involved in events throughout National Skills Week from August 29th to September 4th, shedding positive light on the benefits of the VET sector and how it plays an important role in skilling Australians.

Held at the Dairy Hall of the Queen Victoria Markets in Melbourne on August 24th, the launch of National Skills Week will involve a variety of interactive trades demonstrations taking place in the public sector, and live stage area of the markets. We encourage everyone to take part in celebrating the week long event by attending one of the many launches and events taking place nationwide, or registering their own events on www.nationalskillsweek.com.au.

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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