August 31st, 2017

National Skills Week 2017, Australia’s pinnacle week for celebrating vocational education and training (VET), concludes for another a year. The week saw celebrations across the country promoting the breadth of career pathways available through apprenticeships, traineeships, and vocational learning.  Success stories of VET Alumni, were celebrated far and wide, in events throughout the week.

“This year is the seventh consecutive year, we have run National Skills Week, with the week proving an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of vocational learners across the country. The more success stories, and positive outcomes of vocational training we can share, the more people will realise VET training is a first-choice pathway, leading to long term employment outcomes,” said Kirstin Casey, General Manger at SkillsOne.

Ashley Brown, national VET Alumni member and 2016 Australian Training Award’s Australian Apprentice of the Year finalist, knows the value of vocational training all too well.  After beginning his career completing a Bachelor of Design (Architecture) degree, Ashley began an apprenticeship with an architect/builder and furthered his studies, undertaking a Certificate III in Carpentry.

The certificate III provided experience in designing, building and sourcing of materials, giving Ashley the practical skills and technical theory he needed to ensure he is a multi skilled tradesman.

Following this first qualification, Ashley completed a Certificate IV in Building and Construction, with plans to begin his Masters of Architecture.

Ashley’s long-term goal is to create a design and construction business with his wife and values the practical and supportive nature of vocational training, training that has put him one step closer towards those business plans.

Ashley would encourage others to consider a similar pathway, and says the Australian Training Awards experience was very ‘rewarding’.

“I’ve gone through a lot of personal growth.  Getting to meet all the other participants and finalists has been really rewarding, getting to hear their stories and how they have come to this stage as well.  They have all come from different pathways, and getting to heard all the different ways you can get to the same point as me has been really good”, said Ashley.

Tonight, Ashley’s words speak to the 2017 round of nominees celebrating the Queensland Training Awards at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Across the water, in Tasmania the Tasmanian nominees will too be waiting nervously to hear their name called out at the Tasmanian Training Awards, celebrated from 7:00pm at the Wrest Point Convention Centre in Hobart.

Winners from all states and territories will go into The Australian Training Awards, a national culmination of all state awards that will be held on 23rd November in Canberra.

Nicole Pace, VET Alumni member and 2015 Australian Training Awards Vocational Student of the Year finalist, was in the nominees place just two years ago.

Hobart local Nicole began employment at Hydro Tasmania as Training Officer in its human resources department. The organisation encouraged her to further develop her skills within the organisation and enrolled her in a Certificate IV in Business to assist in this process.

The training provided Nicole with a renewed confidence in her abilities, proving the experience to equip her to better move into more senior roles, progressing her career.  Nicole has since moved into the role of Site Administrator at Hydro Tasmania.

Nicole’s holds the philosophy that learning only stops when you choose to let it. She believes in the importance of vocational education and training in opening possibilities beyond the qualification, including a pathway into higher education.

For further information on Ashley or Nicole’s 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.

SkillsOne will be showcasing VET qualifications during National Skills Week from 28 August to 3 September 2017. National Skills Week is Australia’s primary week to acknowledge vocational achievements and celebrate the endless 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:

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