August 5th, 2016

The fashion and design Industry is constantly evolving, and in today’s competitive markets, trained professionals are required by Australian businesses if they are to reach global success. Vocational Education is rolling out some of the most skilled and innovative designers, and their recent triumphs in the Industry are to be commended during National Skills Week in August and September.

Globalisation has seen a range of options on the market for consumers, and people are exposed to hundreds of different fashion labels everyday. In order for Australian companies to gain public loyalty and global recognition for their products, they need employees with an innovative and creative design process, qualities that will work to meet business goals and Industry demands. TAFE fashion design graduate Toby Andrews mirrors these sought after skills, taking out a win for this year’s Australasian Young Designer Wool Award in Victoria, and demonstrating how Vocational Education built him into a versatile designer focused on Australian made products.

Toby Andrews beat fifty students at Sheepvention, an agricultural event that required competitors to produce a garment that was composed of no less than 80 percent wool. The competition was an initiative to enlighten new and emerging designers on the values of Australian wool, and how it can be used to benefit not only their fashion designs, but also local farmers and the Australian economy. Toby said to the ABC this week that his passion for wool came about during his studies at TAFE South Australia where a wool course provided him with valuable knowledge on the fibre, its benefits and how to best work with it.

“Australia is gifted with one of the best fibres in the textiles Industry, and it’s extremely valuable for Vocational Education to provide design students with the ability and skills to utilise local produce when creating world-class garments,” Kirstin Casey, General Manager at SkillsOne said.

“National Skills Week is about celebrating individuals emanating from VET who are equipped to make positive impact on their local Industry, their community, and inspire others to pursue their passions down a Vocational pathway.”

Another success story is that from recent fashion design graduates from the Fashion Design Studio at Sydney TAFE. The studio is the only fashion school in Australia to take part in the prestigious Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia, and this year’s show was ground-breaking with media and Industry bodies praising the Fashion Design Studio for its ability to train students to be innovative and in-tune with today’s fashion landscape.

“We are developing many opportunities such as exchange programs and exchange internships so that students start to realise that there are differences in different cultures and markets … And that there are opportunities for the products designed to have global appeal,” Anne Normoyle, a Head Teacher and Course Co-ordinator at the Fashion Design Studio said to SkillsOne.

These are just some of the many opportunities available through VET, and National Skills Week aims to shine the spotlight on these advantageous avenues. Integral to bringing greater understanding to VET’s role in the Industry, Australian Training Awards Alumni and Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors will join in on the week-long celebrations, inspiring others and outlining VET’s many benefits.

Australian Training Awards 2014 Vocational Student of the Year Finalist Christopher Avery went down the road of studying an Advanced Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Technology, a choice that would lead him to imminent success.

Christopher combined his passion for culture and traditional dress with a career pathway through VET, which enabled him to showcase his designs on a range of local and global platforms, one of which included an internationally reputable magazine. He was also an ambassador for his school at Melbourne Spring Fashion Week and has worked on a number of personal projects with influential people from the Industry. Christopher’s successes can be accounted to the world-class Vocational Training he received, and the hands-on skills he obtained from expert teachers.

For further information on Christopher’s story or that of other Australian Training Awards Alumni and Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors visit and

Join us in celebrating National Skills Week and how VET provides endless career opportunities to aspiring fashion and design students. Organise an event, or take part in the many events that can be found on the National Skills Week website:

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