The 2018 Skillset Awards are being held on Friday August 31 in conjunction with National Skills Week (August 27 – September 2) to celebrate Vocational Education and Training (VET), and the skills and successes of apprentices, trainees and businesses from across Central and Western NSW.

Skillset Award Recipients 2017

Skillset offers a holistic approach to VET and delivers a range of programs that connect skills training with job outcomes.

“Vocational Education and Training is an extremely valuable pathway for local people to build the right skills for employment, and it also has a wider community benefit to reduce the ever-growing skills gap being felt by businesses right across NSW. We are proud to be able to acknowledge the achievements of those who have excelled as an apprentice, trainee or organisation in the VET Sector at the 2018 Skillset Awards,” Skillset CEO, Craig Randazzo said.

Through its Apprenticeship and Traineeship Service Skillset Workforce employs, places and supports apprentices and trainees in local businesses. Skillset Workforce’s 2018 Western NSW Training Awards Apprentice of the Year Mathew Harvey encourages those considering their career options to look at pursuing an apprenticeship or traineeship. “There is nothing better than having practical training and study while you are working to develop the right skills to progress through your career.”

Mathew added, “I started my apprenticeship as a mature aged student and I knew getting a trade would provide me with greater career opportunities. It is the best decision I’ve made for my future.”

Skillset Workforce offers a range of pre-employment programs that help engage people in education and pathways to employment such as Youth Connect, Skills4Trade and Mentor Plus.

Skillset’s Youth Connect program helps 15 – 19 year olds not in school, training or work receive career advice, access local training and connect with employers to gain work experience. Since January 2017, Youth Connect has helped 268 young people plan, set and achieve their career aspirations.

Skillset Workforce Skills4Trade is a fully funded pre-apprenticeship course program that gives participants the opportunity to develop workplace skills and gain work experience with a pathway to a traineeship or apprenticeship. 240 students across Western NSW have completed the Skills4Trade program since it began in 2016 with many of the participants have gaining apprenticeships, or traineeships, or moving into further study as a result of the program.

Skillset Workforce Mentor Plus supports Construction and Mining apprentices and trainees in their first two years and increases the likelihood of them successfully completing. Since its inception, Skillset Workforce have mentored over 500 apprentices and trainees right across regional NSW.

Long standing Skillset host employer, Edward Brown from Bridges Bathurst says, “it is extremely important for businesses to invest in youth employment… doing so ensures that the individual, the business and the local community thrives.”

When asked what the most beneficial component of hosting trainees was from a host employer’s perspective, Mr Brown said, “It is a simple process that Skillset offer as a group training organisation, it’s cost-effective and time efficient. Bringing on a trainee or apprentices allows you to teach people the way you want things done, from the very beginning. In turn, you find valuable assets.”

Congratulations to all finalists and we wish you the best at the Skillset Awards!