Western Australia’s best apprentices and trainees are set to receive recognition for their achievements, as applications open for the state government’s WA Training Awards 2016.
Deputy Premier and Training and Workforce Development Minister Liza Harvey announced the event on Monday (February 22), adding that this year would see the launch of a new award.
“We have introduced a new category, the WA International Student of the Year, providing an opportunity to celebrate the successes of international students in our training system,” she explained.
“We have also broadened the eligibility of the WA School-based Apprentice of the Year category, so that school students undertaking Certificate II qualifications and above are now eligible to apply.”
Other amendments include the replacement of the WA Training Initiative Award with the WA Industry Collaboration Award. The new prize is designed to highlight the co-operative efforts between two or more organisations that offer skills development innovation.
WA reforms training sector
The announcement comes as the WA government unveiled reforms to the state’s TAFE sector. Currently, 11 TAFE colleges administer 70 campuses in WA, but Ms Harvey revealed that the number of TAFE institutions would drop to five from April 11 this year.
The state government aims to introduce new arrangements that will boost collaboration between the college network and give WA students, especially those in rural and regional locations, better access to training opportunities.
According to the government, the five colleges will be called the North Metropolitan, North Regional, South Metropolitan, South Regional and Central Regional TAFEs.
Ms Harvey said the reforms would ensure WA’s vocational systems remain “robust” and “sustainable”. She also confirmed that students enrolled in training courses this year will not be affected.
Training awards closing date
Commenting on this year’s WA Training Awards, Ms Harvey said applications are scheduled to close on May 13.
“This is an opportunity for students, apprentices, trainees and organisations to celebrate their achievements, to share their story and experiences, and inspire others to make a positive change in their lives through vocational education and training,” Ms Harvey stated.
Category winners will be announced in September, with each receiving $5,000 in cash or prizes and having the chance to compete at the 2016 Australian Training Awards. Last year, four WA category winners went on to clinch national awards. Ms Harvey said the WA government is keen to build on this success.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator