Australian Apprenticeship leads to successful government career

By the age of 22, Ashlee Hodson had enrolled in a teaching degree at university and completed a year and half of studies, only to realise she preferred a more hands-on style of learning. Ashlee decided to defer her course and continued full-time work in her retail job.

After her Father alerted her to an advertisement in the paper for a trainee records officer with the Bankstown City Council (now City of Canterbury Bankstown Council), she jumped at the chance to learn a professional discipline and get paid at the same time.

“Throughout the course of my traineeship I studied Certificate III and IV in Business Administration and Certificate IV in Human Resources. These courses have provided me with the foundation skills to progress my career in the local government sector,” Ashlee said.

Since completing her traineeship, Ashlee has progressed into a number of roles at the Council including a corporate support officer, council grants, integrated planning officer and human resources officer.

Ashlee found that her Australian Apprenticeship gave her the confidence and understanding of core tasks and responsibilities required in the office environment and also return to university to complete her undergraduate degree.

Ashlee’s experience of the Australian Apprenticeships system, and the wider vocational education and training (VET) system, allowed her to get the hands-on skills required in a workplace and opportunities and experiences that would not have otherwise been available to her.

“Australian Apprenticeships and VET provide the tangible skills required in the workplace – skills you are not likely to learn whilst undertaking a university degree,” she says.

“An Australian Apprenticeship is a great way to get a head-start on the career of your choice.”

Ashlee was rewarded for her efforts, winning the 2013 Australian Apprentice (Trainee) of the Year at the 2013 Australian Training Awards. Since then, she has participated in the judging panel for the National Youth Week awards, remained a member of the Southern Region Vocational Education and Training Committee, been a panel member of the judging committee for the Southern Sydney Region Training Awards and presented speeches to her colleagues on International Women’s Day.

Watch what Ashlee had to say moments after being named Australian Apprentice (Trainee) of the Year at the 2013 Australian Training Awards.

At the beginning of 2017, Ashlee was promoted to Human Resources Business Partner, where she worked as a specialist on organisational realignments with a primary focus on leading change for the first 12 months. “My VET studies have fueled my passion and motivation to pursue a career in human resources.” Ashlee was then selected to participate in Councils Emerging Leaders Program, during which time she completed a Diploma of Leadership and Management and lead the project group that deployed Councils first Organisational Culture Assessment.

In 2018, Ashlee was named the winner of the 2018 Australian HR Rising Star of the Year.

If you are interested in an Australian Apprenticeship and how to get started, download An Australian Apprenticeship - Endless Career Possibilities brochure or contact your local Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider.

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