Friday, December 1, 2017

140 of Australia’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) Alumni, including over 110 Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors, gathered in Canberra for the inaugural National VET Alumni Information Workshop on 26 and 27 November to enhance their roles as national advocates for VET and Australian Apprenticeships.

Present at the event was the first ever Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador appointed, AFL great Kevin Sheedy AM, former and current NRL players Alan Tongue, Andrew Ryan and Bronson Harrison  and reality television stars Luke and Cody Cook from Channel Seven’s House Rules.

The workshop provided Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors with the opportunity to learn more about the direction and key messages of the Australian Government’s Real skills for real careers strategy as well as hear from each other’s own inspirational stories, gain media and presentation skills and workshop ideas to build an even stronger Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors program.

Retired professional NRL player, Alan Tongue, said his hope for the VET Alumni was to “put apprenticeships and VET on a level playing field with university”. 

2015 Australian Apprentice of the Year, and Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador Jared Stone found the workshop to be “uplifting and energising.” He said “It was so great to reconnect with several dozen members of the Alumni from all over the nation. I personally believe the VET Alumni program and its members will be able to play pivotal roles in their local and state communities, and even have a strong voice at a federal level as a contributor to our platform.”

The Australian Cricket Team’s best spin-bowler, former grounds curator and VET Alumni member Nathan Lyon could not make the event because of the Ashes Test against England in Brisbane, but sent a warm acknowledgement via video to his fellow VET Alumni members.

“My Apprenticeship was the best time of my life. Hopefully, all together, we can promote the importance of Australian Apprenticeships all around the country. Enjoy the workshop, and I hope to see you at the next event,” Mr Lyon said.

Former AFL player, Essendon Head Coach and Greater Western Sydney Giants Head Coach, and passionate Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador and VET Alumni member Kevin Sheedy AM closed the proceedings with an inspiring address focusing on the importance of having a skilled workforce across a broad range of industries. Mr Sheedy spoke of the importance of VET’s contribution to building the country we live in now – and will live in the future.

Mr Sheedy also acknowledged all ambassadors and the vital role it plays as a movement in Australia to spread the message to all Australians, particularly the next generation, that VET, and Australian Apprenticeships, is a personally, professionally and financially rewarding career choice – and just as prized as a university degree.

“I want you to pass your energy and your thinking about VET and apprenticeships onto others, that is what will help us build a great country.

“The world coming at us will need a different skill set. It’s a big challenge, but if you are passionate about something, you’ll make people listen. I believe in you.” Mr Sheedy said.

To find out more about the VET Alumni, which incorporates the Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors program, visit VET Alumni web page of the Australian Training Awards website or the Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors web page of this website.