WA Training Awards 2022 — Winners announced!

Western Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) sector’s brightest stars celebrated at the 2022 WA Training Awards presentation event at Crown Perth tonight, with eight individual and five organisations announced as this year’s winners.

Now in their 28th year, the awards recognise the outstanding achievements of apprentices, trainees, employers and training organisations with individual winners receiving $3,000; and WA winners could go on to represent the State at the Australian Training Awards in Adelaide on Friday 18 November 2022.

This year, the awards attracted a surge in applications coinciding with record student enrolments in government-funded VET courses in 2021.

The five organisation winners, including South Metropolitan TAFE, were recognised as industry leaders and important contributors to building the pipeline of skilled local workers.

WA Training Awards 2022:Winners!

The 2022 WA Training Awards are made possible thanks to continuing support from the State Training Board, MEGT, Apprenticeship Support Australia powered by CCIWA, Construction Training Fund, the Electrical and Communications Association of Western Australia, Maxima and the Training Accreditation Council WA.

At the event this evening, Acting Education and Training Minister Rita Saffioti said “The WA Training Awards provide an opportunity to shine a light on the brightest stars in the VET sector, showcasing excellence and outstanding achievement. The McGowan Government has invested significantly in training in recognition of its vital role in keeping WA’s economy strong and giving all Western Australians the opportunity to work in their dream career. Congratulations to all of the 2022 winners, who are to be commended for their dedication to their vocational training and for being exemplary ambassadors for the Western Australian training sector.”

Read the full media statement here

WA Training Awards 2022 winner profiles

WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year: Wayne Ryder

From school captain to captain of his football team, Wayne has paved the way for Aboriginal men walking a similar journey. One of his proudest achievements was creating the Waakal Moort Kaadadjiny Festival, a health and wellbeing festival for at-risk Aboriginal people. Wayne began working for Palmerston Association as a Community Aboriginal Worker, supporting individuals affected by drugs and alcohol following his lived experience. He later won a scholarship to study a Diploma of Leadership and Management with the Australian Institute of Management.

WA Apprentice of the Year: Megan Hazelden

Growing up on a farm watching her parents work on machinery, Megan knew she wanted to become a mechanic. Now completing a Certificate III in Engineering, she is well on her way to reaching her goal of becoming a Mechanical Fitter at Wagerup Refinery. Throughout her apprenticeship, Megan has had the opportunity to represent women in the industry, presenting at schools and student career nights about career opportunities. Winning South Metropolitan TAFE’s Apprentice of the Year 2021 gave her the confidence to encourage women to apply for an apprenticeship in mechanical fitting.

WA Cultural Diversity Training Award: Feng Yang

A birthday wish from Feng’s daughter for better lunches to take to school changed Feng’s life, and began his journey into a new and exciting career. After moving to Australia from China and wanting to make his daughter proud while learning more about nutrition, Feng enrolled in a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery at South Metropolitan TAFE. Aside from mastering different cuisines, Feng’s communication skills have improved, his daughter’s lunch box is the most popular at school and Feng is working towards his goal of becoming a chef.

WA International Student of the Year: Yu-Chien (Eva) Cho

It was the interactive learning environment in the training restaurant at South Metropolitan TAFE that captured Eva’s attention and cemented her decision to study a Diploma of Hospitality Management. Eva’s career pathway started in Taiwan, but since moving to Perth, she has completed a Diploma and is now studying towards the Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management. Eva says her oral and written communication skills have improved immensely and she has gained an appreciation of working with students from other cultures.

WA School-based Apprentice of the Year: Sophia Pitaro

Driven to gain as much experience as she can while attending high school, Sophia has already completed a Certificates in Events Management, Tourism and Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways. Now embarking on a traineeship through North Metropolitan TAFE, Sophia is completing a Certificate III in Sport and Recreation and has completed qualifications including her First Aid, Lifeguard and CPR Certificates while gaining on-the-job experience with BlueFit — Belmont Oasis Leisure Centre.

WA Trainee of the Year: Brittany-Leigh Wragg

Being one of the first students to study a Certificate III in Defence Industry Pathways Program, Brittany cites the unwavering support from the team at South Metropolitan TAFE and Programmed Training Services that helped her feel confident about her chosen career pathway in a male-dominated industry. Brittany-Leigh has sampled different job roles while undertaking work placement rotations and gained real-life experience, all while building up a network of industry contacts. She hopes to begin an apprenticeship in defence on completion of her traineeship.

WA Trainer of the Year: Stephen Delaney, Bibra Lake (MPA Skills)

For 20 years, Stephen has delivered training to his students with a pastoral and holistic approach. He readily participates in training to upskill, as well as adapting and improving his teaching style to navigate modern-day challenges. At MPA Skills Painting and Plumbing, Stephen’s passion is training pre-apprentices which he says is “challenging and rewarding” but where he can make the biggest impact. Stephen did not think he would be training for as long as he has been, but two decades later, he is as passionate as ever and loves making a difference in people’s lives. Stephen says training students is a privilege. Imparting confidence, support and knowledge to pre-apprentices is what he finds the most rewarding. He is responsible for leading landmark art projects around Perth for which his pre-apprentices have proudly completed, including the Salvos Store in Maylands and the Morley City Library.

WA Vocational Student of the Year: Caitlin Bezuidenhout

Inspired after visiting her nanna at an aged-care facility, nine-year-old Caitlin was determined to make a positive change in the industry. Still at school, Caitlin is completing her Certificate IV in Preparation for Health and Nursing studies through Health Science Hub and her Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) through Australian Medical Association WA. Through her work placement with Baptistcare, Caitlin has been able to gain hands on experience and is passionate about creating positive energy in her workplace.

WA Small Employer of the Year: Matera Electrical

Starting with just four staff, Matera Electrical has grown to over 90 employees, aiming for excellence in safety standards and high-quality work within the construction and oil and gas industries. With roughly 80 per cent of employees actively engaged in training, and spending on average 200 hours per month in training, the company is committed to a team-focused approach, fostering positive change and prioritising communication and training to ensure staff are fully engaged and equipped for superior results.

WA Large Employer of the Year: Byrnecut

Byrnecut is one of the world's leading underground contract miners with over 3,800 employees. Byrnecut’s training programs undergo continuous improvement, with input from experienced operators and management to ensure quality learning opportunities. With 21 per cent of employees undertaking a traineeship or apprenticeship within WA, Byrnecut are committed to world-class training and development, individualised learning plans, unlimited support and access to thousands of resources and networks to set employees up for successful, long-term careers with the company.

WA Industry Collaboration Award: Making Tracks (Department of Justice)

Making Tracks is a collaborative industry training and employment network of partnerships for prisoners across WA to ensure VET delivery within prisons is relevant and appropriate to the needs of both the prisoners engaged in training and the businesses that go on to employ them. Through collaboration with employers in key industries, the program reduces the stigma ex-prisoners face when seeking employment, while meeting the needs of the labour market, contributing to the economy and reducing reoffending.

WA Small Training Provider of the Year: Taylorweir International School of Hairdressing

Taylorweir International School of Hairdressing (Taylorweir) is the longest established private hairdressing RTO in WA. The training delivery focuses on a client-driven approach, ensuring that students achieve their best outcomes with support from their employers and the outstanding teaching skills of the organisation's trainers. With over 480 enrolled students, Taylorweir’s 25-year journey continues to be one of learning, growth and change which has allowed it to maintain its position as a leader of hairdressing and barbering education in Australia.

Large Training Provider of the Year: South Metropolitan TAFE

South Metropolitan TAFE is one of WA’s most diverse training providers. The college offers more than 340 qualifications, from foundation courses to apprenticeships and traineeships, to advanced diplomas and skill sets. The college is dedicated to working collaboratively with industry, ensuring their partnerships support economic and community development. With 12 campuses throughout the southern corridor; including major campuses in Bentley, Carlisle, Fremantle, Murdoch, Rockingham, Thornlie and Mandurah, South Metropolitan TAFE has more than 28,000 students across their Perth campuses as well as offshore students in a number of countries.

Visit the WA Training Awards website to find out more