Release type: Media Release


Last chance to nominate for the Australian Training Awards


The Hon Stuart Robert MP
Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business

The Morrison Government is encouraging Australians to consider a person or business for a 2021 Australian Training Award, with nominations set to close on Wednesday 30 June.

The Australian Training Awards, which recognise exceptional achievement in the Vocational Education and Training sector, will be held in Perth this year on Thursday, 18 November. The awards will showcase the hard work of students, apprentices and trainees, as well as their teachers, trainers and employers.

Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert, said the Australian Training Awards were a chance to spotlight success stories of exceptional people kicking goals in their Vocational Education and Training journey.

‘The Australian Training Awards are an opportunity to nominate hard-working Australians—whether they are apprentices, trainees or businesses, doing a fantastic job as they build their skills or train someone to take up a leading role in our future workforce, so if you know someone who is doing a great job nominate them today,’ Minister Robert said.

‘As we build our way out of COVID-19 we need more skilled workers than ever before—it is a truly exciting time to be taking up a trade or a new skill, it’s why we’ve invested $4 billion to skill the next generation of Australians. It’ll see over 300,000 new apprentices and more than 300,000 people develop new skills in growth sectors through JobTrainer funded courses.’

Individuals, businesses and registered training organisations can nominate directly to the Australian Training Awards for the following categories:

  • The Outstanding Achievement in VET and Skills Sector Award 
  • Small Employer of the Year (NSW and WA only)
  • Australian Apprenticeships – Employer Award  
  • Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award
  • School Pathways to VET Award    

Nominations close on 30 June 2021. To apply, visit the Australian Training Awards website:


2020 Australian Training Awards Winners:

Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award 2020

Winner - Rachel Leigh Taylor, Northern Territory

Rachel Leigh Taylor started her career as an ‘English as a Second Language’ teacher. She developed and delivered language, literacy and numeracy and key foundation skills programs to support migrant workers and refugees.

After gaining a master’s degree specialising in literacy, Rachel started working in foundation literacy. She has worked across the Northern Territory assisting Indigenous Australians to enhance their literacy and foundations skills and gain employment and community engagement roles.

For the last three years, Rachel has worked with high school students to engage them in adult education through vocational education and training. She does volunteer work providing literacy, language and numeracy (LLN) support to migrant and refugee groups.

Rachel is a passionate practitioner of foundation skills and has published several research papers throughout her career. She presents at conferences and runs workshops, podcasts and webinars. She also conducts face-to-face workshops for LLN practitioners to enhance their professional learning.

Small Employer of the Year Award 2020

Winner - Kent Saddlery, Queensland

Kent Saddlery was established in 1988 by Lyle and Helen Kent.
The company started with Lyle making every saddle. Now it is a larger operation that employs 14 staff and specialises in producing quality leather products.

In 2019, Kent Saddlery succeeded in its quest to have the Queensland Government reinstate leather production as a Queensland Apprenticeship. This gave saddlers around Queensland the ability to train and employ apprentices. At a time when apprentice training in the saddlery industry was non-existent in Queensland, it led to future growth and training of the sector.

Over the past 12 months, 70 per cent of the staff at Kent Saddlery participated in nationally accredited training. Out of the 10 apprentices employed, seven are first-year apprentices, and three are third-year apprentices. In addition, Kent Saddlery has been able to provide a new school-based apprentice the opportunity to start working toward his saddlery trade.

School Pathways to VET Award 2020

Winner - St Paul's College, Kempsey, New South Wales

St Paul’s College in Kempsey is within the Macleay Valley Food Bowl precinct, which has around 650 local agribusinesses.

The college empowers students to aim for personal excellence in all areas of their life. In partnership with families, the college emphasises leadership, responsibility, service and the dignity of the individual.

In 2015 the college expanded its vocational education program and opened a trades skill centre to focus on primary industries, hospitality and construction.

The 2019-20 bushfires severely affected the region and many college families and students were impacted directly. Members of the community lost their lives, 67 homes were destroyed, six bridges damaged and countless out-buildings razed. The community needed help getting back on its feet.Teachers, students and families joined BlazeAid to build new fences, supporting the local farmers devastated by the fires. 

The students used the fencing skills they acquired in the primary industries course. St Paul’s College prides itself in giving students a relevant and student-centred education, preparing them for a successful transition to work.