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TAFE Western Sydney Recognises Best of the Best

Recently TAFE Western Sydney congratulated more than twenty students and three organisations for their outstanding achievements and work in 2014 at their annual Student Excellence Awards. Held at Penrith Panthers World of Entertainment, the presentation dinner celebrated achievements of outstanding apprentices, trainees and other vocational students.

Nearly 250 guests attended the event, including award winners, their guests, employers, event sponsors and government representatives including the Hon. John Barilaro MP, Mrs Louise Markus MP and Mr Kevin Conolly MP. The event was made possible through the generous support of sponsors such as NewsLocal, Billboards Australia, the University of Western Sydney, NOVA 96.9, Val Morgan Cinema Network, Go Transit Media Group, Learning with Technologies and ACER.
Safety barrier systems manufacturer Ingal Civil Products, employment services organisation Break Thru People Solutions and The Sebel Resort and Spa’s day spa Villa Thalgo were recognised with Industry Awards.
Villa Thalgo – Work Skills Provider of the Year
This award was for the industry enterprise which provided the best opportunities for TAFE Western Sydney students to develop work skills through placements, resources or other work experience programs.
Villa Thalgo is Australia’s largest day spa and is located onsite at the Sebel Resort and Spa in the Hawkesbury Valley. Villa Thalgo has been nominated for the outstanding workplace opportunities it provides to TAFE Western Sydney’s Hair and Beauty Academy students.

While on placement at Villa Thalgo, students experience what it is like to work in a world-class hydrotherapy spa, seeing best practice modelled in a range of duties from front-of-house, behind the scenes treatment and laundry duties. Students are able to offer additional treatments to patrons under the guidance of Villa Thalgo staff. Through this arrangement, TAFE Western Sydney is also able to ensure that competencies of its beauty therapy students match industry requirement.
“The students develop their skills and underpinning knowledge by actively participating in a spa environment reinforcing the spa elective units that are delivered”. Dina Marongiu, nominator.
Break Thru People Solutions – Enterprise Training Program of the Year
This award was for the enterprise training program which provided the most outstanding outcomes.

Break Thru is a not-for-profit organisation which empowers people to create better futures. The organisation was nominated for its part in a pre-employment training program advancing the skill sets of long term unemployed people. One of the aims of the program was to create a supply of job seekers with specific industry skills for the iconic North West Rail Link project, Australia’s biggest public transport project.

Break Thru sourced candidates who had the potential to meet employment needs. Through the program, a number of Break Thru clients were transformed into motivated, job ready candidates with entry level technical skills to suit a range of employers. The program has had a very high completion rate and participants have had strong employment outcomes.

“As a result of a high level of consultation and collaboration between Break Thru, Transport for NSW, Salini Impregilo, Workforce International, Thiess John Holland Dragados and Global Skills, participants gained exposure to live workplaces, developed their communication and presentation skills and have improved their future prospects.” Sonja Malcolm, nominator.
Ingal Civil Products – Apprentice and/or Trainee Employer of the Year
This award was for the organisation which provided the best apprentice/trainee program incorporating TAFE Western Sydney training.

Ingal Civil Products is a leading manufacturer and supplier of safety barrier systems and part of a large network of companies employing 8000 people in more than 20 countries. In 2014 the enterprise entered into a traineeship arrangement with TAFE Western Sydney with the aim of improving safety and efficiency for its operations in Minto where nearly 100 people are employed.

Three groups of employees were enrolled into traineeships and nineteen employees achieved nationally recognised qualifications in Competitive Systems and Practices.

As a result, Ingal Civil Products increased output and sales, decreased waste and overproduction, developed a culture of continuous improvement and facilitated career pathways within the organisation.

“The trainees’ true abilities have been highlighted and recognised by management. This provides them with more control over their work and a greater voice within the organisation. In short if they speak, somebody will be listening.” Robyn Lambert, nominator.

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