Author's Name: Eddy Giacomel
Date: Thu 19 Jan 2023

Support for AEN WA


Vocatioanal Service Director Tess Gardner introduced our guest speaker Irene Walker, EO of the Apprentice Employment Network WA (AEN WA), the peak employer association representing Member Group Training Organisations in WA and a Registered Not for Profit Charity. She explained the mission of AEN WA is to ensure members are trusted and supported by industry, the community and State and Australian governments, as they contribute to skilling a strong Western Australian workforce.

AEN WA members are Group Training Organisations (GTOs), who are dedicated employers of Apprentices and/or Trainees who provide ongoing training and pastoral care throughout their host employment placements.

The organisation works with state and federal governments to support the approximately 50,000 apprentices and trainees in WA. In WA, AEN WA collectively employs just over 3,700 apprentices and trainees, and works with some 2,500 host employers over the training lifecycle of the apprentices and trainees. Further information can be found on the AEN WA website.

The top trades (apprenticeships) are: Electricians, Automotive Mechanics, Plumbers, Carpenters and Engineering mechanical trade (machinists and fitters), while the top non trade areas or traineeships are: Certificates in Business, Workplace Skills, Carpentry and Joinery, Defence Industry Pathways and Community Services.

The Apprentice Employment Network is most grateful to all its wonderful partners and sponsors. Irene explained the wonderful new partnership with Karrinyup Rotary, which provides practical support for top apprentices.

Over several years of dedicated effort, previous Karrinyup Rotary Vocational Service Director Kay Durrant instigated support sponsorship of the annual Apprentice Employment Network of WA Awards for Excellence. The Karrinyup Rotary awards benefit worthy students and assist them in providing the necessary tools of their trades, as they start their careers. The club chose to support categories that are in line with Rotary’s inclusion and diversity pathways. They are:

  • Apprentice of the Year
  • Trainee of the Year
  • Women in Building and Construction Industry, Apprentice or Trainee of the Year
  • School Based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) Apprentice or Trainee of the Year

The Vocational Service team also assisted with assessments, providing a member of the judging panel. Irene introduced three of the award winners, who were able to join us for the evening. The apprentices spoke briefly about their experiences, their goals and thanked the Rotary Club of Karrinyup for the award money along with a description of the tools they had purchased or intended to purchase.

Irene thanked Karrinyup Rotary members, especially Kay Durrant (the driving force behind the awards), as well as current Vocational Service Director Tess Gardner and Carolyn Prunster for their attendance at the Awards night and ongoing commitment and support. Tess and Kay are seen below with 2022 Women in Building and Construction Industry Apprentice of the Year - Corinne Bass, 2022 School Based Trainee of the Year - James Burling and 2022 Apprentice of the Year - Campbell Italiano. 2022 Trainee of the Year - Alisha de Almeida and 2022 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) Apprentice of the Year - Sidney Roberts were unable to attend but extended their thanks to the club.

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