Now in its 70th year, the ACT Training Excellence Awards recognise the efforts and achievements of all those involved in vocational education and training.
The awards celebrate the success of apprentices, trainees and vocational students, as well as the teachers, Group Training Organisations and employers who have supported them in their training.
Our future economic growth and prosperity rely on a skilled workforce and on providing Canberrans with flexible pathways to employment, promotion and further education.
The latest national statistics demonstrate that the ACT is leading other states and territories in the numbers commencing apprenticeships and traineeships and also in completing training qualifications to Certificate IV and Diploma Level.
Young people are recognising the opportunities of beginning their apprenticeships while still at school with 2463 Vocational Certificates and 2185 Statements of Attainment being awarded in 2006. In addition, 322 students undertook school based apprenticeships.
It is not only young people who are taking the opportunity to seek training. The Silver Lining Project is a joint ACT Government and Chamber of Commerce initiative raising business awareness of the benefits of recruiting, retaining and retraining mature-age workers.
In 2006, almost 25% of ACT workers over the age of 45 commenced training courses compared to the national average of 5%.
At the award ceremony Mary Porter, as Chair of the Standing Committee on Education and Training, presented the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year Award to Simon McNally and the Vocational Student of the Year Award to Adrianne Waterman.