2017 marks 62 years of celebrating excellence in vocational education and training in the Northern Territory through the prestigious annual NT Training Awards.
Whether it is the story of the young apprentice becoming a qualified trades person and securing their future, or the positive influence of VET teacher / trainers in the classroom, or the importance of skilled staff to the profitability of large and small business, it is clear the VET sector is an important enabler of progress in our community.
Celebrating successes in the Territory VET sector ensures a constant strive for excellence in training, which leads to a stronger economy centred on knowledge, innovation and ultimately an improved global competitiveness.
In 1955 there were 43 registered apprentices in eight trades in the Northern Territory. As of 31 December 2016, there were approximately 3,300 apprentices in training across 195 qualifications and more than 20,000 other Territorians enrolled in formal courses.
The annual awards were originally created to reward the lads who ‘set their minds to work’. This recognition was made more formal at the first annual Apprenticeship Presentation Dinner held in Darwin in 1969, which was organised by the RAOB Club.
The awards are now coordinated and managed by the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation and are the most prestigious event on the Northern Territory’s vocational education and training calendar, achieving increased recognition by industry and the broader community.
The awards are considered a highlight of the year for apprentices, trainees, vocational students, employers, registered training organisations and various other stakeholders of the vocational education and training sector who are committed to training.
In 2016, a record number of nominations were received across the 11 categories, and winners of 10 of these categories will go on to represent the NT at the 21st Australian Training Awards.
Through showcasing best practice in training, the NT Training Awards promote continuous improvement and innovation in the design and delivery of vocational education and training.
Vocational education and training, in all of its various incarnations, has always been viewed as having an important role in the Northern Territory. Whether it was known as apprenticeship training, adult education, TAFE or VET - the acquisition of employment-related skills has been widely accepted as necessary to the Territory’s economic, social and cultural development.