Australian Training Awards 2014

National Award for St Columban’s VET Program
St Columban’s College, Caboolture, has won this year’s national Australian Training Awards (ATA) – School Pathways to VET Award.

It was third time lucky for the college who were finalists in both 2012 and 2013.

Hosted by the Federal Government, the ATA is the peak national awards for the Vocational Education and Training sector (VET).

The awards recognise organisations and individuals for their outstanding contribution to skilling Australia through cutting-edge, exemplary programs that can be modelled and adapted by others.

The winner was announced at the 2014 ATA presentation event in Adelaide but the college faced stiff competition from the two other finalists: West Sydney TAFE and Bendigo Secondary College.

Principal Ann Rebgetz said getting to the top was challenging, but staying there was even more challenging.

“This year our three year stint at the top has resulted in first place, she said.

Ms Rebgetz said the judging process validated the excellence being achieved through: 16 qualifications in 10 industry areas; relationships with over 1,000 local employers; nationally recognised qualifications attained by 98 per cent of graduates and 17 school based trainees employed by the college in technology, hospitality and sport and recreation.

She said the outstanding results reflected the strategic vision of the college driven by a unique Educational Blueprint developed by the college over the last five years.  

“The Every Student Every Success blueprint ensures that academic and vocational education go hand-in-hand and is a genuine commitment to the success of every student,” she said.

“This deliberate and strategic approach to academic and vocational pathways equips students for the 21st Century and allows them to be agile, multi-skilled and multi-talented employees and contributors to the global world.”

She acknowledged the Federal and State Government and Brisbane Catholic Education for their support and “for the opportunity to create such an innovative and highly successful program for the young people of the Caboolture region”.

“As a recognised leader in the integration of vocational and academic education, the vision was that all secondary schools around the country adopt the Every Student Every Success Blueprint,” she said.
Ms Rebgetz said it took a team effort over a number of years to create and implement the blueprint and the practices were now embedded within the college community to ensure the continuous development and longevity of the program.

Federal member for Longman Wyatt Roy said the win was an overdue reward for a college that “punches above its weight”.  

“The scale and expert delivery of training opportunities at St Columban’s is something to behold,” he said.

“To now officially lead the nation is an awesome achievement and a credit to staff and students.

“It’s yet another great success story for our local region,” he said.