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Nominating for the Australian Training Awards might seem like a daunting task – but it doesn’t have to! We sat down with Matt Tosolini from Komatsu, two-time Recipient of the Australian Apprenticeships Employer Award to chat through what makes a successful nomination and interview.

Komatsu was the Silver Recipient for the award in 2022, and the Gold Recipient in 2023. Matt credits Komatsu’s involvement in the Australian Training Awards with helping develop and evolve their company, as well as their approach to apprenticeships.

“We’ve seen significant success and recognition for our programs since our nominations. It has opened doors for our people and for our organisation,” Matt said.

“Participating in the Australian Training Awards has been exponential, and I’d encourage anybody that has the opportunity, to nominate to be a part of it.”

Writing a robust nomination

Nominating is about sharing your story in the VET sector. It should be robust and supported by evidence to highlight its positive impacts.

“Ensure you’ve got good supportive documentation,” Matt said.

“This is paramount to a successful application and nomination. Include the word of the people that your program or industry is directly impacting; that is one of the keys to success is to hear from the people in the programs that you are promoting.”

Tips for a successful interview and site visit

The interview and site visit is an opportunity to showcase the work your company is doing, and to substantiate the claims included in your written nomination.

“Go into the interview and site visit with well documented evidence. The interview process is to demonstrate the supportive evidence of your nomination, so remove the pressure, have an open conversation and allow your passion for what you’re doing in the VET industry to show.”

Matt says the key to a successful interview and site visit is to be prepared, authentic and open.

“Bring along a range of team members, from senior executives to apprentices to share their experiences with the interview panel. Allow everyone to promote the program they are invested in and share their journey.

“This authentic approach will allow you to demonstrate why you are successful and allow the panel to understand the good work that you are doing.”

Winning is only the beginning

Receiving an award is only the beginning, Matt explains.

“[The award] has opened doors for us to promote what we’re doing in the industry. Engagement with the Australian Training Awards has provided opportunities to our apprentices to conduct school visits and become subject matter experts in their own right.”

Involvement in the Australian Training Awards provides an opportunity to build connections, allowing companies to foster innovation and re-evaluate their programs to improve and drive success within their people.

“After receiving the Silver Recipient award [in 2022], we went back and reviewed our program to refine our approach. We changed a number of things by letting apprentices drive their apprenticeships to map out their career paths and tailor their training. We promoted this in our nomination for the 2023 award and received the Gold Recipient award for this,” Matt said.

Learn more from Matt as he discusses nomination tips and how receiving an Australia Training Award has shaped their company.

Nominations for direct entry categories in the 2024 Australian Training Awards close at 11.59pm AEST on Wednesday 12 June 2024.