Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year Award

The Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year recognises the most outstanding Australian School-based Apprentice in Australia undertaking a Certificate III or above qualification.

State or territory training award winners of this category are automatically finalists for the Australian Training Awards and will compete at the national level.

When a close family member was diagnosed with autism at the age of three, Eylish Perry developed an interest in learning more about children with disabilities.

After undertaking two work experience placements at a school for children with developmental delays, autism and moderate to severe intellectual or multiple disabilities, Eylish was inspired by the dedication and passion of the school’s educators and staff and undertook an Australian School-based Apprenticeship in the field. So outstanding in her studies, Eylish was awarded the 2014 Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year Award at the Australian Training Awards.

"I decided to undertake an Australian School-based Apprenticeship because it was the quickest avenue for me to study disability and work with children with disability. I received the opportunity to partake in the Australian School-based Apprenticeship after the school saw my passion and offered me a place. I then spoke to my career advisor at my college who got me started," Eylish said.

Enrolling in a Certificate III in Disability, Eylish commenced an Australian School-based Apprenticeship while continuing her studies at college. She has since commenced a Certificate IV in Community Services.

"An Australian School-based Apprenticeship program is a fantastic opportunity that has

endless career possibilities. It is a great way to be a part of the workforce and completing your Year 12 Certificate," Eylish said.

In December 2014, Eylish was also appointed an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador for the Australian Government to promote the benefits of the Australian School-based Apprenticeships pathway.

"Being an Australian School-based Apprentice was incredible. I had the privilege of working with so many wonderful staff, students and families. I learnt skills on how to communicate effectively with people with disabilities, how to be an advocate and how to teach students to be as independent as possible. The children taught me far more than I could ever teach them," Eylish said.