G8 Education celebrates trainee success with awards and surprises

by Freya Lucas

April 01, 2021

G8 Education CEO Gary Carroll recently made a surprise visit to Hannah Jordan, Lead Educator at The Learning Sanctuary Mary St, to congratulate her on winning the Diploma category in the G8 Trainee of the Year Award.

 

The Awards, which feature both a Certificate III and Diploma category, recognise the importance of trainees to G8 Education, and showcase the opportunity for those new to the early childhood education and care (ECEC) profession to “earn while they learn”, in light of the end of JobKeeper support payments yesterday. 

 

During Mr Carroll’s visit with Ms Jordan, he outlined the company’s target to onboard 1000 new trainees in 2021, including upskilling 500 of its existing team members.

 

“A number of businesses around the country are not expected to survive the end of JobKeeper and that will have devastating consequences for many thousands of workers,” he said.

 

Mr Carroll outlined the thousands of vacant positions in the ECEC sector, covering roles from trainees to assistant educators, educators, teachers, centre managers and cooks, drawing on a recent Federal Government Job Outlook forecast which projected a need for an additional 36,700 educators and teachers from 2019 to 2024, presenting opportunities for those who have experienced job losses or a reduction in hours as a result of COVID-19.

 

“The winners of our Trainee of the Year Awards began in the sector without qualifications. We supported their career ambitions and they rose to the challenge, demonstrating an outstanding work and study ethic and the essential quality of every successful educator – a genuine passion for shaping the lives of young children.”

 

Three finalists were selected for both the Certificate and Diploma Trainee Awards, each of them reflecting the diversity of G8 team members working in the sector, and offering inspiration for those contemplating a career pivot from female dominated industries such as tourism, travel, retail and hospitality.

 

Kiara Romeo, an New South Wales educator employed at First Grammar Fairfield, won the Trainee of the Year Award in the Certificate III category, having begun working at the centre from the age of 18, quickly progressing to Lead Educator. She is currently studying towards gaining her Diploma. 

 

“Some of our trainees have joined us straight from school with a burning passion to nurture the growth and development of the children in our care,” Mr Carroll outlined.

“Others have come to us after having their own children, and I am especially pleased to note that one of our finalists completed her Diploma as a single mother of two young children and is currently the Centre Manager at one of our Sydney centres.”

Mr Carroll, who also co-chairs the Early Learning and Care Council of Australia, (ELACCA) said that extension of the Federal Government’s support for businesses taking on apprentices (BAC) had enabled the expansion of G8 Education’s recruitment of more trainees while State Government assistance had assisted in the provision of training programs.

 

“Despite the many hardships that COVID-19 has brought about,” he said “one positive outcome has been greater awareness of the critical role that ECEC plays in the health of the economy, the wellbeing of children and our society more broadly.” 

 

While much of that discussion centered on affordability, the situation had also cast a welcome focus on the quality of ECEC and its value for children and families. 

“We not only need more educators in centres across the country to support full participation of women in the workforce, we need better skilled educators to help every child realise their full potential. Our focus has been on encouraging eligible team members to pursue further learning by covering course costs and allocating study time while at work,” Mr Carroll emphasised.

ECEC, he continued, also offers support for women through flexibility, training and discounted child care, all of which support broader goals of female workforce participation.

 

These core benefits sit at the centre of the Big Roles in Little Lives campaign, currently being run by ELACCA. 

 

In addition to funded traineeships for Certificate III and Diploma qualifications, G8 Education offers a Bachelor Scholarship Program which includes $15,000 in study bonuses, a $300 bursary every semester, paid study time, and support and mentoring sessions. In its first year in 2019, 150 scholarships were offered and another 150 in 2020.

 

Ms Jordan has been successful in securing a Bachelor scholarship, which she began on completion of her Diploma. 

 

The full list of finalists and winners appears below. 

 

For more information about traineeships with G8 Education, please see here

 

Certificate III Trainee Of The Year Awards

 

  1. Winner – Kiara Romeo – NSW – First Grammar Fairfield
  2. Finalist – Monique Catanzariti – ACT – Lavender Lane Conder
  3. Finalist – Demi Jenner – SA – Community Kids Murray Bridge

 

Diploma Trainee Of The Year Award

 

  1. Winner – Hannah Jordan – QLD – Learning Sanctuary Mary St
  2. Finalist – Amanda Medwin – VIC – First Grammar Beaconsfield
  3. Finalist – Stacey Smith – NSW – Community Kids St Helens Park
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