ECEC provider and candidate land finalist position in 2021 Australian Training Awards
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > ECEC provider and candidate land finalist position in 2021 Australian Training Awards

ECEC provider and candidate land finalist position in 2021 Australian Training Awards

by Freya Lucas

October 21, 2021

A Diploma of Early Childhood student and Affinity Education group have both been named amongst 75 finalists in the 2021 Australian Training Awards.


Federal Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert MP, said the annual awards are an opportunity for the community to celebrate the skills, commitment and professionalism of Australia’s vibrant vocational education and training (VET) sector.


Gypsy Rose Blackberry, who gained her qualification in July with TasTAFE, is in the running for the Vocational Student of the Year award.


While at college Gypsy Rose studied Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care and did work placement at the Toddle Inn Childcare Centre. It was shortly after working in the sector that Gypsy Rose “fell in love with her job” and knew this career path was the right one for her, leading to further her studies. 


Affinity Education Group is competing to be recognised in the Australian Apprenticeships – Employer Award category. With over 150 early childhood education and care (ECEC) services across Australia, Affinity is able to offer multiple career pathways to staff across its childcare centres, kindergartens, preschools and outside school hours care centres. As at June 2021, Affinity Education Group has employed more than 3,400 direct staff.  


To facilitate professional development for staff and increase the number of staff with formal qualifications, Affinity launched their own learning academy in January 2017, Affinity Learning Academy (ALA). The academy partners with Registered Training Organisations to utilise Trainers and Assessors who exclusively deliver a customised service to provide consistent learning support for all their trainees and apprentices. A total of 615 trainees and apprentices have completed their qualifications with ALA since its creation.  


In February 2021 Affinity Education also launched their Future Development Coach pathway. This pathway aims to accredit ECEC professionals with the skills and VET qualifications to mentor the next generation of trainees and apprentices. This pathway sponsors the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment costs for qualified educators looking to pursue a career with ALA.


To help address predicted ECEC sector skill shortages, Affinity Education Group has also partnered with Explore Careers to promote the ECEC sector to school leavers and support school leavers into traineeships. 


“The Australian Training Awards give us a chance to recognise the significant achievements of our apprentices, trainees, teachers, practitioners, employers and registered training providers,” Minister Robert said.


“After such a difficult year for so many people, it is really exciting to know that the future of Australia’s skills sector is in such capable hands.”


The Australian Training Awards, which will be a virtual event on 18 November, will see state and territory award winners compete for the national title. For information on all the 2021 Australian Training Awards finalists, visit:

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