EPPP Ambassadors proving the career pathways are endless with VET

Arcadia Meldrum, Mark Doughty and Rose Cox are three VET success stories who are currently pursuing their passions at school. Now EPPP Ambassadors, they are sharing their journey and inspiring students across all 24 pilot schools.

23 June 2020

“Go with your gut.” This advice comes from Arcadia Meldrum, EPPP Ambassador and 2019 NSW School Based Trainee of the Year. Arcadia was recently joined by Mark Doughty, the 2017 NSW School Based Apprentice of the Year, in a webinar hosted by Year13, a one-stop-shop connecting school leavers with the endless amounts of options on offer for students post-school.

This is just one of the many platforms our EPPP Ambassadors have been given to inspire students considering a Vocational Education and Training (VET) pathway. It’s the stories and first-hand experiences of people like Arcadia and Mark that really resonate with students.

Image: Ambassador - Arcadia Meldrum

Both Arcadia and Mark knew they had skills and interests that sat outside the traditional school subjects, (Mark was running his own lawn mowing business at the age of 14!). But knowing you have a craving for more hands-on, real-life experience is one thing. Acting on it is another.

“Sometimes you just have to take the leap,” encourages Arcadia. “If you know what you’re passionate about, talk to your Careers Advisors and explore your options.”

Arcadia graduated high school in 2019 with two Certificate III’s on top of completing her HSC. She is now pursuing further VET while completing her Certificate III in Sport and Recreation.

“Lots of my friends are now stuck at that post-school crossroads and don’t know what to do”, says Arcadia. “Completing a school based traineeship gave me a head start.”

Mark Doughty, a few years ahead of Arcadia, is now leading a team of five at Sydney Olympic Park after completing his Certificate III in Horticulture (Parks and Gardens) in 2017.

“I knew early on what I wanted to do,” says Mark, who while at school was doing voluntary landscaping for local parks, his school grounds and St Vincent De Paul in Mt Druitt.

“I wouldn’t have been able to get the practical skills and real-life experience that the school based apprenticeship provided me in a classroom,” he goes on to say.

Mark is now continuing his learning and studying a Certificate III in Irrigation.

Image: Ambassador - Mark Doughty

Mark will be joined by fellow EPPP Ambassador, Rose Cox, later this month when they host the broadcast of the NSW Regional Training Awards for Western Sydney and South Western Sydney regions. Like Arcadia and Mark, Rose was a winner at the NSW Training Awards, receiving the 2017 VET in Schools Student of the Year.

Image: Ambassador - Rose Cox

When asked what advice Rose would give to students considering a pathway in VET; “just do it!” she says. “It is such a rewarding learning journey with so many career options.”

After studying VET in school, Rose is now at university and attributes a lot of her drive and determination to the skills and experience she learned while studying Hospitality. “I would highly recommend anyone to be upskilled by a VET course and follow that pathway prior to school,” says Rose.

The broadcast of the 2020 NSW Regional Training Awards will take place on Facebook Live over two weeks, starting with the Hunter region presentation on 22 June. For more information on the NSW Regional Training Awards and their broadcast dates visit the NSW Training Awards website.

Arcadia, Mark and Rose are looking forward to getting out and visiting the EPPP schools and sharing their stories.

To connect with an EPPP Ambassador email the EPPP team.

  • Student engagement and participation
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