Get set for awards season 2021

With no shortage of talent in the EPPP pilot schools, now is the time to start thinking about nominations for the 2021 NSW Training Awards.

The NSW Training Awards recognise outstanding achievement in vocational education and training. Every year, thousands of students, teachers and training providers compete for the prestigious awards through a series of nine regional rounds, with the winners going on to the state finals in September. From there, the NSW winners compete against the best in Australian at the Australian Training Awards.

Why participate?

There are plenty of reasons to get involved in the NSW Training Awards. For EPPP schools, the Awards provide the perfect platform to showcase the excellent work that is taking place to advance vocational education. For students, recognition at the Awards can open doors to valuable employment opportunities and help them build their profiles in their respective fields.

Award categories and eligibility criteria

There are a few award categories where students from EPPP schools could be in with a great chance of winning next year.

Vocational Student of the Year

The NSW Vocational Student of the Year Award recognises an outstanding student’s achievement in a course of study leading to a nationally recognised qualification and demonstrates the relevance of life-long learning.


  • Students must have completed, or due to complete, their vocational studies between 1 October 2020 and 30 September 2021

School-Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year

The NSW School-Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year Award is presented to a student who is undertaking a Certificate II or above qualification as a part-time School-Based Apprentice/Trainee. The Award recognises the student’s commitment to their formal studies at school, and in the workplace.

VET in Schools Student of the Year

The NSW VET in Schools Student of the Year Award is open to full-time Year 11 or 12 school students undertaking accredited vocational education and training as part of their HSC studies in 2021.

Key dates

The dates for 2021 are yet to be finalised, so stay tuned to the awards website. Based on previous years, you should be prepared to lodge your entries early in the New Year.

January: Entries open
June – July 2021: Regional Training Awards
August 2021: State Training Awards Interviews
October 2021: NSW Training Awards presentation
November 2021: Australian Training Awards

Image: 2020 NSW Training Awards Winners

Past winners

Past winners have gone on to succeed in further training and their careers, and many of them will be familiar to EPPP audiences. Liam Muldoon, who has been both a guest and a host on EPPP TV, was the 2017 Vocational Student of the Year. Our EPPP Ambassadors, Arcadia Meldrum, Mark Doughty and Rose Cox are all former winners. And Kelsey Commons, who shared her inspiring story with us in Episode 2 of EPPP TV, was the 2019 VET in Schools Student of the Year.

What now?

As the year draws to a close, now is the time to review the eligibility criteria for the various awards and think about who you’re going to nominate. Students at EPPP schools have achieved some great things this year, and it’d be great to see some familiar faces in the mix at next year’s NSW Training Awards.

To keep up-to-date on what’s on the agenda for 2021, subscribe to the NSW Training Awards newsletter.

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