Recognising and celebrating the success of trainees

Public Sector Commission

The Public Sector Commission annually coordinates the ‘School-based traineeship program’, aimed at Year 11 secondary students who have the opportunity to undertake paid part-time employment based training while completing a Certificate II in Government (Public Administration) and their Western Australian Certificate of Education.

For many trainees balancing work and study can be quite a challenge. However, against the odds, trainees across the sector have thrived on the opportunities and achieved great success.

With the success of so many trainees, the Commission and the broader public sector continues to promote the ‘School-based traineeship program’ and other traineeships across the sector. A great deal of hard work is put in by all involved to make the program a success, including supervisors, Vocational Education and Training (VET) coordinators and family members. Ultimately though, the achievements still fall onto the individual.

The Commission is proud to share and recognise the achievements of some recent graduates.

Poppy Justice

Uncertain of the path she would pursue after school, Poppy applied for the ‘School-based traineeship program’ as a way to expand her learning experience beyond the classroom. Joining the Commission in February 2016, Poppy divided her time between the Commission and high school. In addition to the Certificate II in Government (Public Administration), Poppy completed a Certificate II in Business and a Certificate II Visual Media, as well as completing her Western Australian Certificate of Education.

During the program, Poppy rotated through various teams within the Commission, including Human Resources, and Events and Workforce Performance and Development. Poppy became a valuable asset to all work areas and her friendly nature made a positive impact on the workplace. She has displayed great enthusiasm and intelligence, as well as a maturity and willingness to try new tasks.

Poppy has been recognised for her outstanding achievements in VET, and was awarded the 2017:

  • Hon. Sue Ellery ‘Best and Brightest’ award
  • ‘Westscheme Award for Excellence in VET’ (Ballujura Community College)
  • School Curriculum and Standards Authority’s ‘VET Exhibition winner for Outstanding Achievement’ under the business, financial services and information technology category.

Poppy is currently completing a full-time traineeship at the Commission and working towards a Certificate III in Government. The traineeship has reinforced Poppy’s desire to continue further education and progress her career in the public sector.

Zoe Harris

With a positive attitude and commitment to her studies, Zoe embarked on a school-based traineeship as part of a pilot program—coordinated through the Commission—for people with disability at the Department of Communities.

Zoe completed a Certificate II in Business and a Certificate II in Government, which provided her with an opportunity to put her skills and knowledge into practice.

Working two days a week, Zoe is a bright, mature and friendly and undertook a support role—assisting with day to day administration and record keeping in addition to small projects. During the program, Zoe was equipped with the skills in various file management software, and over time she built her confidence and communication skills.

Zoe—who is hearing impaired—commenced her traineeship with minimal support from her AUSLAN interpreter, and was eventually was able to attend work unassisted. She identified and employed a range of strategies that enabled her to communicate effectively in her workplace.

Zoe has encouraged school students with disabilities to explore traineeships within the public sector, as well as employers to provide opportunities for people with disability. Additionally, she acknowledges that there are barriers for young people with disability, as well as difficulty in accessing opportunities such as traineeships.

In recognition of Zoe’s commitment to her traineeship and studies, she was awarded the 2017 Curriculum and Standards Authority ‘Special VET Certificate of Excellence Award’. Zoe is currently working part-time at the Department of Communities and hopes to continue her education, with a goal of becoming a child psychologist.

Bronte Count

By combining her passion for Information Technology with her Certificate II in Government, Bronte undertook a school-based traineeship at the Department of Communities.

During her traineeship—Bronte who identifies as having Autism—excelled in computing and working with software programs. Bronte assisted in the building of new computers and assisted with data research for a new intranet. Workplace training built Bronte’s confidence and IT skills set, which increased her employability.

In 2017, Bronte received the Curriculum and Standards Authority’s VET Certificate of Excellence for Business and Financial Services, Information and Communications Technology, in addition to a subject prize she was awarded from Applecross Senior High School.

The Commission extends its congratulations to Poppy, Zoe and Bronte and wider cohort of trainees for their continued success.

If you are hosting or have employed a trainee who has achieved great success, please share their story with

For more information on traineeships in Government, please contact  or visit our website.

Original articles (Poppy Justice and Zoe Harris) posted in the Snapshot of VET Delivered in Schools 2017 report.