Lay the foundation for life

Gateway to Training has hosted a 'celebration of success'. Graduates from Get Set for Work; Steady, Ready, Go! and Skilling Queenslanders for Work projects were presented with portfolios, recognised for their achievements and given some advice on moving forward.

Executive officer, Esme Cairns, said, one certainty we all face in life is change. "We need to navigate through the many changes we encounter and take advantage of the opportunities that change offers," she said.

"Economies are changing. Labour markets are changing. There are new and emerging industry sectors. Workplace skills are changing and often what we learnt and how we did things just a few years ago is now obsolete. The goalposts are constantly moving and to survive we need to keep up or ahead of the game," Esme said. "Our population is growing and aging. We are living longer and are likely to be working longer, either by choice or necessity, and we need to embrace new ways of working and achieving goals." Esme offered four points of advice: "Take charge of your own learning and professional development," she said. "As an employee your skills and capabilities will constantly be compared and benchmarked against your peers. Keeping your skills and knowledge up to date will help you gain an edge in a competitive market. Taking on further study, regularly attending industry events and joining an industry body will all help you stay relevant.

"Focus on developing your personal brand. If you have a digital presence, you own a personal brand. Your digital presence can play an important role in how you future-proof your career. It's what employers and clients will see when they're deciding whether to interview, employ or work with you. Your professional digital presence should highlight your strengths and experience; communicate the attributes that set you apart from the pack; and showcase your commitment to continued professional development. Make sure your online profiles, both professional and personal, accurately reflect the message you want to send to your professional network. "Embrace digital change. Resisting or complaining when you need to learn new ways of doing things in your job can spell disaster for your future career prospects. It's a simple matter of keep up or fall behind. You do need to be willing to learn and adapt. We are never too old to learn.

"Don't neglect your 'soft'/essential skills.

"Those intangible qualities and personality traits that help you communicate and work with your colleagues, teammates and clients effectively. These can include leadership, communication, problem-solving abilities and work ethic. Unlike technical skills, soft skills aren't specific to a particular role or industry but they can be applied across all industries, workplaces and life in general.

"This could be what gives you the edge over another applicant in a job interview.

"I believe GTT provides opportunities for locals of all ages and backgrounds to gain skills and qualifications to firstly gain employment and then future-proof their careers," Esme said. "Education and training changes lives."