State’s Top Training Award Commends STEPS SEE Trainer Tracey Wyer
STEPS VET Trainer Tracey Wyer from STEPS Cairns was recently recognized as one of the top three regional finalists for 2023 Queensland Training Awards in the VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year award category.
The Queensland Training VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year Award recognises innovation and excellence by a vocational education and training (VET) teacher/trainer providing nationally recognised training to students at a registered training organisation (RTO), or in partnership with an RTO.
This year STEPS Group Australia is proud to celebrate one of our own VET Trainers, Tracey Wyer from STEPS Cairns, recently recognized as one of the top three regional finalists for this prestigious award.
Tracey Wyer is an LLND (Language, Literacy, Numeracy and Digital skills) Trainer for the SEE program at STEPS. Her students describe her as patient and empathetic with a light-hearted sense of humour, qualities that put them at ease and create a safe learning environment.
“This award means a great deal to me, as it was nominated by my students first and seconded by my manager. To feel appreciated and acknowledged in this way is very important and empowering! I was totally blown away when I received the news that I had got into the final three of 800 nominations! While I know I have a good work ethic and try to give 100% every day, it was still a surprise and quite humbling to get this far.”
Working with up to 25 students a day, Tracey assists them with interpersonal skills, resilience, accountability, and self-confidence as well as helping them hone their skills in job search, communication, and career planning.
“I love working as a SEE Trainer at STEPS because it is a warm, friendly, culturally rich environment, where everyone’s feelings matter, be they students or staff. We not only focus on improving educational and employability skills but offer a holistic approach to our students’ learning, considering their physical, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being.
Tracey’s students come from a range of cultural backgrounds and learning abilities requiring her teaching style to be flexible and adaptive.
“My learners are from Indigenous and or low socio-economic backgrounds, in the 40 to 60-year-old bracket, and are amongst the long-term unemployed. They are shy and can suffer with anxiety, particularly in social situations. To see them come together over class discussions, cooking projects, our class jumble sale and our own Wednesday Coffee Shop is enlightening and rewarding and motivates me to want to be a better teacher and person.”
Tracey’s greatest joy is hearing the success stories as students confidently attend job interviews and obtain their desired employment or pursue further study. In the past six months she has assisted over 30% of her students obtain sustainable employment. Many students return to SEE classes with Tracey week after week and enjoy learning essential skills under her guidance.
A key component of SEE is community connection, an area Tracey excels in facilitating through several successful initiatives that actively engage students with local employers and the larger community.
“Here at STEPS Cairns, we try to connect our students with Cairns’ employers and the community be it friendship or support networks or community engagement projects. This can be challenging as most of our students need to build their self-esteem and motivation, as well as overcome ongoing mental and physical disabilities.
Almost every week outside of our normal training, we offer a variety of training workshops, encourage volunteers at our market stand at the infamous Cairns Rusty’s markets and are always reaching out to industry leaders to offer Volunteerships for our students, which can lead to paid employment.
Our wish at STEPS is for more students to engage in what STEPS has to offer and for our community to become more aware of the needs and capabilities of this cohort.”
The Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment