Traineeship gives young mum new lease on life

A local mum who re-entered the workforce through a traineeship has been recognised at HVTC’s annual Excellence Awards.

Kaitlin Milsom travelled to Newcastle last week to accept the Trainee of the Year – Encouragement Award alongside 14 other winners from across NSW.

After putting her career on hold to raise her young children, Kaitlin decided last year that she was ready to re-enter the workforce and applied for a Customer Engagement Traineeship with HVTC North West and Service NSW.

“I chose to apply for the traineeship because I was 25 years old and had a fairly short
resume due to staying at home to raise my children,” she said.

“Working with people and customers was something I really wanted to do and I thought a traineeship would be the perfect way to re-enter the workforce whilst also gaining a qualification in something I am passionate about.”

Kaitlin completed her traineeship earlier this year and has been retained by Service NSW as a Digital Service Representative.

“Winning this award means the world to me,” Kaitlin said.

“When I first applied for the traineeship I went into it thinking I wouldn’t get it because of how long I had been off work, but to be successful in gaining the position and recognised for doing a good job is a great feeling.

“Initially I only planned to go back to work part time and I was a little worried about how I would handle working full time with study and family commitments, but I always had a lot of support from HVTC and Service NSW. I could call anytime and someone was always available to help me.

“This traineeship gave me the opportunity to work, get paid doing something I love and to gain a qualification that will benefit my career in the future.”

Armidale Service Centre Manager, Barice Lewis, commended Kaitlin on her ability to develop her skills and knowledge while dealing with a large volume of customers that visit the Armidale centre each day.

“Kaitlin always worked through her Traineeship modules with passion, dedication and commitment,” she said.

“Kaitlin was our quiet achiever in the centre, always willing to learn and help others in the process. I was so impressed with Kaitlin that when the opportunity for a Digital Service Representative
role became available in Armidale, Service NSW employed Kaitlin based on my recommendations of how well she performed in the last 12 months as our trainee.”

HVTC CEO Sharon Smith said the achievements of trainees like Kaitlin highlight the important role the VET sector plays in the upskilling of Australia’s future workforce.

“The HVTC Excellence Awards recognise and celebrate the high calibre of our apprentices, trainees, students and the many host employers we partner with to deliver skills training and employment opportunities across NSW,” she said.


“Stories like Kaitlin are what make my job so special. Today’s job market is very competitive and it’s often difficult for people to enter the workforce without prior experience. It’s also very difficult to re-enter the workforce after an extended period off.

“Group Training gives people like Kaitlin the opportunity to gain new skills and creates pathways to employment that might not have otherwise been available.

“Kaitlin is a role model for other young mums returning to work or considering a career change and is proof how vocational pathways can lead to successful careers.”

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