New Qualification for school students!

After extensive consultation and negotiation across Australia, the Furnishings industry now has a vocational education and training program suitable for schools to deliver.

The aim of the schools program is to encourage young people into the industry by providing them with a taste of what the industry has to offer.  

The Certificate II in Furniture Making Pathways delivers broad-based underpinning skills and knowledge in a range of furniture making tasks.  They include preparatory skills in: measurements and calculations, using hand and power tools, making joints, joining timber, assembling components, identifying materials for kitchen and bathroom construction, applying surface coatings, and drawing kitchen and bathroom designs.

Completion of the Certificate II in Furniture Making Pathways will enhance the students’ entry-level employment prospects for an apprenticeship or general employment in a furniture manufacturing environment or related workplace.  
The qualification addresses industry concerns with previous arrangements where schools were considering delivering trade skills in a school environment without suitable work placement or trade qualifications. 

The Food Fibre and Timber Industries Training Council will be advocating that all schools offering the program enhance the learning experience of students by accessing work placement or by participating in tours of industry workplaces.  

For further information contact:

Diane Smith
Project Manager
9361 2800

Wood Trades Mentoring Scheme closed on 30 June 2015

Regrettably the Wood Trades Mentoring Scheme ceased on June 30 2015. The Scheme has been highly successful and recently reported to the Federal Government an 83% retention rate for those apprentices signed up to the Scheme.  This is a significant improvement on the 51% completion rate of all Wood Trades apprentices reported in 2012.  Mentoring projects funded by the Government in other industries, such as Glass and Glazing and Building and Construction are reporting similar results.

The success of the Federal Government’s investment in apprenticeship mentoring over the past two years has been reflected in a raft of training reforms with mentoring now forming part of the new role of the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network, formally Australian Apprenticeship Centres. 

In addition to offering support with the sign-up process and assessing eligibility for government incentives, Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) providers will identify apprentices who are at high-risk of non-completion and provide tailored support such a mentoring.  In Western Australia AASN providers include: 

Providing supervision and support is a major obligation of employers entering into apprenticeship contracts.  Under State Government policy, the level of supervision is aimed at facilitating the successful achievement of competency for each apprentice.  In particular, a person employing an apprentice must ensure that supervision is carried out by a qualified tradesperson or competent workplace supervisor, that consideration is given to the type of work being undertaken, the level of competence of the apprentice, and the location and general circumstances in which the work is being carried out. 

Many leaders believe that how employees feel about their jobs starts and ends with their direct supervisor.  If employees feel that their supervisor takes a real interest in their development or offers praise and recognition they are highly likely to be engaged.  Extensive research by Gallop (2013) reveals that trying to get employees to fix their weaknesses doesn’t work and tends to only breed non-engagement.  Great supervisors will build on employees’ strengths and when employees work from strengths, nothing motivates them to achieve more – not money, not holidays, not extra benefits.  Food for thought!

The views and opinions expressed are those of Food, Fibre and Timber Industries Training Council of WA Inc.

WA Training Awards 2015 - Put yourself in the spotlight.

 WA Training Awards

The WA Training Awards recognise and reward outstanding achievements of apprentices, trainees and vocational students, and the contribution to training made by trainers, training organisations and employers.

Celebrating their 21st year, the Awards continue to put our State's top achievers in the spotlight.

More than $80 000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to State winners at a presentation dinner on 4 September 2015.

There are 13 categories in the WA Training Awards; seven individual categories and six organisation categories.

Individual categories:

  • WA Apprentice of the Year
  • WA School Based Apprentice of the Year
  • WA Trainee of the Year
  • WA Vocational Student of the Year
  • WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year
  • WA Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Training Award
  • WA Trainer of the Year
Organisation categories:

  • WA Employer of the Year
  • WA School Pathways to VET
  • WA Training Initiative
  • WA Small Training Provider of the Year
  • WA Large Training Provider of the Year
  • WA International Training Provider of the Year

For more information and how to apply, click hereApplications close on Friday, 8 May 2015.

Winners* of the WA Training Awards may be eligible to represent the State at the Australian Training Awards in Hobart on 19 November 2015.

Individuals and organisations** may also apply directly to the Australian Training Awards for several other national awards — visit the Australian Training A​wards page​ to find out more.

*Does not include the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Training Award, School Pathways to VET or Training Initiative categories.

**WA applicants and winner of the School Pathways to VET award should also apply directly to the Australian Training Awards. Visit the School Pathways to VET Award page for more information. Australian Training Award applications close on 29 May 2015.

Perth Pallet Challenge - $2,000 in cash and prizes to be won!


When:   Sunday, 19th April 2015
Where:  Band Stage, Hillarys Boat Harbour

To celebrate National Youth Week the Food Fibre and Timber Industries Training Council together with the Department of Local Government and Communities will be holding the annual Perth Pallet Challenge.

The Perth Pallet Challenge runs during National Youth Week 10th – 19th of April 2015. It is open to all Wood Trades apprentices who are studying Cabinet Making (Furniture or Kitchen and Bathrooms), Furniture Finishing, Wood Machining, Upholstery and Floor Finishing.

By the 3rd of April apprentices will be supplied with three second hand pallets and asked to use their skill and innovation to 'remodel' them into an art or furniture piece of their own design.  Apprentices will have approximately 2 weeks to complete the task using whatever methods they choose.

On the 19th of April all items will be placed on display at Hillarys Boat Harbour where judging will take place. There are several prizes:
  • The National Youth Week Award - $750 cash (open to apprentices aged 15 to 25)
  • The Apprentice and Traineeship Company Innovation and Design Award - $750 cash (open to all apprentices)
  • People’s Choice Award - $250 voucher from Toolmart or Hafele (open to all apprentices)
All winners will also receive free student membership to the Australian Furniture Association.

To enter complete the application form and send via

Fax:     9361 2900

Post:    Food Fibre and Timber Industries Training Council
           PO Box 1499
           East Victoria Park, WA 6981

Drop it off at our offices at:
           Unit 6, 800 Albany Highway
           East Victoria Park, WA 6101

Or Contact:
           Joel Douglas on 0438 737 628

Our proud sponsors:

Board of Management Positions Vacant

The Food, Fibre and Timber Industries Training Council has vacancies on their Board of Management.  We are seeking enthusiastic people who have a good understanding of the issues facing industry, particularly from a skills and workforce perspective.
A working knowledge of vocational education and training in their industry would be beneficial and be of influential standing within the relevant key industries.

In particular we are looking for people within the agriculture and food processing sectors.  This could cover grain and livestock industries, wool production, production horticulture, meat processing, wine production, and baking or seafood industries. 

An overview of our organisation.

The Food, Fibre and Timber Industries Training Council is funded by the Western Australian Department of Training and Workforce Development, and has three core functions:

  • Leadership role in promoting training to industry, including partnerships between industry and the training sector.
  • Supporting innovation and workforce development.
  • Provide forward looking advice to State and Commonwealth Governments on training needs and priorities for public funding.

What would be involved?

The Board of Management meets six times per year and also corresponds via email and phone.  Other meetings may be held as required and Board Members may be invited to represent the Food, Fibre and Timber Industries Training Council at other events.
There is no remuneration, however the Food, Fibre and Timber Industries Training Council will reimburse members for reasonable travel expenses.
To apply, please forward your CV to CEO Kay Gerard at  For further information, please contact Kay on (08) 9361 2800.