Hervey Bay student among Queensland’s best trainees

GRACE Waning might still be a school student but she’s already growing a pretty impressive following at Serenity Skin Spa in Hervey Bay.

Year 12 Xavier Catholic College student Grace Waning is a regional finalist in the Queensland Training Awards.
PHOTO: Shaun Ryan.

Grace, who is working towards her Certificate III in Beauty Services, was recently announced as one of three North Coast regional finalists in the Queensland Training Awards’ School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year category.

Good News Fraser Coast caught up with Grace at Xavier Catholic College where she is currently a Year 12 student.

“I was excited to be nominated as a finalist in my category,” said Grace.

“I’m really appreciative of all the people who have helped me get to where I am.”

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The 17-year-old said receiving hands on training at the spa was helping her achieve her career goals and gave her a head start in the industry.

“It’s a whole different experience learning while actually on the job.”

Apart from helping develop her skills, Grace said the traineeship was also teaching her real-world life lessons.

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“It’s great to be earning while learning, but I am also improving my time management.”

Grace attends classes at TAFE, works at Serenity Skin Spa during the week and on Saturdays and still has to find time for her regular school responsibilities.

“It’s a taste of the real world but it’s been great,” she said.

Grace encouraged other students to consider a traineeship program while completing their school careers.

“I know now that I want to spend some time in this industry. I’ve always loved the art side of things and this allows me to explore those passions and interests.”

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Interacting with customers and engaging with people has been another positive experience for Grace.

“I’ve enjoyed speaking to people and engaging with them. It’s opened my eyes to other opportunities and I would love to study towards a degree in psychology one day.”

Should Grace be successful in the North Coast regional finals, she will be in the running for state-wide honours later in the year.

Meanwhile, Xavier Catholic College said 16 students were enrolled in its School-based Apprenticeships / Traineeships (SAT) program in 2021.

Another 26 students are completing certificate or diploma courses through external registered training organisations.

More than 200 Xavier students have enrolled in the SAT program since it was introduced at the college in 2004.

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The college said the program was helping students gain employment and a qualification while remaining in their home town – also benefitting the local economy and employers.

For more information on the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training’s Queensland Training Awards, click here.

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