School-based apprenticeship opens up an exciting new opportunity for Caitlin

Caitlin Whittle, 2018 Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year

This story was first published on Wednesday 1 April 2020. If you wish to use this content, please contact to confirm that the information is still current.

A decision to study hospitality led Caitlin on a path to winning the 2018 Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year Award.

Over the course of 2018, Caitlin completed a Certificate III in Hospitality while juggling five ATAR subjects. During this time she has thrived in the workplace, crediting the experience with increasing her confidence and dedication.

Although her original plan had been to go to medical school, Caitlin initially chose to study hospitality to add a practical element to her senior subjects to balance her otherwise theory-based workload.

“I didn't think hospitality would be a career path I would choose, but since doing the course, I've realised how amazing the industry is,” said Caitlin.

“Now I am torn between either para-medicine, or owning my own restaurant,” she said.

“[Previously], I was so heavily medicine-focused and never even considered other pathways and now I am so thankful I took the course because I found a passion I never knew I had.”

Caitlin is a strong advocate for Swan Valley Anglican Community School’s hospitality program, presenting to younger students and writing articles for her local newspaper and the school website.

For Caitlin, her studies gave her the opportunity to not only strengthen her practical skills and learn about her industry, but to step into the world of work feeling confident and prepared.

“Every young person going through high school should consider doing a VET course because not only are you going to be able to widen your options for your future, you are also learning so many skills for your day-to-day life.

“I learned more in the past two years of my VET course than my last two years doing ATAR.

“It makes you so much more prepared for the real world.”

Caitlin was the recipient of the Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year Award in 2018 and is a member of the Australian VET Alumni. She is also an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador within the Alumni.

Watch the video

More information

  • To find out more about apprenticeships, visit the Australian Apprenticeships website
  • Hear a message from fellow Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador and National Careers Ambassador, Scott Cam on the NCI e-Hub

Correct at time of publication.