My Experience presenting at the MIGAS QLD National Awards Night

Migas Awards Night QLD

Back in the days when I drove to Skillstech Eagle Farm Tafe to do the college requirements of my plumbing apprenticeship, I would drive past a billboard upon entering the long drive way into Tafe. The billboard advertised MIGAS and as an apprentice I wondered who they were, what they did and how they fit in with Tafe. I assumed they were like any other apprentice placement service. My Dad had very little success using apprentices from one such organization (who I won’t name) because the apprentices were often used as labour slaves, rather than being taught skills of the trade.

It was with great surprise that earlier this year I received an email from Laura, the Marketing Coordinator of MIGAS to organise a meeting as they had plans to build the profile of women entering a trade.

The timing of the meeting couldn’t have come at a perfect time. I had already organized for Jacob to have a day off work so I could attend the Problogger Brisbane Event, so I was able to schedule the meeting at a café before Problogger started. I had also been contemplating practical ways I could assist women as they went about their trade career.

The said café was no longer there when I arrived and so I stood on the corner of Adelaide and Wharf Street trying to get a hold of Laura to organise somewhere else to meet.

The team of ladies from MIGAS seemed unperturbed by my café misdemeanor, and we found a local coffee shop where we could discuss their plans for mentoring women in trades and offering support so that the women wouldn’t feel alone while completing their apprenticeship.

They were passionate about what they wanted to create and the meeting was a positive one.

A few weeks later I was asked whether I would present the Female Excellence in Vocation Award at the MIGAS QLD National Awards night and I was blown away by the honor of such a request.

The awards night was about MIGAS celebrating their apprentices and recognizing their display of excellence. MIGAS choose not to have a standard graduation ceremony and instead choose to recognise those who make exceptional contribution to work and training.

What separates MIGAS from the rest of the recruitment and job placing organizations, is the care, attention to detail and support they provide to their apprentices and trainees. This starts at the very beginning by ensuring they get the right person for the right job and recruiting for attitude. MIGAS have a pastoral care and support structure that they implement to ensure they can support quality apprentices and trainees to completion, to the benefit of both the apprentice and host employer. This is the MIGAS difference.

MIGAS Awards Night

As I watched each Trainee and Apprentice walk across the stage to receive their award, I was able to reminisce when I received my awards as a plumbing apprentice and how they were pinnacle to my confidence as a tradie. The MIGAS team did a splendid job in ensuring their apprentices and trainees were recognized for their hard work.

When it came time for me to present the MIGAS Female Excellence in Vocation Award, I felt a little awkward as my accolades were spoken out. But what an honor to present the award to Emma Zeimer, a 4th year apprentice completing a Certificate III in Electrotechnology in the Gladstone area. MIGAS explained, ‘Emma has been found to be dependable, conscientious, hard-working and with a great attention to detail. Emma is always keen to take on new challenges and learn about the job at hand. She always asks the right questions to help further her knowledge and continues to grow as part of a team.’

Presenting Emma Zeimer with her award.
Presenting Emma Zeimer with her award.

Once the awards were given, Steven Bradbury was the motivational speaker of the night. At first I thought I was at a comedy show because all he seemed to do was crack jokes. And then he announced what I was thinking:

“Does this Steven Bradbury think he’s a comedian now?!”

Steven Bradbury
Steven Bradbury

Needless to say I Iaughed (and sometimes groaned) a lot. But Steven had a lot of gold, solid advice to give on that Friday night. My favourites that I took away from the night were:

  • You forget 95 or was it 97% of what you hear and learn
  • Therefore you need to write down your goals and make a plan to reach them
  • It took 12 years for Steven to become an overnight success
  • You need a good support network to help you as you go after your dreams – Do you have the right team behind you? To be successful you need help and support from the right people. Working as a team reduces risk.
  • You have to be dedicated and make habitual steps to make your dream become a reality – for Steven it was getting up at 4:30am, 6 days a week to practice skating.

Steven was generous enough to pass his Gold and Bronze medal around for everyone to hold and look at. The Bronze medal was the first Australian Medal in the Winter Olympics, won in 1994 in Norway for the short track relay. I got to see the Bronze medal and even took a picture of it. I hope he got them back at the end of the night.

Steven with his Gold Medal
Steven with his Gold Medal


I got to touch and see a Steven's Bronze Medal
I got to touch and see Steven’s Bronze Medal

What Steven said about having the right support network when you’re chasing your dreams is very important and such a great message to end the MIGAS awards night with. If you are after an apprenticeship or traineeship, check out the MIGAS Jobs board for opportunities in your state. Alternatively, if you’re a business wanting to offer an apprenticeship or traineeship, why not involve MIGAS in the process to ensure you get the right candidate?

Supporting women in trades is an important part of seeing more female apprentices complete their training and work in the job of their dreams. But it takes team work to make a dream work. I’m looking forward to assisting MIGAS as they initialize ways to lift the profile of women in the trades industry. As Steven Bradbury said, it takes the right people to get successful implementation happening.

What is the best bit of advice you’ve been given about success? Have you heard about MIGAS before?

I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT.