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Training Days: Gavin Rowell

3 minute read

When I was younger, I wanted to be a police officer.

And then a baker.

And then a truck driver.

Basically, all of the jobs that most kids think would be fun. Little did I know that working as a trainer assessor would be my career path!

So how did I get here? I met a woman one day who approached me and asked me if I’d ever thought about becoming a trainer assessor.

My smart-alec response? “Who would want to try and teach people, deal with paperwork, and be responsible for the attitudes of unmotivated and uninspired people? No thanks!”

A few weeks later, I met with this woman again. She just so happened to be the National HR Manager for the organisation where I was working as a driver.

“Why do you think I’d make a good trainer?” I asked.

“You know your role, you’re good at it, you’re organised, patient and understanding. You communicate well and you’re empathetic. You have all the qualities a trainer needs!” She replied.

After some serious thinking about my future, I nervously said yes.

This was where my journey as a trainer assessor started – soon after I was conducting inductions, teaching new staff and drivers about company policies and procedures, promoting safe work practices and coaching on customer service.

It all came so easily to me. I wasn’t scared to conduct group sessions, the paperwork was totally manageable and everything just came naturally.

I continued with my career as a workplace trainer assessor for a number of years until I was encouraged to apply for a National Training Manager role – another job I secured and loved.

This was where I learned about the world of RTOs – Registered Training Organisations – and was tasked with a mammoth challenge of creating an RTO from scratch.

My team, a consultant and I created an RTO in three months, which was nationally registered in all states and territories.

It led me into management roles within the RTO space. I climbed the ladder, but something was missing.

All the things that I enjoyed were now being taken over by budgets, compliance, and board meetings. My passion for the vocational education industry was fading.

Thankfully, I can now say I’ve returned to my roots. I’m a trainer for the PaTh program with AETS – a company I can say that I’m proud to work for.

I love the challenges trainers face; not knowing what each group will be like, what barriers people have, and my favourite challenge of all - getting students to say “See you tomorrow!”.

Every work day is different; it has unique challenges and rewards. I get such a kick out of seeing students realise they can achieve things they never thought they would – I played a part in changing someone’s life!

I live by a few simple but powerful words when it comes to training anyone in any discipline: Inspire, guide, motivate, engage and educate.

And as trainers, that’s what we should do. It’s not about us. It’s all about the student and the way they best learn.

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