Employer: Costa Group
Group Training Organisation: WPC Group
Qualification: Certificate III Business and Certificate IV Business
Nominated for: Trainee Of the Year – Victorian Training Awards 2017
Berttina has been nominated for Trainee of the Year in the Victorian Training Awards, 2017.
Berttina has excelled in her studies and work, and has also contributed to her community in a variety of ways. Some examples include volunteering to assist people experiencing homelessness and being an ambassador for Skilling Australia Foundation job-readiness programs.
Berttinatasimaria Aviu is of Samoan background, was born and raised in New Zealand and moved to Australia in 2012 where she continued with her schooling.
Berttina completed Year 12 in 2015 at Sunshine College. Whilst at school, she completed Certificate I and II in Business through VET, in conjunction with other core subjects.
Throughout 2015, she thought seriously about her long-term career goals. In August 2015, Berttina attended a pre-employment program through Skilling Australia Foundation called ‘In2Work’ funded by CommBank Community Grants. This two-week course prepared Berttina for full-time employment in a business traineeship. “I learned valuable skills including teamwork, communication, employer expectations and project work,” said Berttina of her time in the program.
At the end of 2015, Berttina applied for full-time traineeships and registered with WPC Group. The Skilling Australia Foundation program had given Berttina confidence in her choice of career goals, “It was great to know that I knew the pathway I wanted to pursue” she said.
WPC Group referred Berttina’s application to Costa Group in Ravenhall, Victoria. Costa Group is Australia’s largest producer of wholesale fruit, employing 7,500 people Australia wide in peak seasons. Following her interview with Costa Group, Berttina found out the very next day that she was successful!
With appreciation to philanthropic funding from Perpetual, Berttina was approved for a grant of up to $1,000 to assist with her tuition fees. This grant made a huge difference to Berttina. “Not only have I gained knowledge and skills at work, I have also helped my family in many ways. Being the only person in my family working, on trainee wages and providing for my family, the people I love, is such a good feeling.”
In just over two years with WPC Group and Costa Group, Berttina has worked full-time and completed two qualifications – Certificate III and IV in Business, and is only 19 years of age. Berttina has secured full-time ongoing employment with Costa Group working as a Business and Finance Administration Officer within Vitor Marketing for both citrus and grape categories.
Berttina has become a role model for other young people. “I have had the pleasure of speaking to students my own age about my journey as a Trainee and a full-time employee with Costa Group.”
“I had the opportunity to go back into the class of 2016 and share my experience with the students – how I have been in a similar situation to them, and how I have achieved my work and study goals. I also had the opportunity to be a guest speaker at Copperfield College to a class of 80 VCAL students. I talked about my role as a trainee – how I transitioned from secondary school into full-time employment and the type of work I do. I have been grateful to have the opportunities that I have been given to expand my skills and knowledge, which has also taught me the value of my education and how to organise and absorb new information given to me that could also help others. These opportunities and my experience are great examples for many young men and women to learn from as they approach the next chapter in their lives. For those who have recently completed school and had trouble securing employment, I believe my journey can motivate them to pursue an apprenticeship or traineeship.”
Berttina has been involved in her community in a variety of ways. “I have also been involved in helping the community by providing for the homeless, being able to provide blankets and food for them. Doing this with a group of family members makes me feel so good on the inside. Knowing that we are providing for the homeless in the community and making a change in their lives to make them feel loved. Also, helping students my own age who are in school wanting to pursue their careers and register for apprenticeships or traineeships, speaking to them gave me the heart of warmth knowing I have helped someone decide and given them the ideas and example for the future” she said.
We wish Berttina the best of luck in the upcoming finalist interviews in August.