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Greg Watkins

Finalist: VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year

Employed by Quality Training and Hospitality College

After leaving school in the early nineties, Greg undertook an apprenticeship in cookery – earning and learning while most of his school friends were commencing their tertiary studies.

Later in life, after deciding that working 70+ hours per week and supervising large cohorts of staff would not be sustainable through to retirement age, he began exploring options for careers that would allow him to continue working with food, while also giving back to younger generations – the leaders of the future.

“Becoming a vocational trainer has given me opportunity, greater and beyond anything that I could have imagined,” says Greg. “Being involved with the young leaders of tomorrow and aspiring people from all walks of life, being able to give back the same way my trainers and mentors gave to me – all while helping them develop relevant industry skills – is the most satisfying work I imagine anyone could undertake.”

Greg says his current role has enabled him to contribute to the learning journey and career paths of many students and, during the COVID-19 pandemic, he too has once again become a student of Vocational Education and Training (VET).

“I have again become a VET student, developing new and updated relevant skills to keep me employable – developing my digital skills, as well as learning to communicate in mediums which five years ago no chef would ever imagine necessary or possible,” he says.

To ensure he maintains his currency and the skills to deliver relevant learnings to a diverse cohort of students – as well as maintaining current cookery and hospitality qualifications – Greg recently completed a traineeship, resulting in a Diploma of Leadership and Management. He holds a Certificate III and IV, and a Hospitality Diploma (cookery stream), as well as a Diploma of Leadership and Management, and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.