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HR student places highly in WA’s foremost innovation challenge

A local student from South Metropolitan TAFE took another giant leap in her rapid learning curve by applying her human resources skills as a participant in one of WA’s most innovative student challenges. 

Zhen Yin, of Winthrop, is completing a Certificate IV in Human Resources and was joined by 200 students from eight Western Australia educational institutions, along with the City of Joondalup and Joondalup Business Association (JBA), who partnered to offer an exclusive employability program to their local and international students.  

She was part of a team that came fifth among a field of 23 teams. 

The two-week employability program, commenced 24 June and finished 9 July 2021, having brought together accomplished Western Australian business mentors, start-up incubators and TedX-style keynote speakers.  

Students worked in multidisciplinary teams to solve real-world challenges around critical areas, including cybersecurity and the future of work. Students built solutions that benefit Joondalup residents, students and businesses while developing key employability skills including communication, innovation, leadership, business agility and networking.  

Since Zhen’s arrival in Australia from China three years ago, she has been on a meteoric learning curve in not just her course but also her written and verbal language skills. 

“Taking part in such a challenging event presented the opportunity to bolster my teamwork skills and is another step towards my goal of working in human resources in Perth,” she said. 

“I enjoyed eight years working in this field in Shanghai after completing a master’s degree in education but opportunities such as this are invaluable in learning about working in an Australian context.” 

The program concluded with a Live Pitch Event at the Joondalup Reception Centre where the shortlisted teams presented to an accomplished judging panel, for the chance to win amazing prizes. 

SM TAFE Managing Director Terry Durant said the students who extended themselves through participation in the Challenge were the types of students to which Australia’s best employers were attracted. 

“Recent LinkedIn research revealed that among the top 10 best companies to work for, based on a range of employment conditions, five were IT-focused enterprises,” Ms Durant said. 

“For students that took part in Joondalup Innovation Challenge, they are really enhancing their critical thinking skills, networking, and building on the expertise that will enhance their prospects of pursuing a career with unlimited potential.” 

The challenge this year featured Keynote Speakers Darryl Bower, Managing Director of CDI Electrics, and Kim Smith, Director of Standing Strong International. 

The challenge also featured business mentors such as Kate Kirwin (Founder of She Codes Australia, 2021 Business News 40 Under 40 Winner), Megan Del Borrello (Founder of Behind The Brands, 2019 Top 50 Small Business Leaders), Suzanne Dodds (Managing Director of Complete Home Filtration, WA Business News 2020 Rise Start Up of the Year),  Yvonne Power (Co-Founder & COO of Village Energy, 2020 Business News 40 Under 40 Winner), Jason Balchand (COO of So Media Group) and many more.