Chloe Baigent

9 June 2020

How I opened doors with a Cert IV in Youth Work

“Don’t fear failure. I have recently learnt that it is impossible to fail if you never give up on learning”

In 2019 Chloe Baigent completed a Certificate IV in Youth Work while working for the Local Government as a Youth Development Support Officer. After ten years of working in horticulture, Chloe decided it was time to turn a new leaf and used Vocational Education and Training (VET) to achieve her passion for empowering youth.

Chloe has recently taken on a new part-time role for the Western Australian Department of Education as a Participation Coordinator. This involves supporting high school leavers into further education, such as VET courses, or joining the workforce.

Chloe was a finalist at the 2019 Australian Training Awards for the Vocational Student of the Year category. We recently got in touch to see how VET has helped her succeed after the Awards.

“I am already finding that sharing my experience of how far VET has got me throughout my career is helping when assisting young people choose their pathway.”

How has VET helped your career?

My training was very hands on and we had a highly skilled lecturer who bought real life experiences to the class. I learnt the importance of ethics and boundaries when working out in the community during work placements, which has made me a positive role model to the young people I work with.

Coming from a ten year career in Horticulture, I had very little confidence in my administrative and written communication skills. During my Cert IV Youth Work course I could see my written assessments improve throughout the year. Getting honest feedback from lecturers made me realise that practice was all I needed to improve. I feel those unexpected skills have really opened doors for me.

How does VET fit into your future career plan?

I have thought about studying a Cert IV in Training and Assessment and pursuing a visual arts pathway. I am a ceramic artist so I would like to combine those skills to teach others.

Has COVID-19 changed the way you work?

For my Youth Development Support Officer role I was re-assigned to a temporary administrative role in a different department. Due to restrictions we had to close down our local youth centre and cancel all youth events. Now that restrictions are starting to lift we will be aiming to re-engage our Youth Advisory Council and work out alternate ways we can run youth based events.

What would you recommend to someone who is thinking of a similar career journey to yours?

I would encourage them to start through a VET pathway and to do as much work experience and volunteering as time allows. Youth work can lead to a broad range of jobs and if you have a chance to build an industry network throughout your training, you will increase the chances of finding meaningful employment.

To find VET courses similar to Chloe, visit

To read more about Chloe's VET pathway visit her Australian VET Alumni profile.

To find in-demand Industries visit the Australian Government’s Jobs Hub.