Interview with Michelle Ingley-Smith

Skills Advisory Manager

Michelle Ingley-Smith

Case Study

Name: Michelle Ingley-Smith
Position: Skills Advisory Manager
Company: ForestWorks

What does your job involve?

My job is to liaise with employer and employee stakeholders in the industry and promote national qualifications and encourage their participation in training initiatives and opportunities and increase the skill levels of their employees. Another primary responsibility is to facilitate the SA Skills and Training Advisory Committee (STAC) for the industry that provides advice to government on varying matters such as workforce development trends, including training needs, skills shortages and industry developments.

What’s a typical working day for you?

A typical day? There’s no such thing. Whilst I’m based in Adelaide, I have state coverage therefore but I’m out and about visiting enterprises on site or communicating with stakeholders over the phone and email.  I’m also involved in women’s initiatives in the industry particularly the Women in Forest and Timber Network (WFTN). There are plenty of reports to write as part of the role so the job is full of variety that helps keep things interesting!

What’s the best thing about your job?

The best part of my job is speaking with employer and employee representatives and the feeling that comes when companies commit to and adopt training initiatives as part of their workforce development plans and open opportunities for workers to increase and upgrade their skills and qualifications.

How did you get into the job?

It wasn’t a planned career path at all. I started work in a timber mill in the days when on-the-job training was pretty much all anyone did. I then found myself working for the union – the CFMEU. I spent 13 years working in both the State and National office in training and policy development. When this job was advertised I saw it as a natural fit with ForestWorks being the Industry Skills Council for the Industry I was already well and truly connected with.

Do you think what you do makes a difference?

Definitely. We contribute to the opportunities that assist people’s careers through workforce development initiatives which contribute to their work satisfaction and their quality of life.  There’s also the broad array of work we do as the Industry Skills Council for the forest and wood, paper and timber products industry, and the linkages we provide between industry and government and other organisations.

What sort of person do you think would be interested in your job?

To be good at my job, it helps if you are passionate about training and our industry – and communicating with people! My job is a service role and therefore as part of servicing the industry and promoting training initiatives, it has a promotion and marketing element, having skills in this area will help also.

Please note: We spoke to Michelle about her career and what she does day to day. We hope you find this useful and interesting – but please remember, that all jobs are not exactly the same and other roles with the same title may be different in many respects. You should confirm all the details of a particular job with the organisation offering it.