Three Hunter apprentices achieved top honours at the 2017 HVTC Excellence Awards held at Noah’s on the Beach in Newcastle recently.
Amongst the three, Singleton local, Samuel Russell, was awarded Registered Training Organisation (RTO) Student of the Year for the consistently high quality of his practical work and admirable attitude to theory.
The 28-year-old Electrical Apprentice is employed by Glencore, Ravensworth and participated in their Cross Skilling Work Readiness Program at the HVTC Skills Centre in Rutherford.
“Though I am an Electrical Apprentice, the fabrication and machining skills I developed through HVTC have been most useful. The quality and content of the instruction given to me by the HVTC instructors was of the highest class and I regularly call upon those techniques in my workplace,” said Sam.
Sam’s inquisitive, methodical approach to work also led to him representing Glencore’s NSW mines in Queensland at the Glencore Apprentice Skills Challenge where he was a standout performer.
“Making a life change, such as becoming a mature age apprentice can be a challenge, but I have been able to achieve some good grades and outcomes, in no small part due to the support of my wife and young family at home. Their continued encouragement will help me make a successful career in a field I am enjoying very much,” Sam said.
Another Singleton resident, Emma Gibson, won the Woman in Non-traditional Trade Apprentice of the Year category.
In the fourth year of her Certificate III Engineering – Mechanical Trade, Emma has excelled in the area of machining and loves the challenge of the fine detailed work it provides. She also shone in the theory and practical components of fitting whilst completing her studies at the HVTC Skills Centre.
Emma is an ambassador for women in trades, winning the 2016 Hunter Manufacturing Awards’ Apprentice of the Year, and a Tradesperson Scholarship at the 2015 National Association of Women in Construction Awards.
“Whilst there are still some challenges facing women in non-traditional trades, I hope my success will inspire other women to erase stereotypes and chase their goals,” said Emma.
The prestigious Apprentice of the Year Award was won by 25-year-old, Ben McDonald from Cessnock, who is in his final year of his Certificate in Electrotechnology – Electrician training.
Ben has previously been awarded a Hunter TAFE Encouragement Award, Cessnock City Council Mayoral Scholarship, and was invited to attend the national Today’s Skills: Tomorrow’s Leaders Program in Canberra.
Winners in the ten Excellence Award categories were selected from finalists across HVTC’s ten regional branches located throughout New South Wales.
HVTC CEO, Sharon Smith says vocational education pathways can lead to career success for many young people.
“These awards not only celebrate the great results of our apprentices and trainees but they also reflect the significant role our business and industry partners play in making sure our young people secure quality employment outcomes,” Sharon said.
The RTO Student of the Year Award was sponsored by Days Machinery Centre, the Woman in Non-traditional Trade Apprentice of the Year Award was sponsored by Viatek, and the Apprentice of the Year Award was sponsored by Howden Australia.
IMAGE | Ben McDonald, Emma Gibson and Samuel Russell were amongst high achievers at the 2017 HVTC Excellence Awards.