The exceptional achievements of apprentices, trainees and host businesses were showcased at Wednesday night’s HVTC Excellence Awards held at Noah’s on the Beach in Newcastle.
Three local trades’ apprentices and a warehousing trainee took out four of the seven major student awards.
Electrical apprentice Flynn Balcombe, from Whitebridge, was awarded RTO Student of the Year. Flynn started his Electrotechnology apprenticeship with Donaldson Coal last year, aged 26, and was recognised for his academic and practical achievements as well as his initiative and eagerness to learn outside of his trade.
Engineering Mechanical apprentice Andrew Gough was presented with the RTO Rising Star Award. The 19-year-old from Abernethy did not have an apprenticeship when he started his training at the HVTC Skills Centre in 2014. His determination was rewarded when he was offered an apprenticeship with Origin Energy late last year.
Another Engineering Mechanical apprentice, 20-year-old Jake Roxby received the RTO Encouragement Award. Hosted by Centennial Coal, the Belmont local achieved high results in both theory and practical aspects of his training. His initiative and problem solving ability have made him a stand out performer.
Central Coast based Warehousing trainee Nathan Anderson was awarded Indigenous Apprentice/Trainee of the Year. The 28-year-old had a Certificate III in Light Metal Fabrication and a Certificate IV in Purchasing under his belt before undertaking a Certificate III in Warehousing through HVTC Hunter and Centennial Coal.
Displaying an above-and-beyond approach to managing its apprentices, Rutherford-based demountable building expert New England Trading (NET), was named Large Host Employer of the Year (>40 employees). NET Operations Manager Michael Ross says the company actively encourages its more than 100 employees to develop and improve their skills.
Winners in the 12 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.
HVTC also launched its Alumni program at the event, designed to keep former students and employees connected with shared stories and experiences to help inspire current and future apprentices and trainees.
Image | Trainee of the Year Bonnie Mae Hammerschmidt, School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year Harry Mitchell, Apprentice of the Year Kyle Kruger, Indigenous Apprentice/Trainee of the Year Nathan Anderson
HVTC is a not for profit company offering apprenticeships, traineeships and other business training services. It is headquartered at its multi-million dollar Skills Centre near Newcastle and has nine other branches across NSW. It was Australia’s first group training organisation and has provided employment and training opportunities to more than 20,000 people since 1981.