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Dual trade apprentice wins heavy commercial industries award

Komatsu heavy commercial industries apprentice Sam Gray was recently named the prestigious Heavy Commercial Industries Apprentice of the Year at the annual TAFE Queensland – SkillsTech Apprentice Awards.

Held at the W Hotel in Brisbane’s CBD, the night celebrated the outstanding achievements of 37 apprentices who were selected as finalists from over 9,000 apprentices across 13 award categories and trade areas including carpentry, plumbing, electrotechnology, refrigeration and air conditioning, manufacturing and engineering, heavy commercial vehicle, heavy commercial industries, light automotive, construction and furnishing.

Twenty-six year old Sam said he was proud of his achievement and he was incredibly grateful to be recognised amongst so many other worthy finalists.

“It was a bit of shock and I really wasn’t expecting to win it but feels really great,” Sam said.

Sam was nominated for his dedication to his studies and the high level of existing knowledge and skill that he brings to the classroom. He also takes a lead role in helping other students as well as encouraging comradery amongst fellow Komatsu apprentices.

Sam has also made a great impression on his teachers having already completed a Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician (UEE30811), and having chosen to complete a Certificate III in Mobile Plant Technology (AUR31220) to set himself up for the future.

Sam said his decision to pursue a dual trade was heavily influenced by his father who currently works in the mining industry as multi-skilled operator.

“Dad talked to me about what’s happening in the mining industry with everything moving to hybrid and electric drive as companies try to chase more efficient ways of working. After doing some research and talking to people in industry I saw the opportunity to become dual qualified as a way of future proofing my career,” Sam said.

TAFE Queensland teacher Joe Janecek said Sam illustrated a great deal of maturity and ambition by deciding to do a second apprenticeship to place himself at the forefront of the rapidly evolving battery electric vehicle and mobile plant industry.

“By having a dual trade in electrotechnology and mobile plant technology his specialized skill set will be very desirable as more companies adapt to the new technologies that are being introduced across Australia, Mr Janecek said.

“Sam’s got some real potential and it’s great that he’s been recognised as the apprentice of the year in the industry that he’s so passionate about,” he said.

TAFE Queensland – SkillsTech General Manager, John Tucker said the awards night was a great opportunity to showcase the excellent training outcomes and success that TAFE Queensland apprentices continue to make in their chosen industries.

“The recognition apprentices receive from not only TAFE Queensland but also their employers, colleagues and industry really helps to boost confidence and encourage our young tradespeople to take the next step in achieving their career goals,” Mr Tucker said.

Sam’s award category was sponsored by Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia who have been a strong supporter of TAFE Queensland and the annual apprentice awards.