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Apprentice awards acknowledge some of TAFE Queensland's top trade talent

Fourteen high achieving Queensland apprentices were crowned Apprentice of the Year in each of their respective trade categories at the prestigious 2023 TAFE Queensland SkillsTech CSQ Apprentice Awards on 16 November at Howard Smith Wharves in Brisbane.

Now in its sixth year, the Apprentice Awards celebrate high achieving apprentices who are training at TAFE Queensland SkillsTech across 14 trade categories ranging from building and construction categories to light automotive and everything in between.

The 14 individual winners were nominated by either their employers or teachers and were selected from a pool of over 10,000 apprentices who are currently in training across the TAFE Queensland SkillsTech region on campuses including Acacia Ridge, Alexandra Hills, Bracken Ridge and Eagle Farm.

These Awards were made possible by Main Event Sponsor Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) who also sponsored the principal award of the evening, the Outstanding Apprentice of the Year Award, while other category and event sponsors included The Busy Group, Brick and Block Careers, MEGT, Reece Australia, CBUS, Bunnings Trade and Kaboodle, TradeTools, Yokogawa Australia, Apprenticeship Employment Network – (AEN), Weld Australia, Caravan Trade and Industries Association of Queensland, Heavy Vehicle Industries Australia (HVIA), MAS National, VIVA Energy Australia, Technology One, TAFE Queensland Foundation, Rapid Media, Fujitsu Australia Limited, Institute of Instrumentation (IICA) and Fluke Australia.

Each year, TAFE Queensland works closely with local industry to ensure our training programs are tailored to their needs and that our apprentices graduate confident, capable, and ready to be the future leaders of their trades. Consequently, the Awards also celebrated two Employer categories and acknowledged Mader Group, who won Large Employer of the Year, and The Clarke Services Group, who won Small Employer of the Year, for their commitment and investment in training to build the skills of their workforces.

TAFE Queensland SkillsTech General Manager Stephen Gates said the TAFE Queensland SkillsTech CSQ Apprentice Awards are a chance for some of the hardest working members of our essential trade industries to be recognised for their excellence.

“The annual Apprentice Awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the dedication and success of the next generation of local tradespeople and I’d like to congratulate all of the finalists on their achievements,” Mr Gates said.

“For many of the winners, this is the first time ever that they have been celebrated for an academic achievement and it was incredibly touching to both see and hear what it meant to all of our finalists, their employers, and their families who attended the ceremony on the night.

“Our Apprentice Awards serve as a powerful tribute to our hardworking apprentices who are also the emerging leaders within the industries whose services keep the gears of our daily lives turning.

“TAFE Queensland is proud to help so many Queenslanders successfully start their trade careers and provide our state with a much-needed pipeline of skilled trade workers for the future,” he said.

2023 TAFE Queensland SkillsTech CSQ Apprentice Award Winners:

  • Carpentry Apprentice of the Year (Sponsored by TradeTools), Remo Italia - employed by Italia Projects.
  • Furnishing Trades Apprentice of the Year (Sponsored by Bunnings Trade and Kaboodle), Tully Kendall - employed by RWD Joinery Pty Ltd.
  • Construction Apprentice of the Year (Sponsored by CBUS), Lachlan Vine - employed by Superior Walls and Ceilings.
  • Painting and Decorating Apprentice of the Year (Sponsored by TAFE Queensland Foundation), Connor Thornton - employed by QBuild.
  • Bricklaying Apprentice of the Year (Sponsored by Brick and Block Careers), Hamid Amini - employed by Precise Masonry QLD Pty Ltd.
  • Plumbing and Gas Fitting Apprentice of the Year (Sponsored by Reece Australia), Raven Bowman - employed by Alexander Gas & Plumbing Co Pty Ltd.
  • Electrical Apprentice of the Year (Sponsored by MEGT), Jack Matthews - employed by Solar Air Energy Pty Ltd.
  • Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Apprentice of the Year (Sponsored by Fluke Australia), Samantha Smith - employed by CVSG Asset Services Pty Ltd.
  • Light Automotive Apprentice of the Year (Sponsored by VIVA Energy Australia), William Grace - employed by G.H. Varley Pty Ltd.
  • Heavy Commercial Industries Apprentice of the Year (Sponsored by Heavy Vehicle Industries Australia (HVIA), Dylan Vivian- employed by East Coast Diesels Pty Ltd.
  • Engineering and Manufacturing Apprentice of the Year (Sponsored by Weld Australia), Rhys McLenahan - employed by Munster Services Group Pty Ltd.
  • Recreational Vehicle Apprentice of the Year (Sponsored by Caravan Trade and Industries Association of Queensland), Oliver Harrison - employed by Suncoast Caravan Service.
  • Instrumentation Apprentice of the Year (Sponsored by Yokogawa Australia), Josh McKay - employed by Golden West Apprenticeships.
  • School-Based Apprentice of the Year (Sponsored by MAS National), Max Shore - employed by Queensland Forklifts Pty Ltd.