TAFE Queensland apprentice Charlie Elizabeth Nightingale has been announced as the Gold Coast's Outstanding Apprentice of the Year for 2018.

The fourth year electrotechnology student took out top honours at the annual Apprentice Celebration and Awards Evening and is the second female tradesperson to win the coveted title.

The event, now in its seventh year, is the largest apprenticeship celebration on the Gold Coast. TAFE Queensland teachers and staff were there to celebrate the achievements of their outstanding apprentice students with industry leaders and employers.

Charlie, who was nominated by her teacher for her quality workmanship and commitment to the electrical industry, also took out the fourth year Electrotechnology trophy in the lead up to the overall winner announcement.

“I’m so honoured to have received this award. I did not expect it and it came as a huge surprise,” Charlie said.

“Initially, I kicked off my studies with a business degree and changed after two years as I realised it wasn’t for me. I wanted something more practical and physical that got me moving instead of being stuck at a desk all day.

“After chatting to people in the industry, I realised that it was something I’d like to do and I'm so pleased that I have, as I’ve met amazing people along the way,” Charlie said.

Charlie is employed at Tri State Electrical and Communications Pty Ltd, a major supplier of electrical, data and communications services. Director of Tri State, Darren Davis, said he knew instantly that Charlie would fit in well with their team.

"When Charlie came knocking on our door after being let go due to lack of work at her first company, we saw this as a character trait that sits well within the Tristate team. She had an interview and the company employed her as a third year apprentice that same day.

“Over the next two years Charlie showed an unwavering determination to make the most of her opportunity, taking on more and more responsibility and putting in the hours required to complete each project.

“We never hear her complain about the different types of work or how dirty or hot the work might be — she just gives 110 per cent in everything she does.

“Charlie has been introduced to many new tasks both in the construction projects and service work at Tri State Electrical and has excelled in commercial fit-out work, with many happy repeat clients.

“The highest praise I can give Charlie is that there was no hesitation in telling her there was a position within Tristate for her when she gains her Electrical Trade License in February,” said Mr Davis.

TAFE Queensland Gold Coast General Manager, Karen Dickinson said Charlie was a well-deserving winner.

“Charlie has impressed all of her teachers and work colleagues who have nothing but praise for her quality work and commitment. She is enthusiastic, organised and professional about all aspects of her course,” Ms Dickinson said.

“She has excelled in both her practical and theory work and is always willing to help others out in any aspects of the trade. Charlie fully deserves recognition and will make an exceptional electrician."


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