Aaron Mepstead has been named as the Manufacturing and Engineering Apprentice of the Year at the first annual TAFE Queensland - SkillsTech Apprentice Awards Night. The Apprentice Awards Night celebrates training excellence and the achievement of future tradespeople across 13 unique award categories.
Aaron is not only passionate about learning and building a career for himself — he is also passionate about helping others. Using the skills he gained during his time at TAFE Queensland, Aaron is in the early stages of starting a food van to feed the homeless. He plans to combine his love of using cast iron to create a cast-iron soup kitchen on wheels.
Aaron was nominated by his TAFE Queensland – SkillsTech teacher and trades mentor Shea Dillon who was impressed by his passion to engage in all aspects of learning, and by his desire to help others.
"Aaron has demonstrated his commitment to applying the theoretical knowledge of the classroom to the practical tasks in the workshop. He has demonstrated the benefits of education by applying learned skills to construct a food van to feed meals to the homeless," Shea said.
Aaron said he felt overwhelmed and very excited about winning the Manufacturing and Engineering Apprentice of the Year Award.
"I’m really excited to be here tonight — it is just great. Make great happen!"
"I’d like to give Osmac Apprenticeships a shout out who sponsored my award tonight," he said.
Aaron also thanked his employer Cascade Electrical who attended the awards night to support him.
The Manufacturing and Engineering Apprentice of the Year Award was sponsored by Osmac Apprenticeshipswho generously donated towards the event. Osmac have built a strong relationship with TAFE Queensland and always go above and beyond for both their apprentices and their staff.
TAFE Queensland – SkillsTech Acting General Manager John Tucker said the Apprenticeship Awards Night is an opportunity for staff, employers and industry to recognise and celebrate the achievements of those who have gone above and beyond in their trade area.
"These apprentices have been recognised for their technical skill, commitment to quality work, communication skills, and their knowledge of industry," Mr Tucker said.
"Many of the young achievers recognised will go on to become the future leaders in their own industries and will help to build a stronger, more skilled workforce which will create more jobs and opportunities for future generations," he said.
This year’s nominees were selected from over 9,000 apprentices across carpentry, plumbing, electrotechnology, refrigeration and air conditioning, manufacturing and engineering, heavy commercial vehicle, mobile plant and diesel fitting, light automotive, construction and furnishing trade areas.