TAFE Queensland fabrication trade apprentice Jasmine Willoughby has been awarded the AIMEX 2020 Apprentice of the Year Award at the 2020 Australian Marine Industry Awards.

This award was only introduced this year to recognize and honour young marine apprentices for their hard work, dedication and commitment to the Australian marine industry.

As part of her prize, Jasmine will join the AIMEX team and Australian contingent at the 2021 METSTRADE, the world’s largest marine trade show in Amsterdam. Jasmine, who is now a second-year apprentice, said that she was surprised to win the prestigious award.

“I was just honoured and really grateful to be nominated by my host employer Aus Ships for the award. I was honestly blown away when I was announced as the recipient,” Jasmine said.

“I don't really know what to expect at the 2021 METSTRADE as I've never been to an event like it before. I'm very excited by the opportunity and look forward to the experience,” she said.

Jasmine’s interest in trades started as a hobby and saw her creating her own art and timber projects. She found that she thoroughly enjoyed the building side of the projects, and began exploring trade careers whilst still employed in her role as a pharmacy assistant.

Jasmine reached out to the Females in Trades team at East Coast Apprenticeships to discuss possible trade career pathways and opportunities. The Females in Trades team also connected Jasmine with other female apprentices and tradeswomen that she could talk to about their experiences in the trade industry.

In 2018 Jasmine took a leap of faith and enrolled in the specialist superyacht welding program through East Coast Apprenticeships. She was part of the first cohort of 14 students (including five females) to complete the federally funded Launch into Work pilot program which was delivered at TAFE Queensland's Acacia Ridge campus.

During the program students completed a Certificate II in Engineering Pathways (MEM20413) followed by three-weeks of an intensive aluminium weld program and two weeks industry placement. Jasmine completed her industry placement at Aus Ships and was soon offered a boilermaking apprenticeship through East Coast Apprenticeships.

“When I first started the program, I just wanted to learn welding. I had never done welding before and didn't know if I'd be any good at it,” said Jasmine.

“As the program progressed, I found myself really enjoying it. I began to look at what opportunities were available, and I was grateful when Aus Ships took me on as an apprentice after I finished my work experience.”

“Finishing my trade is what I'm really focused on at the moment, but I’d also like to learn AutoCAD and maybe pick up some engineering courses,” she said.

TAFE Queensland - SkillsTech General Manager, John Tucker said that Jasmine should be very proud of her achievement and the recognition she has gained from the marine industry.

“We are so pleased that TAFE Queensland - SkillsTech, in partnership with East Coast Apprenticeships, have been able to provide pathways for Queenslanders to be able to achieve their career goals,” Mr Tucker said.

“The need for qualified welders within Queensland’s Super Yacht, defence and naval sectors continues to grow, and TAFE Queensland will continue to support these industries by providing skilled workers,” he said.


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