The NECA Education & Careers Excellence Awards again gave us the opportunity to celebrate our apprentices, trainees, students and host employers on Tuesday 31 October 2017 at Crown Casino.
Kicking off the night was the Pre-Apprentice of the Year award, which Jack Atkinson won. “He always stays on task with a high standard of work,” commented his teacher, Chris Jones.
1st Year Student Apprentice of the Year was won by Nellie Baker. “Nellie is not afraid of tackling new subjects,” teacher Bruce Petrie said, “plus she is ahead of her class despite mentoring other students.”
The winner of the 2nd Year Apprentice Student of the Year award was Shane Frederickson. “To date Shane has passed every unit on his first attempt and he’s a pleasure to teach, punctual, well behaved and understands concepts quickly.” said teacher Brendan Clarke.
It was then time for the first major award of the night. The Kevin Stevens Excellence Award for Academic Achievement goes to a 3rd year apprentice who shows an eagerness to learn and passion for the electrical trade, while also having a willingness to help and inspire others, embodying the values Kevin Stevens was loved for. This year’s winner was Alan Nehme, who overcame not being supported by his first employer, leaving the trade and having to undertake his schooling again. “He loves to lead by example when it comes to showing his fellow students the way, gets involved in class discussions and watches out for people in the class and at work,” teacher Nick Oakes commented.
Tasmania Trainee of the Year was awarded to Taylor Stevenson. Her host employer Dalene Stuart said, “Taylor has been an asset to Flesh Therapy, quick to learn anything put to her. She gets along great with all our staff and clients love her.”
The Victoria Trainee of the Year was Merinda Dryden. “She has been a good example of what can happen when you get into a traineeship and just roll with the opportunities,” said her Industry Careers Consultant Suzie Smith.
For Tasmania Apprentice of the Year the judges were unable to choose, so there were two winners, Gerry Dallas and Dominic Sweeney! Gerry’s host employer Andrew Farr said, “On many occasions our A grades specifically requested to have Gerry as he is hardworking with good judgement and attention to detail.” This award follows Gerry’s success at the NECA Tasmania Excellence Awards where he won Apprentice of the Year for Domestic/Commercial.
Dominic’s host employer RBD Electrical said, “I have been fortunate enough to have been in the position to mentor many apprentices during my career, whilst all are worthy of praise, very few can be categorised as exceptional. His ability to see the whole project, understand complex directions and foresee upcoming steps all without fuss and prompting. He’s a supervisor’s dream!”
Braydon Andrew was the winner of the Victoria Junior Apprentice of the Year award. Martin Major, Braydon’s Industry Careers Consultant, described him as being committed to small tasks while still being able to see the bigger picture. Braydon’s host employer Gerard Higgins from Fredon commented, “All who follow Braydon’s journey can see a project manager in the making.”
The final major award of the night was Victoria Senior Apprentice of the Year, awarded to Declyn D’Silva. Industry Careers Consultant Philip Seeber said that Declyn is often seen at the Yarra trams depot as a senior resource, technically advanced and an excellent employee.
Next up were the host employer awards. The Host Employer of the Year Trainee was the Department of Health and Human Services, who have been hosting trainees through the Youth Employment Scheme (YES) for trainees since 2011. ADJ Contracting won the Electrical Host Employer of the Year (Small to Medium). The Electrical Host Employer of the Year (Large) was awarded to Stowe Australia, who have been a long-standing partner of our AMP model.
In addition to doing an excellent job as host, NECA Education & Careers teacher Jamie Robertson was surprised with the inaugural Teacher of the Year award from NECA Education & Careers and the prestigious National Electrotechnology Industry Trade Teacher Award from NECA. “Jamie has an obvious way of connecting and engaging in the classroom and this has helped foster mutual respect. His managers could not speak more highly of his work, passion and drive.” Said Suresh Manickam, NECA CEO.
NECA Education & Careers Chairman Phil Honeywood was also presented with his award for 10 years of service on the NECA Education & Careers board, to his surprise!
The presentations were followed by guest Andrew Startin, who performed the sporting impersonations he is famous for and gave a frank discussion of his experiences with mental health issues that resonated with attendees.
Throughout the night there was a great energy in the room as the presentations and conversations highlighted why we’re all involved in the industry and in supporting the careers of apprentices and trainees.