The Apprenticeship Employment Network (AEN) and the Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN) Australia were proud to announce the winners of the 2022 Apprentice Training Awards at a gala dinner at the Plaza Ballroom, Melbourne on Wednesday 23 November 2022.
The announcement of the AEN Award winners comes following the release of the latest National Centre for Vocational Education Research report, Treading water: effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on youth transitions finding a significant increase of 3.6 percentage points in the youth underemployment rate between 219 and 2020. Similarly, between 2019 and 2020, online delivery for VET courses increased by about 24%; however, it is associated with lower completion rates and higher withdrawal rates. As with all economic downturns, young people have been particularly exposed to unemployment, lost earnings and reduced opportunities for education and social well-being.
Gary Workman, Executive Director of GAN Australia and the AEN said, “Despite industry disruption, the outstanding skill and commitment the nominees have displayed to their vocational skills and career is commendable. It is inspiring hearing their stories and the adversity they’ve had to overcome that led them to undertake an apprenticeship. It is fantastic to celebrate their passion, resilience and hard work as they build employability skills and move into jobs with long-term career prospects.
Indigenous Student of the Year winner Donald Chatfield said, “It means the world to me that I can show what dedication and hard work can do – having done two terms of imprisonment and to now be nominated for this award is a huge achievement in itself but winning is absolutely surreal.”
Mr Workman says, “Even in the face of demand for higher skills, the drive and determination of employers working to introduce young people to skills training that fills in local economy gaps are honourable. I am pleased that we can show appreciation and gratitude to the apprentices and trainees, our members and host organisations working together to tackle skills shortages in Australia.”
“Our future is in the hands of our youth,” says Suzie Smith, Senior Program Advisor from group training organisation NECA Education & Careers.
“It is important that we continue to provide pathways to youth and provide them with the tools to assist them to make an informed choice into further study or employment pathways in vocational (apprenticeship) industries. Inaction will contribute to the long-term skills shortage and ageing workforce issues many industries are experiencing,” Mr Workman said.
Winners for the AEN Awards
ATOA Apprentice of the Year – Lachlan Mackay, VGT
This award is funded by the Australian Technical Officers Association and aims to recognise the best and brightest Victorian GTO apprentice.
Trainee of the Year – Natassja Ivanov, Next Gen
Disability Achievement – Rebecca Hope, NECA Education & Careers
This award is presented to an apprentice or trainee with a disability who has shown outstanding performance and attitude.
Indigenous Student of the Year – Donald Chatfield, Gforce
This award aims to recognise the achievements of Victorian Indigenous apprentices and trainees and their commitment to their communities.
Overcoming Adversity – Hedayatullah Habibi (Habibi), NECA Education & Careers
This award aims to recognise apprentices and trainees in Victoria that have faced and overcome significant challenges in their lives that would have otherwise significant challenges in their lives that would have otherwise prevented them from undertaking or completing their apprenticeship or traineeship.
School-based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year – Tode Postolov, VGT & Sebastian Streat, BGT
This award aims to recognise Victorian students that are undertaking a Cert II or higher qualification as a School-based Apprentice/Trainee and their commitment to their studies in school and the workplace.
Women in Trades – Abbey Evans, Ai Group
This award acknowledges the contribution Victorian women make in the trades and recognises their achievements in overcoming barriers and stigma faces in a male-dominated industry.
STAR Awards – Anthony Thomas, Ai Group
STAR (Stop Taking A Risk) awards are presented to apprentices or trainees employed by a Victorian Group Training Organisation for a demonstrated contribution to making their workplace a safer environment.
GTO Service Excellence Awards – G-Force and Westvic Staffing Solutions
This award is presented to a staff member or team/group of staff for demonstrating outstanding contributions to the success in Group Training.
Outstanding OHS Initiative – NECA Education & Careers Electrical Apprentice Induction Program
This award is presented to an individual, or a team/group for demonstrating outstanding contributions to OH&S in Group Training.