Student proves his mettle as apprentice of the year

Brendan Berecry meets two inspiring students who took out honours at the NSW Training Awards.

The 2022 NSW Training Awards

Vocational education and training students, teachers and service providers have been honoured for being the best at what they do at the 2022 NSW Training Awards.

Friday’s gala event also marked a welcome return to a live event for the NSW Training Awards at Sydney Town Hall after the pandemic-led disruptions of recent years.

Inverell metal fabricator Lachlan Butler was named Apprentice of the Year for applying his trade at BOSS Engineering.

The 22-year-old has made big strides in his apprenticeship despite facing challenging circumstances including assuming responsibility on his family’s farm.

“Being involved in an apprenticeship allows you to create and be involved in an environment that is supportive and a community that is all inclusive,” he said.

A passionate advocate for addressing the skills shortage in rural Australia, Lachlan said he was now keen to use his award platform to encourage others to pursue a trade career through VET, finding the hands-on training VET provided to be world class.

“Skills training in Australia is extremely important,” he said.

“Our country’s future is dependent on people like myself who have gone through an apprenticeship.”

Image: Advocate for rural skills: Apprentice of the Year Lachlan Butler, centre, with 2021 Apprentice of the Year Troy Harris and Skills Minister Alister Henskens.
Image: Inspired by her family: VET in Schools Student of the Year Stella Cox, centre, with 2021 VET in Schools Student of the Year Ethan Zammit and Catholic Schools NSW Senior Manager, VET Gerard Delany.

Third-generation nurse

Strathfield Girls High School vice-captain Stella Cox was named the VET in Schools Student of the Year for excelling in her Certificate III in Health Services Assistance with NSW Health.

Ms Cox said she would be the third generation in her family to enter the nursing profession and hoped to specialise in midwifery.

“While both my grandmother and mother are two inspirational women in my life, a driving force was to be part of a sector that needs more nurses,” she said.

The NSW Training Awards are conducted annually by Training Services NSW in recognition of outstanding achievements in Vocational and Education Training.

The winners across seven individual and five categories will represent NSW at the Australian Training Awards in November in South Australia.

A full list of all the NSW award winners across multiple categories can be found on the website.

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