A carpentry apprentice who displays great leadership qualities and a trainee with a passion for sports education have taken out top honours at the 2019 NSW Training Awards held last night at the Sydney Town Hall.
Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee congratulated Nelson Florimo from Long Jetty on being named Apprentice of the Year and Samuel Heffernan from Wagga Wagga on taking out the Trainee of the Year award.
“Nelson’s dad, Greg Florimo, was an outstanding rugby league player and Nelson was following in his father’s footsteps until serious injury forced him to give up the game aged 18 and that led him to discover a passion for carpentry,” Mr Lee said.
”Nelson demonstrated leadership qualities throughout his apprenticeship beginning with the construction of a Newcastle light rail stop.
“In the third year of his apprenticeship, he was part of the leadership team on a $4 million aged care project after the foreman left, and later on a $9 million project for which he was also the ‘face’ of the construction site,” Mr Lee said.
Nelson said he was “drawn towards construction” early on in life.
“I knew I wanted to build things since I was a kid. The carpentry apprenticeship just felt right and I set my goals right from the start,” he said.
Mr Lee said Trainee of the Year award winner Samuel Heffernan was such an outstanding sports education trainee that the Catholic Education Office in Wagga Wagga offered him a teacher support role when he completed his traineeship.
“Like Nelson, Samuel displayed outstanding leadership skills during his traineeship in organising and running sporting carnivals for 32 schools,” Mr Lee said.
Samuel said he enjoyed his traineeship that involved working full-time and training online which empowered him to become a self-motivated, independent learner.
“I was constantly challenged and that allowed me to test and use the new skills I developed in a wide range of jobs. One day I would be working with an accountant or the HR team, the next with the IT team, administration team or even teachers. I was immersed in so many fields and as a result I learnt so much,” he said.
Mr Lee also congratulated the winners of the other award categories saying they are living proof of the great personal and career benefits that vocational education and training (VET) can bring.
The NSW Training Award winners will now represent the state at the Australian Training Awards in Brisbane in November.
Apprentice of the Year
North Construction & Building P/L
Cert III – Carpentry
Long Jetty (Central Coast)
Trainee of the Year
Catholic Education Diocese, Wagga Wagga
Cert III – Sport, Fitness and Recreation
School Based Apprentice/ Trainee of the Year
Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church (Lismore Diocese)
TH Hospitality Services
Cert III – Tourism
VET in Schools Student of the Year
Southern Cross Vocational College
Cert III – Live Production and Services
Vocational Student of the Year
Joblink Plus Training
2340 Barber Shop
Cert III – Barbering
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander of the Year
Australian College of Commerce & Management
ANZ Banking Group
Cert II – Business
Woman in non-Traditional Trade
Cert III – ESI Power Systems, Distribution Overhead