Bridie named 2023 Trainee of the Year
Balmain's Bridie Searle was one of eight NSW winners at the 30th Australian Training Awards.
20 November 2023
Balmain’s Bridie Searle was named the 2023 Trainee of the Year at the 30th Australian Training Awards in Hobart on Friday 17 November.
The quality of the state’s vocational education and training (VET) sector was on show with eight NSW winners crowned across the night.
Ms Searle now manages million-dollar maritime projects for Thales Australia after completing her Certificate IV in Project Management Practice.
“I’ve always been a hands-on learner. The balance of theory and practical work offers an unmatched training program – it was pivotal to my success,” she said.
“When I reflect on the person and professional I’ve become during this traineeship, it fills me with pride. It’s been fantastic and I’ve picked up so many skills that are transferable across multiple roles and industries.”
The national awards represent the pinnacle in VET for individuals, businesses, and registered training organisations.
Hillvue’s Molly Smith was runner-up in the Australian School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year category.
Ms Smith was inspired to start a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance following an illness in the family.
“My traineeship lets me study something I’m passionate about, but it’s also given me a place where I feel at home,” she said.
“Nursing has had a massive impact on my life. I’ve gained confidence, valuable skills, and a sense of belonging. I’m excited about my future.”
NSW Minister for Skills, TAFE and Tertiary Education, Steve Whan, attended the ceremony and said he hoped more people would be inspired to explore VET pathways.
“Our winners and finalists proudly represent the next generation of VET-skilled workforce. I congratulate them on their dedication to their trades and thank them for their service to the community,” he said.
“It is great to see the number of young women excelling in their training, as well as a number from regional NSW.”
NSW also dominated in the Australian Apprenticeships – Employer Award category with Komatsu, a global leader in manufacturing, innovation, technology, and people development, winning the top gong.
Electrical contracting company, Kerfoot won silver, with Peter Warren Automotive finishing with the bronze.
Other award recipients from NSW included:
- Large Employer of the Year (Silver): Transdev Australasia
- School Pathways to VET Award (Silver): CathWest Innovation College
- Innovation in VET Award (Bronze): St John XXIII Catholic College
This year’s finalists were chosen from each state and territory’s training awards, with NSW winners represented in 10 of the 16 categories.
- Skills champions