2024 North Coast & Mid North Coast Training Awards celebrate excellence in Vocational Education and Training

NSW Department of Education

The region’s most outstanding people and organisations working and learning in the vocational education and training (VET) sector have been recognised at this year’s North Coast & Mid North Coast Regional Training Awards.

The event celebrated the achievements of all category winners including apprentices, trainees, students, businesses, and trainers that champion vocational education.

Joshua Manning and Emily Sutherland, who took top honours at the 2024 North Coast & Mid North Coast Training Awards ceremony last night at the Byron Theatre, were given special recognition.

Joshua was named Apprentice of the Year and commended for his drive, knowledge, and passion for the automotive industry. Special mention was made of the additional training and skill development opportunities he took on while completing his apprenticeship early.

He is passionate about mechanical and electrical vehicle repair and restoration and is a capable speaker, making him an outstanding advocate for his industry as a VET ambassador.

Emily received the Trainee of the Year award for her outstanding skills, commitment, and outcomes-focused contribution to the Australian Football League.

As the first female team member in the Northern NSW office, Emily was recognised for her leadership, program delivery, ability to thrive in challenging circumstances, and inspiring colleagues and the local football community in the game’s development.

The finalists and winners at the North Coast & Mid North Coast regional awards exemplify the world-class VET sector in the region, highlighting the breadth of rewarding career opportunities offered by vocational education and training.

Presented by Training Services NSW, the awards demonstrate the importance of providing real skills for real careers and highlight the NSW Government’s commitment to building a resilient and highly skilled workforce.

Minister for Skills, TAFE and Tertiary Education, Steve Whan

“We know many jobs created in the next decade will require vocational qualifications. These awards celebrate the young workers, trainers and businesses working to ensure we meet this challenge.”

“Congratulations to Joshua and Emily for their remarkable achievements. Their stories exemplify the transformative power of VET and the opportunities it creates for individuals to thrive and make a significant impact in their communities.”

Apprentice of the Year, Joshua Manning, said:

“I chose the automotive trade primarily because of my dad, who was a mechanic for around 43 years and ran his own business for most of that time.”

“Another factor that led me to the trade was purchasing my first vehicle. With my dad’s help, we restored the vehicle just in time for me to take it to my high school formal.”

“During this project, I realised how useful the automotive skill set is and the rewards of figuring out mechanical and electrical systems for repair or restoration.”

Trainee of the Year, Emily Sutherland, said:

“A high-energy individual with a passion for sport and exercise, I was excited by the opportunity to work in the sports industry”.

“As part of my traineeship with SportsReady and AFL NSW/ACT, I completed Certificate III in Business while working full-time based out of Coffs Harbour.”

/Public Release.