Queensland’s top training talent announced online

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

An engineering and IT manager from the Bundaberg region has taken out the top State award for Apprentice of the Year at the 2020 Queensland Training Awards.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman congratulated all 14 state winners along with all of the talented and hardworking finalists.

“It has been a tough year for apprentices, trainees, students, employers and training and community organisations and many of our state winners have been impacted by COVID-19,” Ms Fentiman said.

“Now more than ever we need to recognise and celebrate the incredible efforts and achievements of our top achievers in training.

“As we continue to deliver Queensland’s $8 billion plan for economic recovery, we know that training and upskilling will be critical.

“We’re building on our achievements – including Free apprenticeships for under 21s and Free tafe for year 12 graduates – to create a resilient and adaptable workforce.”

“All of our winners are playing an important role in our recovery as we know having a skilled workforce will drive our State’s economy.”

“Apprentice of the Year Braden Hellmuth of Innes Park completed a diesel mechanic apprenticeship with the Greensill Farming Group before being appointed to the company’s management team,” she said.

“Braden developed an interest in agriculture during his school holidays picking job with Greensill and after studying science at university he returned to become the company’s first apprentice.

“Braden has paved the way for others and the Greensill company now has five apprentices.”

The Minister said Small Employer of the Year winners, Lyle and Helen Kent owners of Kent Saddlery, had to abandon their annual visits to outback stations this year due to COVID-19 but maintained contact with their country clients through emails and social media.

“It was the first time in 30 years that the Kent Saddlery tour was halted but demand for their handcrafted saddles and leather goods continued,” the Minister said.

“The Stanthorpe business has grown from a one-man show to a large-scale operation employing 14 staff and with the ability to train apprentices after leather production was reinstated as a Queensland apprenticeship last year.”

The Minister made special mention of Austcare which took out the 2020 Small Training Provider of the Year title and its trainer, Michelle Clements of Hervey Bay, was named the VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year.

“AustCare Training delivers community services training throughout the state and helps meet the growing need for trained and job-ready workers across aged care, home care and disability services,” Ms Fentiman said.

“Michelle was inspired to leave her graphic artist job and pursue a career in health care after her father developed Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease and she knew she wanted to help people to care for others with empathy.”

The winner of the 2020 Premier’s Industry Collaboration Award is the TAFE Queensland and Rheinmetall Defence Australia Collaboration for the ISO 9606 Fusion Welding Program.

“TAFE’s partnership with Rheinmetall is making sure Queensland has the skills needed for the new and emerging industries,” MS Fentiman said.

“This program is vital to the production of Australia’s newest combat vehicles in Queensland.

“TAFE Queensland has trained more than 100 welders in master advanced welding techniques using augmented reality welding simulators, as well as through skills exchanges between Germany and Australia.

“It is important in these challenging times that we continue to support these innovative training initiatives and collaborations along with the fantastic people, committed employers and training providers that make up our thriving VET sector,” Ms Fentiman said.

I congratulate all the winners and nominees from around the state for their hard work, and for helping to strengthen Queensland’s VET sector which will be vital to a post-COVID-19 recovery.”

Queensland Training Awards winners:

Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year:

Braden Hellmuth – North Coast

Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year:

Breanna Cassidy – North Coast

Vocational Student of the Year:

Ngaire Trigg – North Queensland

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year:

Jabin Giblett – Metropolitan

School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year:

Jennifer Myers – Metropolitan

Equity VET Student of the Year:

Helena Kidd – Central Queensland

VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year:

Michelle Clements – North Coast

Community Training Initiative of the Year:

IFYS Ltd – North Coast

Large Employer of the Year:

Hastings Deering – Metropolitan

Medium Employer of the Year:

Selectability Ltd – North Queensland

Small Employer of the Year:

Kent Saddlery – Darling Downs South West

Large Training Provider of the Year:

Asset College

Small Training Provider of the Year:

AustCare Training

Premier’s Industry Collaboration:

TAFE Queensland and Rheinmetall Defence Australia Collaboration

/Public Release. View in full here.