Brightest and best in contention for training awards

EIGHT employees of Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) have been nominated for the 2014 New England Regional Training Awards.

State Training Services regional manager Greg Poetschka said it was good to see a range of people covering several age groups being nominated.

“Age doesn’t matter – as long as they fit the category,” Mr Poetschka said.

He said the awards continued to be part of a major push to encourage businesses to take on apprentices and trainees throughout the North West New England region to provide opportunities for locals in our towns and to address workforce shortages in our area’s industries.

In this regard, the New England North West was bucking the nationwide trend of a 30 per cent drop in apprentice numbers in general, Mr Poetschka said.

There were 1500 apprentices in our region, with a total of 3800 apprentices, trainees and school-based trainees, he said.

“There is a drop-off nationwide but, locally, apprentices are still really strong in our region,” he said.

“Tamworth Regional Council has recruited a number of school-based apprentices and trainees in recent years in addition to employing trainees and apprentices.” 

This year, he said, a number of these young people were eligible to be nominated for the 2014 regional awards as recognition of their successful completion of their qualifications. 

TRC network administration officer Alex Brandon was “over the moon to be nominated”.

Kay Burnes, TRC section 355 co-ordinator, lauded the fact that someone at the council had nominated her.

“I’m flattered. I’m appreciative that it’s a partnership, not just an individual achievement,” Ms Burnes said.

Nominations are open until April 4 to recognise the best trainees, apprentices, vocational students and employers for 2014.

There are 18 awards including seven individual awards (which include Apprentice of the Year, Trainee of the Year and Vocational Student of the Year).

The awards, which recognise the skill of those in our region striving to achieve the best in their chosen career, will be held at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre on June 20. 

Winners of each category will be announced at the NSW Training Awards gala presentation event in Sydney in September.

The eligibility criteria and entry forms for the 2014 NSW Training Awards can be found at www.training.nsw.gov.au

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