PHOTOS: ‘Good vibe’ at trainee awards

THE best in trainees and employers were rewarded in Tamworth on Friday night.

More than 400 people, including 81 nominees travelled to the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Confer- ence Centre for the NSW Training Awards New England Region.

Winners were ann- ounced in categories including Apprentice of the Year, Trainee of the Year, Vocational Student of the Year and Large Employer and Small Employer of the Year.

State Training Services New England manager Greg Poetschka said the night “went very well” with a “good vibe and a lot of very happy people”.

About 410 people travelled from across the region, resulting in the second biggest crowd the event had attracted.

Mr Poetschka said the awards night was in the top couple size-wise in the state, although we are the smallest region of the 10 regions in the state.

“We had really good nominations and they were really strong in every category,” he said.

“Last year was a record year, but this year the apprenticeship nominations were down.”

Mr Poetschka said the awards give students, apprentices, trainees and employers a buzz.

“I’ve had parents and employers tell me, particularly with some of the younger students from outlying areas who have walked the red carpet, that, for some of them, it’s the biggest crowd they’ve ever been in front of,” he said.

“It’s a big buzz for the winners.”

The overall category winners of the top categories from New England now go through to be judged at state level.

Last year the region produced three state finalists and two winners.

Major Winners

* Apprentice of the Year: Kay Jeffrey, Tamworth

* Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year: Melanie Jane Blair, Tingha

* School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year: Georga Cruckshank, Wee Waa

* Trainee of the Year: Bree Constable, Tamworth

* Vocational Student of the Year: Sandi Brown, Tamworth

* VET In Schools Student of the Year: Keagan Size, Coolah/Farrer Memorial Agricultural High

* VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year: Hannah Parry, Inverell

* Large Employer of the Year: Milestones Early Learning Centre Pty Ltd

* Small Employer of the Year: Sole Taxation

* Small Employer of the Year: Nurruby Childcare Centre and Preschool

* Large Training Provider of the Year: Tamworth Community College

* Phil Darby Memorial Award: James Sanchez-Anderson, Goodas Wool Training

* Excellence in Trade Skills: Glenn Hinds, GS and BE Hinds 

* Excellence in Manufacturing Award: Daniel Gibson, Tamworth Regional Council

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