Gala night for the region's apprentices and trainees || Photos

A Kootingal apprentice has taken out top honours at the 2018 New England Regional Training Awards held in Tamworth on Friday night.

Congratulations: Kootingal's Ashleigh Dallas was named Apprentice of the Year at the Training Awards on Friday night. Photo: Supplied.

Congratulations: Kootingal's Ashleigh Dallas was named Apprentice of the Year at the Training Awards on Friday night. Photo: Supplied.

Ashleigh Dallas, who studied hairdressing at TAFE NSW while working at Wavelengths 489, was awarded Apprentice of the Year.

Gunnedah’s Justin Law also came out on top, awarded Trainee of the Year. He trained in Horticulture at Australian Training and Consulting while working at Mackellar Care Services.

Well done: Uralla's Kieran Sullivan was named VET in Schools Student of the Year at the gala event on Friday. Photo: Supplied.

Well done: Uralla's Kieran Sullivan was named VET in Schools Student of the Year at the gala event on Friday. Photo: Supplied.

“Ashleigh and Justin have proven to be among the State’s best and brightest Vocational Education and Training (VET) students,” Training Services NSW Executive Director David Collins said.

“Ashleigh was a standout apprentice who has an exceptional work ethic and a keen willingness to further her already considerable skills in hairdressing.

“Justin too is passionate about the horticulture trade and has developed great skills and confidence during his traineeship, to the point where his innovations to the irrigation system at Mackellar have improved efficiency and safety of the system.

“While Ashleigh and Justin are exceptional VET talents, the quality of all finalists and winners at the New England awards has provided a showcase of our world class VET sector and I congratulate them all,” Mr Collins said.

Tamworth student Jesse Britten was named Vocational Student of the Year. He is studying a Diploma in Workplace Health & Safety (WHS) at TAFE NSW while working as the WHS manager for meat processing company TEYS Australia.

Rewarded: Jesse Britten from Tamworth Vocational Student of the Year. Photo: Supplied.

Rewarded: Jesse Britten from Tamworth Vocational Student of the Year. Photo: Supplied.

The regional winners will now be eligible to compete at the NSW Training Awards state finals in September.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Skills John Barilaro said the awards are great pathway for a rewarding career.

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“They provide a fantastic platform for us to celebrate the achievements of all those involved in the success of our Smart and Skilled VET system which provides students in NSW with high quality and affordable training,” Mr Barilaro said.

“VET offers a strong alternative to university with graduates getting into work sooner, getting paid more on graduation, and getting training in occupations predicted to have the greatest new job growth over the next five years.”

Regional award winners:

Ashleigh Dallas – Apprentice of the Year (Kootingal)

Justin Law – Trainee of the Year (Gunnedah)

Darren Finn – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander of the Year (Inverell) 

Emika Denzel – School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year (Ashford) 

Kieran Sullivan – VET in Schools Student of the Year (Uralla)

Jessie Britten – Vocational Student of the Year (Tamworth)

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