Skillset Workforce celebrated an historic night last night being involved in three wins at the 2017 NSW Training Awards in Sydney. Skillset Workforce and TAFE NSW took out the Industry Collaboration award for the life-changing Skills4Trade and Pledge250 Program, Skillset apprentice Brad Ingham from Orange won the Excellence in Trade Skills Award and Skillset apprentice Donald Dundas from Coonabarabran won the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year.
Skillset CEO Craig Randazzo said he couldn’t be prouder of the apprentices, his staff and the programs Skillset delivered. “To see these young people grow and develop the skills we need for the future, and to be providing jobs for them is reward enough, so to receive this recognition is unbelievable.”Skills4Trade was launched in 2016 as part of a coordinated approach to address regional youth unemployment. Since then it has successfully helped increase trainee and apprenticeship participation and completion rates in the region, and helped many students gain important and highly sought after skills. Craig said it was an endorsement of the program’s commitment to sustainable jobs for young people across the region. “We have to also thank the hundreds of businesses across the Central West who hosted work placements for Skills4Trade participants, pledged on-going jobs and changed literally hundreds of lives as a result.” The Skills4Trade/Pledge25 Program will now progress to the Australian Training Awards finals in Canberra in November.
Bradley Ingham upstaged thousands of talented competitors from across the state to win the Excellence in Trade Skills award. This success follows news in August that Brad gained a place to represent the Australian Skillaroos team in the prestigious WorldSkills competition in Abu Dhabi in October this year. Brad attended TAFE NSW Orange. “I was absolutely stunned when they called out my name,” an extremely proud Brad said. “It’s been an amazing year for me personally – first winning my way to compete in Abu Dhabi and now this state-wide award. It’s exciting and I’m very proud of what I’ve been able to achieve this year.” Brad’s mentor from Hort Enterprises in Orange where he is employed, Chris Hutchinson, believes this recognition is thoroughly deserved. “Brad is very humble and while he may be surprised by this success, I’m certainly not,” Mr Hutchinson said. “Brad has been a real asset to the company right from day one. He’s passionate about learning and the industry, hard-working, extremely talented and a very deserving winner.”
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year, Donald Dunstan said he was very surprised by his win. “I went to the awards not expecting much, so I was very surprised when they announced me as the winner,” an extremely proud and humble Donald said. “To consider the journey that I have been on and the fact that there were thousands of people eligible for this award, it’s a massive achievement to be named the best in NSW and something I’m very proud of.” Donald’s mentor, Warrumbungle Shire Council’s Harold Sutton, believes his recognition is well deserved. “This success might have come as a surprise for Donald, but I’m not surprised at all,” Mr Sutton said. “I think it’s fantastic that the judges have acknowledged how talented, hard-working, dedicated and skilful Donald is. He always demonstrates integrity and diligence in his work – he’s an exceptional asset to council.” Donald studied Plumbing at TAFE NSW Tamworth. Donald will now progress to the Australian Training Award finals where he hopes to add to his long list of achievements. “I would be speechless if I won the Australian award,” Donald said. “It would mean a lot to everyone who has supported me on this journey if I was to win, but I am also very proud to have made it this far.”