The industry and vocational training community gathered at NEX (West’s Newcastle) last Friday, June 22, for a gala event to recognise excellence in training at the the 67th annual Hunter Regional Apprenticeship & Traineeship Advisory (HRATA) Awards.
Hosted by the HRATA Committee, the evening recognised the exceptional dedication to the chosen careers of apprentices and trainees from the Hunter Region across 25 vocations, as well as the commitment of their employers in the provision of quality training, thereby ensuring a highly skilled future workforce in the Hunter.
These awards were made possible by the support and sponsorship of local employers and organisations that have continually shown their faith in both the apprenticeship and traineeship systems by supporting the awards, as well as assisting numerous apprentices and trainees with training and job placement.
The Keynote Speakers for the evening were Ms Suzie Matthews, Director Regional Operations, Training Services NSW. Economic, Skills and Regional Development, NSW Department of Industry.
Darek Figa, ambassador for the awards and the state winner for VET Teacher/Trainer for 2017, also spoke on the night about his involvement with international study tours for his students, exposing them to modern conservation techniques and behavioural enrichment programs for extinct animals.
Currently the Hunter Region employs over 13,000 apprentices and trainees.
“This is a significant contribution to the State’s training needs especially with the current skills shortage,” said Regional Manager - Training Services NSW Mrs Rebecca Anthony.
The two overall winners for the Hunter Region were Toby Dorn (Overall Apprentice of the Year across All Trades) and Renee Keir (Overall Trainee of the Year across All Vocations).
Toby is employed by Jetstar and Renee is employed by Lake Macquarie City Council.
These high achievers will progress to the State Award finals.
The major sponsors of the NSW Awards are, the NSW Skills Board, TAFE NSW, Department of Education – Public Schools and Training Services NSW, NSW Department of Industry.
The HRATA Committee (the Awards’ host) is comprised of representatives of employer associations, unions, high schools, training providers, group training organisations, employers and government departments.
Its role is to provide advice to Government through the Department of Education & Communities, Office of Education, on vocational education and training issues as well as promoting vocational education and training throughout the Hunter Region.
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