Blayney’s Brad Ingham last night capped off a momentous year of personal triumph when he won a prestigious NSW State Training Award at a special ceremony in Sydney.
The Orange TAFE NSW mechanical and engineering student and Skillset apprentice 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.
“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.”
The esteemed awards, conducted by the NSW Department of Industry, recognise the most outstanding vocational education and training (VET) students, teachers, providers and employers in NSW.
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.”
TAFE NSW and Skillset also enjoyed further success on the evening, taking out the Industry Collaboration award for their life-changing Skills4Trade Program.
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.
A thrilled Skillset CEO Craig Randazzo said the awards success was an endorsement for 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 ongoing jobs and helped us change hundreds of lives as a result of this program.”