UNIVERSITY of Ballarat graduate Patrick Janes was named Apprentice of the Year at the 2013 Victoria Training Awards on Friday night.
Also recognised from Ballarat, Highlands LLEN won the Victoria Vet in Schools Excellence Award, and Laser Electrical Ballarat won the Victorian Employer Award for Apprentice Development.
Longerenong College student Kate Cross also received the Victorian Vocational Student of the Year Award.
Mr Janes completed his certificate III in engineering – fabrication in February this year.
“It was a bit of a surprise – I didn’t think I’d done anything too out of the ordinary,” he said.
He was placed sixth at the national World Skills competition in Sydney last year, competing in the welding category.
Mr Janes started working at WR & RJ Hunter about three years ago and continues to work there.
With his boss retiring, he is working to take over the business by the end of the year.
Mr Janes said he loved his job and looked forward to using his skills to run the business.
Highlands LLEN VETiS Cluster co-ordinator Stacey Gill said it was extremely rewarding to be recognised in the field.
The Highlands LLEN VETiS Cluster program is a collection of 21 hands-on VET programs, where students from 17 schools in the region come together to learn.
“It gives the students a great sense of community – a lot of them would never meet each other if it weren’t for the programs.”
Examples of the programs include aviation, certificate II in equine and building construction.