Celebrating the Achievements of Apprentices, Trainees and GTOs


The Apprenticeship Employment Network (AEN) and the Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN) Australia were proud to announce the winners of the 2021 Victorian Apprenticeship Awards at a ‘catch up’ gala dinner at The Pavilion, Arts Centre Melbourne, on Wednesday 16 February.

The ‘catch-up’ awards dinner, rescheduled due to the pandemic, celebrated the dedication and achievements of apprentices and trainees, GTOs and businesses committed to the development of apprentices and trainees. The night represented eleven group training organisations (GTOs) and was attended by thirty-nine finalists, industry leaders and special guests from Department of Education and Skills, Apprenticeships Victoria, Jobs Victoria, the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, WorldSkills Australia and the Victorian TAFE Association.

The awards span from outstanding commitments to studies at school and in the workplace to the significant contribution and performance of women, Indigenous representatives, people with a disability in trades, and the achievement of overcoming challenges to the contribution of making the workplace a safer environment.

These awards celebrate the ways that all apprenticeships and traineeships develop the work-ready skills needed to pursue professional, rewarding careers.

In response to the short-term impacts of COVID-19 in 2021, guests commended all finalists of the 2021 apprenticeship awards, and their employers who have shown great resilience, initiative, and ability to thrive in their industries, with support of their local group training organisations.

AEN award categories and winners are:

School-based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year
Nathaniel Walker, BGT Jobs + Training

Inspiration Award: Women in Trades
Sarah McDonald, Victorian Group Training

Inspiration Award: Overcoming Adversity
Madison Spong, gforce recruitment + training

Inspiration Award: Indigenous Student of the Year
Rodney Sutherland, gforce recruitment + training

Inspiration Award: Disability Achievement
Massimo Zurzolo, WPC Group

Stop Taking A Risk (STAR) Award
Demita Boyd, BGT Jobs + Training

Trainee of the Year
Rodney Sutherland, gforce recruitment + training

Apprentice of the Year
Bryce Noble, Ai Group Apprentice & Trainee Centre

Congratulations to all the finalists and award winners.

A big thank you to all of our sponsors – Australian Super, Apprenticeship Support Australia, AATIS, Apprenticeships Victoria, Builders Academy Australia, Jobs Victoria, Kangan Institute, Marsh Advantage Insurance, MAS National, Victorian TAFE Association and SafetyFirst.

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