HVTC cleans up at New England Training Awards

HVTC celebrated three award wins at the New England Regional Training Awards in June with three out of four finalists taking home an award.

The three winners all completed their apprenticeships with HVTC North West and were hosted to Whitehaven Coal.

Electrical apprentice Tyler Mills was named Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student of the Year. Georgia Foley, who also completed a Certificate III in Electrotechnology, was named Apprentice of the Year, while Kih McDonald – a Mechanical Engineering apprentice – was Highly Commended in the Apprentice of the Year category.

As category winners, Tyler and Georgia (pictured below) will now progress to interviews for the NSW Training Awards, which are scheduled to take place in Sydney this October.

“On behalf of HVTC I’d like to congratulate Tyler, Georgia and Kih on their award wins last week. They should be incredibly proud of their achievements, as we are,” said HVTC CEO Sharon Smith.

“It’s nice to hear some good news in the New England after months of uncertainty for young workers as a result of COVID-19.”

According to the Apprentice Employment Network NSW & ACT, which represents 28 Group Training Organisations, more than 800 apprentices and trainees have been handed back to their GTO as their Host employers are unable to provide them work, while another 700 plus have been suspended as a result of COVID-19.

Smith thanked Whitehaven Coal for their continued investment in local training and apprentice and trainee employment.

“It is great to see Whitehaven’s ongoing commitment to their Apprentice program acknowledged with these award wins,” she said.

“The New England region has faced some difficult times of late with harsh drought conditions and now COVID-19.

“The mining sector is a huge contributor to the New England Region, with Whitehaven Coal currently hosting 34 HVTC apprentices across three operations; Whitehaven Coal, Narrabri Coal Operations and Maules Creek Coal.

“Since completing their apprenticeships, Georgia, Tyler and Kih have all secured permanent employment either with Whitehaven Coal directly or via a contractor, allowing them to continue building their careers in the mining sector.

“Their apprenticeship provided a foot in the door to the mining sector and are great examples of how apprenticeships can provide a pathway to future employment.”

Young male and female apprentice facing forward with mine site in background