Awarding outstanding Australians

Organised by the Federal Government Department of Education, Science and Training, the Australian Training Awards recognise the achievements of individuals, employers and training providers within the trade skill arena.

"It's really important to celebrate excellence," said the Honourable Andrew Robb, Federal Minister for Vocational and Further Education at the event.

"If we can celebrate that, we do really raise the status of trades, show what can be achieved and show what is out there."

Graham Rodgers, Human Resources Manager of John Love Electrical and proud receiver of the Employer of the Year award, hopes that these awards will encourage more young people into the trades.

"Being a tradesman these days is a very, very good career option" he said.

"You can go to university, come out with a debt and no job or you can take on a trade, be paid to do it, have all your education paid for and earn very good money at the end of it."

Apprentice of the Year, Thomas Spottswood agrees.

"[people have] got to understand what opportunities are out there for people who pursue a trade."

And it seems that trade skill careers are available whatever your age.

For Vocational Student of the Year, Selena Smith, life begins at 40: "It's awesome, absolutely amazing."

"You can be a mature age student and have numerous careers and be there for your children and study and do something that you've desired from when you were a teenager."

As Minister Robb said, "It's like winning an Olympic Gold Medal for people in my view, it's something that no one can ever take off you."

SkillsOne congratulates the 2007 Australian Training Award recipients including:

Prime Minister's Small Business of the Year
Clarence Valley Kitchens and Shopfitting (NSW)

Australian Training Initiative
The Split Rock Inca Alliance - Queensland Main Roads, Myuma and Seymour Whyte (QLD)

VET in Schools Excellence
Gladstone Schools Engineering Skills Centre (QLD)

Small Training Provider of the Year
The Academy of Interactive Entertainment (ACT)

Large Training Provider of the Year
TAFE NSW - Western Institute (NSW)

Employer of the Year
John Love Electrical (QLD)

Innovative Business Award
Early Childhood Training and Resource Centre

Institute for Trade Skills Excellence Trade Teacher of the Year Award
Marion Fitzpatrick (NSW)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year
Shilo Barker (NSW)

Australian Apprentice of the Year
Thomas Spottswood (QLD)

Australian Apprentice (Trainee) of the Year
Evan Brett (TAS)

Vocational Student of the Year
Selena Smith (QLD)

Stella Axarlis Australian School-Based Apprentice of the Year
Caitlin Cox (ACT) and Warwick Johnstone (TAS)