Careers & Training

High achieving dual trade apprentice scores an exciting win

Komatsu heavy commercial industries apprentice Sam Gray has won the Heavy Commercial Industries Apprentice of the Year award at the annual TAFE Queensland – SkillsTech Apprentice Awards.

Held at the W Hotel in Brisbane’s CBD, the night celebrated the achievements of 37 apprentices who were selected as finalists from over 9000 TAFE Queensland – SkillsTech apprentices across 13 award categories and trade areas including carpentry, plumbing, electrotechnology, refrigeration and air conditioning, manufacturing and engineering, heavy commercial vehicle, heavy commercial industries, light automotive, construction and furnishing.

Gray, 26, says he is proud of his achievement and grateful to be recognised amongst so many other worthy finalists.

“It was a bit of shock and I really wasn’t expecting to win it but feels really great,” he said.

Gray was nominated for his dedication to his studies and the high level of existing knowledge and skill that he brings to the classroom. He also takes a lead role in helping other students as well as encouraging comradery amongst fellow Komatsu apprentices.

Having already completed a Certificate III in Electrotechnology, Gray has now chosen to complete a Certificate III in Mobile Plant Technology to set himself up for the future.

He says his decision to pursue a dual trade was heavily influenced by his father who currently works in the mining industry as multi-skilled operator.

“Dad talked to me about what’s happening in the mining industry with everything moving to hybrid and electric drive as companies try to chase more efficient ways of working. After doing some research and talking to people in industry I saw the opportunity to become dual qualified as a way of future proofing my career,” Gray said.

TAFE Queensland teacher Joe Janecek says Gray shows a great deal of maturity and ambition in deciding to do a second apprenticeship to place himself at the forefront of the battery electric vehicle and mobile plant industry, which is evolving rapidly.

“By having a dual trade in electrotechnology and mobile plant technology, his specialised skillset will be very desirable as more companies adapt to the new technologies that are being introduced across Australia,” Janecek said.

“Sam’s got some real potential and it’s great that he’s been recognised as the apprentice of the year in the industry that he’s so passionate about.”

TAFE Queensland – SkillsTech General Manager, John Tucker adds that the awards night is a great opportunity to showcase the excellent training outcomes and success that apprentices continue to make in their chosen industries.

“The recognition apprentices receive from not only TAFE Queensland but also their employers, colleagues and industry really helps to boost confidence and encourage our young tradespeople to take the next step in achieving their career goals,” Tucker said.

Gray’s award category was sponsored by Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia who have been a strong supporter of TAFE Queensland – SkillsTech and the annual apprentice awards.

For more information about apprenticeships and trade training, visit or call 1300 308 233.



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