Careers & Training

Brown and Hurley apprentice wins top Queensland prize

apprentice winner

Heavy commercial industries apprentice, Jack Polkinghorne, 20, from Brown and Hurley, has been awarded Heavy Commercial Industries Apprentice of the Year at the third annual TAFE Queensland – SkillsTech Apprentice Awards.

Given COVID restrictions, this year a small event was held at the TAFE Queensland South Bank campus, with part of the evening being live streamed to a broader audience.

The night celebrated apprentices who have shown exceptional achievement within their trade area with a total of 12 apprentices being recognised.

Earlier in the week a collection of pre-recorded videos hosted by comedian, Nat’s What I Reckon, were shared leading up to the event celebrating both the nominees and award winners.

A third-year apprentice, Polkinghorne said he was shocked to be nominated for the award and was extremely grateful to be recognised by his peers and teachers.

“It’s an amazing feeling and it really took me by surprise. At first, I thought, have they got the right bloke?” said Polkinghorne.

“Brown and Hurley are a really great company to work for, I love it here. The environment’s great. There’s cohesion and there’s communication in the office that follows through to the workshop.”

Polkinghorne was nominated by his TAFE Queensland teacher, Steve Thorley who said that the apprentice is passionate about his trade and actively jumps at every opportunity.

“Jack’s level of maturity and technical understanding goes beyond what you would expect of an apprentice. He displays traits of a tradesman by taking on the responsibility of coaching and mentoring the first and second-year apprentices,” Thorley said.

“Jack demonstrates that he has the qualities to be a leader in the workplace. He has the respect from his peers along with the trust that he will always do the right thing every time.”

TAFE Queensland – SkillsTech General Manager, John Tucker said, “Whilst we were unable to host a large- scale event this year, it was extremely important that we found a way to recognise and celebrate the achievements of our apprentices.

“Our apprentices and their employers, all had to navigate through a challenging year and it’s wonderful to be able to acknowledge and commend those who have really gone above and beyond.

“We have so many incredible trades people and we hope that the TAFE Queensland – SkillsTech Apprentice Awards provides these men and women with the recognition they deserve, as well as inspiring others to be the best they can be.”

Polkinghorne received a $300 gift card from Trade Tools, a Nat’s What I Reckon hoodie and merchandise from FXD Work Wear.

This year’s nominees were selected from over 9,000 apprentices across carpentry, plumbing, electrotechnology, refrigeration and air conditioning, manufacturing and engineering, heavy commercial vehicle, mobile plant and diesel fitting, light automotive, construction and furnishing trade areas.

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