The dealer group was honoured in the awards with the judgement: “staff learning and development is critical as every business facet from sales to aftermarket care relies on exceptional product knowledge, adaptation to changing technologies and quality customer service”.
Peter Warren Automotive has also invested more than $50,000 in its new D.R.I.V.E Academy that the award presentation said “strengthens their commitment to developing exceptional apprentices.
“This one-of-a-kind collaboration with TAFE NSW integrates on-the-job and off-the-job training for 120 technical apprentices,” it said.
“As Peter Warren’s aspirations turn towards renewable energies, they’re also upskilling technicians in new technologies for hybrid and electrical vehicles.”
It said the dealership was also “passionate about developing career progression for women”.
“Over 25 per cent of Peter Warren’s workforce are female, well above the industry average of 18 per cent.”
The NSW awards showed that there is an optimistic outlook for the future of trades in the state.
This was cemented this month with the announcement of winners in the Training Services NSW awards that recognise excellence in vocational education and training.
The NSW Training Awards are conducted annually by Training Services NSW within the NSW Department of Education to recognise outstanding achievements.
These awards honour and reward the achievements of students, trainers/teachers, training organisations, and large and medium employers.
The 2021 event was held online, in accordance with health advice and restrictions in the state.
Seven categories were dedicated to individual awards plus four categories for organisational awards, with four people’s choice awards and two special industry awards.
The special industry awards were for a woman in a non-traditional trade or vocation, won by Althea Kruizinga who overcame rejections to enter a male-dominated trade as a mature-age female and qualify as an electrotechnology electrician.
She became Bluescope’s apprentice of the year in only her first year, and is now a tradesperson with Bluescope.
The encouragement award went to Rhiannan McDonald who despite her own speech disability, trained to become a disability support officer with a certificate in individual support, and is now studying for a bachelor in nursing with the Western Sydney University.
The finalists in the seven individual awards categories were:
- 2021 NSW Apprentice of the Year: Troy Harris (plumbing)
- 2021 NSW Trainee of the Year: Megan Cox (information technology)
- 2021 NSW School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year: Chelsea McInnes (hospitality)
- 2021 NSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year: Adam Hansen (training and assessment)
- 2021 NSW Vocational Student of the Year: Gabriella Adeline (patisserie)
- 2021 NSW VET Trainer/Teacher of the Year: Erin Jacob (horticulture)
- 2021 NSW VET in Schools Student of the Year: Ethan Zammit (live production and services).
The four awards in the organisation category were:
- 2021 NSW Industry Collaboration Award: Allambi Care and Bradford Institute of Advanced Education
- 2021 NSW Large Employer of the Year: Peter Warren Automotive Holdings
- 2021 NSW Medium Employer of the Year: BackTrack Works
- 2021 NSW Training Provider of the Year: Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta.
The 2021 NSW People’s Choice Awards Category were:
- 2021 NSW People’s Choice Apprentice of the Year: Benjamin Lye (parks and gardens)
- 2021 NSW People’s Choice Trainee of the Year: Jack Ackling (rural operations)
- 2021 NSW People’s Choice School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year: Tyler Pockran (commercial cookery)
- 2021 NSW People’s Choice Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year: Maddison Peisley (business administration).
The Special Industry Awards Category was:
- 2021 NSW Special Award for a Woman in a Non-Traditional Trade or Vocation: Althea Kruizinga (electrician)
- 2021 NSW Encouragement Award: Rhiannan McDonald (disability support).
By Neil Dowling