Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year

The Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year Award is presented to a student who is undertaking a Certificate II or above qualification as a part-time Australian School-based Apprentice. The Award recognises the student’s commitment to their formal studies at school, and in the workplace.

For someone who had lost his way as a young person at school Leuwin Andrew is now someone who’s really going places.

Named the Australian School-based Apprentice of the Year in the 2016 Australian Training Awards, Leuwin believes the award will help him to not only further his career in Australia but also on the world stage.

"Being an ambassador for vocational education and training is an honour and a privilege," said Leuwin.

"While I’m now in a great position to raise awareness of the great opportunities VET has to offer, the award will also be a great career booster for me, not just in Australia but internationally."

For Leuwin, finding that he could do an Australian Apprenticeship while at school stopped him from ‘wasting’ his life.

"I’d got to Year 10 and had no passion, no drive, no reason to go to school and no clue about what I wanted to do. Then I heard about apprenticeships and it was the biggest thing to ever happen to me. All my life I’d loved cooking, and by doing a Commercial Cookery apprenticeship I could indulge something I loved and gain a qualification while still at school."

Determination, persistence and passion have now helped Leuwin get where he is today, as an apprentice with Windy Point Restaurant in Adelaide.

"I harassed the poor people at Windy Point into giving me an interview and then I harassed them into giving me a job," laughed Leuwin.

"They played a big role in my success and I’m really pleased that my award also reflects well on them as an employer that cares about apprentices."