Australian Apprentice (Trainee) of the Year Award

The Australian Apprentice (Trainee) of the Year Award recognises the most outstanding Australian Apprentice (Trainee) in Australia.

State or territory training award winners of this category are automatically finalists for the Australian Training Awards and will compete at the national level.

Sydney resident, Ashlee Hodson is a corporate support officer with the Bankstown City Council after following a career pathway that saw her win the 2013 Australian Apprentice (Trainee) of the Year Award.

"I could not have asked for anything more from my traineeship and I do feel really humbled to have won this national award – it is great recognition for me and an absolute honour," Ashlee said.

A few years ago, Ashlee started a teaching degree at university but decided she preferred a more hands-on style of learning.

When her father alerted her to an advertisement in the paper for a trainee position with the Bankstown City Council, she jumped at the chance to learn a professional discipline, and get paid at the same time.

"I had placed university studies on hold and took up a casual position in retail," Ashlee said.

"At that time, I didn’t feel confident in my abilities but, after enrolling in TAFE and starting the traineeship, I slowly began to feel more sure of what I was doing, and where I wanted to go in the future. Now that I have completed my studies, I feel there is nothing I cannot achieve!" Ashlee said.

The 22-year-old has now completed a Certificate III and Certificate IV in Business Administration at TAFE NSW – South Western Sydney Institute and has recently started a Certificate IV in Human Resources.

With almost three nationally recognised qualifications under her belt, she is confident vocational education and training was the best choice for her. Now as an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador for the Australian Government, Ashlee is keen to ensure others in her community know about the opportunities available too.

"Apprenticeships and traineeships offer so many career possibilities – and the professional training you receive in the vocational education and training sector is second to none," Ashlee said.

Ashlee is now undertaking a Bachelor of Arts at university and plans to continue her career in local government.