The Australian Apprentice of the Year Award recognises the most outstanding Australian Apprentice 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.
Ballarat welder Patrick Janes is a business owner at age 23 – an achievement he says he owes to his Australian Apprenticeship in the fabrication trade.
Rewarded for his outstanding efforts in work and training, Patrick was named the Australian Apprentice of the Year at the 2013 Australian Training Awards.
"To be named Australian Apprentice of the Year at the Australian Training Awards is a huge honour and a dream come true," Patrick said.
Patrick’s career choice was ignited at a young age when his father taught him to weld. During secondary school Patrick completed an Australian School-based Apprenticeship in engineering.
After completing secondary school, he enrolled in a Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade at the University of Ballarat and completed his apprenticeship in just over two years.
The combination of on and off-the-job training through his Australian Apprenticeship allowed Patrick to build his skills in real-work situations after gaining the basic skills and theory. Now, he is not only a skilled tradesman but he is also fast becoming a business entrepreneur, having bought the business where he trained.
"I’m 23 and I am taking on a business - I can’t wait to get right into it," Patrick said.
Now an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador for the Australian Government, Patrick is keen to share his story to encourage others to undertake the career pathway. Patrick offers this advice to budding apprentices and trainees.
"If you have something that you love doing, have a crack. A great way to start is through an Australian School-based Apprenticeship which gives you a good initial look into an industry and gets your foot in the door. If that goes well an Australian Apprenticeship is an excellent way to continue on and get a strong foundation for your career, which you really can take anywhere."
Patrick is now looking forward to training his own Australian Apprentices in the near future.