Statewide recognition for apprentices

Graeme Barlow hands Alec Smith his state Apprentice of the Year’s Craftsperson award. (Supplied)

By Jena Carr

Two Geelong apprentices have been honoured statewide for their work and dedication across their chosen fields.

The State Apprentice of the Year and six State Apprentice Award winners, with two based in the Geelong region, were announced during the 2024 Master Builders State Apprentice of the Year Awards night at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium on May 9.

Hamlyn Height’s Alec Smith received the state Apprentice of the Year’s Craftsperson Award following his South West regional win in the same category on March 21.

The third-year bricklaying apprentice employed and nominated by the Building Skills Centre said receiving the state award was “very unexpected” and “greatly appreciated”.

“It’s (bricklaying) something that sort of tickled my fancy, so it’s nice to get recognition for something that I enjoy doing,” he said.

“It just shows that hard work pays off. I’m quite modest, as I’m sure everyone tries their hardest, but it just means that I should stick with what I’m doing.

“I didn’t expect to win the first one, let alone the second, so it’s a very nice honour. It was nice that my boss was there to revel in the win as well as I’ve learned everything from him.

“It was a freak accident that my dad came for the first one over from England. So, I did say he was my good luck charm and that I needed him there, but obviously I didn’t.”

Lara third-year carpentry apprentice, employed by LNX Constructions, Daniel Currie also received the state President’s Award, adding to the South West Chairperson’s Award he received in March.