A DARCH mature age apprentice and Joondalup training organisation were among the winners in the WA Training Awards.
North Metropolitan Tafe apprentice Anthony Di Cristofaro was named the WA apprentice of the year at the September 13 awards held by the Department of Training and Workforce Development.
After 10 years in the oil and gas industry, Mr Di Cristofaro was ready for a change and looking for a way to give himself, his wife and three young children financial security.
“After the boom ended and jobs dried up it became increasingly apparent when it was all said and done, I was an unskilled worker with no official qualification,” he said.
“Job prospects and financial security became a big concern.”
At 31 years old, he started a mature age apprenticeship in carpentry and joinery to get that financial security and allow him to buy a house.
“I chose carpentry and joinery as I have always enjoyed working with my hands, and the skills I would acquire would not only be essential for a successful career, but useful for my personal life,” he said.
Mr Di Cristofaro works for Banhams WA Plumbing Gas and Fire Services where he gets to work on fire doors, passive fire and various fire protection.
A passionate advocate for co-workers’ safety and mental health in the workplace, he also mentors and coaches younger apprentices.
Mr Di Cristofaro will compete at the Australian Training Awards in Brisbane on November 21.
Joondalup’s College of Electrical Training received the industry collaboration award at the WA awards for its electrical industry female participation program.
The program aimed to increase the number of female electricians by providing a structured career pathway into the industry, promoting it as ‘gender neutral’ and delivering a training experience aiming to give students the best chance of employment.
Several northern suburbs finalists for the 2019 awards were also making inroads for women in trades and the mining industry.
Benita Brown, of Banksia Grove, was a finalist for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student of the year award.
Having trained at North Metropolitan Tafe, she is employed by Fortescue Metals Group and her long-term goal is to be the first indigenous female quarry manager with FMG.
Trainee of the year finalist Sally Farr, of Two Rocks, trained at RTO Solutions and is employed by Roy Hill.
She credited the training she had done with giving her the flexibility to embrace opportunities and the confidence to succeed in the male-dominated mining industry.
North Metropolitan Tafe commercial cookery, patisserie and retail baking trainer Nathan McMurdo, of Joondalup, was one of the WA trainer of the year finalists.
Wangara-based Ranger Exploration Drilling was one of two finalists for the medium employer of the year category, introduced this year.
Winners at the awards included Ellenbrook residents Tiffany Heelan who was school-based apprentice of the year and Rekeisha Voss who was Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student of the year.
Caversham’s Matthew King was named the trainer of the year and Nollamara’s Dushica Poposki won international student of the year.
Visit www.dtwd.wa.gov.au for the full list of winners.