Scot MacDonald
14th Oct 2017

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLChas congratulated Emma Gibson of Telarah and JA Martin Electrical from Tomago on their achievements at the 2017 NSW & ACT Group Training (GTO) Awards, held at Sydney’s Darling Harbour on Friday evening.

Ms Gibson was awarded the Trainee/Apprentice of the Year Award (Woman in Non-Traditional Trade) and JA Martin Electrical the Host Employer of the Year (Large) Award.

Mr MacDonald said both Emma and JA Martin Electrical had done the Maitland and Port Stephens regions proud in winning these prestigious awards.

“Local GTO HVTC brokered an Engineering - Mechanical Trade apprenticeship for Emma and work at host employer Select Plant Hire – Laing O’Rourke in Telarah,” Mr MacDonald said.

“She has been an ambassador for women in trades; winner of the 2017 HVTC Excellence Awards Woman in Non-traditional Trade Apprentice of the Year; 2016 Hunter Manufacturing Awards Apprentice of the Year; and a Tradesperson Scholarship at the 2015 National Association of Women in Construction Awards.”

“JA Martin Electrical has been providing the highest quality electrical services to the Hunter region for nearly 50 years and currently hosts 11 electrical apprentices through Group Training Organisation (GTO) Novaskill.”

“Testimony to the terrific work culture at JA Martin is the fact that their first ever apprentice is still with the company, and is now a senior manager, mentoring the younger apprentices coming through.”

Mr MacDonald has also praised Group Training Organisations for the vital service they provide to the NSW VET sector.

“These awards reward and honour the achievements of apprentices, trainees, host employers and GTOs across a range of sectors,” Mr MacDonald said.

“GTOs place apprentices with suitable host employers and this is critical to the State’s successful VET system.

“We want to attract more young people to VET. That’s why we’ve embarked on our ‘Doors of Opportunity’ campaign to position VET as an equally credible pathway to a well-paid job and fulfilling career as university.

“After all, some 78% of VET graduates are gaining employment after training compared to 69% of university graduates while VET graduates also earn on average $2000 a year more than their university counterparts,” Mr MacDonald said.