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Thomas O'Brien

Plumbing apprentice achieves industry accolades in his first year

First year plumbing apprentice, Thomas O’Brien has recently been awarded the prestigious Ron Douglas Award 2013 for the most promising first year apprentice. This recognition for achievement comes from the Darling Downs branch of the Master Plumbers Association of Queensland and the Society of St Andrew of Scotland.

Thomas is doing his Certificate III in Plumbing with the Toowoomba Regional Council and is employed by GoldenWest Apprenticeships.

“Group Training Organisations such as ours play a very important role within our community and any way you look at it training of our youth is good value,” said CEO Clint Weber. “Providing sustainable employment through apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities is a group effort and it requires a huge commitment from everyone, not just the apprentice or trainee.

“From the Host Employer to the training institutions such as the TAFE’s, and even the schools get involved with school-base traineeships and apprenticeships, everyone must commit to the relationship. For this reason we have a strong pastoral care focus which supports the apprentice or trainee as well as the other workers within the business. We have to make sure that they get through their training and in most cases it’s a four year commitment,” he said.

“So when you see someone like Thomas going above and beyond in just their first year, it’s a very rewarding achievement for us, the employer and his teachers,” said Weber.

The award was presented at a ceremony hosted by Ian Andrews, plumbing teacher at the Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE (SQIT) Toowoomba campus. As well as a framed certificate for this award Thomas also received a tool voucher donated by Master Plumbers Toowoomba to assist him with his training.

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