Nathan mastering his apprenticeship

By Kimberley Price

NATHAN Neville’s first year as an apprentice has been nothing short of stellar.

At the TAFE Apprentice and Industry Awards, held on February 18, Nathan took out the award for Engineering Light Fabrication, Best First Year Apprentice for 2019.

‘‘I was so surprised to win the award,’’ Nathan said,

‘‘I went down to the awards night and it was already a great night.

‘‘But definitely a surprise.’’

The TAFE Apprentice and Industry Awards are based on the marks the apprentices score throughout their trade school work as well as their willingness to learn and positive attitude towards their work.

Byford Equipment managing director Gary Byford was proud of his apprentice’s achievement. Throughout his 43-year career, Gary has hired, on average, eight apprentices per year.

‘‘It is a great achievement from Nathan,’’ he said.

‘‘We praise the support of the TAFE teaching staff, his family and the trades people who have been an integral part of Nathan’s success. It is great to see these people helping our youth of today.

‘‘These young people taking on apprenticeships are our future. We want them to grow and we will continue to support them.”

Nathan started his apprenticeship in August 2017 at Byford Equipment after finishing his schooling at Rochester Secondary College in 2014.

The 22-year-old will complete his apprenticeship in Light Fabrication Engineering and hopes to stay at Byford Equipment for some time.

‘‘It would be great to stay here,’’ Nathan said.

‘‘But I also want to do a bit of travel after my apprenticeship.’’

Byford Equipment has a strong focus on hiring locals and has implemented a strong apprenticeship program.

This month alone, the designer and fabricator of the tankers company has put on six first-year apprentices.

Byford Equipment general manager Glen Rogers said their apprentices were crucial to the continued excellence the company offers.

“We at Byford Equipment show our commitment to our youth and the community by offering quality training and employment,” he said.