Graduate mechanic Ben Mowat is 2013 Apprentice of the Year
Graduate mechanic Ben Mowat is 2013 Apprentice of the Year after receiving his accolade at the annual Earthmover and Civil Contractor awards ceremony.
Following Komatsu's award for 'Best Apprenticeship Training Program' in 2012, the mature-age Komatsu apprentice earned the judges' top commendation based on his commitment, drive and focus, according to Earthmover and Civil Contractor.
"The judges felt that Ben's commitment to training in addition to his busy home life showcased the commitment and drive necessary to successfully complete an adult vocational course," they said.
"He is an excellent role model for his children, and his success this year serves as a reminder to us all that it's never too late to improve yourself, personally or professionally."
Staff from Earthmover and Civil Contractor took time out to thank Komatsu Australia for its support, which they said brought their attention to the importance of the awards in the context of a growing skills shortage in Australia.
The Earthmover team said it inspired them to streamline the judging process and reduce the number of awards bestowed, in an effort increase awards' appeal and motivate aspiring apprentices.
Ben, who completed Komatsu's award-winning, in-house apprentice program 12 months ahead of schedule, said he was surprised to claim Earthmover's top personal award.
"I was actually shocked to hear my name called," he said.
"But as I received the award and it started to sink in, I can't tell you how immensely proud I felt."
Ben has since progressed to a field service position in Komatsu's Tomago branch near Newcastle, NSW, and credits his success to Komatsu's apprentice program and his passion to open a new chapter in his life.
"The program really is quite unique; it includes the job- and trade-specific training you need to do well in your job, but it also extends to life skills such as public speaking and successful interpersonal relationships," he said.
"My advice to new apprentices is to take everything on board and work hard, and you'll get to where you want to go," he said.
"I'm very happy where I am now, and I know that I've earned it."