Komatsu hosts Central Region Apprentice Awards and the Hunter Institute of TAFE

KomatsuApprentice-Development-Awards-(2).JPG Australia apprentices, their families, guests and Komatsu managers travelled from around NSW to attend the annual Central Region Apprentice Development System (ADS) awards night.

The venue was the Hunter Institute of TAFE's Hunter Valley Hotel Academy located on the Kurri Kurri Campus about 30 minutes east of Newcastle. This site is also home to TAFE's Mobile Plant and Commercial Truck section and Komatsu Central Region's Learning and Development Centre.

The awards night, which was attended by 135 people including guests from the Beacon Foundation, Toastmasters, Blackwoods and TAFE, recognised NSW Komatsu apprentices' achievements, both off-the-job at TAFE study and through their on-the-job learning activities in Years1, 2, 3 and 4 of their apprenticeships.

The annual presentation night was planned, organised and presented by the 2012 Central Region Year 3 apprentices.

Luke Robey, Year 3 apprentice and MC for the evening said the apprentices organised the whole evening, from the table settings and meals, lucky door prizes and invitations, through to the timing of the agenda and the guest speakers.

Addressing the audience, Rob Wolter, Hunter Institute of TAFE Faculty Director, congratulated Gavin Manning, Komatsu's ADS Manager and Paul Richardson, Komatsu's National Organisational Development Manager on the ADS program.

Rob also highlighted the benefits and importance of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in place between Komatsu Australia and the Hunter Institute of TAFE.

Graduating fourth-year apprentice Rory Symonds spoke on behalf of all the 2009 pilot ADS apprentice group who completed their fourth and final year in 2012.

"The level of training here at TAFE and the opportunities we are given as apprentices at Komatsu is amazing and the friendships that have been made are great," he said.

Guest speaker for the evening was Judy Clark of Toastmasters Hunter Valley, who outlined how the relationship between Komatsu and Toastmasters had developed over the past four years.

"Training and watching all the apprentices, such as Luke and Rory, develop and mature in public speaking and as individuals has been a rewarding experience," said Judy.

Toastmasters Clubs have been engaged nationally to assist in the ADS program, with the Hunter division spending around 25 evenings a year training Central Region's ADS apprentices at Komatsu's Kurri Kurri Learning and Development centre.

While we don't have space to include details of all the winners, it is worth reproducing some of the remarks by the winner of the inaugural 2012 "ADS NSW Overall Apprentice of the Year Award", Ben George, who paid tribute to Komatsu, his managers, TAFE teachers and his fellow apprentices.

"I am sure that the other apprentices will agree that our success as apprentices is very much due to the support received from Gavin Manning our ADS Manager and other Komatsu managers including Reg Rogers, David Butler and Craig Burgess," he said.

"I would also like to thank our TAFE teachers here at Kurri Kurri and acknowledge that all the other apprentices in my group who completed their apprenticeships with me this year have put in a tremendous effort."