Trent Schumi, Komatsu Australia's 2014 National Apprentice of the Year has recently been announced as winner of the 2015 Hunter TAFE NSW Industry Excellence Award.
Trent, a father of two, first started his apprenticeshipwith Komatsu in 2011 at its Newcastle and Mt Thorley branches.
After completing his apprentice training, which qualifies him to Certificate III in mobile plant at TAFE's Kurri Campus, Trent also completed his Certificate III as an auto electrical technician.
This gives him full qualifications in three trades:mobile plant, auto electrician and from a previous apprenticeship marine craft construction.
Trent course-completed his apprenticeship with Komatsu in August last year six months early due to his outstanding results, and support from Komatsu management and has been a fully qualified tradesperson for 12 months.
He was Komatsu's Central Region apprentice of the year in each of his apprenticeship years an achievement he capped off in 2014 when he won Komatsu's National Apprentice of the Year.
He also excelled within his TAFE automotive mechanical technician, plant and heavy vehicle Certificate III course for each of his three years, achieving first place in each stage, as well as first overall for the three-year course.
Trent came to Komatsu as a mature-age student at the age of 23 after completing his shipwrightapprenticeship, and then deciding to switch toheavy equipment.
His year was the first year of Komatsu's national Apprentice Development System (ADS), and he hasnothing but praise for the system and the company'scommitment to training and skills development.
"Being part of the ADS was fantastic, I cannot speak highly enough of Komatsu over past four years," said Trent.
"The quality of the training you receive is so high, you really feel that they want you to be the best you possibly can.
"They give you all the tools you need to be the best within yourself so that you excel and learn the trade you undertake.
"I would back this program 100%, and I'd be happy to be an ambassador for it," he said.
Now based out of Komatsu's Mount Thorley branch in the heart of the Hunter Valley's mining industry,Trent and his team work exclusively on Komatsu mining equipment, including excavators, dozersand dump trucks.
"You certainly get a certain respect for the size ofthis machinery, and it's only once you work on them and stand next to them that you get an appreciation of their power and performance.
As far as his preferred machines are concerned,"trucks are good, but enjoy my dozers too," said Trent.