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Tuesday, 14 February 2017
Page: 915

Mr PASIN (Barker) (13:31): Last Friday night I attended the Rotary Club of Berry's annual Riverland and Mallee Vocational Awards. These awards are the largest of their kind in regional Australia, which underscores not only the hard work of the apprentices, trainees and students but also the dedication of members of the Rotary Club of Berry and the quality of the training experiences offered by employers in the Riverland and surrounds.

Apprenticeships and traineeships are a highly effective way to skill Australians to be part of the modern, rapidly changing workplace. Apprentices and trainees gain valuable skills which project them on to lucrative career pathways. Nationally, employment outcomes for trade apprentices, in particular, are strong, with over 90 per cent of graduates remaining employed after completion of their training. There is no doubt that an apprenticeship or a traineeship provides a strong foundation for a highly successful and fulfilling career. Recognition must also go to employers in the region who not only contribute to their profession and the local economy by employing a trainee or apprentice, but also provide much appreciated guidance, education and training for the young people they take on.

Again, congratulations to all nominees and well done to the finalists and, of course, the winners: Erica Austria, winner of the Vocational Education and Training Student of the Year; Tayla Kingham, winner of the Australian School-Based Trainee of the Year; Chernoa Morrow, winner of the Australian School-Based Apprentice of the Year; Casey Cox, Trainee of the Year; and Cody Milne, Apprentice of the Year. I wish them well with their careers.