Andy Creber was a respected 40-year-old auto-electrician when he decided to go “back to school” and become an apprentice diesel fitter.
He is now a dual tradesman and leading hand at Hastings Deering in Darwin.
Andy received strong support from the company and his partner Tina, but “starting at the bottom again” was still tough, especially as he had to stop training for nine months after a bad mountain bike accident.
“It wasn’t so much about wanting to earn more money as wanting to expand my career.”
Andy, who is now 46, was named Austin Asche Apprentice of the Year at the Northern Territory Training Awards last year.
It is the highest Territory honour in the world of apprenticeships.
Andy praises Hastings Deering learning and apprentice coordinator Colin George.
“He’s got a lot of experience and knowledge, so it’s great having him here.”
Colin was also NT Apprentice of the Year – in 1978.
He joined Hastings Deering as an apprentice at the age of 17 and is still there at 63.
“It’s a good place to work – a great company with good people.”
Company NT area manager Rohan Skennar says Hastings Deering continues to employ and train apprentices.
Four apprentices have recently completed their training and been taken on as tradesmen.
And three first-year apprentices have just started, bringing the number of apprentices to eight.
Hastings Deering, one of the biggest suppliers of Cat equipment in the world, was also named the Northern Territory Medium Employer of the Year in 2020.
The awards, which are the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade’s premier annual Vocational Education and Training event, recognise training excellence and achievements by businesses, training organisations, apprentices, trainees, trainers and students.
There are 13 categories – seven individual categories and six organisation categories.
- Austin Asche Apprentice of the Year
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year
- Trainee of the Year
- School-Based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year
- Vocational Student of the Year
- VET in Schools Student of the Year
- VET Teacher / Trainer of the Year.
- Small Training Provider of the Year
- Large Training Provider of the Year
- Industry Collaboration Award
- Small Employer of the Year
- Medium Employer of the Year
- Large Employer of the Year
Nominations close 17 May.