NORTH Richmond's Patrick Brassell (20) has been awarded the highest honour at the NSW Training Awards, winning Apprentice of the Year - across all vocations - for the Western Sydney region.
Patrick was studying Light Vehicle mechanical as his apprenticeship but also did additional study as an auto electrician at night to become a dual-qualified tradesperson at the completion of his apprenticeship.
He did his studies at Mount Druitt TAFE, and his apprenticeship at AA West Automotive at Mcgraths Hill - save for the first six months when he was employed by Windsor Toyota.
The ex-Colo High student said he was stoked to win the award.
"Being a mechanic I'm in a skills shortage area, so being able to represent [my vocation] is pretty important to me - and not many people get this opportunity either," he told the Gazette.
Patrick entered the Training Services award after winning the Industry Achievement Award (Supply Chain and eCommerce) at the TAFE NSW Excellence Awards earlier in the year.
The Training Services awards program is a higher achievement, as Patrick was up against entrants from all training institutions.
Patrick said he wanted to open his own business one day, and get more hands-on experience as an auto electrician.
He thanked his TAFE teachers for being there for him over the years.
"I had a really good run with teachers at TAFE and I couldn't do what I did without the teachers [at Mount Druitt]," he said.
One of his teachers Nathan Sansom, also a North Richmond resident, said Patrick was a hard-working student who deserved to win the award.
"Out of every apprentice in the Sydney region, he was the number one person. Across any qualification as well," said Mr Sansom.
"I had Pat for the whole three years [of his apprenticeship] and with his commitment, dedication, drive throughout the training, we offered him early entry into the auto electrical conversion course," he said.
"He was doing his light vehicle apprenticeship training, two nights a week auto electrician training, as well as working 10 hours four other days in the workshop as part of his apprenticeship."
"By the time he finished his apprenticeship he was a dual mechanic tradesman - a light vehicle mechanic and an auto electrician."
Patrick was named Western Sydney Training Services Apprentice of the Year at a gala dinner at Bankwest Stadium in Parramatta. He was up against two electricians as finalists in his category.
Patrick's TAFE teacher Mr Sansom was there to cheer on his star student.