Ap­pren­tice through the look­ing glass to awards

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Louise Shan­non

AIR­LIE Beach glazier Thomas McGrath-Ash­ton has beaten more than 83 ap­pren­tices in the state to the ti­tle of Ap­pren­tice of the Year for the Aus­tralian Glass and Glaz­ing As­so­ci­a­tion.

Mr McGrath-Ash­ton, who is a fourth-year ap­pren­tice with North Queens­land Glass and Glaz­ing, was one of 13 ap­pren­tices on the short­list and will now be a con­tender to win the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion.

The win­ner of the Aus­tralia-wide event will be an­nounced in Ade­laide as part of a three-day Na­tional Glaz­ing Con­fer­ence on Au­gust 17

Mr McGrath-Ash­ton said he be­lieved recog­ni­tion for ap­pren­tices was im­por­tant as it en­cour­aged them to stay with and feel in­spired about their cho­sen trade.

“I work hard and take a lot of pride in my work,” he said, adding he gained sat­is­fac­tion from see­ing the end re­sults of his job, which in­cluded work­ing on pool fenc­ing, shower screens, win­dows and doors.

North Queens­land Glass and Glaz­ing di­rec­tor Mei El­son said Mr McGrathAsh­ton was an out­stand­ing ap­pren­tice.

“I’ve never met any­one so deter­mined to learn. He has phe­nom­e­nal lead­er­ship skills,” she said.

Ms El­son, who em­ploys 17 peo­ple, said Mr McGrath had been nom­i­nated by Skills Tech in Bris­bane af­ter com­plet­ing a six-week course with the TAFE train­ing cen­tre. She said all the com­pany’s ap­pren­tices had been “bril­liant”.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

TAL­ENT: Thomas McGrath-Ash­ton is in the run­ning to be Aus­tralian Ap­pren­tice of the Year.

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