Ris­ing to the top

Kyla Wag­ner named Ap­pren­tice of the Year

The Cobram Courier - - FRONT PAGE - By Pa­trick Tansey

For­mer Co­bram res­i­dent Kyla Wag­ner has taken out the Goul­burn Ovens In­sti­tute of TAFE’s Ap­pren­tice of the Year award for Shep­par­ton and Sey­mour cam­puses.

The bak­ing ap­pren­tice was the over­all win­ner out of eight dif­fer­ent trades af­ter an­swer­ing ques­tions from judges who asked what she had done dur­ing her ap­pren­tice­ship.

The awards, on De­cem­ber 3 at the GV Ho­tel Shep­par­ton, recog­nises the achieve­ments of ap­pren­tice stu­dents and is at­tended by ap­pren­tices, their em­ploy­ers, busi­ness own­ers and guests.

Ms Wag­ner, 22, was also one of the eight fi­nal-year ap­pren­tices awarded with an out­stand­ing ap­pren­tice achieve­ment award in their re­spec­tive learn­ing ar­eas.

Ms Wag­ner re­cently com­pleted a Cer­tifi­cate III in Re­tail Bak­ing and works with Beech­worth Bak­ery in Echuca.

Now fully qual­i­fied, she said her time at GOTAFE had been a hugely ben­e­fi­cial and re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

‘‘Ev­ery­one there is so sup­port­ive,’’ Ms Wag­ner said.

‘‘I thought it was go­ing to be just like high school and I didn’t re­ally en­joy high school, but it was com­pletely dif­fer­ent, ev­ery­one is there for the same rea­son.’’

Ms Wag­ner’s trainer Kim Ban­field was full of praise for his star stu­dent.

‘‘Her will­ing­ness to learn and abil­ity to get on with any per­son from any back­ground or stature made her the per­fect can­di­date to take on com­pe­ti­tions like ex­cel­lence in bak­ing and World­skills,’’ he said.

‘‘It was a plea­sure to have Kyla in our classes and we wish her ev­ery suc­cess in the fu­ture.’’

Af­ter fin­ish­ing school at Co­bram Sec­ondary Col­lege in Year 11, Ms Wag­ner had no idea what ca­reer path to head in.

A part-time job in the bak­ery at Wool­worths Co­bram even­tu­ally sparked her de­sire to en­ter the trade.

‘‘Once I started see­ing the bak­ers make the bread I be­came fas­ci­nated by it and I’d help out a bit and then I started dec­o­rat­ing cakes and things like that which I think re­ally made me want to do it.’’

Ms Wag­ner started her ap­pren­tice­ship in Echuca with Beech­worth Bak­ery be­cause no bak­ery in Co­bram was look­ing for an ap­pren­tice at the time, but she be­came badly home­sick and re­turned home af­ter a year.

She then spent a year at Co­bram Bake­house, but de­cided to re­turn to Beech­worth Bak­ery.

She said for the im­me­di­ate fu­ture, she plans to re­main in Echuca.

‘‘I’m pretty happy there at the mo­ment. Ev­ery­one out the back is pretty young and we all get along well.’’

She was hop­ing to take her stud­ies fur­ther.

‘‘Shep­par­ton GOTAFE is try­ing to get Cer­tifi­cate IV in Re­tail Bak­ing, so hope­fully I can do that.

‘‘I could do it in Mel­bourne now, but I don’t want to travel.’’

She said Cer­tifi­cate IV would give her skills in man­age­ment, some­thing she would like to do in the fu­ture.

Ms Wag­ner thanked her bosses at Beech­worth Bak­ery Kylie Divola and Michael Chap­man for sup­port through­out her ap­pren­tice­ship.

Win­ner: Kyla Wag­ner with her GOTAFE teacher Kim Ban­field af­ter be­ing judged Ap­pren­tice of the Year from the Shep­par­ton and Sey­mour cam­puses.

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