Award is 'icing on the cake' for Brendan
EDGE client, Brendan Arcudi, was shocked - and thrilled - when his name was called out as the winner of the Australian-Italian Apprentice of the Year category for timber trades.
|(L-R) Award-winning Brendan Arcudi with EDGEs Daniel Caughey.
Brendan, who works as a furniture polisher at Higgins Manufacturing in Malaga, recently completed his apprenticeship in furniture finishing and has notched up more than four and a half years with the company.
In accepting his award, Brendan praised the role of his Swan TAFE lecturer and mentor, Chris Brown.
"This award isn't just for me, but also for Chris who went out of his way to understand my needs and put in extra time to develop my skills and knowledge," said Brendan.
"I don't really know where I'd be without Chris. I have never had a teacher who put in the time and effort he did, and I'm very grateful."
Chris Brown is happy to have played a part in Brendan's success.
"When he first came to Swan TAFE, Brendan struggled and he lacked self-confidence," said Chris.
"But I saw the potential in Brendan, and with a bit of support he was able to apply himself. In the end it was his perseverance that enabled him to reach the top. I couldn't be happier for him," said Chris.
Brendan says his life has been "a long and bumpy road" before he secured the job at Higgins and then completed his apprenticeship.
"Winning the award was the icing on the cake," said Brendan.
It isn't only Brendan who is pleased with his win. Higgins Manager, Andrew Hunt, is also full of praise for the award winner.
"Brendan is a conscientious and diligent worker who does a good job for us. He is a great team member who gets on well with his fellow workers," said Andrew.
Brendan has never worked anywhere as long as he has at Higgins and is quick to acknowledge their support. "It's hard to find a place like Higgins. You can have a joke and a laugh with the bosses, but at the same time you respect them. They have also been supportive and understanding of my needs. It's a really great place to work," said Brendan.
EDGE Job Co-ordinator Daniel Caughey has watched how Brendan has grown into his role at Higgins.
"Brendan is a real success story. He continually seeks to develop his skills and gain new experiences, and has really developed since he started working at Higgins.
"It is very rewarding to see him take on more responsibility and contribute to his workplace," said Daniel.
The Italian-Apprentice of the Year awards, which were announced in October, recognise and reward excellence achieved by apprentices of Italian origin and employers involved in apprenticeships throughout Western Australia. They are supported by local businesses and the WA and Italian governments.
This year's award acknowledged 23 finalists, with eight category winners representing various industry sectors, ranging from cooking and hairdressing to engineering, cabinet-making and tile-laying.
Brendan wins $500, a plaque and a certificate. Congratulations Brendan.