Safety-first approach pays off as leader recognised with award

TOP JOB: Mathew Harvey back in the workshop after the award ceremony. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0622jkapprentice2
TOP JOB: Mathew Harvey back in the workshop after the award ceremony. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0622jkapprentice2

Workplace safety is a priority for a young leader recently recognised for his achievements on the job.

Mathew Harvey has been named apprentice of the year during a gala ceremony for the Western Training Awards recently.

Now responsible for supervising a team of 12 tradesmen and 12 apprentices, Mr Harvey said making sure everyone goes home safely at the end of the day is what motivates him to ensure procedures are carried out correctly.

“I thoroughly believe it’s everyone’s right to be safe at work and I want to knuckle down and make sure this is always our focus,” Mr Harvey said.

Mr Harvey completed his four-year apprenticeship in Certificate III Engineering-Fabrication Trade at the Orange-based PJL Group in February.

Following the completion of his apprenticeship, PJL Group offered Mr Harvey employment as a leading hand and has since made him team manager.

The position puts the 29 year old in charge of the workshop floor and responsible for the quality of workmanship on heavy mining equipment.

He said the advice and support provided to him as an apprentice has given him the motivation to be a good leader for the young guys under his supervision.

“The leadership I was shown built the foundation for what I want to show these apprentices,” Mr Harvey said.

“My biggest lesson was that it’s important to not get frustrated, as soon as you do that you’ve lost them, which means unhappy workers and days off.”

Mathew Harvey.

Mathew Harvey.

Skillset CEO Craig Randazzo congratulated Mr Harvey for his accomplishments.

“This award recognises his hard work and determination as an apprentice,” Mr Randazzo said. 

“Mathew is a true ambassador for vocational education and training and a great mentor for fellow apprentices to look up to.”

In addition to Mr Harvey’s award, TAFE NSW students won three more of the six awards that were up for grabs on the night, including Trainee of the Year which went to Laura Van Uum from Bathurst, School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year was awarded to Reece Turner of West Wyalong, and Vocational Student of the Year to Tayla Constable of Coolah.

Mr Harvey will now proceed to the next stage of the training awards as a state finalist for the NSW 2018 Apprentice of the Year Award held later in the year.

The awards were announced during a gala ceremony at the Orange Ex-Services Club last Friday.