The next generation of industry were recognised at the 2020 Australian Marine Awards, held at Southport Yacht Club on the Gold Coast on Thursday 12 November. Seven deserving finalists were named, while one claimed the title and received the ultimate prize of trip to Amsterdam for METSRADE 2021.

The inaugural “Apprentice of the Year” award sponsored by TAFE Queensland, was designed to recognise and honour apprentices for their outstanding skills, performance, dedication and commitment to the Australian marine industry.

Taking home this thrilling new award was Jasmine Willougby, a 2nd year engineering fabrication apprentice from Aus Ships Group, claiming her title as the 2020 Australian Marine Industry Apprentice of the Year. With this title, Jasmine was awarded the trip of a lifetime to Amsterdam where she will join the Australian marine pavilion at METSTRADE 2021 to further broaden her experience within the industry.

The finalists for the 2020 Apprentice of the Year award were: Robbie Beale and Jasmine Willoughby, Aus Ships Group; Jarrod Nobrega, Marine Air Flow International; Bailey Sivyer, Riviera; Leon Duryea and Billy Tregoning, Onboard Engineering; and Beau Paff, Steber International.

David Good, CEO of AIMEX said, “This is a genuinely exciting award for the marine industry. The business leaders of tomorrow will take our industry to new heights and we want to make sure the best people are attracted to and retained in the marine industry. The winner of this award Jasmine Willoughby has a degree in Biomedical Science and rather than continue to pursue a science career, she picked up the tools and entered a welding program through East Coast Apprenticeships. We believe she is a great example of what the future of the marine industry is and we look forward to taking her on her first overseas trip to Amsterdam to be inspired by the world’s largest marine trade exhibition.”

Rob Miley, former chairman of the Tasmanian Maritime Network and judge on the 2020 panel commented after the Awards night, “I commend AIMEX for introducing this new award for 2020 as a way to celebrate the achievements of our future tradespeople, while encouraging continued excellence in the industry.

“The standard of apprentices was exemplary and a credit to their employers, I congratulate all of our apprentice finalists and the companies for their success and dedication to achieving training excellence. Being selected as an AIMEX apprentice finalist recognises their outstanding contribution to our industry’s growth; they should be very proud of their achievements.”

“This is such a great recognition of Jasmine’s commitment & dedication to her trade apprenticeship. Jasmines employment at Aus Ships Group allows exposure to several different trades so she has been able to build on skills and knowledge outside of her dedicated trade qualification and is very much looking forward to attending METSTRADE 2021 with the AIMEX team,” commented Tommy Ericson, owner of Aus Ships Group.

The METSTRADE Show is the world’s largest trade exhibition of marine equipment, materials and systems. It’s the only truly international B2B exhibition for the marine leisure industry and has served as a platform for innovation, market developments and networking since its launch in 1988.

Eline Heemstra, Exhibition Manager for METSTRADE said, “We are excited to welcome Jasmine and the rest of the Australian contingent to Amsterdam next year to attend METSTRADE 2021 and congratulate her on her victory.

“We have always supported the future generation of our industry and have the METSRADE Young Professionals Club that brings together young industry professionals from a diverse array of backgrounds, offering both an on and offline environment to facilitate networking where Jasmine will fit right in,” said Eline.

AIMEX would like to thank TAFE Queensland for their support of this award, and all 2020 apprentice applicants for their impressive entries. The hard work and dedication that comes from these young people ensures the Australian Marine Industry is well equipped for the future.