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

Apprentice through the looking glass to awards

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 McGrath- Ashton 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”.


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