HORSHAM’S Dustin Cross was awarded Australian apprentice of the year at the Australian Training Awards on Thursday night.
Mr Cross was catapulted to the national stage when he was named Victorian apprentice of year.
During the selection process Mr Cross said he was confident in his chances.
“In my eyes I was a winner because I won the Victorian award, but I was stoked to be considered for the Australian Training Awards,” he said.
“I was confident after my interview and I met the other candidates who had amazing stories – they were amazing finalists.”
Mr Cross said the recognition was rewarding.
“Winning this award has made me feel like my training and hard work was done for a reason,” he said.
With the national title under his belt, Mr Cross hoped to become a great ambassador for the VET sector.
He said he hoped to inspire students to follow what their passions.
“I want to go into schools and share my story to hopefully change the stigma around vocational training,” he said.
“If there are students out their thinking about doing a traineeship then do what you love because their are plenty of pathways to achieve that.
“In the schools around this area VCE is pushed to be the first option and VCAL is second tiered. It shouldn’t be like that and I wanted to put it on a level playing field.”
Mr Cross received $5000 with the Australian apprentice of the year title.