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Plumbing apprentice finalist for Victorian Apprentice of the Year

Andrew Jan spent 11 years working in thoroughbred breeding before making a career switch to plumbing, a move that has led him to becoming a finalist for a prestigious state award.

A plumbing apprentice at Bendigo TAFE, Mr Jan was recently announced as one of three finalists for the Victorian Training Award’s Apprentice of the Year.

The 35-year-old said it was a privilege to be shortlisted for the award.

“It is an absolute honor to be named in the final three (and it is) the biggest highlight of my time as an apprentice,” said Mr Jan.

“Bendigo TAFE helped me get to where I am today by providing me with advanced knowledge and practical skills across a wide variety of plumbing applications. The teachers at Bendigo TAFE raise you up to fulfill your full potential and set you up to succeed in your industry.”

Mr Jan said the plumbing industry was appealing for many reasons.

“I chose plumbing because it’s a licensed trade that provides a stable future, and offers a diverse range of work that allows me to constantly challenge and better myself,” he said.

“One of the most exciting things I’ve worked on as a plumbing apprentice was Shaynna Blaze’s house in Kyneton. To work alongside some of the builders and tradies from The Block was an amazing experience.”

Now employed at Macedon Ranges Plumbing in Kyneton, Mr Jan is also studying the parttime Certificate IV in Plumbing and Services (CPC40912) whilst volunteering with the Country Fire Authority as a Group Officer.

His achievements include clinching the 2020 Rheem Apprentice Plumber Grant and being awarded Bendigo TAFE’s 2021 Apprentice of the Year.

“Going to TAFE and starting this apprenticeship has certainly been a life changing experience for me,” he said.

“I would love to obtain my plumbing license and go out on business on my own. My studies have really set me up for that. I certainly wouldn’t change it for the world and I’ll never look back.”

Bendigo TAFE Chief Executive Sally Curtain congratulated Mr Jan on being a finalist for the Victorian Training Awards and highlighted the role of TAFE in supporting apprentices with their career goals.

“We’re very proud of Andrew on being a finalist for the much coveted Victorian Apprentice of the Year award,” said Ms Curtain.

“Andrew’s success reflects his remarkable drive and determination to succeed in his new career path. It also reflects the important role of TAFE in supporting apprentices to achieve their fullest potential.”

Results for the Victorian Training Awards will be announced on 16 October, with the Apprentice of the Year award recipient to receive $5,000 in prize money and represent Victoria at the Australian Training Awards.

Bendigo TAFE is also shortlisted for the Victorian Training Awards’ Inclusive Training Partner of the Year, with individual support coordinator and teacher, Julie Kramer, up for Teacher of the Year.​

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