TAFE NSW Wetherill Park Graduate, Mitchell Haggarty (right) and his employer, Alto Group Service Manager, Rob McRae (left).
TAFE NSW Wetherill Park graduate, Mitchell Haggarty has been announced as the Apprentice of the Year in the Central and Northern Sydney Training Awards, hosted by Training Services NSW.
At 22, the accolade comes after he left school in year 10 to turn his passion into a career.
"I struggled to find my identity during high school. I didn't have much interest in the traditional areas of study, and it made me feel like I didn't belong,” Mitchell said.
"Discovering my passion for cars and mechanics was the turning point that gave me a sense of purpose and motivation to learn."
In pursuit of his newfound interest, Mitchell enrolled in a Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology at TAFE NSW Wetherill Park and secured an apprenticeship with Alto Group.
Mitchell completed his course at an accelerated rate and is now a fully qualified mechanic, which he claims is proof of being on the right path.
“Where I would question if school was for me, I never once questioned whether studying mechanics through TAFE NSW was the right path for me,” Mitchell said.
“I had really great support through my teachers, and also in my workplace. While I’m really shocked to have won – I had really great mentors that got me here.”
Mitchell is fulfilling a growing need for mechanics, with the occupation listed among the ten professions in the highest demand nationally.
Alto Group Service Manager, Rob McRae has recently appointed Mitchell as the Blacktown workshop’s MG Head Technician, in light of his full qualification and achievements.
“Mitch has been working with us since 2019, he’s always brought passion, dedication, and focus to the workplace. He’s got a great can-do attitude and we’re lucky to have him on the team,” said Mr McRae.
“He’s one of many TAFE NSW students apprenticing with Alto Group. The training and support they receive is phenomenal – case in point with Mitch.
“TAFE NSW has been a great help in delivering a pipeline of apprentices. I’ve been with Alto Group for over 10 years, and I’ve seen the demand for mechanics grow stronger and stronger. We’re always looking for more apprentices across all of our sites – it’s a great career,” said Mr McRae.
The NSW Training Awards celebrate the excellence of apprentices, trainees and students undertaking vocational education and training.
The winners from the Central and Northern Sydney Training Awards will be interviewed and considered for the NSW Training Awards which will are planned to be held in Sydney later this year.
Media contact: Vanessa Lista | Communications Specialist | firstname.lastname@example.org | 0450 442 109