TAFE NSW Dubbo graduate and aspiring livestock farmer Jim White has been named Trainee of the Year at the 2021 Western NSW Training Awards in Dubbo.
The 19-year-old completed a Certificate III in Agriculture at TAFE NSW last year while undertaking a traineeship with Gullendah Pastoral Co.
He is one of many TAFE NSW graduates throughout the state who have been announced winners in the NSW Training Awards, which celebrate the excellence of apprentices, trainees and students in the vocational education and training (VET) sector.
“For as long as I can remember the agricultural industry has been what I have based my whole life around, from growing up on the family farm to now pursuing my dream and taking steps to achieve my goal of running my own farm,” Jim said.
“I was very honoured to receive this award and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my teachers at TAFE NSW, my employers and my family.”
Jim already owns and operates a shorthorn cattle stud and has won numerous awards including grand champion herdsman five times at numerous national cattle shows.
Jim said the practical training blocks he completed through TAFE NSW were invaluable for developing his skills and he now has his sights set on undertaking a Certificate IV in Agriculture and a Diploma in Agriculture.
“The block release training at TAFE NSW accompanied by on-the-job learning every single day has been a great benefit. I tend to learn with my hands, so TAFE NSW was perfect for me,” Jim said.
“This traineeship has taught me a huge amount about business, animal husbandry, pasture and cropping plans, along with unforgettable life skills. You couldn’t ask for a better correlation between a working and studying environment.”
Gullendah Pastoral Co Director Andrew Hughes said Jim was a fantastic young man with a bright future.
“The traineeship model works well because we can teach Jim what we do here on our farm, while his TAFE NSW training blocks give him a chance to learn from industry experts, which really develops and enhances his skillset,” Andrew said.
“The two combined means he is becoming very proficient at a young age, and that sets him up for a really successful future doing what he loves. Having him as a trainee has been a very positive experience for our business.”
TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Agriculture at Dubbo, John Cox, said Jim’s passion for farming was infectious and he has a bright future ahead.
“His industry knowledge at such a young age is incredible – he knows more than some people who have been in the industry for 50 years and I felt like I could take a seat and let him teach me and the class the things he knew,” Mr Cox said.
“As a teacher, Jim was a pleasure to teach and support. His engaging personality and willingness to do his very best provided a wonderful opportunity to support his journey in this field. He is a hard-working student and is going to do big things in his career.”
The 2021 Trainee of the Year encouraged other young people to pursue their dreams.
“Overall, my time studying at TAFE NSW and progressing through my traineeship has been incredible and I have loved every bit of it,” Jim said.
“I’m a huge advocate for anyone considering pursuing the qualification they are interested in. I truly believe that you never ever stop learning, and if training is available that helps you be better at what you’re passionate about, then jump in and do it.”
Winners of the Western NSW Training Awards are now in the running for the national 2021 Australian Training Awards, which will be held in Sydney later this year.
Explore hundreds of courses and pursue your passion with life-changing training at TAFE NSW. For more information visit www.tafensw.edu.au or phone 131 601.
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