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TAFE NSW student named Australia's best glass and glazing apprentice

TAFE NSW Lidcombe

TAFE NSW student named Australia's best glass and glazing apprentice

4 September 2023

TAFE NSW Lidcombe graduate Nathaniel Leatherby has been awarded National Apprentice of the Year by the Australian Glass and Window Association (AGWA).

The 25-year-old, who has just completed a Certificate III in Glass and Glazing, competed against glazier apprentices from across the state. Nathaniel said he was blown away by the impact the award has had already.

“In the past 24-hours, I’d had so many jobs offers. My options are endless, I can pretty much go anywhere, ” Nathaniel said.

Nathaniel’s entrance into the industry has come at an opportune time, as NSW will need an additional 904,000 homes over the next 20 years to house the growing population. That means 45,200 new homes per year, including 28,500 in Greater Sydney and 16,700 in regional NSW. A key to every home is windows.

For Nathaniel, however, his decision to enter the trade was very much a family affair. Following in the footsteps of his father, he joined the family business, and enrolled at TAFE NSW after deciding traditional schooling wasn’t for him.

“I love it because every day is different. School and uni wasn’t for me, I wanted to be outdoors,” Nathaniel said.

“One day I might be working among amazing scenery in the Blue Mountains, the next in a rural town in the middle of nowhere. I could never work indoors in an office. My trade offers me the lifestyle I want.”

Nathaniel credits his TAFE NSW teachers, and the push they gave him to work hard and achieve big goals, for much of his success.

TAFE NSW Glass and Glazing Head Teacher Mark Nicholls said students like Nathaniel are testament to the opportunities practical skills training provides.

“The nationally recognised Certificate III in Glass and Glazing is the gold standard in the sector, giving students the very specialist skills needed to work on the country’s most exciting residential, commercial and large-scale infrastructure projects,” Mr Nicholls said.

“We offer students both the practical and theoretical skills – whether that’s learning how to cut glass by hand or the know-how to start their own sole trader business – to succeed.”

Media contact: Lee Tobin, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist,