Hunter apprentices among state's best

From brickies to sparkies and even a greenkeeper, Hunter Region apprentices are keeping their tradie colleagues on their toes.

Corlette’s Jack Hoswell, Hawks Nest’s Jake Mills and Arcadia Vale’s Kylie Jacobsen have all picked up awards for their achievements as apprentices.

Hunter TAFE student Mr Mills has laid a solid foundation for his career after being named the state’s best brickie, picking up the 2011 NSW Bricklaying Award at the Australian Institute of Building’s Professional Excellence in Building Awards.

He earned the award after achieving top marks in NSW in the Certificate III in Bricklaying and Blocklaying. He began working for his father’s bricklaying business after finishing school, but decided to go to TAFE to gain formal qualifications.

Education reporter Alison Branley pointed out Mr Mills’s training puts him in esteemed company – Avatar star Sam Worthington, Brisbane Broncos centre Jack Reed, tenor Rosario La Spina and cricketer Ben Hilfenhaus are all former brickies.

Rolling along nicely

CORLETTE apprentice Jack Hoswell has also been rewarded for his work on the greens of the Soldiers Point Bowling Club, snagging the greenkeeping apprentice of the year award at last month’s Hunter Region Apprentice and Trainee Awards.

Mr Hoswell is also set to grace our television screens in an advertisement for Hunter Valley Training Company.

The greenkeeper, who did his apprenticeship at Soldiers Point Bowling Club and now works there, stars in a commercial filmed last week alongside his boss and secretary manager of the club Simon Lack.

The 15-second commercial is set to air on Sunday on NBN and Nine Network’s free-to-air channel GO! across regional NSW, as well as on WIN in southern Sydney.

Light-bulb moment

PITCHING in for the ladies is sparkie Kylie Jacobsen, 23, who accepted a Central Coast 2011 NSW training award for her work in electrotechnology as a systems electrician.

The Fairfax Regional Printers employee said people were surprised she tackled the once macho profession.

‘‘People are shocked when I say I’m an electrician,’’ Ms Jacobsen told Topics. ‘‘I guess coming out of school I never thought I’d do anything like this – so male-dominated. There are a couple of other women electricians I know of, but it’s still pretty rare.’’

She told Topics she started a pharmacy degree at university but found it didn’t suit her. Instead, she embarked on a course at TAFE Glendale to learn the electrical trade.

How did men react when she entered the male-dominated workplaces?

‘‘I think they were more worried about swearing around me when I started than anything else,’’ she laughed. ‘‘At first when I walked into the room it would go quiet but that didn’t last long.’’

Cybersburg address

SPOTTED in emails and on Twitter, a warning on using the internet as a research tool.

‘‘The problem with quotes on the internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity,’’ attributed to Abraham Lincoln. Touche.

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