Apprentice Jayden Barnes of Tarraganda is racing ahead in the automotive industry.
He has been announced as one of the top five competitors in the inaugural Apprentice of the Year Capricorn Rising Stars competition, out of a pool of over 500 of his peers from across Australia and New Zealand.
“I wasn’t expecting it, that’s for sure!” the 20-year-old said.
He was “pretty hopefully” he would beat the other competitors to first place.
“I think they’re all really good. Everyone is in with a pretty good chance,” Mr Barnes said.
Currently in his fourth year of an automatic technician Certificate III, he is working at Anthony’s Car and Head Centre in Bega.
“He’s a winner,” owner of the centre Anthony Dack said.
“Whether he tops it or not he’s certainly a winner.
“He’s done very well throughout his entire apprenticeship.”
This is not the first accolade for Mr Barnes, as he has come second in Bosch Services’s Apprentice of the Year twice.
Mr Dack nominated Mr Barnes for the Capricorn competition because “he deserves the recognition for his hard work”.
“He works very hard, he is very dedicated,” Mr Dack said.
As he is in the top five, Mr Barnes has won $1000 worth of tools, participation in a 12-month online training program and four tickets to the Capricorn Gala Trade Dinner in Sydney.
The first prize for the competition is four tickets to the Gold Coast 600 and $2000 worth of spending money.
While the automotive industry can be “physically and mentally” challenging at times, Mr Barnes has found his calling.
“It’s constantly changing, and I think that keeps everyone on their toes,” he said.
“Every day is different, I like that about it.”
Once he finishes the fourth year of his apprenticeship, he plans on sticking around Anthony’s Car and Head Centre.
“I like it here, it’s a good environment,” he said.
The winner of the Capricorn competition will be announced in August.