GOTAFE student Ben Werner has taken out a nationwide baking apprenticeship award after three days of intense competition and assessment against five other young bakers from across the country.
Ben works at Tatura Hot Bread and was presented with the 2016 LA Judge Award at a gala ceremony at Darling Harbour during May.
Mr Werner said he was delighted to win the award.
“It was an awesome experience and one I will remember for the rest of my life,” he said.
“It was so great to work alongside the best bakers from around Australia.
“I am so happy to have been a part of it. To win it was a real bonus.”
Baking teachers Kim Banfield and Stephen Pinnuck are not only largely responsible for encouraging Ben to enter the competition but also for putting in the necessary ground work to ensure their students have the opportunity to the competition enter each year.
“Initially Kim and I took it upon ourselves to provide and train a candidate for the 2015 L A Judge Award after we were saddened to find out that no other RTO in Victoria would be putting a student forward to represent our state,” said Stephen Pinnuck.
“After many hours of planning that included student interviews, coordination of extra training and executing the training, we nominated Michael Chapman who finished 2nd in Australia and has now gone on to be our GOTAFE Apprentice of the Year nominee 2016.
“This year we are proud of Ben’s achievements but also proud of the fact that we have now been able provide two outstanding students for the L A Judge Award competition for two years in a row.
“Much of the work is out of hours and additional to our regular teaching load, but seeing the students achieve great success and pushing them to be the best they can be makes it all worthwhile”.