Tropical North Queensland’s top training talent
CaPTA Group, which has been managing attractions and activities across the Cairns area since 1976, was one of 11 winners named at the prestigious Tropical North Queensland Training Awards in July.
The Group, founded by Charles and Pip Woodward, was named the region’s Large Employer of the Year.
“CaPTA provides training opportunities to its employees to support the development of skills and experience that will see them succeed in their careers, said Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer.
“Currently, over a quarter of its 219 employees are engaged in nationally accredited training.”
Among the winners of the coveted awards are Jennah Halley, who won the Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year title, and hospitality trainer Sven Blanke, who was named the region’s VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year.
“Jennah is believed to be the only qualified female refrigeration technician in Cairns — a statistic she’s hoping to help change,” Minister Farmer said.
“Jennah’s training journey started when her brother, also a refrigeration technician, asked her to help out a few hours a week. From there, Jennah grew a keen interest in the industry and completed a Certificate III in Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration with TAFE Queensland in 2021.
“Through her training, Jennah returned to the workforce as an apprentice after eight years as a stay-at-home mum and is a valued employee at Messina Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, inspiring others to pursue training pathways.”
The Minister said Jennah’s success story shows how training can make a huge difference to people’s lives.
“That’s why in the 2022-23 State Budget we increased our investment in skills and training to more than $1.2 billion to continue delivering high-quality training and creating exciting career pathways for Queenslanders,” she said.
“Every dollar we invest in skills and training pays dual dividends by enriching the lives and employment prospects of students and by fuelling the state’s economy with a highly trained workforce.
“This budget allocation is on top of the $1 billion invested in training and skills in 2021-2022 as part of Queensland’s economic recovery.”
Hospitality trainer Sven has dedicated more than 25 years to the industry.
“Sven provides training from Cairns to Innisfail, and inland to Atherton, Mareeba and Malanda, and his dedication to student-centred learning ensures successful outcomes can be achieved no matter where his trainees are located,” said Minister Farmer.
Other winners include Robinson Civil Group as Medium Employer of the Year; Clarke Diesel as Small Employer of the Year; Natalie Samuel as the Bob Marshmann Trainee of the Year; Ellice Hellmuth as Vocational Student of the Year; Phillip Jose as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year; Cody Graham as School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year; Billy Motton as Equity VET Student of the Year and Marlin Coast Neighbourhood Centre as Community Training Initiative of the Year.
Minister Farmer said it’s extremely important that the hard work of our region’s outstanding apprentices, trainees, vocational students, teachers, employers and community organisations is recognised.
“They are making wonderful contributions to Far North Queensland communities and transforming lives through the power of skills,” she said, adding their achievements were also helping to build a skilled workforce for the region. “They deserve to be acknowledged for their efforts and success.”
The 11 regional winners will progress to the State Final on September 17 in Brisbane.